Saturday, 26 March 2016

21 Questions that many people asking about BvS

This movie raised a lot of questions among the critics, fans and general audience alike. Most of the following questions are taken from the site:

and provided with answers based on my personal understanding of the movie. Hope it clears some of the doubts and confusions that many faced after watching the movie.

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! Do not read further if you do not wish to know the important plot points of the movie. 

1. Why Lex Luthor supplying his mercenaries with experimental military bullets?

Luthor hired these people to do his dirty work. Based on Luthor's egotistical personality, he would certainly provide them his own weapons and bullet since he would most likely think the products coming from his own company would be the best. Anyway, LexCorp owns a few arms producing companies which sells various weapons and bullets internationally. Even if you found out that the bullets come from his company doesn't mean that you could charge him saying that he purposefully, personally supplying them with weapons and bullets.

2. How does Superman always seem to know where and when exactly Lois Lane needs to be saved every single time? 

Superman saved Lois 3 times in this film (Africa, drop from tower and trapped in water). Superman can hear everything in the world in different frequencies. He can't be everywhere saving people all the time, he need to choose the ones with the loudest screams (that indicates many people in peril), or through TV news reports and more importantly, people where he's at close proximity so that he could arrive in time to save them. This is Superman's limitation. He can hear the sound of someone struggling in the water (Lois knocks and tries push away the rubbles of building to save herself). Lois screamed when she was pushed from the tower by Lex and Superman was close enough to hear her screams and save her. Superman must have known that she's on a dangerous trip to Africa and should be at close vicinity to save her in time. Since he's in relationship with Lois, I believe he can identify and separate Lois' voice from others as well. However, he can't spot Martha because there's too many loud voices in different frequencies (Martha was never shown on screen that she screamed for help as well).

"We had a scene that we cut from the movie where he tries to look for her when he finds out that Lex has got her. It was a slightly dark scene that we cut out because it sort of represented this dark side. Because when he was looking for his mom he heard all the cries of all the potential crimes going on in the city, you know when you look. I kind of like the idea that he’s taught himself not to look because if he looks it’s just neverending, right? You have to know when, as Superman, when to intervene and when not to. Or not when not to, you can’t be everywhere at once, literally you can’t be everywhere at once, so he has to be really selective in a weird way about where he chooses to interfere." - Zack Snyder

3. Why Batman needs to hate Superman so much to the point of killing him?

After 20 years of crime-fighting in Gotham, he gradually thinks that people can be easily corrupted and he lost his faith in humanity. After witnessed the catastrophe that happened in Metropolis with his own eyes, the feelings of powerlessness, which leads to anger (he failed to save his parents, Robin and many others), combined with fear and suspicion fueled his desire and made him convinced that there's a need to kill Superman, despite the fact that Alfred tried to dissuade him from doing so. Bruce said it himself in the film, "He (Superman) has the power to wipe out the entire human race and if we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty."

4. Why didn’t Superman clean up the World Engine after the disaster?

Why Superman needs to clean up the world engine that sits in the Indian Ocean? Should it be the world government's responsibility to do so if there's a ecological concern? How would Superman knows that it might damage the local ecosystem or not? He doesn't even know that the materials or minerals would become radioactive (becomes Kryptonite) as a result of the explosion. There are no news reports that indicates that there's an issue. Otherwise, Superman would do something about it. Even if he cleans up the World Engine, where he's putting it? People will still be able to locate its whereabouts if it's still on Earth.

5. Why does anyone think Superman shot a whole bunch of people in Africa?

No one thinks that Superman "shoots" the terrorists in Africa, he doesn't need to shoot them in order to kill them. The African lady serves as a witness at the Senate hearing as she mentioned she heard sharp cracks in the sky (Superman breaks the sound barrier whenever he flies). Superman can just simply evade the bullets with his super speed which causes the terrorists to shoot their own people or Superman can just stand there and simply do nothing. All the terrorists would still shoot him and the bullets that were flying around (deflection of bullets at different angles) would certainly kill them. Anyway, we all know that Superman did not intentionally kill all those terrorist in Africa, except for the General as he threatens to kill Lois. It would take some time for people to start investigate and know that Superman had nothing to do with shooting a whole bunch of people.

In the Ultimate Edition, it was revealed that the people killed in Africa were torched as if they're burned by Superman's heat vision.

