Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fits perfectly into the Easter Season, although I’m pretty sure the seasons of the Church year had absolutely nothing to do with the consideration of release dates by Zack Snyder and crew. The film is also the first in two comic book movies this year that are pitting the good guys against each other. Maybe the film industry is tapping into our culture’s difficulty with intelligent and mature conflict resolution.
The darkness in Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) life started young. He saw his parents murdered. Growing up to be the caped vigilante of Gotham, Batman has descended into darkness. Yes, he still fights crime, but his methods are brutal, literally branding criminals before leaving them for Gotham police.
The darkness Superman (Henry Cavill) experiences comes from outside. He’s still doing his good guy stuff, flying around the world saving people in need. But the people of Gotham’s sister city, Metropolis, are getting nervous about his lack of accountability to any authority. Still reeling in the aftermath of the battle between Superman and Zod (Michael Shannon) from 2013’s Man of Steel, government officials, such as Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) ask the question: Should Superman be allowed to act without rules or oversight?
Thrown into the mix is a just-short-enough-of -insane-to-be-super-dangerous Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), using the tech in Zod’s downed spacecraft to do all he can to thwart Superman. Upon meeting Bruce Wayne at a Lex Corp function, Luthor gets Batman to agree to a showdown with Superman.
Why would the good guys go up against each other, you may ask? Why do any of us do things we later regret to those we love and respect? Anger, hurt, betrayal—all things belonging to the darkness, can push us to do or say things we wouldn’t otherwise consider. The great joy of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is what brings our dark heroes into the light but it would be too much of a plot spoiler to give it away here.
If you enjoy superhero movies, this one will not disappoint. After all the brouhaha about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, he did a wonderful job at capturing the darkness Bruce Wayne struggles to overcome, with the help of Alfred (a delightful, as always, Jeremy Irons). Affleck definitely out-acts Henry Cavill whose facial expressions (or lack thereof) fail to communicate what’s going on with Superman. Also, keep a lookout for the beginning of the Justice League as several quite obvious hints are dropped and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) makes her latest big screen debut.
Take a moment to think back to the Lent you just lived, and some of the darknesses in your own life that you perhaps prayed about or wanted to bring to the light. We are now experiencing the Easter joy of Christ’s resurrection, our ticket into the Light that can only be found in God. Let the light flood your life and bring you from darkness to light.