There’s Nothing Heroic about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

So here are my thoughts on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I wanted to wait, but I couldn’t. Feel free to discuss and debate. I look forward to it.

This movie overall was… fine. A strong 7, perhaps add a 0.5. You could see where the studio rushed to cobble the Justice League together, and elude to the fact that, perhaps, there was once a Robin. I have to admit that Ben Affleck made a very good Batman. The Bat was brutal, and the fight scenes were enjoyable.

So, if you haven’t seen it, go ahead. If you have skittish children, keep them home. For a DC cinematic effort, it’s like most that have come before, with the sole exception that there was one that one “hero” on display. And that is where my issues lie.

There was nothing “heroic” about the movie. In Man of Steel, Superman explained that the symbol on his chest meant “hope.” But where was his? This brooding, angry and downright scary Superman was hopeless.

Superman has always been the Boy Scout. His almost Pollyannaish approach to life is what makes his character so appealing. And when things get tough, he faces it with a smile. Even though he’s here for the world, his friends always come first. Well, not in this movie. It was revealed, even though he isn’t formerly introduced, that the guy who was shot in the face by the Warlord, was none other than Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen.

And then, there was Batman.

Again, there was nothing really wrong with the Batman, except for one statement: “We’re criminals.” WHAT?!? It’s unbelievable that the Batman would lump himself in with the “superstitious and cowardly lot” that comprises the people he beats up nightly.

But I guess he does look at himself that way, at least in this movie because why would he leave a batarang behind to taunt Luthor? That’s not heroic, that’s what villains do. They also kill people. And this Batman seemed to have no problem with that, either by his own hand, or by the actions of others.

Is it too much to ask for heroes to be heroes? It is too much to want my heroes to be people that I want to be? Through whose actions make me want to be a better me? Maybe it is, but I won’t stop looking for — and expecting — them to be so.

4 thoughts on “There’s Nothing Heroic about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  1. Sometimes, I wonder if dark and edgy superhero tales are supposed to be a reflection of our cultural psyche. If these guys are supposed to be our heroes, what does that say about us and our pain?

  2. These heroes are supposed to be a reflection of where we are right now, take a good look around the world today can people honestly say they would be optimistic about it all?

  3. I’m still waiting for somebody to ask ‘who was on drugs’ throughout this experience? Was it the filmmakers, the characters in the film, or the audience? The results of this trend is so troubling it seems like an obvious question

  4. Honestly I’ve seen this reading of the film multiple times and it still makes zero sense to me. Batman is not an aspirational figure in this movie, and it puzzles me that anyone would take more than a few minutes to figure this out. This is a dude who wastes an entire movie’s worth of time, energy, and resources that he could use fighting actual crime hunting a rock so he can murder another guy for something he MIGHT do. Like, what kind of intense crazy shake would you have to drink in the morning in order to not think, hey, I think there might be something wrong with Batman? I do not understand.

    What is the critique of Superman’s behavior in this movie based on, by the way, because I could give you a very specific list of comics from which all the dceu character references have been taken and you won’t find him smiling his face off in every panel. If you prefer the animated version of this hero, that’s entirely your business, but neither of them lacks heroism because one of them is less happy than the other.

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