Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not the awful movie that critics and some of your friends would have you believe (You can read our review Here). However, for me personally (this is just my opinion and that’s all we can every give you readers … our opinions). That said, for me personally, BvS is not a good superhero movie. The reason behind this boils down to a simple question, and that’s, What is a superhero?
Well, it’s a hero that does something super — heroic — spectacular. Simple, right? Now, there are so many versions of these characters in the world. Whether it’s the dark/broody The Dark Knight Returns comic. Or the uplifting, colorful, animated film, All-Star Superman. These characters have done heroic (and not-so heroic) things.
SPOILERS FOR BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
However, for the most part in BvS, these characters don’t do heroic things. My favorite moments in the film come at the end. For Batman, it’s when he takes out two floors of thugs (albeit violently, which we talk about characterizations in the newest episode of the Fatal Frame Podcast — which you can listen to above). Batman takes out these goons to save a life, Martha Kent. That’s heroic.
And Superman, who yeah — we’ve seen glimpses of heroism throughout the movie: the girl in the fire and saving the spaceship upon liftoff. Heck, in Man of Steel I loved the scene where he saves the oil rig crew. In BvS he saves Lois Lane about 2-3 times, but, it was the moment when the two of them were kneeling on the ground, when Lois has Superman in her arms. Superman tells her: “I Love You. This is my world … you are my world.” Then, he picks up the kryptonite spear knowing full well he will die, and flies towards DoomsDay.
I want my heroes to embody the best of us, be someone who we look up to
Ill tell you something, it’s cool having an epiphany — like being in a dark room and someone turns on the lights. Because in that moment, for me personally … that was the first time I saw Superman. The Superman that I knew and loved when I was a kid, the Superman who would give his life for the people of this world and more importantly, for Lois Lane. These were the heroic moments I wanted to see more of from this film.
I want my heroes to embody the best of us, be someone who we look up to. When I used to play with my friends in the backyard, whether we were imitating Batman, Superman, Goku, or Optimus Prime … these characters were leaders/heroes that were willing to sacrifice themselves to save the people around them.
Also, these heroes don’t want recognition. At the end of Batman Begins, Rachel Dawes asks Batman to tell her his name, to let her know who it was that saved her, and Batman says: “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
WHAT I DO THAT DEFINES ME…..That’s what a superhero is to me. That’s the superhero mentality I grew up with.
It’s like when in in the original Spider-man, when there’s a burning building with a bunch of helpless people in it. Spider-Man goes in, saves one of them and then he goes back in for another … and then another. That’s a superhero to me. Or in Spider-Man 2 (which is one of my favorite superhero movies of all time) when Spider-Man gives everything he has to stop a train from derailing and save the people aboard. This … boy … who was willing to give his life to save 50-60 people on that train. That’s a superhero, and that’s the feeling I got as Superman flew towards Doomsday at the end of BvS.
Finally, say what you will about the Dark Knight Rises, that movie does has its problems. But at the end of that film, when that bomb is about to explode and destroy Gotham City, Batman’s Gotham … Bruce Wayne’s Gotham; Batman doesn’t hesitate. He knows exactly what he has to do. There’s no flashbacks to his parents death or training montages with Ra’s Al Ghul. No, he’s a hero and he’s going to do what a hero does.
Remember, if you don’t like the current version of the characters, that’s okay. The versions of the characters I grew up with and loved aren’t going anywhere. I can load up and watch the Batman The Animated Series anytime I want. But I just want Snyder to remember going forward, that heroes can come from anywhere and these heroic moments can come from any movie.
At the end of The DKR, Batman looks a Jim Gordon and says: “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”
That’s a superhero to me. That’s the kind of hero and the kind of lessons that I want these characters to teach my kids; the versions I want them to imitate when they pretend to be them in the backyard.
And it’s true. the world hasn’t ended. Not for DC, not for Snyder’s DCCU, and especially not for my love of these characters. I saw glimpses of these types of heroic moments at the end of BvS that I personally what from superhero movies. I just want the tone to lighten up a bit so we can get more of them. And that’s going to happen. Director James Wan has already said that his upcoming Aquaman movie will be much lighter in tone. I’m also excited to see these characters working together in the Justice League.
Until then, go watch Spider Man 2 again.