Wednesday, June 22, 2016

JLU Scene-by-Scene: Batman v Superman Scene 27

This episode of the Justice League Universe podcast focuses on Bruce and Diana's meeting at the museum near the sword of Alexander.

  • Diana as an antiquities dealer
  • Gordian Knots
  • Diana's defeat of Bruce in the verbal repartee
  • No, Diana was not trying to destroy the digital photograph
  • Bruce and Diana's character development
  • BONUS: Responses to more critics of BvS (starting around 13:40)
Thanks to Alessandro Maniscalco
DCU_Club Subreddit

Sam's critique of Rotten Tomatoes "Freshness"

<Transcript of the episode>
Welcome, fans of the Justice League Universe. My name is Sam. In this podcast, with the help of Alessandro Maniscalco, I share analysis of each scene in the movies that are part of the Justice League Universe, brought to you by the DC Films division of Warner Brothers Pictures.

This episode covers Scene 27 of Batman v Superman, which is Bruce and Diana’s interaction at the museum. And, like we did in the last episode, Alessandro and I are going to use the last few minutes to share some responses to criticisms we’ve heard about Batman v Superman.

So looking back, in Scene 25 we saw what Lex was up to, using Wallace Keefe to simultaneously get revenge on Superman and Senator Finch and also prod Batman further along his revenge path. Then in Scene 26 we checked in with Clark, so now the cycle continues back to Bruce. Scene 27 shows the meeting between Bruce and Diana where Bruce is confronting her about taking his device that hacked into Lex’s files. He must have done some research on Diana between scenes, because he seemed to know where to find her, though he obviously hasn’t yet figured out her full backstory.

They don’t explicitly say it in the movie, but Diana is currently operating as an antiquities dealer, as stated on her character bust at Warner Brothers. This job is fitting given her immortal status, and it also allows her to move in the upper-class circles both in Europe and here with Lex and Bruce.

Diana being an antiquities dealer might be stated more clearly in the Ultimate Cut, and we do know that the Ultimate Cut has this scene starting with a long single-shot of Diana walking through the museum before she and the man come to the Sword of Alexander. This long oner for Diana makes it so that Zack Snyder gave each member of the trinity a oner of their own. Superman had his oner when he did the Day of the Dead rescue, and Batman will get his oner in the Knightmare desert sequence.

So we start the scene following Diana, dressed elegantly and moving confidently again, just like she was at Lex’s party. She walks up to the Sword of Alexander and the museum guide says it is the blade that cut the Gordian knot. The idea of a Gordian knot dates back to Alexander the Great in Ancient Greece and it refers to a seemingly unsolvable problem that can be solved by thinking outside the box. Connecting this idea to Diana, we can think of her facing the difficult problem of dealing with Lex Luthor and finding out what information he has. Interestingly, Diana was able to solve this problem in her last scene by thinking outside the box and actually using Bruce’s infiltration to get in herself.

And although she solved that problem, we will soon find out that she’s facing another Gordian Knot in Lex’s encryption, which Diana cannot break. Luckily, she intrigues Bruce enough and plants a seed about sharing that allows her to again benefit from Bruce’s resources and eventually find out fully what Lex has been researching on the meta-humans, including herself.

Expanding the Gordian Knot idea even further, we could think about Lex as ultimately trying to tie Superman into a Gordian Knot where Superman loses whether or not he kills Batman. Luckily, Superman and Batman are able to overcome their differences and see one another’s perspectives, deciding to work together and find the loophole that breaks Lex’s knot. And of course Wonder Woman plays a big part in ultimately defeating Lex’s Doomsday plan.

Alessandro has astutely pointed out that the Gordian Knot reference was also made in the Superman: Earth One graphic novel series, which has been a pretty big influence on Man of Steel and BvS. In Volume 3 of Superman: Earth One, while speaking the U.S. Army about how to stop Superman, Lex says, “So what is the answer? What logical steps untie the Gordian Knot we see before us?” This connection also makes sense because the Lex Luthor in those graphic novels has similar qualities to the movie version of Lex.