6. Why does Lex Luthor blow up the Senate hearing and kill his assistant?

Lex main goal is to show Superman how much people hated him to the point that they're willing to commit suicide. Lex knows the true identity of Batman and Superman. This is evident when Bruce receives the letter with the newspaper cutting that says "You let your family die" on the same day the explosion happens. This is to fuel Bruce's anger on Superman, to escalate the conflict between them, as it is now believed he (Superman) had something to do with this incident. Furthermore, this also fuels the public anger on Superman as many would have believed that he could at least do something to prevent it from happening. In addition, Lex is a maniac (you think he would care about his assistant other than himself?) and he tries to take revenge on Senator Finch for defying him earlier that he needs her help to get the license for importing the radioactive Kryptonite. This is evident by showing us that he gave a Jar of Piss with "Granny's Peach Tea" label on it to Senator Finch and the speech Lex gave to Finch before she enters the hearing.
As a result, Superman was deeply heartbroken because he mistakenly believes that the employee hated him so much that he tries to kill himself and others in the Congressional hearing. (The employee do hate Superman, but not to the extend of willing to commit suicide and killing others...he doesn't know that there's a bomb planted in the wheelchair lined with lead given by Lex to him.) This incident caught him by surprise. He's in doubt of (blaming) himself, fearing that he didn't see the bomb coming because he wasn't looking, because he doesn't care. But he does. He was heartbroken. Superman is just a guy who tries to do good, to do the right thing for the world but people are cynical and hated him in return. He's constantly under heavy scrutiny for the good deeds he had done. Although he doesn't have to learn to do what's right or be convinced not to quit, but this what makes him human.

7. What's the point of Clark's hallucination/dream visit with his dad?

No matter what you do, how dedicated you are to save people, something always goes wrong...even though it's good to help people, maybe you shouldn't. There are always consequences for every action that you take. This is the reason why Jonathan and Martha never wanted the world to know his (Superman's) existence, so that he could live a normal life like the rest of us. Jonathan tries to explain this to Clark by mentioning that he tried to save the farm in the past, but a bunch of horses of the Lang's farm were drown as a result of his action to save it. Clark believed that people hated him so much that they're willing to kill themselves to prove it. He blames himself for what happened at the Senate hearing. He could have saved them (but the Ultimate Edition revealed that the inside of the wheelchair was lined with lead - lead blocks Superman's X-ray vision, so he couldn't stop it).

Superman questions if his presence is really benefiting the people he's trying to protect. He even asked his dad "Do the nightmares ever go?" He questions whether his choice of being Superman was right or not. His dad advised him to find someone for him to hold on remind him that there's still good in the world. Jonathan chose Martha. Clark chose Lois.

8. Why Batman, the world's greatest detective and a seasoned crime-fighter, would so stupidly falls into Luthor's diabolical schemes?

This is a world-weary Batman who's witnessed many tragedies and atrocities done by men in the past. He's blinded by rage, fear, disappointment and the feeling of powerlessness to help anyone. He could be the world's greatest detective and one of the smartest person in the world, but he's still human. He's so focused on eliminating Superman, who he believed to be a global threat to humanity, that he overlooked the many signs and evidences that this was a setup.

9. Why Batman kills criminals or even branding them in this movie? Isn't this his one rule that he'll never break?

Bruce Wayne said it: "20 years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stay that way?" After experiencing many horrible tragedies throughout the years (his parent's death, Robin's death), he feels powerless, hopeless. He lost faith in humanity. Over the years of crime fighting, he's disheartened by the fact that nothing much has changed in Gotham after 20 years. He questions the results of his efforts and feels that he had accomplished nothing. This is evident when he said "Criminals are like weeds. You take out one, it'll grow another." Good guys become lesser, people get easily corrupted. As Alfred said it, it is the "feeling of powerlessness that turns good men... cruel". Furthermore, it could be that Robin's death at the hands of Joker changed him. (Robin's suit was shown with Joker's paint message scribbled on it. "HAHAHAHA Joke's On You, Batman!")

10. Why Batman chooses to forge a Kryptonian spear and 3 gas pellets instead of bullets? Isn't it easier to use bullets to kill Superman?

