The DC Extended Universe blockbuster Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice remains one of the most (if not the most) polarizing films of 2016, drawing an overall negative critical reception and dividing fans over its quality. While Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman within the film has gotten its faire share of praise, his violent nature in director Zack Snyder’s movie has proven much more controversial.
A new video essay breaks down just how much damage The Dark Knight deals out in Batman V Superman. The video is part of the Folding Ideas webseries – which offers in-depth critical analysis of popular culture often focused on the social, political and philosophical implications of fictional works that don’t necessarily grapple with such issues head-on themselves. Thus, this video explores both Batman V Superman‘s violence and its significance in a broader context.
In the video, host Dan Olson methodically digs through multiple time-stamped sequences from Batman V Superman in order to establish that Batman not only maims but either directly or indirectly kills multiple people over the course of the film. Subsequently, he explains why this question has become a major bone of contention for fans of the film – some of whom have argued that Batman doesn’t take anyone’s life over the course of the Snyder-directed DCEU movie.
Batman has been shown using firearms and/or killing his enemies a number of times during both his comic book and onscreen appearances prior to Batman V Superman. However, for the majority of his existence across different mediums, the character’s oath has been to never take a life, even while battling his most terrible of enemies (see Batman’s refusal to kill Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, for one famous example). Thus, the Caped Crusader’s outright lethal methods in Snyder’s most recent superhero movie rubbed a number of Batman fans the wrong way, for valid reasons.
Even before Batman V Superman hit theaters, however, screenwriter Chris Terrio had begun describing Snyder’s upcoming Justice League movie (which Terrio wrote) as being a lighter affair by comparison. The official synopsis for Justice League likewise suggests that Bruce Wayne will be a changed man when the film picks up, “fueled by his restored faith in humanity” in the wake of Superman’s actions in Batman V Superman. Between that and recent comments made by the producers of the franchise, the implication is that Batman will in fact be more inclined to not kill his enemies when he teams up with the many metahumans of the DCEU.
Source: Folding Ideas
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