The meaning of the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
As a child, one of the most frequent questions in court disputes was “Who is stronger?” And now Duncan Macleod converges with Johnny Cage, and Shredder tries to shake the sides of Spider-Man. Hollywood has repeatedly tried to capitalize on the curiosity of the boys. “King Kong vs. Godzilla”, “Freddy vs. Jason”, “Alien vs. Predator” – whoever was not played off to resolve years of disputes (and make money).
At first glance, Batman v Superman belongs to the same breed of films. However, director Zach Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer clearly did not want such relatives, so they dug deeply into the genes of the blockbuster. After the semantic eugenics, “Batman v Superman” found everything necessary for survival in the minds of people – religious overtones, a strong connection with mythology and, of course, two of the most recognizable images from comics, wrapped in a new wrapper.
Back in Man of Steel, the first tape in the series, a modern interpretation of Superman was clearly stated. From a living embodiment of the American dream, the hero was made a figure of truly cosmic proportions – a God-man and a messiah. Christian parallels are broadcast both through dialogues and through fairly recognizable symbolism.
Already at the beginning of the film, an iconic dialogue sounds from the screen. Before sending baby Kal-El to Earth, his mother says: “They will kill him.” The boy’s father objects: “How? He will be a god for them. ”
Before surrendering to General Zod’s mercy, Superman goes to the priest for advice. For the director, this is another reason to combine comics and the Bible in one frame.
In the context of the New Testament, Superman’s biography takes on new meaning. Like Jesus Christ, he was sent down to a childless couple from Kansas, who are raising him as their son. His origin is twofold: on the one hand, he is a simple American named Clark Kent, and on the other, the omnipotent alien Kal-El. The name itself suggests associations with the Hebrew אלוהים – “elohim”, one of the names of Yahweh in the Tanakh.
Superman (as noted above) is practically omnipotent – physically, intellectually, and technically. <…> So, he could solve the problem of hunger on Earth or the problem of developing unpopulated parts of the land, he could destroy inhuman political systems (why, for example, he could not free six hundred million Chinese from the yoke of Mao?) And even do good on the scale of the galaxy … Instead, Superman confines his activities to the small community in which he lives (Smallville – in adolescence, Metropolis – in adulthood). Like a medieval peasant who could make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land but not know what is going on in a neighboring community fifty kilometers away, Superman easily travels to other galaxies. and the rest of the earthly world and even the rest of America is practically ignored. (Umberto Eco)
Without this excursion, deployed in “Batman v Superman” may seem far-fetched to the average viewer. So what didn’t the two superheroes share? In the finale of Man of Steel, Superman becomes the unwitting cause of a massive tragedy – the destruction of an entire city. People face a complex ideological problem. They witness the second coming, but the appearance of a new savior turns into the return of the cruel deity of the Old Testament, who carries only fire and brimstone.
At the fifteenth second, we see Superman fly out, picturesquely throwing his arms out to the sides. Comments, as they say, are superfluous.
This is exactly what Bruce Wayne sees in front of him in one of the first scenes of the film. It is important to understand that Superman appears in a secular world through and through, where the place of pagan heroes and Christian miracle workers was taken by billionaire philanthropists. In Snyder’s tape, these are Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor – the two main opponents of the powerful Kryptonian.
These are two heroes of the Nietzschean sense, two people who reached the peak of their physical and intellectual capabilities, but could not catch up with the gods. The appearance of Superman was for them a revelation of the level of Copernicus’ heliocentric system. Geniuses of their era, they are nothing more than ants compared to the messiah from outer space.
In one of his speeches, Luthor laments that knowledge is power, but all the knowledge accumulated by him did not allow him to gain the power of Superman, given to him from birth. The neurotic billionaire appears as a tragic figure, a kind of modern Faust, whose craving for knowledge did not give him power. Once on the Kryptonian ship, Luthor feverishly says, “Teach me!” Further, the similarity with the hero of Goethe only intensifies – having gained access to alien technology, the antagonist creates a real homunculus – Doomsday, which is a hybrid of a Kryptonian and a human. The desire to bring the God-man under artificial conditions fails – the monster is possessed only by the thirst for destruction.
Billionaire Alexander Luthor and his eloquent interior – in the picture behind him, angels descending from heaven. At the end of the tape, the canvas is turned upside down – in their place are demons.
In their hatred of the newcomer, Luthor and Wayne are like the Roman pagans who condemned Christ. The first in every possible way denigrates Superman and even arranges a real trial in the building of the American Congress. The second is likened to Longinus the Centurion, the centurion who pierced the crucified Savior with a spear. It is not for nothing that in the scene of the battle with Superman, the spear becomes the main weapon of Batman.
In the finale, Superman must change the double perception of his image as Yahweh and Christ in the only way he can. To cleanse his name from the Old Testament layers, Superman needs to sacrifice himself, thus fully embodying the Christian myth.