While the film had many positive moments, such as Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Hans Zimmer and XL Junkie’s score, the great action and the promising set up for future DC films, you cannot deny that the film has more bad than good. The film’s polarizing, it’s joyless, the editing is random and disjointed, the plot’s bloated, the writing is messy and things they should have focused on were cut short and things they shouldn’t have included in the film were there (e.g., Lois in Africa and Robin’s death).
However, while reading online the reaction and thoughts on the movie, I’ve found that a lot of people have misunderstood two important things:
- Why Batman kills
- Why Batman stops killing Superman after he says “Martha”
So here’s my explanation on the whole situation…
People love to oversimplify the Martha scene when it’s much more complex than that.
Superman saying ‘Martha’ snapped Batman out of his rage and delusion because Snyder established a hero that was driven to the point of insanity due to having the pressure of defeating a global threat. Furthermore, the film gradually builds Batman’s reasoning by showing it from his perspective. We saw the opening, which is a 9/11 type disaster, then the Senator Finch, the Knightmare sequence and the Flash warning him about Superman (when it’s actually Darkseid). From these events seen in Batman’s perspective, Superman is a threat that brings nothing but chaos and death. These events lead him to tell Alfred that Superman must be killed for the protection of the future of humanity because so far every scenario that Superman has been in has resulted in death. Due to this, we see an extremely ambitious Batman who falls into a delusion of hate, which explains why he kills in this film. We see his determination to get the kryptonite and we see what he’s willing to do to get it. The film uses close ups and we see his laser focus on obtaining kryptonite and every criminal is just collateral damage. After realising this, I didn’t have a problem with Batman killing any more because of the story and characterisation presented.
Through all of that, we see a Batman who’s not willing to listen and is blinded by false pretences and only snaps out of it because of Martha, his mother that inspired him to do what he does now. That’s why Snyder re-showed the death of Batman’s parents again because in THIS Batman iteration, he viewed it as his failure to protect the ones he loves, realising Superman isn’t a complete alien and has a family he was just trying to protect. Thus Batman re-thinks about what he was about to do and Superman tells him about Alexander Luthor’s plan. If Batman does kill Superman, is he any better than the criminal that killed his parents? If he does kill Superman, has he stooped to their level? Why did Batman decide to fight crime in the first place? By killing Superman, will he inflict the same suffering to other people as the criminal did to him?
It’s also why Batman was the one who wanted to save Superman’s mother and promised him he will because saving someone else’s mother when he failed to save his own was part of his impetus to becoming a superhero in the first place.
And this basically explains why Batman is indebted to Superman to save Earth after his death due to their misunderstanding, and that’s why he said…”I failed him in life, I’m not going to fail him in death”.