It's unknown what are the Kryptonite's physical properties in the film. However, it was shown that Alfred needs to use a high-powered laser beam generated by a huge machine to forge the spear. It might be an arduous task to make bullets with the correct fit to the available guns that Batman has in his possession in such a short time (the bombing incident at the Senate hearing forced Batman to expedite his plans of killing Superman) but it's easier to make it into gas. It also depends on Batman's marksmanship skills and there's a risk that Superman might dodge the bullets with his super speed (although we all know Superman rarely dodges bullets shot at him). On the other hand, Kryptonite gas is a lot harder to dodge and a spear can kill Superman instantaneously (bullet takes time to poison and kill him, unless you have several bullets) and can be held in place until the Superman is dead, after the gas weakens him.

11. Why Batman changed so easily and willing to help Superman after Lois told Batman that Martha is his (Superman's) mother's name?

Bruce and Clark shared the same mother's name (Martha Wayne and Martha Kent respectively). By mentioning Martha's name, it lets Bruce to remember his hopeless he was as he saw his parents were killed in front of him. The whole reason why Bruce becomes Batman, to rid crime and stop corruption, is to stop people from experiencing the same loss like he did in the past. He regained his humanity through empathy. That's why he made a promise and gave his word to Superman that his mother would be alright. From there, he listens to reason. He believes what Superman said is true, his mother was kidnapped and Lex would kill her if Superman didn't kill Batman.

12. What's the motive (his true intentions) of Lex Luthor?

Lex is an egotistical maniac, a psychopath. He proves that by getting back at everyone who is against him. He has thirst for power and he envies those with a higher power (Superman) than him. This is evident when he went crazy at the speech when he says knowledge and intelligence is power. He is so egotistical that he firmly believes that he's one of the smartest person on the planet (hence the most 'powerful' person) by having knowledge and intelligence. But the existence of Superman challenged that notion. This is the reason why he hates Superman so much and wants to take him (Superman) down, let 'God' bow to himself. He's willing to do whatever it takes, including creating an unstoppable monster to kill him, without thinking much of the consequences, that it might endanger the entire human race as well. He also believes that anyone who has absolute power can't be all good and incorruptible, anyone who's all good can't be absolutely powerful and must have weakness. He thinks Superman is a hoax, a lie and he wants to prove to others that he's right.

13. Why does Superman stop Batman in the middle of clearly chasing bad guys and let the bad guys get away?

Initially, Superman questions Batman's acts of vigilantism that are becoming more brutal and violent, as Batman is violating basic civil rights of humanity without anyone stopping him. So Superman takes matters into his own hands by warning Batman to stop the things that he's doing now. In Superman's opinion, Batman should let the police do their work instead of pursuing and killing the criminals without trial.

14. Why is the Knightmare in this movie at all?

I do agree that this particular sequence is out of place and has no impact on the story at all. In the sequence, we could see the Omega symbol and the presence of parademons (both hinting Darkseid, a major, powerful Justice League villain as Omega is his symbol and the parademons are monstrous shock troops used by Darkseid to maintain order of his planet, Apokolips.) Flash warns Batman that he was right all along, that if Lois dies Superman goes bad and mentioned that Lois is the key to prevent the apocalyptic future. It could be a reference to Injustice: Gods among us where Superman changed and establishes a new world order after the Joker tricks him into killing Lois Lane and destroying Metropolis. It is also possible that in this alternate universe that Superman has sided with Darkseid. Flash also mentions that he was 'too early' in the past...Because Flash messed up the space-time continuum by talking with Bruce, it messes up Bruce's memories of that particular time as well.

Furthermore, there's a scene showed that Lex has seen recordings of Steppenwolf (Darkseid's general and uncle) in the Kryptonian crash ship in the Ultimate Edition. Lex warned Batman that 'he' is coming...hinting that Lex knows Darkseid's existence and he's coming to Earth very soon.

15. Why does Superman fight Batman if he doesn’t want to fight Batman?

Superman doesn't have enough time left to convince Batman not to fight in a diplomatic manner. The woman he cared most about (Martha) is in danger and he's in panic. He doesn't want to kill Batman and he wants Batman to come to his senses and convince to help him to stop Luthor and try to find Martha while there's still time left. In the Ultimate edition, it was shown that during his investigation of Batman in Gotham, they mentioned that Batman cannot be reasoned with, he's angry and mean throughout the years, only fists can stop him.

