Okay, so it’s out now. We can talk openly now.
I ran my review yesterday. Blooding Cool manager Patrick Dane ran his the night before. DC Comics President reportedly shared it on her Facebook page, which shows how desperate they must be getting. But we both saw it in the same screening, knowing the negative view of a number of reviews going in and we both came out saying “what the hell are people on about?”
So, yes, spoilers, I liked Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. I know lots of people say they didn’t. Don’t worry, Lego Batman is coming next year.
Given that, there were a few things that needled. I’ve seen some people talk about plot holes that seemed pretty self-explanatory to me but there were three things that jarred that don’t seem to have been over elaborated upon. Three apparent flaws that I wanted to pick over like scabs on a knee. It isn’t pleasant, it isn’t pretty but it just has to be done.
1. He’s A Bad Son
Superman knows when Lois Lane is in danger. He can hear her in anonymous Middle Eastern country, He can hear her falling off a skyscraper. He can hear her faint knocking and underwater burblings miles away, and each time identify her and save her. Three times in the movie, in the time it takes to pull a trigger, fall to the ground or drown.
And yet, he cannot hear his own mother’s voice, screaming as she is kidnapped by goons, or her whimpers when she is gagged – not even when he is specifically listening for them in the hour he gets granted by Lex Luthor before her death.
2. So Why is Zod Dead Again?
The final battle sees both Superman and Doomsday stabbed through the heart, Doomsday by a Kryptonite spear, Superman by jutting out bone. We are shown the funeral of Superman, which was probably the film’s most Watchmen-like scene, and given the idea that he’s not dead, he’s merely resting. Kryptonian blue, lovely plumage. It is a deliberate reversal of the finale of Dark Knight Returns, with Bruce Wayne put in the ground, only for Clark to hear his returning heartbeat.
Here there is no one to hear but the soil on the lid rising suggests a little of that tactile telekinesis, that space warping that engineers Superman’s flight is there. Somehow Superman is still alive.
The film is full of Dark Knight Returns scenes and lines of course. Wine cellars, lampposts, nuclear weapons, sonic blasts, it’s all there.
But given that final scene, what about the implications it has? Could a neck snap really have done for Zod? He is dead, his body dragged up, and then stripped for parts… and he didn’t even have Kryptonite poisoning.
Lex Luthor wants power. Initially through government participation, heading up a weapons programme against Superman and any other super powered folks, but going through official channels Then he is willing to work outside of it, forcing the situation and using the superfolk to do his bidding so the government will have to turn to him. I think. But then how does Doomsday enter the field? If he had killed Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, what then? A rampaging beast that not even Lex Luthor can stop smashing up the world? What was his game plan?
Well… was it a conscious one?
We saw Batman dreaming of a future ruled over by a despotic Superman. And, though we never see him, on a destroyed Earth ruled by Darkseid. His sigil carved into the ground, his parademons in the sky… but where did all this imagery come from? We saw Batman also dreaming about being lifted up as a child by the bats of the Batcave, one of a number of religious images that fills this movie. He is a a Bat avatar receiving signals, seeing the portents of what is to come? Is the future that we saw one that is still very possible may happen? Was it just a dream, an imaginary story? Aren’t they all.
Because we did also see a Mother Box, Darkseid-era technology, being used for the origin scene for Cyborg. And we saw Lex Luthor talking about the devils in the sky and the angels on earth, the reversal of the portrait in his offices, and that final scene, tapping his fingers, with a beating stutter, counting down to the devil coming.
Because that devil has to be Darkseid. And Lex Luthor as an unconscious puppet of Darkseid, an agent of chaos, softening up the Earth by getting rid of its protectors before invasion.
Time to dig up Superman.
4. A Mother By Any Other Name
If Superman and Batman’s mothers didn’t have the same first name, what a different way things would have gone.
5. The Passion Of The Kryptonian
The film is out for Easter weekend, and aside from the obvious, the angels and demons, the worship of Mexicans, the False God graffiti, the prophetic dreams of the future, the levitation of bats, and both the death and teases resurrection, there’s also the temptations. Superman questioning his morals as being nothing more than the vague thoughts of a farmer. The idea, in Batman’s dream, that Superman could have it all. Beat by beat by beat.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Superman has been interpreted in this fashion. Hell, my Flying Friar comic book touched on this idea. I just don’t think it’s ever been done quite so literally – or indeed, quite so Catholic-y.
And suddenly a lot more of the guilt, and the images of torture slot into place. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice isn’t a superhero film.
It’s a Passion Play.
Anyway… what did you think?