In the scene, the guide closes his dialogue by saying it’s a triumph. And then Bruce quietly enters, countering that “it’s a fake.” This aligns with Bruce’s position throughout the movie and throughout most of the history of his character as someone who is very skeptical and whose trust has to be earned. He is also someone who is well researched and knows things even about criminal activity and black market dealings. He tries to show off his knowledge by referring to the 1998 black market sale of the real sword but Diana confidently finishes the sentence for him, saying that the real sword is now possessed by the Sultan of Hajar. Then, while she has Bruce slightly off balance, she simply says, “Excuse me,” and walks away. This continues the subtle repartee between Diana and Bruce, and I love it that they made Diana into a character with quiet confidence who one-ups Bruce but does so in a way that is not boastful or proud, just very matter-of-factly where she is not as impressed or intimidated by Bruce as he is probably used to people being. As with Superman, she is challenging Bruce’s masculinity and sense of power but in a very different way.

In response, Bruce asserts some masculinity by grabbing her arm and the look she gives is perfect. Not even two full scenes in yet, and Gal Gadot has won me over with her portrayal of DIana. And again, she doesn’t make a big show of pulling her arm away and saying, “Don’t you dare presume to touch me.” That would have also exhibited strength on her part but in a much more overt and sort of defensive way. I think the quiet annoyance and self-confidence was the better way to go.

Bruce brings up Lex’s party, saying, “The other night you took something that doesn’t belong to you. Stealing’s not polite.” Bruce’s first comment is pretty carefully worded, because he didn’t say she stole from Bruce, just that she stole from someone, could be him or Lex. Bruce’s second comment about politeness is condescending and Diana has an efficient comeback, asking, “Is it stealing if you steal from another thief?” On the surface, this is a rebuke of Bruce who himself was hacking in to steal Lex’s files, and it’s not the first time that the idea of Bruce as a criminal has been raised in the movie. Back in Scene 8, Bruce acknowledged that he’s always been a criminal. Here, Diana is throwing that criminality back in his face, refusing to give him the high ground. But because Bruce’s first comment did not specifically say she was stealing from him and could have been referring to Lex, Diana’s retort here could also apply to Lex, implying that it’s okay for her (and for them) to hack into Lex’s files because he has been doing unseemly things to get those files in the first place.

Having been upstaged twice now in just a few seconds, Bruce decides to cut right to the chase. “Who are you?” This reveals that although Bruce was able to determine where to find her, he has not been successful yet in discovering her full history. She responds evasively, “Someone interested in the same man you are.” This line is important because it changes the positioning between the two and opens up the possibility that they are on the same side rather than rivals. She also indicates that she’s already getting tired of the back-and-forth between her and Bruce and would rather get down to actual business. This is a consistent aspect of Diana’s character, because later on when Batman and Superman and Lex are dealing with all their issues in pretty violent ways, she comes in just meaning business and doing what is needed to take out the immediate threat of Doomsday.

Diana says that she believes Mr. Luthor “has a photograph that belongs to me.” Now this brings us to a common but stupid gripe that people had with this part of the movie. People said that it’s silly for Diana to be trying to recover the photograph because it’s a digital file and so obviously even if she gets one copy of the file, Lex is bound to have back-ups. But that is a very small-minded view of this situation and it is basically a willful attempt to construct a plot hole rather than an honest attempt to consider what the characters might be after. Diana is clearly saying that she’s interested in Luthor and she is worried that Luthor might have the photograph. She does not say that she’s trying to get the photograph back. Thus we should draw the conclusion that for her this is intelligence gathering, not data retrieval. She needs to know what Lex knows. And if Lex knows her history and who she really is as Wonder Woman, she needs to take steps accordingly. If Lex doesn’t know, then she doesn’t need to worry about him to the same extent and she can continue lying low. But of course, her instincts and suspicions are right on because Lex has secured the photograph and has been gathering data on other meta-humans as well.