16. Why does Lois Lane go back for the spear?

Why Lois wouldn't know that Doomsday is Kryptonian? Why she doesn't know that the spear can kill Doomsday a.k.a ancient Kryptonian deformity? She witnessed that the spear weakens Superman and she's been on the Kryptonian ship before (in Man of Steel). Anything comes out from there should be of Kryptonian origin. Why people assumed that Lois is a dumb lady who doesn't know how to think logically?

17. Why does Batman lead Doomsday to Gotham? Why not just get the spear and come back to the uninhabited Stryker's Island, where Doomsday can shoot off his undefined energy powers to his heart’s content? 

Batman leads Doomsday to an abandoned port or buildings on the outskirts of Gotham where there's no people around. Wonder woman asked this question to Batman in the film. What happens if Batman goes to get the spear and Doomsday jumps to Metropolis or Gotham inhabited areas? Superman is nearly dead due to the nuclear blast and Wonder Woman hasn't appear yet. What can Batman do to stall him on Stryker's Island?

18. Why does Lex Luthor create Doomsday, and why does he put his blood in the Matrix?

The specific term for Doomsday is 'Ancient Kryptonian deformity'. The reason why Lex needs to put his blood (foreign material) in the Matrix is to continuously splice, destroy and mess up the Kryptonian genome (Zod's in this case) until to the point the cells of the being is strong enough to adapt and evolve continuously, becoming resistant or immune to whatever killed him before, ultimately permanently acquiring the capability to regenerate and evolve by absorbing energies without technology.

19. Why didn’t Wonder Woman kill Doomsday instead?

It's not that she doesn't want to, but the Spear is not within her reach (but Superman's). Superman tries to end the battle as fast as he could before the next bigger energy explosion (blast radius is getting bigger and more powerful as Doomsday grows stronger with more spikes) which might put Lois' and Batman's life (or even the lives of the people in Gotham and Metropolis depending on the blast radius) in danger. She was too busy subduing (or restraining) Doomsday the best she could at the time with her Lasso of Truth.

20. Why the soil/dirt floating from Clark's coffin at the end of the film?

The following picture answers the question...Flight is a manipulation of super strength, super speed and bioelectric field/aura.

21. What does the bat brand mean in the movie?

The bat brand is something batman has recently begun doing to Gotham's worst criminals. These kinds of people are afraid because they're despised in prison and the inmates act as judge, jury and executioner when they find out about it. The bat brand showed you've done a horrible act that leads you to prison and you deserved to be "marked for death."

It also shows us that Bruce has slowly losing his humanity become after years of fighting crime. He found a way to let other people break his no killing rule for him, he knows it happens but he just doesn't care (same as the fact that he no longer care the lives of criminals in this film). He has lost basic respect for human life, and it becomes apparent when he decided to kill superman.

During his brief fight with Superman, Bruce realised what person he'd become (similar to the murderer who killed his parents) and regain his humanity, Superman has a human mother, he think of his mother's life even when he's facing death. This allows Bruce to climb up out of the darkness and become a true hero again by saving Superman's mother.

Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

After 3 years of long wait, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (also known as BvS) is finally here. It has finally come true...two (or three) of the most iconic comic superheroes finally meet each other for the first time in the history of cinema. Does it live up to the hype? Despite all the negative criticisms, it's a significant improvement over Man of Steel, a serious-tone superhero movie with a well-adapted, highly complex, mature plot which acts both as a sequel to the Man of Steel and prologue to the upcoming Justice League.

BvS features an aged, bitter, violent and darker incarnation of Batman who's obsessed with stopping Superman, fearing that Superman could be a potential threat to mankind in future if left unchecked. On the other hand, Superman also questions Batman's acts of vigilantism that are becoming more brutal and violent. Both heroes were unaware by the fact that they're being manipulated by someone who's intentionally escalates the conflict between the two for his own nefarious reasons. The story strives to explore human and philosophical elements, and it succeeds on many levels. This isn't the older days, where Superman is simply accepted as a saviour with good intentions. Today, we live in a cynical world where people are suspicious of each other and people are motivated mainly by their own selfish concerns. It explores the possible political and societal implications by showing how the world would react to the arrival of a god-like being like Superman. It seeks to reveal the flawed nature of these iconic superheroes by showing the humanity of Superman and the darker side of Batman who's blinded by rage and fear and gradually loses faith in humanity over the years.

