The 9 Reasons Why Batman v Superman is Better Than You Thought

Throughout the years of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, Batman v Superman has garnered a massive cult following. In the wake of the Snyder Cut finally getting the green light, let’s look at the Top 9 Reasons Why Batman v Superman is Better Than You Thought. I am not talking about the theatrical cut (as it leaves out many important plot points) and will instead focus on the extended Ultimate Edition.

Batman Killing People

While many die-hard comic book fans argue Batman doesn’t kill, the fact that he does in this film is the point. After twenty years of fighting, this version of Batman is tired and sick of letting those around him die at the hands of those he spared due to his moral code. As exemplified by Robin’s suit on display in the Batcave, Bruce blames himself for the Joker killing his young ward by letting him live. He regains his compassionate nature by refusing to “Bat-Brand” Lex Luthor at the end of the film.

It should also be noted that Batman has killed people in his movies all the time (carefully look back at the Dark Knight Trilogy, and you’ll see what I mean)!

Lex Luthor

Many people had probably with the quirky and stuttering villain Jesse Eisenberg brought to the film, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad villain. Gene Hackman’s version of Luthor was arguably just as goofy as Eisenberg’s, and it’s still well regarded by fans. However, Eisenberg brings a dark complexity to the character not seen on-screen before. He is many ways similar to Donald Trump since he is portrayed as an egomaniacal billionaire with daddy issues who can’t stand another person more powerful than him threatening his dominance and tries to take them down. They also both have trouble speaking and have terrible hair. 

People have also argued that his plan was too convoluted or contrived. His plan actually resembles that of the villain Ozymandias in Watchmen (another story that director Zack Snyder adapted), and it is arguably just as convoluted. At the same time, many of the details concerning his plan were missing from the theatrical cut.

Doomsday

One of the complaints regarding the film is the presence of Doomsday. The film combines two iconic comic book storylines: The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman, and critics argue that the villain of the latter adds too much. The creature is the manifestation of Lex’s hatred towards Superman, bringing to the life the monster he saw him as. If Lex Luthor is the Ozymandias of this film, then Doomsday is the alien creature he creates to “save the world.” He is the blade meant to cut the Gordian Knot, as foreshadowed in that gallery scene with Bruce and Diana. The fact that Superman dies at his hands brings the film full-circle, as it begins and ends with a funeral.

And for those who had a problem with Doomsday’s design, it’s really not that bad.

Superhero Politics

The battle between Batman and Superman is also a political one reflecting that surrounding the War on Terror. On the one hand, Superman is an illegal immigrant whose kind was responsible for the death of countless innocents in Metropolis. On the other, Batman is a paranoid billionaire who believes Superman is a threat to humanity and that any action should be taken to eliminate him. The media is also an enormous presence through it all, as many news outlets and intellectual speakers debate over the legality of Superman’s actions. There are even arguments concerning Batman’s unrestricted violence towards criminals, as his Bat-Brand is a death sentence that the authorities allow without hesitation. This degree of political strife can still be applied to America even today, considering the rise in police brutality and the two main political parties being almost entirely divided as they try to take each other down.

Action

While the film does have its slower, political moments, it makes up for them with bombastic and ultraviolent action scenes akin to Dragon Ball Z, which is unlike those of any other superhero film today. Zack Snyder’s signature rapid shift between fast and slow-motion action makes watching the movie like reading panels in a comic book. DC films that weren’t even directed by Snyder have still been influenced by this style and have continued to utilize it, and it’s still a treat to watch.

Biblical Allegory

It is no secret that Superman has been portrayed as a Christ figure in various media, and Zack Snyder clearly took that ball and ran with it. While some people complain about the biblical imagery being too on the nose, it’s an essential motif that’s actually done really well. Religion and mythology are central aspects of the DC Universe, as many of its heroes and villains are ripped straight from a variety of ancient myths and faiths. Zack Snyder embraces this motif by artistically crafting shots based on religious paintings. Even though the film’s characters are portrayed as either gods or devils, they still have human struggles as they try to live with trauma and have regular, happy lives despite their powers.

The Martha Scene

This scene is the one that many people argue ruined the film. Audiences have criticized it for changing Batman’s opinion of Superman shifting too fast or simply because their mothers shared the same name. For those who don’t understand, when Batman is reminded of his parents’ deaths, he realizes Superman was a still human kid just like him, and he’s letting his mother die like his own. He thus realizes how far he’s fallen, having become the kind of killer that took his parents that swore to fight as the Batman.

For those who thought that Batman’s screaming was silly, it’s understandable that someone so traumatized and filled with anger would react that way. Despite its faults, this scene is an insightful one that audiences really have to think about to understand Batman’s psychology and shifting character.

Worldbuilding

BvS was very ambitious in its creation of a larger cinematic universe. In the span of one film, we got Batman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, Doomsday, and Darkseid. Critics argued that this amount of worldbuilding put too much clutter into the film. While in some cases, these small cameos do interrupt the flow of the story, the rest of the worldbuilding works quite well. Specifically, that Knightmare scene where Batman is roaming a post-apocalyptic Earth is essential to cementing his paranoia about Superman. It also manifests the painting in Lex Luthor’s study, which he claims should be flipped upside down because devils (the Parademons) “come from the sky.”

Its Dark Tone

Many audiences had a problem with the film’s dark and gritty tone, unfavorably comparing it to Marvel’s more lighthearted atmosphere. However, this is what makes it unique. Marvel itself has been criticized for implementing humor at the wrong time, and BvS is not without its jokey moments. Even as more recent DC films like Aquaman and Shazam! have embraced a lighter and more humorous tone, they still have some pretty dark moments that define the DCEU as a whole. For those who are tired of Marvel’s safe, money-making formula, Batman v Superman is a bold and thought-provoking piece in the superhero genre.

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