With regard to the photograph, Bruce asks, “Did you get it?” He’s curious about what she was able to find on the data drive. She says that she couldn’t get through Lex’s military-grade encryption, which highlights how advanced Lex’s technology is and also sets us up to be even more impressed when Bruce is able to break through a few scenes after this.

So Diana has pulled one over on Bruce and Lex, and Bruce brings this up by saying, “I bet with that dress, 9 out of 10 men would let you get away with anything.” This is a clear objectification of Diana and an accusation that she would manipulate men. This line takes on even deeper meanings when you consider the history of Diana and the Amazons who have pretty low opinions of the world of Man and would not stand for this condescension. Diana plays along momentarily, “But you’re the 10th?”

Bruce says he’s guessing he’s the first to see through “that babe in the woods act.” Babe in the woods refers to someone who is naive and inexperienced, so Bruce is saying that he can tell Diana is a legitimately skilled operator and not the innocent antiquities deal she pretends to be on the surface. He then continues to try to act like he’s got her figured out, “You don’t know me, but I’ve known a few women like you.” In terms of world building and referencing Bruce’s long history as Batman, this might be a callback to Selina Kyle or Pamela Isley or others. But right here in this scene, it’s Bruce’s attempt to reclaim the upper hand in the dialogue.

And again, Diana confidently rebuffs him. She spins to face him straight up and says, matter of factly, “Oh, I don’t think you’ve ever known a woman like me.” Such a great line, especially for the audience who is in on her true identity as an Amazon warrior. She continues, “It’s true what they say about little boys. Born with no natural inclination to share. I didn’t steal your drive. I borrowed it.” So we know that it’s not just people in general but Amazon women in particular who have raised her with these ideas about boys and men as selfish and petty. The Amazons have a deep distrust of men and were able to establish a much more egalitarian society without them. And unfortunately, up to this point in the movie, Bruce is basically proving them right with his inability to cope productively with the arrival of Superman, and also his inability to work with Lex to take down Superman, if that’s what he really wanted to do. Basically in both scenarios, Bruce is pretty self-involved and not open to assistance. It’s a personal crusade, but luckily, by the end of the movie, Bruce’s character arc brings him to a different and better place.

Diana then closes by emphasizes her complete and utter victory in this scene, adjusting Bruce’s tie for him and saying about the drive, “You’ll find it in the glove compartment of your car.” Boom. I guarantee Bruce did not see that coming, and it alludes to Diana’s skills being even more impressive than we thought. Soaking up her victory, Diana turns and walks away, saying, “Mr. Wayne,” which emphasizes that she knows more about him than he does about her.

A good scene not only pushes the plot forward but leaves characters in different positions than they started in, and this scene does both beautifully. We learned why Diana was after Lex and we now know how Bruce gets his data drive back, which leads us right to the next scene. But we also had Bruce starting off thinking that he was going to catch Diana off guard and accuse her of theft, pressuring her to get his drive back. By the end of this scene, Bruce has been upstaged and she has put him in his place rather than the other way around. Just when he thinks he is beginning to figure her out, she hints at even more mystery that he doesn’t know about. And so this takes Bruce’s intrigue with Diana to an even deeper level than we had at the end of Scene 21 when he watched her drive away.

This scene also echoes a few earlier scenes in terms of physical blocking, because Diana walking away as the winner of the dialogue was similar to what happened previously when Secretary Swanwick walked away from Lois, when Diana walked away from Bruce at Lex’s party, and when Perry walked away from Clark just a minute ago in Scene 26. The person who walks away to close a scene is the one who is deciding to end the conversation and so this shows a position of dominance. Also, the moment when Diana adjusts Bruce’s tie reminds me of when Senator Finch reached out to stop Lex’s tapping fingers. In both cases, it’s a sort of maternal action and it implicitly sends the message that these men are a bit out of control or irrational and perhaps if the women were in those positions of power they would deal with things a bit better than Bruce and Lex do.