After the controversial conclusion of Man of Steel, the film starts off with Bruce Wayne's flashback dream of his tragic origins (again) before taking us back to the reckless battle between Superman and Zod and let us witness it through the eyes of Bruce Wayne. He's heading to a crumbling Metropolis with falling and burning skyscrapers in an attempt to rescue as many innocent citizens as possible. Bruce looks up in the sky, witness the disaster with a moment of helplessness and realizes that despite all the resources he has in his possession, he's still powerless to change anything. The story builds up slowly to the eventual fight between the two and the climactic battle which involves Wonder Woman in the last act.

Affleck succeeds in portraying both Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight, instantly making the character his own. He made his intentions clear in the beginning and the reason why he needs to take down Superman. He may be the best on-screen Batman of our time as his detective skills were properly shown here this time around and his fighting methods were close to source material. While Affleck's Batman steals the show, it is Cavill's Superman who's very much the heart of this story. Cavill was given more lines as Superman this time around and he tries to imbue Superman with humanity, who struggles with the weight of his responsibility to the world, showing us a conflicted character who tries to do good, to do the right thing for the world, but constantly under heavy scrutiny and criticism from every action he takes. The scenes where Superman was deeply saddened after what happened at the Congressional meeting and the confrontation between Lex and Superman (I won't spoil what actually happened) showed the human side of him as a person and not the untouchable god-like being many people think he is.

Gal Gadot is fine as Wonder Woman, who also immediately steals the show with cheers and clapping hands from the audience the moment she appears in action for the first time, with her indestructible bracelets, Aegis shield of Athena and Lasso of Truth. I'm definitely looking forward to see what Gadot can do as the character in Wonder Woman's first solo film. On the other hand, Amy Adams brings her usual warmth, humanity, and vulnerability as Lois Lane and serves as an important anchor for Superman. The most controversial performance in the film would be Jesse Eisenberg's performance as Lex Luthor. Audience and fans might love or hate with his slightly different take of the character. Eisenberg's Luthor is basically a wealthy, geeky, genius version of Joker. He's greedy, driven by ego and has a thirst for power. He envies and hates those with a higher power (Superman) than him. His worldview and motives are twisted, which makes him all the more unpredictable. In my opinion, Lex Luthor's maniacal manipulations and schemes were as great as the Joker's in The Dark Knight. There's a well executed scene - the climactic conversation between Lex and Superman that shows Luthor's true character and intentions.

There are some light humour in this film compared to Man of Steel, despite the dark and gloomy atmosphere (albeit not so much compared to Marvel films of course). A few notable ones would be the brief banter between Batman and Superman when Wonder Woman appears on the screen for the first time, when Martha Kent managed a friendly line when she meets Batman for the first time or the constant bickering between Affleck's Bruce and Jeremy Iron's Alfred. Speaking of Iron's Alfred, his progressed friendship with Bruce was very well portrayed and the conversations between them (Bruce and Alfred) provide the necessary relief for such a tense and serious movie.

However, the film's greatest weakness is its poor editing. It is sloppy and messy at times. It feels that the story is not structured properly and flowing naturally from one scene to another as it should be. You would feel the sudden pull out of one scene just as you're getting attached to it and abruptly placed into another scene that has no connection with the previous scene that you've watched. Aside from this, the film included quite a few of DC movieverse world-building scenes, with one of them feels out of place and unnecessary. It's fine for the filmmakers to include glimpses of Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg and the introduction of Wonder Woman in the film as all of them were handled quite efficiently. It doesn't disrupt the overall movie, except the 'Knightmare' sequence where Batman is wearing a desert coat. Although it provided hints at what possibly going to happen in a distant alternate future (the Omega symbol and the presence of parademons hinted the inclusion of Darkseid in future films), it feels slightly out of place as it was never mentioned again later on in the film.

As mentioned earlier, this is a definite step up from Man of Steel. Despite all the negative criticisms and mixed reactions from the public, in my opinion, the film hits more than misses and it has accomplished far more than it needs to launch the start of DC's own cinematic universe.

Rating: 9/10

Note: There are no mid-credit or post-credit scenes.

My personal opinion: People should never compare Christopher Reeve's Superman with Henry Cavill's as they're adapted from different age of comic books (Reeve is from Silver Age while Henry is from Modern Age, they're different versions of Superman in different times).

I've prepared a Q&A article for BvS that many people are asking about, please feel free to read it after you watched the film: