Author: menarestillgoodblog

Deconstructing the Man of Steel- an analysis of how Zach Snyder, Chris Terrio, and the other contributors to the narrative of Batman V Superman grounded the superman

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Before going into the actual analysis, I want to make an important disclaimer:

  • Of most importance to properly digesting this analysis, I want to make sure it is clear as to what I mean when I use the term deconstruction because the term is thrown around a lot and has many iterations and contexts in literature and other mediums. When I say deconstruction, I mean the generally accepted definition that is associated with the term within contemporary pop culture criticism and entertainment. That is, I’m going to use the definition as quoted from a youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBuo4vi_A0s) that I found more than fitting: “Generas are built off of the tropes, archetypes, writing styles, story structures, common themes, etc. shared by a particular group of works- A deconstruction then takes the genera and breaks it down into individual ideas, before applying them with a real world perspective, seeing how these characters and tropes would behave without their fictional backbone to prop them up; it’s about boiling a genera down to its most essential elements and taking them to their most logical conclusions, exposing whether they would work or not and ultimately commenting on the genera itself.”

By bringing superman into our world, Snyder deconstructs the Man of Steel in a way that is much more obvious and direct compared to how Nolan deconstructed some elements of the batman mythology in his Dark Knight trilogy. I believe, whereas Nolan inadvertently deconstructed some of the mythology of the caped crusader just by making the character as realistic as possible, Snyder and Terrio fully and intentionally went with the route of deconstruction for Superman in BvS. When asked about the critical reception of BvS, Deborah Snyder (wife of Zach Snyder and executive producer of BvS) said “The main thing we learned, I think: People don’t like to see their heroes deconstructed.” BvS takes a hard look at what makes the Man of Steel tick and whether those characteristics and tropes hold up under the scrutiny of reality.

Alas, like any other deconstruction, there will be fans of the genre who feel betrayed and ask: what is the point of tearing down the conventions and traditions of a genre if those conventions are well loved? Well, I’ll respond by saying this: through deconstructing the many tropes of a character, one can analyze the tropes themselves and may also find the qualities, traits, and conventions associated with a character or genre that still holds up under heavy scrutiny and analysis. See, it’s easy for a creator to hide behind certain tropes because they’re crowd pleasers and nostalgic- but if you only rely on them you never have a chance to get to other and deeper aspects of the character by digging through the tropes that can become overused to the point of staleness. (alas, what happened to the superman character in the 90’s that led to his death).

I’m fully aware that deconstructions aren’t for everyone and especially traditionalists who hold up the tropes and conventions as the gold metric of a genera but at the same time, the contemporary blooming Comic Book Movie scene has never done a deconstruction to this extent with such a well-known established superhero (so excluding films like Watchmen- where the characters don’t have their own established franchise and also films like Kick Ass with smaller budgets and a relatively unknown IP). When I say “to this extent” I mean that BvS is as extensive as piece of deconstructive work as TDK is a crime drama or Deadpool to be a genera satire- that is to say a relatively basic deconstruction. Just as TDK isn’t the departed or Godfather and Deadpool isn’t Shaun of the dead, BvS can hardly be described as a deep, thorough or profound example of a deconstruction (in fact, fans of deconstruction and connoisseurs of this type of narrative may not consider BvS to be remotely deconstructive in the same vein that fans of the Italian job or ocean’s 11 wouldn’t consider Ant Man or Fast 5 to be a “real” heist movie), but like I said, the fact that it even attempts to go down this lane with such a famous superhero (as a matter of fact the most famous superhero) should be noted, discussed, and even appreciated. Even if it goes against your sensibilities as a fan, it is a unique take that deserves a closer look. More familiar and conventional versions of the character will always exist and no matter how subversive BvS is, it is only a momentary diversion in the grand history of Superman’s nearly century old legacy. So with that out of the way, let’s move on to viewing just exactly how and how well Snyder deconstructed the well-known traditions and aspects of the Superman character.

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  • Saving the damsel in distress: One of the most used and most iconic tropes in superman history is the Man of Steel coming in at the last second to scoop away Lois Lane from imminent danger. The trope itself is used so much because of just how seemingly benign it is- using a superpower to make sure an innocent or loved one doesn’t die- there’s nothing controversial about that, is there? Also it empowers the most basic superhero fantasy in the reader/viewer- if one did have superpowers- wouldn’t it be amazing to use it to save a person’s life from a viscerally exhilarating scene of danger especially if that person is someone who you are romantically attracted to? Of course Snyder and Terrio proceeds to question this idea if it were to really play out in real life.
  • In the first scene of the film, after the opening credits and prologue, superman arrives in a 3rd world country to rescue Lois away from the leader of the local rebel guerrillas as well as a US drone strike. Any sense of romanticism or empowerment is immediately obliterated from this rescue as we see the consequences of such a seemingly innocent act. Superman goes on to explain that he was just there to make sure the “woman who he loves wasn’t blown up or shot”. However the ramifications of this act would lead to consequences that would ripple throughout the rest of the film: the CIA is now antagonized toward our hero as he has just ruined what was potentially months of black ops work to establish American interests in a war torn region, tons of people were slaughtered by the government after superman left, and Lex Luthor now knows he can manipulate the strongest man in the world by threatening a high profile reporter (leading to the helipad scene). Indeed, in this one scene, Snyder goes to great length to show the audience how the most basic of superhero fantasies- saving the damsel in distress- may have damning consequences in a realistic setting.
  • If you were a superhero and you did always rush in to prioritize the safety of your crush, spouse, significant other- at what lengths would you go? Because while you’re saving them- there are others in the world who are also in danger. Would you save them and inadvertently let the bad guys escape (KGBeast) so they can go on to hurt other people? Would you save them and let the bad guys know they can manipulate you to do evil through your loved one? Would you save them even if it meant going against the political and rational greater good? Further consider what happens to Lois after the event: in this day and age women are more and more seen as equals to men in certainly every professional field but also on every social level. Would your loved one feel guilty for needing you to be there for them? Would they feel useless or have survivors guilt knowing that if they weren’t favored by you they would’ve likely ended up dead too? Or how about if they felt like they were a burden to you and your responsibility to the world as a superhero? These are all questions Lois struggles with (when she is seen returning home and taking a bath) and what drives her to unravel Luthor’s plan throughout the rest of the film. 4bb076ee87701da74eca14ec26db5eae
  • Truth, Justice, and the American Way: During the world war era superman could have been seen in cartoons and comics fighting Germans on the frontline. While this is an extreme example of the character’s nationalism, it can’t be denied that superman throughout his history has always been first and foremost an American- an idea that was partially challenged in 2013’s Man of Steel that portrayed the hero as first and foremost a literal alien. In BvS, this is another trope subjected to deconstruction through reality. How can one character represent the ideas and infrastructure of an entire nation, much less one of the most diverse, controversial, and powerful nations of them all? Indeed, the films seems to answer on one level: he can’t.
  • See in the comics and cartoons, superman could always perfectly represent and align with America’s values because the writers romanticized America by portraying the nation as a do-no-wrong, always justifiable entity within the narrative. At one time, as mentioned earlier, this aspect of the character was used to make comic books that doubled as war propaganda. However, even without going to such extremes, the Big Blue Boy Scout has always been a metaphor for the United States. Always knowing what to do, policing the globe, having that quintessential small country town charm, wearing the colors of the flag, and not to mention being a literal superpower- the superman is the ideal embodiment and a romanticized metaphor of the USA. The reason for the popularity of this convention is that through reading comics or watching cartoons the audience wants to feel good about both their hero and their country. People feel good when they ingest media that suggests to them that on a whole, their nation is still good and as optimistic, morally rigid, and shiny clean as superman himself. It speaks to this sense of patriotic pride and nostalgia within the hearts and minds of many Americans. However, Snyder and Terrio chose to not depict the hero nor the country in this way, instead opting to explore the many quandaries and imperfections of both the hero and his country.
  • As a superman- what would you do if the people of your country were afraid of you because the media told them to be? No matter how loud your voice may be as the most physically powerful man on earth, you still only have one voice; the media has millions of “experts”, it never turns off, and its backed by billionaires with their own biased agendas. What if the government of your country wanted to use you as a scapegoat because you interfered as a rouge combatant in an important CIA operation? As an idealistic superhero, you would no doubt have reservations about black ops, DARPA black boxes, and other shady procedures that are done in the name of national security. What choice do you leave your government when you cross geographic boundaries while ignoring sanctions to intervene in highly publicized acts especially when you have 1/3 of the U.S. initials on your chest and 2/3 of the colors of the flag? Even though you take full responsibility for your actions when you intervene in other countries, what if those other countries always associate you with your country’s government? What if they saw your interventions as a new extreme level of world policing by the U.S.? This is the disturbing question that keeps Senator Finch on edge throughout BvS. Also, how should your military respond to you knowing that simultaneously you have the power to save everybody and enslave everybody? These are all questions that are asked in the film and answered appropriately in a troubling and unclear manner: the CIA, Senator Finch, and the president ultimately see Superman as a liability more than a national hero, ally, or poster child for America (the way he is seen by his country traditionally in other media). While they know better than not to actively antagonize him, they also know his potential for generating huge logistical problems. While the CIA isn’t actively trying to take down Kal-El, they don’t release the truth to the public about Nairomi even though they know that Lex Luthor played a large part in the incident. While the president doesn’t declare war on superman, he also shoots a nuke at him during an emergency situation and accepts the loss as collateral damage. While Finch doesn’t persecute Clark like the rest of the media, she still holds him responsible for the unintended consequences he causes and holds hearings against him.
  • Snyder/Terrio seem to arise to this simple idea: that the superhero fantasy is incompatible with nationalism on a certain logical level. The Superhero as a concept is supposed to be the empowerment of the individual and that certainly clashes with the empowerment of the masses, the government, and the nation as a whole. It’s an endless tug a war- the more superman intervenes and acts- seemingly on a whim, the more it stokes the fears of the government and the public as they start to feel powerless. On the other hand, when the public and the government starts a smear campaign against superman, it demoralizes him and he is less likely to intervene and save lives. This is played out visually when superman the individual clashes with the varied ideas and opinions presented on TV in the day of the dead scene. An empowered individual would naturally disagree with certain ideals and qualities of a collective country and vice versa. The ultimate irony of all of this is that both the needs of the many (the public and the government) align with the needs of the individual (superman). Both sides want the same thing- a better and safer tomorrow, but the issue is that both are competing for the power to build that better tomorrow ultimately leaving that goal unaccomplished.
  • As globalization continues with the advent of technology and trade, and politics become more and more divisive, how can one man, even if he is a superman, represent all of us? Perhaps he could have when the country was united under world war or when it was a simpler time and ideals in America were more universal, but “apples no longer cost a nickel”. Even if superman would represent America in the real world, wouldn’t he also have to embody all of the mistakes that are associated with the U.S. and not just its virtues? tpp-superman5
  • This Looks like a Job for superman: In the comics, superman is often seen fighting a giant robot, aliens, and various other fantastical super villains. Or, he is often depicted tangling with earthquakes, meteors, or tsunamis. But are those really the threats that constantly plague our world- the real world? What if superman had to fight an unrelenting news media pushing a false narrative with an agenda? What if he had to take on a domestic suicide bombing perpetrated by someone who can be seen as just as much of a victim as he is a terrorist? What if for over half of the movie, superman’s biggest enemy, in his eyes, was the injustice, systemic racism, and poverty plaguing a beaten down city which the media simply ignores (“crime wave in gotham, in other news, water- wet”)? These aren’t issues that the Last Son of Krypton can simply punch, or fly through, or melt down with his heat vision. As much as he cares about these issues and as much as he wants to help, either through the superman persona or the Clark Kent reporter persona, he simply isn’t equipped to do so. As a matter of fact, his powers not only can’t solve these issues but actually makes them worse. The fear that comes from people suspecting him of ulterior devious motives only creates and exacerbates the fear mongering and the feeling of powerlessness already rampant in society. Ultimately, Lois and her passion of pursuing true journalism solved more of these real world problems than Clark ever could with his powers. What’s more is that one of the only times in the film where superman’s powers are seen as effective is during the Doomsday fight. A threat that exists only in fiction, who is a purely CGI character being fought in a CGI environment that is in stark contrast to the more grounded environments and textures seen in the rest of the film. Choosing to depict Superman in this manner in BvS fundamentally breaks the superhero empowerment fantasy altogether- this beautiful lie that lies at the crux of the entire genre- that having extraordinary physical abilities would allow one to make and mold a better world. 131014-Superman75-25
  • Metropolis’s favorite Son: One of the most gratifying tropes in any story about a hero is his/her admiring fandom. It plays to one of the primal truths about us as humans. On one level when we do something exceptionally well or morally outstanding, we want to be recognized; so much so that greatness is often achieved with the primary motivation being the praise of the public. On a second level, when we see others achieve something profound or perform a morally good deed we get upset when that person doesn’t get recognition as this disparity offends our belief system and we start to see this as an injustice not to just the person who didn’t get praise and deserved it but also to ourselves. Thus, this is why we feel vindicated when our heroes finally get the praise we feel they deserve. As opposed to a hero like Spiderman, Superman is often beloved by the public in his narratives. As a reader/viewer, it sells us on this idea of Superman being the ultimate good and even during the instances in the comics where the reader/viewer might question superman on his actions (not telling the truth of his identity to Lois, throwing a bad guy through buildings)- any doubt is immediately blocked out by the adoration that the people of metropolis show to their favorite hero. We use this fallacy of: “if they don’t care about superman making a hole through the building then why should we as a reader”. In BvS and Man of Steel it is seen that without this obvious in-narrative public support, the audience is more likely to question Superman’s actions- something that Snyder wants to encourage and is incredibly uncomfortable for many fans.
  • The trope of superman being idolized by the general public is torn wide open in BvS. After the incredible events at the end of Man of Steel, the people of metropolis immediately build a statue of superman. In the real world, after a catastrophic event occurs, we immediately look for narratives and rhetoric that comfort us because we honestly either don’t know what to think or are uncomfortable with our thoughts about our own grief, fears, and resentment. We don’t experience mass scaled tragedies on a day to day basis so when they do occur, we look for and buy the narrative that brings us comfort and allows us to return to normalcy the fastest. That is why the Superman Statue is built; the narrative that the public wants to believe in the most after such a devastating event is that superman will always be there to protect the public from such large scale threats and hence people can move on with their lives with relative normalcy. However, just like our world, the world in BvS is one in which general public opinion is superficial at best and usually founded on emotions rather than intellectual analysis of the larger issue at hand. Information proliferates and is pelted at us at an insanely high rate: new news becomes old fast, controversial or taboo issues become the norm, and sadly, heroes either die or live long enough to become the villain. In the real world, contemporary heroes (celebrities, public figures, etc.) rarely last long before being torn apart by the very same fame that led to their public status in the first place. The lie will become the truth if it’s more interesting and provocative. Also, in the public eye, it’s always “what have you done for me lately”. All of these elements of being in the limelight are faced by superman in the film. He is cherished at first and perhaps held to a level he could have never realistically lived up to. Then after Nairomi, doubt inevitably led to fear mongering, and finally the public consensus became viscous rhetoric and all empathy was lost for the Man of Steel.

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So now, after all that, a superman fan might be thinking: after Snyder deconstructed some of the most sacred conventions of superman, what was left- was it all a futile exercise? The man didn’t give us any epic fights where Superman dominates a giant opponent, shots of superman heroically saving people where he does so in a carefree way with the American flag in the background, or superman having great public relations moments with the people of metropolis. You know, the kind of stuff people think of when it comes to superman. What’s more is that has Snyder just insinuated that Superman holds little to no value in the modern day real world and would cause more problems that he would solve if he did leap off the pages into our world? But hold the pitchforks for one second if you were offended by this portrayal and hear me out fore there are important things about the character that Snyder uncovered through this deconstruction. At the same time that Snyder shows you how ridiculous certain tropes about the character may appear under the scrutiny of reality, he also wants to show you the importance of what does still hold up when you break apart the character: the things that will continually hold up no matter how times and society change. So what are the character traits and conventions that were impervious to the deconstruction; what was standing up after the scrutiny of putting the character through lens of reality? maxresdefault

  • You are my world: While yes as I have mentioned before, the problems that the Lois and Clark relationship may cause are shown clearly in the film, Snyder and Terrio also show the important positives. They seem to understand the connection to Lois is something sacred because if a superman did exist in the real world, what would keep him motivated to continually to do the impossible- to try to be a superhero despite all of the obstacles that were shown in the film. In many previous other mediums and films, we usually take it for granted that superman serves mankind because he’s superman. In BvS, it’s Lois. Lois Lane. She’s the key.
  • In a realistic world where you can’t bribe or coerce or tempt superman with many of the same materialistic objects, vices, accolades and favors that motivate normal people to do difficult jobs- what would keep him going while he is faced with some of the most morally grey, ambiguous, and tough issues facing contemporary America? Due to his peculiar upbringing , the only answer to this question that makes sense would have to be the human experience- the one thing he has longed for and have been deprived of all his life. For Clark, someone who grew up wanting to be normal, wanting a steady career and a significant other he can trust, and more importantly wanting the ideals he believes in to be adopted by the human race- is Lois not representative of all of that? She can be someone he can cook dinner for, she helped him get his job at the daily planet, and she was the one in the film who continually sought justice and truth and never bought into Luthor’s manipulations or was intimidated by him. What’s more, just like Clark after the senate bombing, Lois initially feels guilty for the deaths that she inadvertently caused by trying to interview the rebel leader in Nairomi but she wastes little time in using her skills as a reporter to find out the truth in order to redeem herself and seek justice for all of the victims of Lex Luthor’s machinations.
  • While yes, just like previous iterations, superman’s loyalty to mankind does have a huge amount to do with his parents (which is seen in the film when Clark calls his mother at night for advice and tires to remember his father’s advice on the mountaintop), Martha and Jonathan are both farmers who have never left Kansas and there are certain large societal issues they have never had to deal with that Clark has to face now at this point in his life. This is why they are so protective of him and his secret because they know they won’t be able to protect him from the bigger world once he is exposed to it due to their limited life experience in small town Kansas. So while his parents may have taught him the fundamentals of being a good person, Lois is actually facing literally the same issues Clark is dealing with in BvS. She would even be the source of Clark’s inspiration for his return after realizing she was his world just like Martha was Jonathen’s world on the mountain top. Of course, there is the fact that he literally says “you are my world” to her before sacrificing himself. This all points to the fact that Terrio and Snyder believe that the Lois and Clark trope is one part of the character that actually makes a lot of intellectual sense even when analyzed in a real world setting because she could be a realistic reason for why superman wouldn’t just give up being a superhero when dealing with a more grounded world. download (1)
  • At this point, you may be saying, well here comes Zack -the Hack- Snyder again ripping off better works depicting darker superheroes- isn’t this the same character arc of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen (considered Alan Moore’s great deconstruction piece on the superhero genre)? Well, No… Dr. Manhattan is a character who lived through a normal life and after gaining superpowers became increasing more disillusioned with the human experience. Superman is a character who was born with superpowers and has never really had a normal life thus he has this great appreciation for normalcy and the simple tenants of the human experience. Dr. Manhattan is the man who became more and more alien as his powers grew to the point where he left humanity because it bored him and he no longer cared. Superman is the alien who, due to his upbringing, wanted to be human more then anything and he left humanity because he cared too much. Dr. Manhattan returns to help humanity because his love interest turned out to be an anomaly/outlier who managed to surprise the man who saw time and space in 4 dimensions and proved him wrong just by existing as the way she was. Superman returns to help humanity because his love interest represented all of the parts of the human race that he believed in and thus she proved him right just by existing as the way she was (“she reminded me that there was still good in this world”). S
  • This isn’t a S: Despite how seemingly cynical of a deconstruction Snyder pursued, another one of the tropes of the character that was insinuated would work in the real world was this convention of superman being a symbol for hope and the moral message associated with the character. In the film’s epilogue after the death of superman Snyder seems to state that the hope and ideals that come along with Superman turn out to be something that is absolutely needed in this more grounded BvS world that represents our world. Through this deconstruction Snyder shows that while many of the physical aspects of the character (the super part of the superman) were shown to cause more problems than solutions in the film, the idea of spreading hope to others through example- something that made up the mental and spiritual part of the character (the man part of the superman) proved to be the part of superman that would allow him to truly make a difference in the grounded world in BvS. In MoS, he may have saved the world physically, but in BvS, he saved it physically but also spiritually, mentally, and emotionally by inspiring others. Just like in the real world where superman can’t physically save us because he is a fictional character, he does still save us by inspiring us when we read or watch his stories of self-sacrifice. Thus, we are motivated to do better and be better, treat others in a more compassionate way, and be more of a hero like him. This real world form of heroism is performed by this fictional character on an everyday basis whenever fans new and old alike embrace superman stories through various mediums. This exact chain of events is represented and mirrored at the end of BvS. In the epilogue when superman can no longer physically save people because he is dead, he manages to inspire all those who either read/heard about his story of heroism (the general public when they read the daily planet or watched the news) or saw it firsthand (batman and wonder woman), motivating all of them to do better and be better, to treat others in a more compassionate way (not branding Lex) and be more of a hero like him (the dawn of the justice league). This idea is what is apparent when you deconstruct the Man of Steel and distill him down to his very essence- that what you will find at the character’s core that is impervious to deconstruction will not be how powerful he is or which country he favors or how much he is beloved or accepted but instead this very fundamental moral message about using power for selfless good and inspiring hope in others and teaching them to do the same.

Indeed the classic superman tropes like saving Lois from danger are more and more rare these days when women are seen to be just as capable as men (in fact, Lois in the film saves Superman in other ways that are just as, if not more important as the physical way you can save a person- i.e. saving his legacy and clearing his name. But she also does save him physically as well when she drags him out of the water at the end). Tropes like superman being always able to fix things no matter what via some overpowered ability (i.e. turning back time via flying backwards around the globe or some other over the top fantastical means) seem less and less relevant when we look at just how complex the world’s problems has gotten since the advent of globalization, technological/scientific breakthroughs, and dawn of the age of information overload. The superman of the 40’s and 50’s has never had to relate to an audience who has debates over stem cell research and religious bigotry. But even then, no matter how superman himself has and will change (new suits, powers, back stories) and how the real world has and will change around him, what Snyder found in this deconstruction was something so simple yet so timeless: this optimistic message about inspiring hope in others and always having a Lois Lane by his side. These tropes are what will remain timeless and be at the core of the character long after Snyder, Terrio, and the rest of us are gone.

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50 Things Batman V Superman Got Right

**Disclaimer: This blog post will not defend or spin the more controversial and criticized elements of the film such as the execution of the “Martha” scene, the design of Doomsday, Jessie Eisenberg’s divisive performance, the clarity of Luthor’s motivations etc. There are many fans who have written blogs, made videos, and posted podcasts discussing, explaining, and defending these things. Also, this piece will not mention some of the more obscure references the film makes to other works as the point of the post isn’t to point out easter eggs or material which may have been inspiration for the film with the exception of comic books, video games, and animated works based on the titular characters. Thus, there will be no mention of 1981’s Excalibur, Joseph Campbell, revenge tragedies, biblical allusions, etc.

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**1.)-Ben Affleck as batman**: one of the most hated castings in the history of modern cinema turns out to be one of the universally praised aspects of the film.

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**2.)-A distinct and fresh take on batman on the big screen**: one of the biggest challenges of the film was to create a batman character that could stand toe to toe, yet be different from the batman of the beloved Nolan Trilogy (not an easy task). Everything from the costume, to the way he moves and fights, to the voice modulator, to the Bruce Wayne alter ego was done very effectively and done in a way that is both an homage to the larger lore as well as incorporating new bold and original elements.

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**3.)-Jeremy Irons as Alfred**: Incredible dry wit. Check. “Old married couple” sort of dynamic with Bruce. Check. Genius behind a lot of Batman’s tech. Check. Always the first to call Bruce out on his BS. Check. That about sums up the recipe for one of the greatest portrayals of the character yet.

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**4.)-Lois and Clark relationship**: The romance between the two take a turn for the tragic in this dark chapter of the DCEU. Lois spends the entire film trying to defend Superman’s name and in her quest to uncover Luthor’s schemes and prove Superman’s innocence and altruism, she loses Clark Kent in the process. Throughout the course of the film, in Clark’s most trying time of confusion and hurt caused by death following him no matter where he goes , Lois is not there to comfort him because she is ironically out there trying to protect a symbol, but not comforting the man behind the symbol. In the end Lois succeeds in clearing the name of the larger than life hero- Superman, but loses the simple man from Kansas whom she was in love with- Clark. The film also presents an interesting juxtaposition of the 2 scenes where superman calls Lois “my world”, where in one twisted alternate future- he would enslave and reign over mankind after losing her, while in the film’s own continuity (the “official DCEU timeline”)- he sacrifices himself for mankind after saving her.

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**5.)-Batman warehouse scene**: ‘Nuff said

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**6.)-New, fully functioning batmobile**: just like Nolan before him and the older batman films by Schumacher and Burton, Snyder follows in tradition in making a fully functioning practical batmobile and gives us one of the most grounded, yet visually appealing iterations of the most famous car in pop culture.

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**7.)-New and comic accurate Bat Tech brought to the big screen**: Proper Batarangs, 2 types of Grapple guns, sticky explosives for destroying firearms, mech suit with comic book like lit up eyes, a new batwing, smoke grenades, a tech cowl, Kryptonite weapons, and a new batcave all courtesy of Snyder and Patrick Tatopoulos etc.

