Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Batman v Superman

Last night's movie rental was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ...

a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is a follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot .... In the film, criminal mastermind Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into a preemptive battle with Superman, whom Luthor is obsessed with defeating.

When I was a comic-reading kid, I mostly read Marvel comics, but I did dip my toe into the DC world to read Superman (but not Batman) so I know all about him and his story. That, and the fact that I'd seen some of the earlier Batman movies, at least made the plot of this film somewhat understandable. But if you haven't been a fan, the film may seem disjointed and opaque. Here are the basics ...

Superman: An alien from the planet Krypton, was sent as a baby in a space ship to Earth by his father because his planet was exploding. He was found and raised by Kansas farmers, Ma and Pa Kent, and grew to have super powers and could only be harmed by meteorites from his home planet. They taught him to use his powers for the common good but to keep his identity secret. He eventually moved to the big city and became a newspaper reporter, Clark Kent, and fell in love with reporter Lois Lane. He gains Batman's ire when, in fighting a super-powered criminal who also escaped Krypton's destruction, there are a lot of civilian casualties.

Batman: The son of wealthy parents who were killed before his eyes in a robbery gone bad, Bruce Wayne grew up needing serious therapy, but all he got was the friendship of his butler Alfred, oh, and a ton of money. He had a bat cave experience at a young age and eventually creates his own underground bat cave, sanctum, lab, where he hangs out with Alfred in a quest to deter crimes like the one that killed his parents. He too keeps his super hero identity secret, and by day is a Tony Stark sort of guy ... billionaire playboy philanthropist.

So, Batman and Superman are set against each other by Lex Luthor, who cooks up false and evil scenarios about each to fool the other. This is mostly dismissed by Superman, but it just feed Batman's already existing paranoia (like I said, therapy needed) and much fighting ensues. Eventually they realize the truth and together, with Wonder Woman, confront and defeat a monster created by Luthor. Superman sacrifices himself to save the world, and there's a very 'Jesus being lifted down from the cross' scene after his death.

But is he really dead? The very last scene gives us reason to think otherwise. And meanwhile, Bruce Wayne/Batman, repentant about going off the deep end, vows, with Wonder Woman's help, to find other super beings and unite them in an organization to keep the Earth safe from a future threat. Here's a clip showing him trying to recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa of Stargate Atlantis!) and Barry Allen (the Flash) ...

Here are a couple of reviews ... There’s a lot to be worried about': a comics geek's verdict on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ... and ... The fanboy review: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is flawed yet fearless

I hadn't expected to like the movie much, but it grew on me as it went along and I must say, they did a good job with Wonder Woman (played by Israeli actress, Gal Gadot). I'm actually looking forward to the next installment. Maybe I'll even go back and watch Man of Steel :)


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