Batman v. Superman | A Critical Analysis on Superheroes & Religion

Friday, 25 March 2016

" T E L L   M E .   D O   Y O U   B L E E D ?
. . . Y O U   W I L L . "

I caught a sneak peek of Batman v. Superman late Wednesday night. Excitement rose with a Batman symbol embroidered across my chest and heart on my sleeve. After nearly three hours in the dim theatre, I released my friend's hand as credits rolled. Staring at the black screen amidst the leaving audience, we sang praise.

Not for the film itself, but for all the analysis we whispered throughout it.

I'll keep my lips silent from an actual straightforward review. Rotten Tomatoes has got that covered. Instead, I want to focus on what excited me the most. Apart from Henry Cavill's chiseled face, Henry Cavill's sculpted physique and Henry Cavill in general.

Batman v. Superman might not be a great film but it is a great Christian allegory.


*No Spoilers*

Batman v. Superman stars Ben Affleck, my future husband, and Henry Cavill, my other future husband. They battle each other as Batman and Superman in a Synder film that tries too hard to be a Nolan. Almost too dark and grim for its own good. A messy masterpiece.

Yet I still stuck to my seat. From the first scene, the religious imagery ran blatant. Each detail in each scene portraying some meaning supposedly significant. Though, I'm unsure if Synder knew what it meant. One thing is certain the film wants to convey.

Superman is Jesus. 

Italicised and bolded for emphasis. Because that's what the film does. Enforces, stresses and outright slams the symbolism into every frame. An overstuffed attempt to be both religious and sacrilegious in its cinematography.

Superman has always symbolised Jesus Christ. Especially in recent comic lore. A physical god from the sky, acting as a messiah to prove the goodness of humans. Snyder is aware of this, and repeats it to the audience at any given moment. Lines of angels, devils and false gods thrown in dramatic folly. Superman's figure raised in holy visage. This subtext is now overt.

Which leads to an intriguing metaphor, if we believe Batman represents humanity.


It truly is Man versus God.

Batman is Human. Growing jaded and cynical of Superman's good intent in a bleak world. He has seen Superman's capabilities in Man of Steel. He is cautious and concludes what many think. A God without, is better than a God against.

He is an extreme nonbeliever, who thinks humanity is at its best without a God. And perhaps he's right.

Neither Batman nor Superman are cast in negative light. Superman is clearly on the side of good but Batman's hatred towards him is justified. Wherever Superman goes, death follows. Thus Batman takes it upon himself to be judge, jury and executioner of the world. There is no need for a Superman.

Batman v. Superman's true battle is not between the two superheroes, but what they stand for. A philosophical rumination about the struggling relationship of Man and God. A human's disdain for God's actions even if they are, theoretically, good. And so Batman denounces the idea one must follow a power because he is powerful. With hope he won't use these powers against the masses.

Perhaps the film is about the conflict of man's faith, questioning an omnipotence's intentions for a world gone dark. Or maybe it's just a cluttered popcorn flick, with a lot of action and explosions with no real meaning. You decide.


Batman v. Superman is not a great film. It tries to be grand and succeeds as often as it fails. Often, it's slow paced and littered with plot holes. Visually appealing but logically void. Yet it still demands to be watched. I still say watch it because you will. It's Batman v. Superman! One of the most hyped films of the decade.

The allegories played throughout the film can be ireimagine into all sorts. Imageries galore slammed so hard so you can make your own interpretation. So while it may not be a perfect film, it does leave thoughts swirling in your head.

Or maybe I just miss studying literature and desperate to analyse another story.

So have you watched Batman v. Superman? What did you think of it?

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