Clark has a more balanced relationship with his female counterpart, Lois, but I almost think that you could do a whole analysis just on the maleness of the main three characters and the juxtaposition with their female foils, but we’ll leave that to others.

End of Episode:
That’s what we have for Scene 27. And now we want to take a few more minutes to finish up what we started last episode, that is, responding to some of the BvS criticisms we’ve seen in comment boards online. In what follows, you’ll hear my reactions as well as Alessandro’s.

First up, let’s deal with the fact that some people simply called the movie boring and pretentious. The boring critique is likely coming from people who were missing all the subtle layers of what was going on, because as we’ve shown thus far in the analysis, nearly every line is dripping with implications and allusions, so it’s only boring if you’re not really looking for or following those things at all. The pretentious critique is probably from someone who recognizes that those deeper things are happening, but simply doesn’t like them and prefers a more straightforward movie. Here are some thoughts from Alessandro.

Many people did not find the moving boring so that is a matter of opinion which anyone is entitled to have.  However the movie was filled with literary references and devices that harken back as far as Shakespeare and touched on deep, underlying psychology so I would have to rebuke any claims that this movie is pretentious.

And I would just add that pretentiousness is a matter of perspective. To many people, Shakespeare and Dostoevsky are pretentious, but to many others, their work is beloved for its depth and the way it explores facets of the human experience. I would argue that there’s no way to take a literary approach without opening yourself up to some accusations of pretentiousness because the only way to guarantee no one views it as pretentious is to create something very shallow.

The next critique is that this was not the real Lex Luthor. Some have said this is just Heath Ledger’s Joker on too much coffee, or he’s more like the Riddler than Lex Luthor. Others have had specific qualms, such as the idea that Lex would not have actually killed Mercy Graves like he did.

Here’s Alessandro’s response about Lex.

This version of Lex is obviously an interpretation and not necessarily the same Luthor that many people are used to seeing, but one can hardly say he is not the TRUE Lex given there have been many versions of the character throughout the comics.  Notably this version of Lex borrows heavily from the very Lex that existed during the Death of Superman storyline which this movie sources as well as the version of Lex found in Earth One Superman which this movie also sources story and character elements from.  

Additionally this Lex mostly adapts the Lex found in the comic Superman Birthright during his pre bald era right down to the same trench coat he wears during the helipad scene AND the maniacal laugh he has that people would describe as attributed to Joker when he finds he has the upper hand on knowledge over Superman.  And this Lex is very much a TRUE version of the character.

Furthermore Riddler was created in 1948, eight years after Lex was introduced.  So if anything the creation of the Riddler character was influenced by the very existence of Lex.  And Joker and Lex were both introduced the same month in 1940.  Lex began his career as a mad scientist.  In Batman v Superman Lex dons a lab coat harkening back to his roots.  Given his shaved head look at the end of the film and his prison sentence, it wouldn't be too difficult to imagine Lex appearing in Justice League as a hardened man more akin to the Lex people are accustomed to.  But make no mistake, every version of Lex Luthor has put his own interests and desires before anyone else, including his own child.  In the comics Lex trades his daughter to Brainiac for future technology.  And that TRUE Lex would have no reservations killing a loyal servant such as Mercy.  

I don’t have much to add, but I would just say that a character who views himself as simultaneously a champion of mankind against god but also someone who is willing to play god if he gets the chance, a brilliant scientist and master manipulator who accumulates knowledge to use against others, a person who thinks first and foremost about himself, and someone who is willing to abandon humanity and side with a new god when given the opportunity sounds exactly like Lex Luthor to me. And if you are concerned more with a baritone voice or a certain physical demeanor as the defining characteristics of Lex Luthor, then I think you might actually be interested in Lex Senior and not Eisenberg’s Alexander.

Speaking of Lex, the next criticism we’ll address is the idea that it was stupid for the scout ship to give Lex clearance and the ship’s artificial intelligence should not have accepted Zod’s fingerprints, especially because Zod was banished. And it was weird that the council being destroyed is the reason that Lex can proceed.

I’m going to turn this one over to Alessandro, who starts by rightly pointing out that Zod had commandeered the scout ship at the end of Man of Steel when he installed his command key.

For starters this is Zod's ship.  How he obtained it or gained access to it in the first place is not at question here.  The point is that he already had commandeered this ship as his own, and the ship was already tuned to his biometrics which is what Lex used to gain access.  From the sound of the onboard AI, the ship appears to be booting up as if for the first time, likely as a result of a full system shutdown due to the crash.  Similar to how you enter your user information when starting up a computer for the first time, the AI is asking Lex if he wishes to take command of the ship.  The ship didn’t have some top secret information.  It wasn’t a secured government database.  It was a ship just like any other.  If you found a jet just sitting around in the middle of nowhere you’d be able to hop in it and fly it, you wouldn’t need some top level clearance.  You’d only need the key to start it, and the key was the “S” codec.  As far as permissions to execute orders banned by the council, I think the problem is that you are viewing this as some password protected interface whereas this is most likely more akin to a warning message that pops up on your computer asking if you are sure you wish to continue.  There is nothing to suggest that this ship was stolen from the counsel and programmed by them to lock out individuals from access to certain features of the OS, merely that it has data regarding many cultures and civilizations and recognizing the Kryptonian DNA it issues a disclaimer about Kryptonian laws forbidding such action.  If the user wishes to continue with such actions they will need to face the consequences of Kryptonian Law Keepers.  Like many aspects of this movie, those who wish not to like it will come up with reasons why it doesn’t make sense, and those who did like it will come up with reasons why it does.  Given that it doesn’t make sense to explicitly explain every little detail in a two hour movie, minor things like this must be left to interpretation and extrapolation just like how Lex discovered Batman’s and Superman’s identities.

For me, I had no problem with how they handled Lex’s accessing of the scout ship. It wasn’t a simple matter. Lex had to plan for it from before the movie even started, and he couldn’t actually execute his plan until he took out the Superman Committee members who were overseeing his access. And the important thing for the movie is that he gained access, so I don’t think anyone wanted to see 10 more minutes of a convoluted process that would be required for Lex to access the files and control the ship. The important thing is that Lex took control of the ship and its information, and they showed us just enough to see what sorts of resources Lex used to gain that access, namely, Zod’s corpse, and the filmmakers left the rest for us to fill in.

Another criticism related to the scout ship is that some people said Superman should have removed the ship or destroyed it.


Superman tries to respect the government’s wishes.  The government was clearly studying the Kryptonian technology.  I’m sure if Superman had been asked to remove the ship he would have.  More likely the government wanted Superman to steer clear of the Kryptonian technology associated with his ancestry and all the destruction to deal with themselves in hopes they can learn more about him and its advanced technology to further their own technology.

Yeah, to me it was pretty clear that the government assumed control over the scout ship wreckage and Superman was respecting their authority. Now of course, in hindsight, because of the threats posed by the scout ship, maybe Superman should have exerted his own authority and gone against the government wishes and destroyed the ship. But that’s hindsight bias, and Superman had no good reason beforehand to think that the scout ship was a threat.

Next up, some people have said that this movie should have developed Doomsday more as a character. He should have been more than a punching bag. Perhaps they could have shown his origin story from the comics or included Doomsday as a more fleshed out villain from the beginning of the movie, making him a co-equal villain along with Lex.

I, for one, thought it was brilliant that they chose to use Doomsday because I think Lex Luthor as an evil representation of humanity was the perfect villain for this second movie in Superman’s character arc, and I think making Lex physically weak was a great contrast to this big hulking beast that he created to do his dirty work. I think Doomsday was just a tool used by Lex, which plays nicely into the ideas in BvS of god and men, creator and creatures, and absolute power. I don’t see how the comic book origin of Doomsday fits into the BvS themes or character arcs at all.


The very nature of Doomsday's introduction to the comics is in fact that he is that very thing, a punching bag.  There is literally no depth to the character, just an oversized killing monster.  This is even enforced in his origin creation story.  He has no education.  Literally all he knows is survival through destruction.  Doomsday is an abomination created by a scientist to withstand the harshest and cruelest of environments.  To dedicated a whole movie's agenda to accommodate the fact that he was created on Krypton would be a waste of screen time for no reasonable purpose other than comic accuracy yield no real reward.  Most people don't care where Doomsday came from, and most of his origin story remains intact: he was created through cloning of Kryptonian DNA by a scientist who wanted to create the ultimate fighting creature for selfish gain.  To have Lex create Doomsday gave a logical connection between the two villains.  To have two villains in a movie simply to accommodate Doomsday's origin with no real connection between the two villains would make for weak storytelling.  Spider-man 3 is a good example of a movie shoehorning two unrelated villains with a poor public reception.

Okay, just a few more. When some critics of the movie are told that maybe they didn’t really understand what the film was doing, they respond that it doesn’t matter whether they understood it or not. It is the filmmakers’ job to entertain them and so if they weren’t entertained, the movie is a failure. We’ve seen some people in this camp also try to say that “most people” did not like the movie and so it will hurt future movies in the Justice League Universe.

Here are Alessandro’s thoughts:

To say MOST people didn't like the movie ignores both the gross earnings and user ratings.  The movie may have been bashed by reviewers with a 27% rotten tomato rating using a system which is flawed in its binary nature, but its user rating is 66% on rotten tomatoes and 7/10 on IMDB which gives it a majority of positive reception.  To suggest that this one movie will detrimentally effect the reception and financial success of future movies is a slight to the common sense ability of learning from one's mistakes and to the good men and women who will be working on these future movies to make them the best they can.  It also implies that the movie is inherently flawed which it is not.  The movie would have likely drawn even more audiences had they not revealed so much in the trailer.  People would have gone to the movie just to see Doomsday.  Unfortuantely they revealed him before the movie even released, especially given the bad reviews, you would have had more people see the movie in theaters rather than wait for a dvd release.

I agree with Alessandro that lots of people liked this movie and the main problems are not necessarily with the movie, I’d say it was more about the alignment between the movie and the audience expectations. A complex piece of art that does not follow the pre-defined norms of a genre is bound to garner a divisive response. But that doesn’t mean the art was bad or should have been different. I differ a little bit from Alessandro when he talked about the marketing because I don’t think the revelation of Doomsday or Wonder Woman in the second trailer were in any way related to the negative reception. The blame that I would put on the marketing is that they may have led people to expect an action-oriented Superhero movie instead of a character drama that happened to have some amazing action sequences. I think lots of people and critics came in expecting an easy-to-follow blockbuster with the typical versions of the characters they love and so they had some negative reactions when they actually got a poetic, literary, and beneath-the-surface revenge tragedy that put Superman and Batman in situations that tested the very core of their characters. Those cores remained intact, but just like Deborah Snyder said recently, people were uncomfortable with the fact that they we deconstructed in the first place.

Maybe the marketing should have better prepared the audience for the kind of movie that Batman v Superman was. If they had done so, reception may have improved, but I also think the box office would have decreased. There just aren’t as many people that would have showed up for a literary revenge tragedy and a reality-based deconstruction, and so BvS would not have seen the fourth biggest opening weekend in history.

Another point that the critics make defensively when people like us try to explain to them parts of the movie that they missed, is they’ll say that it’s not the audience’s fault for not getting it, just like it’s not the audience’s fault if they don’t laugh at a joke. If you have to explain a joke, then it’s a failure.

My response to this is just that yes, sometimes it can be the audience’s fault for not getting something. And open-minded people are not offended if you point out some themes or motifs that they may have missed; they are happy to learn more and eager to see the movie again to make the new connections. And the analogy to jokes does not work at all. A joke is a singular burst of humorous meaning. A movie, on the other hand, is a two-hour creation that mixes visuals with dialogue with music and costume and production design. There is so much going on that people should not just assume that they got everything they were supposed to get upon first viewing. And some movies include a lot more subtlety and profundity than others, so it’s okay to analyze and unpack those movies after the fact.


Reception has much to do with perception and laughter is contagious.  The severity of this movie's poor reception was a direct result of poor reviews which most were written with a seemingly underlying agenda or hop on the bandwagon mentality evident in the particularly unsubstantiated complaints.  Many people are just being agreeable with the negativity, others are being lazy about the movie not wanting to think too hard preferring a mindless action flick more along the lines of Marvel’s offerings.  The problem is that Batman v Superman wasn't given a chance.  I’ve argued that most people who didn’t like this movie didn’t understand it.  By this I mean they didn’t understand why things were a certain way or the meaning behind things in the movie as well as missing references and nuances.  This is not to say that these people were too dumb to understand it as people are quick to assume I mean by this, only that they didn’t whether because they didn’t try to understand it or they just missed it during their viewing.  Smart people can misunderstand things just the same.  That being said not everyone is going to like everything and find every comedian's jokes funny.

Okay, last one. Some people have complained that BvS kept reiterating Batman’s issues with Superman. It made the movie feel overly drawn out. The filmmakers should have just used the Metropolis destruction to plant the seed and then the audience would have been on board with Batman’s issue. Then the movie should have found a place to have Batman and Superman actually argue their points against each other and take it to the next level that way. One commenter specifically praised the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns for including a discussion between the two to build tension. BvS, they say, just has Batman and Superman moping around and then leaping into a fight with one another. They say the writing was bad.

For me, this is just silly. They aren’t just moping around; they’re going through some challenges that cut right to the core of their characters. And I think the writing was great in establishing multiple layers of conflict between the two and gradually raising the tension until it peaks at the actual BvS fight scene. We’ll see very shortly that the Knightmare vision, then the batmobile incident, then the Capitol tragedy all propel Bruce forward with more conviction. We’ll also see Clark getting put under more and more pressure and redirecting that negativity toward his frustration with Batman’s tactics. We’ll also see the use of his loved ones as the final straw that sends Superman over to fight Batman in a state of doubt about what he needs to do. For someone to think that they just moped then all of a sudden were fighting because Warner Brothers wanted them to is, I’m sorry, just totally missing out on what the movie was doing.

I’ll give Alessandro the final word:

For Batman and Superman to have a conversation would prevent them from fighting altogether because they would realize they are on the same side.  The point is that Batman is not in his right mind.  He is fueled by fear and rage and his losses as well as Lex's manipulation feeding on those feelings.  They aren't just moping around and hallucinating.  Batman spends a lot of the movie investigating the White Portuguese which we discover is in search of Kryptonite to defeat Superman.  Lois spends most of the movie investigating the African incident and the odd bullet she found suspecting there was something else at play.  Superman does what he does....he saves lives while struggling with his inner conflict.  Lex orchestrates the mother of all plans with backup plans for each scenario.  The writing is remarkable.  Nearly every line in the movie is loaded.  Dark Knight Returns was a very different story than Batman v Superman.  It is a story with decades of history between the characters and takes place in their golden years.  Superman is also working for the government in that story.  You can't possibly recreate the scenario in which Batman and Superman talk in that comic.  Snyder and Goyer did an amazing job with this movie.  There was already tensions for Batman and Superman's fight without a conversation.  We knew from the title they were going to fight, and we also knew from the beginning that Batman wanted to take down Superman.  The fight was also the conclusion of an underlying story that permeated the first three quarters of the movie.  In my opinion the movie could not have been written any better than it was given what they had to work with.

Okay, that’s it for this episode. Thanks so much for listening and please leave your thoughts or questions in the comments. And be sure to also check out the Man of Steel Answers podcast and the Suicide Squadcast.

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