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**8.)-Supporting Cast**: Holly Hunter, Diane Lane, Callan Mulvey, etc. all do an incredible job with their limited yet important roles. One particular highlight was the scene where Senator Finch verbally spares with Lex Luthor in Luthor’s deceased father’s den. It seemed like a scene ripped straight out of House of Cards.

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**9.)-Invasion of Metropolis**: Seeing the horror of a 3rd act superhero film played out for real from a street perspective immediately resonates with the audience emotionally and perfectly sets up the genesis of the batman v superman conflict without a word of dialogue

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**10.)-Soundtrack**: Hanz Zimmer (behind every major studio tentpole soundtrack you ever loved) and Junkie Xl (Mad Max Fury Road) truly cook up something special by keeping in line with the incredible work that was done in Man of Steel while still creating distinct themes for batman (the first time a batman theme really evokes the terror represented by that character), WW (infectious and empowering), and Lex (a reversal and distorted version of the Man of Steel Superman theme perfectly capturing the fact that Jessie’s Lex is a complete antithesis of Cavil’s superman- physically unimposing and weak, manipulating, power hungry, wealthy, self-important, etc.)

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**11.)-Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman**: Another casting decision that drew the ire of the internet (with fans claiming her body proportions and thick accent would ruin the character) and yet again, another aspect of the film that seems to be universally praised. From the performance to the costume to the lasso and sword, audiences gravitated towards her immediately. In the last 20 or so years, we’ve gotten multiple batman and spider man iterations as well as multiple iron man, Captain America, and wolverine films, so it was crucial that the first modern cinematic portrayal of Wonder Woman be appropriately powerful and Snyder more or less nailed it with Diana saving batman (the peak of masculinity who in this case was the damsal of distress) and leading the trinity charge against Doomsday.

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**12.)-Lois Lane the reporter**: While Lois Lane shooting kryptonians with alien weaponry and being put in military garbs to accompany a bombing mission was cool in Man of Steel, it was great to see her as a relentless reporter in BvS (you know, the thing she’s kind of known for) who was ultimately the one responsible for putting Lex Luthor behind bars. She isn’t given genius comic book level intellect but pieces the truth together by using important contacts, deductive reasoning, and unyielding persistence (you know, how real reporters work). It was important to show how even in a world of gods, monsters, and aliens, a normal human being can still make a difference.

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**13.)-Story Arcs amongst 2 titular characters**: Despite it’s multiple plotlines, bombastic action scenes, world building, etc. the film boiled down to its essentials is still about 2 men. One who dies fighting for a world that has rejected him.  The other finding hope in darkest period of his life.

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**14.)-Contrast and parallels between 2 titular characters**: Batman operates in the dark, doing terrible things to other human beings with the media and the authorities not giving a damn. Superman operates in the open view of the world, saving human beings with the media and authorities judging and contemplating his every action. Batman is jaded, apathetic, and at the end of his career, seeing only the darkness in humanity. Superman is naïve, optimistic, at the beginning of his career, wanting only to see the goodness in humanity (trying to convince his murderer to save his mother, saving Lex from Doomsday, etc.). Superman takes his alter ego as a reporter very seriously and thinks his written and spoken words can better the world. Batman only sees himself as a vigilante with the Bruce Wayne persona as a farce and thinks only force and violence can better the world (“the world only makes sense if you force it to). For a complete breakdown: https://www.reddit.com/r/DC_Cinematic/comments/5pfzek/discussion_day_v_knight_a_contrast_of_superman/?st=j4lqabm5&sh=695da443

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**15.)-Superman’s intangible adversaries**: Instead of fighting metallo, Brainiac, Darksied, etc. Superman tackles socioeconomic injustice in gotham, fear mongering by mainstream media, and politically motivated suicide bombings in BvS. Superman’s struggles with these issues is very similar to the comic book: Peace on Earth. His heat vision, strength, and physical invulnerabilities can’t solve any of these issues and thus creates tension and drama with the film showing audiences that you don’t necessarily have to go big with your conflicts (giant alien invasions or blue beam in the sky) to challenge your hero. His superpowers may not help him solve any of these issues in this deconstructive tale but the hope he inspired through his sacrifice may be an effective first step towards positive change in the hearts of men in this complex, more grounded, and at times cruel and cynical world.

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**16.)-Set Design**: Lex’s father’s office den, Lexcorp, Bruce’s “glass house”, the batcave, Wallace Keefe’s apartment (both pre and post Lex’s manipulation), the damaged genesis chamber on the scout ship, Lois and Clark’s apartment, etc. are all packed with little visual details that add and strengthen story elements, themes, and characterization.

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**17.)-Titular fight isn’t treated as blockbuster spectacle**: After the immense scale and relentless action in Man of Steel, the batman and superman physical confrontation has been toned down to be much smaller and intimate. After almost every blow, Snyder cuts to the pain elicited on both actors’ faces. The violence isn’t really played for fun summer entertainment. As someone who grew up idolizing the altruistic characteristics and larger than life qualities of both heroes, it was very disturbing seeing batman being deconstructed down to a hateful man wanting to commit murder with his bare hands because he has become powerless, desensitized, and afraid; and seeing superman (the most powerful superhero of all time) fearing for his life, weakened beyond belief, and fighting in vain for his mother’s life.

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**18.)-Day of the Dead scene**: Beautifully shot, scored, and written with Superman saving people from various natural and man-made disasters, i.e. the elements (fire, ice, water), yet still being ridiculed and politicized by the talking heads. You get a true sense of the weight on the shoulders of this farm boy from Kansas. The scene appropriately ends with Clark reaching out to his mother for a word of encouragement reminding us of the scene from Man of Steel with a young Clark locking himself in an elementary school closet and echoing this powerful sentiment to his mother- “the world’s too big”.

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**19.)–Dialogue that feels true to a graphic novel**: With lines like: “Men with power obey neither policy nor principle. No one is different. No one is neutral.” And “How does he decides which lives count and which ones do not?” or even “maybe dad will come back if I keep everything the same- the magical thinking of orphan boys”. Chris Terrio truly captures the clever writing style of many comic books and graphic novels where dialogue usually serves as double or triple entendres that would also reference a major character, an important plot point, or even the entire theme of the book. The first 2 examples I used are fairly self explanatory in their meaning and the third one, about dads coming back and orphan boys is basically Lex mocking both Clark and Bruce for trying to live up to their fathers legacy (i.e. “all my life I’ve been trying to right wrongs for a ghost” and “my father sat me down right here… they were hunters”). Anyways, the film is full of this sort of dialogue that is very reminiscent to comics.

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**20.)-Clark Kent the reporter**: It’s great to see how seriously Clark takes his job, being inspired by the love of his life and her affinity for journalism. The most physically powerful man in the world truly thinks the word is mightier than the sword and tries to fairly interview Kahina, Santo’s wife, and even Bruce Wayne.

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**21.)-Visual variety**: From metropolis’s cluttered skyline, to the beauty of the Indian ocean, to the gritty streets of the Gotham docks and projects, to the literal fiery hell where the trinity fight doomsday, etc. the film takes us to many different and striking visual environments never letting one color dominate the entire film.

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**22.)-Kryptonite**: For a plot device that is cheap and has detracted from many superman stories (esp. the smallville tv show), Kryptonite was relatively well utilized here, simply making superman vulnerable and only temporarily paralyzing him with pain when it enters his system. The film also pulled a bait and switch and the Kryptonite was NOT Lex’s ultimate weapon but instead a diversion used by Lex to subvert suspicions from Senator Finch and Bruce Wayne so that he could truly obtain his real endgame: the knowledge of 1000 alien worlds.

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**23.) The Helipad scene**: There are many reasons why this scene is considered to be a fan favorite: the chilling hate speech by Lex driven by bigotry and religious undertones, Luthor getting God to kneel and obey him, the disturbing polaroid pictures of Martha being hurt by KGBeast and his men, using The Problem of Evil to philosophically frame the fight between batman and superman, etc. It was a very powerful moment in the film where the physically most powerful character in the story is ironically also the most helpless.

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**24.) –The Gala fundraiser scene**: Who would have thought that the first onscreen scene of the trinity together would be Clark Kent the overly earnest reporter trying to flag down Bruce Wayne the playboy for an interview while Bruce is too distracted by the beauty of the mysterious Diana Prince. It is a very comedic scene with so much irony yet there is this tension beneath all of the playful banter. What’s more is that all of the heroes are putting on their best “disguises” while Lex is secretly laughing at all of them and even says “this wouldn’t be a person you want to pick a fight with” to their face, gloating at how ahead of everyone he thinks he is. Also, the song playing (with lyrics about Day and Night) and the painting in the background depicting violence against god were likely chosen by Lex himself knowing that both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent would be there. Additional gems include Diana rolling her eyes when Lex starts to talk about Zeus, Clark overhearing Alfred talk to Bruce, Alfred’s line about “some woman from metropolis will make you honest”, and an homage to the classic visual of superman unbuttoning his shirt to reveal the shield as he gets into costume.

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**25.)-Side characters that are more than just 1 Dimensional**: Kahina, Santos, Senator Finch, Wallace Keefe, Secretary Swanswick, and even the African warlord in Nairomi are all treated like real human beings. They are all imperfect, have their own unique views, and given redeeming qualities. Santos is a scumbag that helps innocent women be forced into prostitution yet was enough of a decent father for his son’s mother to miss him. Keefe was fanatical and obsessive yet sympathetic. Finch is one of superman’s biggest critics yet does everything in her power to deny kryptonite from entering the hands of Luthor fearing for superman’s safety. The writing and characterization makes these characters feel much less like plot points and more like people who just happen to exist in a world where Superman popped up to help stop an alien invasion 18 months ago.

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**26.) –Laurence Fishburne as Perry White**: Fishburne delivers some of the best humor in the film and also gives an outstanding performance that is very true to the comic book: a tough editor in chief who loves and cares very much for his reporters but would never openly admit it to them.

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**27.) –Bat Branding**: an original and interesting idea that is very crucial to characterizing the batman in this film. It works on multiple levels and isn’t just a one note plot device used to manipulate superman against batman by Lex. 1.) It shows what this batman’s world view is, that “what falls… is fallen” and that men are NOT good but will always turn toward evil if not for the fear of punishment. Men can’t be redeemed in his mind and this batman has dehumanized people to the point where he brands them- a practice used for animals and slaves so it’s pretty easy to see how willingly this batman is able to dehumanize superman. 2.) It is another way that batman uses fear as a weapon. Leaving batarangs as calling cards and branding criminals with the symbol on his chest, batman wants to take credit for all of the mayhem he causes (a terrorist by definition) and revels in the fear that his name generates (“there’s a new kind of mean in him”). 3.) It serves as device in the story to show the change and progression of Bruce’s arc in the film. In the first scene with batman in costume, he brands Santos, in the last scene you see batman in costume, he doesn’t brand Lex, who probably deserves it most out of anyone.

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**28.) –Hero Deconstruction**: Like watchmen, BvS serves to show us the logistical problems that would naturally arise if superheroes were to exist in real life. Watchmen deconstructs many different archetypes of the comic book genera ironically using the character of the comedian (a rapist and a butcher of men) as the voice of reason to point out how ridiculous the very idea of superheroics are (it’s all a bad joke) and at the end of Watchmen our “heroes” ironically destroy the world to save it. BvS doesn’t go in nearly as much depth as Watchmen in its deconstruction of the “god on earth” and “violent vigilante” archetypes from comics but the film’s entire premise is for the audience to question the idea of these characters really existing in modern civilization. However, unlike Alan Moore’s much more cynical conclusion- seemingly to say that the whole idea of superheroes is looney and borderline sociopathic, Snyder arrives at a different conclusion- that hero-worship is sometimes needed in a hopeless world. Although Snyder critiques and questions almost every aspect of the fantastical elements of these characters (individuals with super powers influencing the geopolitical landscape, unilateral acts of intervention unbound by the laws of man, desensitization and dehumanization through years of “crime fighting”, fascism, personal bias and randian tendencies conflicting with pure altruism, etc.) – Snyder still celebrates and champions these characters at the end of the film for one simple thing- their ability to inspire hope in audiences and readers and to remind us that “men are still good”.

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**29.) –Timeliness and Relevance**: All of these things are plot points in this film, perhaps they might sound familiar:

-A mainstream media that causes fear mongering

-Information and fake news being disseminated by billionaires  meddling in politics

-good men turning cruel after an attack on a city by foreign aliens that causes thousands of casualties

-2 men coming to physical blows because they are caught in their own echo chambers and watch too much news instead of just talking to one another and seeing each other as human beings

-an illegal immigrant trying to prove his worth and innocence in a society rampant with xenophobia

-a police department ignoring and even condoning excess force when governing a city wrought by economic collapse and filled with minorities

-print journalism dying and selling out to compete with mainstream news outlets like CNN

-CIA black ops in foreign 3rd world countries manipulating a civil war, etc.

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**30.) –Death of Superman is well founded for many logical narrative reasons**: While many fans were disappointed with doing the death of superman so early, the reasons behind the decision make a lot of sense.

1.) It completes superman’s arc showing the world and he is not all powerful but is all good

2.) It inspires batman and shakes him out of his apathy and sociopathic road towards self-destruction and betrayal of all of his ideals

3.) It gives reason for the world to need a Justice League in the absence of superman

4.) It gives reason for why Darksied would be interested in invading earth

5.) It has inspired WW, and the rest of the JL members to come out to the world and start doing the whole superhero thing

6.) It allows the world to be more accepting and trusting of superheroes

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**31.)-The Trinity Fight against Doomsday**: the fight shows why each member of the trinity is needed. Superman is the big gun, and even though he isn’t a skilled fighter, he can take a lot of damage. WW has trained as a warrior for countless years and leads the charge, being the only one in the film to be truly able to hurt Doomsday without kryptonite. Batman comes up with the strategy and tech. And even with all 3 of them, it is not enough and required the sacrifice of superman to defeat Doomsday, thus showing Bruce and Diana that a Justice League will be required in the future to defend against supernatural and alien threats.

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**32.)-Parallel funerals**: Yes, it’s a simple device to open and close your movies with similar shots and visuals to contrast the characters at the beginning and end of their journey but it was very effective here. It was a good way to remind the audience that at the end of the day, the film is essentially about a man learning to believe in good again from another man despite the two of them being polar opposites because they can relate to each other’s deepest seeded trauma- the fear of losing their parents.

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**33.)-Affleck Training Montage**: Not only was this necessary to show how hard batman must work to improve and retain his skills to contrast against superman’s supernatural physicality, but it goes to show just how much effort Ben put into this role- both physically and mentally

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**34.)-A solid sequel to Man of Steel**: The scout ship, the BZE scene with Bruce racing through metropolis to try to save his employees, Lex using his blood to try to recreate Kryptonian life in the genesis chamber even though that was supposed to be superman’s destiny, kryptonite being created from the terraforming process, Jonathen Kent’s cameo, Joanthen’s worst fears about society rejecting superman coming true, general swanswick returning, the meta human theory of gods hiding in plain sight among men, zods body being the catalyst for doomsday: all of these things make BvS very much a sequel to MoS in that it explores and further advances the ideas presented in the first film and makes re-watching the first film even more enjoyable.

**35.)-Post bombing scene**: Amazing acting from each actor presenting important dramatic moments in their arcs without a single word of dialogue. You don’t need them to explain how they’re feeling, it’s all in their face.

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**36.)-Projection**: Both superheroes are at odds with each other for very personal reasons that isn’t just given in dialogue. Their dislike for each other comes just as much from their insecurities at their own failings as much as it has to do with Luthor’s manipulations. Batman has tried to save the world for 2 decades and hasn’t really brought as much change or mattered as much as he would like to. Superman appears for one day, saves the entire human race and changes everything. Superman is troubled by all of the media attention and ridicule he receives by people who are afraid of how far he’ll take his power yet there’s this bat vigilante in gotham who actively beats down and has now started to kill people yet the media doesn’t really care because it’s not newsworthy with the local authorities even condoning this type of unilateral action. Batman wants to kill superman because he’s worried that Superman will turn cold, apathetic, and cruel even though that is what batman has turned into. Superman is constantly accused of deciding who lives and dies yet he clearly sees and is told that the bat is judge, jury, and executioner. Both heroes are also inadvertently responsible for orphans (Santo’s child and the little girl Bruce holds at the beginning of the film).

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**37.)-Costume Design**: batman finally gets a gray and black suit on film, superman’s costume is made brighter, WW has a great compromise between the traditional colors and patterns mixed with a gladiatorial warrior look.

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**38.)-Universe building**: I’m not praising the Knightmare or Email scenes. I’m talking about smaller things like Steve Trevor and WW’s allies in Diana’s picture, the design of parademons and Steppenwolf, robin’s costume in the batcave, the burnt down Wayne Manor, etc.

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**39.)-Luthor’s arc**: regardless of the opinion on the twitchy, eccentric, unstable performance by Esienberg, the arc of the character was very solid. Luthor, for all intents and purposes, is like a twisted version of Prometheus (even he proclaims as much in the gala speech when he paints Prometheus as a hero and the gods as cruel monsters), trying to harness the knowledge and powers of the metahumans for his own selfish pursuits. When he finally gets access to this knowledge and power (accessing the scout ship), he becomes overconfident and crass, no longer the careful manipulator. Eventually the power he gains backfires (doomsday tires to kill him) and Lex, who values knowledge above all, gains too much knowledge and is disturbed and dumbstruck by what he has learned: the impending arrival of darksied and apokolips- the real devils who come from the sky- i.e. the false narrative he was trying to tie to superman to sway public opinion is actually coming true and he is now more powerless than ever in a world of new gods and heroes.

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**40.)-Wonder Woman and Batman’s interactions**: the chemistry and dynamic between Gal and Ben is spot on with excellent interactions written by Terrio. They regard each other with intrigue, annoyance, antagonism, and even a dash of flirtation. They constantly one up each other through film, starting with Diana stealing Bruce’s device but not being able to crack it and ending with Wonder Woman saving Batman from doomsday and Bruce asking Diana for help to recruit the other league members. It gives all of us another thing to look forward to in Justice League.

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**41.)-Superman continually does right despite his critics’ claims**: Senator Finch fears superman will act unilaterally without oversight yet superman shows up at the senate ready to listen to and appease to Finch and other superman critics. Wallace Keefe is a physical embodiment of the collateral damage caused by super powered beings and claims superman doesn’t care about the deaths and damages he incurs, yet superman literally quits being superman because of the loss of innocent lives that seemingly follows him everywhere and his inability to stop it. Also in the fight against doomsday, superman accepts himself as collateral damage when the military shoots a nuclear missile against doomsday. This wasn’t some plan Superman agreed upon with the military yet he falls in line with the plan despite not knowing if he could survive a nuclear blast. Additionally, Lex claims no benevolent god existed to protect him against “fists and abominations” yet that is what superman literally does.

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**42.)-Doomsday’s thematic relevance**: Doomsday is what Lex ideally sees as a deity if one were to exist (all powerful and all evil), is what Batman thinks superman will become if he lets him live, and it represents the trauma both heroes carry from the kryptonian invasion of metropolis. Doomsday is literally- a monstrous version of general zod birthed from the vitriol and hate inside of Lex Luthor whose first action is to smash the monument with the names of those lost in the BZE over superman’s head. Thus, it was vital for both characters to team up together to stop this monster to get over their trauma. People who have seen Man of Steel would know Superman’s main trauma at the end of Man of Steel was that he had to kill for earth and also many civilians died in the battle so appropriately in BvS he dies for earth and was able to avert many civilian deaths. Batman’s trauma is the one that is focused more on in this film alone and it boils down to feeling powerless against an alien threat, thus by coming up with the strategy to defeat doomsday and participating in the battle- this resolves the driving force behind his cruelty in this film.

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**43.)-“Physical Comedy”**: the whole idea of batman going up against superman is a ridiculous idea and even though Snyder treats these characters and this mythology as seriously as a heart attack, the comedic potential of the premise is not lost on him. E.g. batmobile bouncing off of superman after it has just ran through cars, walls, buildings, oil tankers, rockets; Batman’s expression after punching superman when the kryptonite starts to wear off; batman running way from doomsday, etc.

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**44.)-The Action sequences are masterfully shot**: no quick cuts, no shakey cam, no overuse of slo mo or snap zooms, no close ups, and none of the trend of actions movies where 5 different shots are edited together just to show one punch, etc.

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**45.)-Knightmare fight sequence**: a shot that starts close up on batman struggling with a single superman regime solider in an interior, then pans out to an exterior shot where batman starts fighting a whole platoon, then the camera slowly revolves around batman fighting with the shot becoming more and more cluttered with background fighting between other rebels and regime soldiers, helicopters, explosions, and swarms of parademons culminating with the shot stopping on batman centered with an entire army behind him finally taking him down. All seamlessly edited together to make it as if there were no cuts

**46.)-Henry Cavil’s acting**: Regardless of what one’s feelings may be towards “sad superman”. It can’t be denied that Cavil is a solid actor who does the best with what his is given. For a good example, just take a look at the Death of superman scene where he stabs/gets stabbed by doomsday. His acting is great in that scene especially given the context that he is acting on green screen against a CGI character that isn’t there all while portraying one of the most powerful and monumental moments in the history of the superman character.

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**47.) –Political overtones**:  Batfleck’s 1% speech is very reminiscent of the Bush administration doctrine post 9/11. Alfred even literally asks “you’re going to go to war?” Bruce is part of upper society, is extremely wealthy, and trying to justify extreme force and xenophobia by convincing himself that he is just trying to avert potential danger from a foreign alien with his evidence being the terrible things other foreign aliens have done. Bruce is also not above torturing and dehumanizing his perceived enemies in the film. Clark is trying to expose the inequalities and injustices condoned by an apathetic police department towards minorities in an urban, underserved area. Superman is often visually and narratively associated with economically lower classed minorities in the film: Clark goes to the projects in gotham to try to give a voice to the underrepresented and is mistaken for a cop. When he is on the ferry ride to gotham, there is a gay black couple kissing in the background. At the fundraiser gala for the rich, Clark drops his investigation of batman/bruce wayne when he overhears the panic of the Hispanic kitchen staff watching a girl in Mexico be trapped in a burning building on TV. At the museum when Bruce confronts Diana, the black server is yelled at by his boss since he was too busy watching the Daily Show talk about superman. Clark tries to help Santo’s wife get her story out to the public.

Clark Kent/Superman is even verbally associated with Martin, Robert, and John by Perry White. He is labeled as an illegal alien and unchristian by some detractors in the crowd outside of the senate hearing even though he is just trying to do right by his adopted country/planet. If it’s not obvious enough already, let’s just say this- instead of black vs blue, the titular fight could be read in a way to imply red vs blue with the film concluding that even though people may find themselves to be at odds with one another philosophically and ideologically, if we could find some common ground by talking to one another instead of being manipulated by the media and staying in our own echo chambers, perhaps a brighter future may indeed be possible.

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**48.)-The “why” of the titular fight**: Now, lots of people complain about how the film gets the heroes to fight, saying it was contrived and lazy. Their criticism may sound something like this: “if they’re just going to kidnap Martha, then what’s the point of Clark’s investigation, what’s the point of like half the movie?” Well, I would argue that Martha both being the reason for the fight and the reason for the resolution of the fight worked quite well especially with the set up in the first couple of hours. The whole point of the film is to have the world ask: “how far will superman take his power and will he use his power for selfish or problematic reasons?” Literally the entire film’s plot and characters revolve around this question and each character’s own biased version of the answer to this question. Thus, kidnaping Martha is the film asking this question to Superman directly- “how far will you take your power- will you really play God and trade one life for another- especially since in your mind the person you’re saving is a saint and the person you’re killing is a psychopath?” And the fact that Batman is itching to fight superman while Superman is forced to fight batman instead of them both wanting to fight each other and both being the aggressor perfectly continues the ideological contrast between the 2 characters that film has thus far set up (see reason no. 12 above). You have one character who thinks every problem should be solved with violence and the other character who’s tried to solve every problem up until now with words (reporting on the batman problem in gotham, trying to interview kahina and talk to her about her issues with superman, showing up at the senate hearing- in fact the only exception to superman using violence in the film are when the warlord threatens to blow away Lois and fighting doomsday). Also, if superman did want to fight batman, there would be no less than hundreds of ways that the fight would end in less than 10 seconds with batman being rushed by superman to the ER afterward. The most famous and spectacular fight between the two in comic books comes from The Dark Knight Returns and Superman in that situation also held back immensely and didn’t want to fight either.

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**49.)-Men are still good**: Despite the film going to some very dark, unsettling, and melancholy places, the ending is definitely a rewarding light at the end of the tunnel. BvS, for all intents and purposes, is still lighter compared to something like Nolan’s The Dark Knight where the only hope for gotham is a hollow lie, the batman is forced to crucify himself to uphold that lie, and audiences were forced to watch the charming white knight district attorney try to kill an innocent boy in front of his father- one of the few good cops in the city. In the final funeral scene and epilogue of BvS, we see that superman is now widely appreciated by the world, Bruce has turned a new leaf and no longer believes that hope and heroism is a beautiful lie, Diana is joining Bruce in his quest to form the greatest superhero team of all time, and Lex is going to be rotting away in arkham disturbed out of his mind.

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**50.)-Misc. fun**: Smaller things that are fun but aren’t significant enough to point out individually: Flash takes out the armed robbers in the convenience store so fast, the milk he was holding doesn’t drop. Batman’s shit eating grin when he says “well, here I am”. Batman doing the inverted takedown from the arkham games. Superman’s reaction to “Do you bleed?” The batcave having an entrance in a lake like in the Arkham Knight video game. “I’d rather do the breaking in person”. Wonder Woman flashing a smile during the Doomsday battle. Etc.