Over the weekend, I took my son and his friend to see "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice," not because of any desire to see it myself, but because of the typical parental concern of the two being at the movies by themselves at night. Okay, that's a lie; both my son and his friend are over 21. I begged them to bring me along to avoid looking like an over-the-hill comic fan "nerding out" by going to a superhero movie all by himself (my wife has no desire to see most superhero movies).
In my opinion, the movie was great! And, for people like me who enjoy non-stop action wrapped inside a super hero movie, "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" is clearly worth the price of admission.
But, there are certain questions about the two caped heroes that, disappointingly, the movie does not answer. I am not talking about plot holes in the movie, but the very concept and back stories of these two gladiators.
1) Are the people of Metropolis stupid or blind? This is not meant as an ad hominem attack on the people of this fictitious city, but merely a statement of fact. Below is a picture of Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, and Henry Cavill as his alter ego Clark Kent. The only difference between the two is the glasses worn by Kent. Come on give me a break, there is no difference! Why don't the people of Metropolis know it's the same guy? Even worse, besides Lois Lane, why don't the supposedly ace reporters of the Daily Planet know? And while we are at it, where's Perry White's brain? Perry White Editor-in-Chief of the Metropolis newspaper the "Daily Planet" who claims to hold his staff to the highest journalistic standards. Allow me to point out that Mr. Journalistic Purity puts Superman on the cover of his paper every day -and is Clark Kent's boss - yet, still doesn't see the likeness. Missing a real story like that could only mean that the Daily Planet is part of the left-wing media and must think that Superman is a liberal.
2) Why was Bruce Wayne (Batman) raised by a servant named Alfred? Part of the Batman back story that most people know is that, when Bruce Wayne was a child, he was walking with his parents down a Gotham City street when his parents were brutally shot and killed in front of the young boy. This is what drives him to become a superhero.
After the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne, the young Bruce is raised by Alfred Pennyworth, usually known just as Alfred who is the British butler and valet to the Wayne Family. Never explained is: why Alfred? It's not that the butler did a lousy job in raising the boy, but how many parents have it in their will that, if they both die, they want their servant who is a bachelor who has no kids of his own to raise their kids? Add on top of that the fact that, to raise the kid, Alfred also had to have control of the vast Wayne family fortune. Were Thomas and Martha Wayne only children whose parents were only children? Didn't they have brothers, sisters, cousins, or even good friends to raise their child in more of a family environment? To me, the fact that Bruce Wayne was raised by Alfred is more unbelievable than Bruce Wayne becoming Batman.
3) Why hasn't Clark Kent been fired? As Superman's alter ego, I am sure that Clark Kent is a good reporter - but, as anyone who has ever worked in an office setting knows, even a good employee who constantly disappears will eventually get pink-slipped. Think about this for a moment: your boss is talking to you and has to take a call, so he tells you he will be right back. When the boss returns, you are gone. Not just to the bathroom or out for a smoke, you are gone for hours.
Perry White doesn't know Clark Kent is out saving the world; he just knows that the reporter disappeared. A good employee may get away with that two, maybe three, times - but, great Caesar's ghost, sooner or later, the boss is going to explode and fire the missing reporter.
4)Where does Clark Kent put his clothes? Anyone who has ever seen a Superman movie or TV show knows that the man of steel wears his Superman costume under his clothes. One question this raises is: why didn't people notice Clark had a cape bunched up under his clothes. The change routine is always the same. First, the glasses come of then the shirt is opened and then...well, then he's Superman. What is never answered is: what does he do with his clothes and glasses? Granted, for Superman, the glasses are just a prop (unlike yours truly who becomes blind when he forgets where he put them at night), but wouldn't he want to put them somewhere safe so he doesn't have to replace them all the time? And what about the clothes? Does he just dump them on the floor for hours hoping that a homeless person doesn't just swipe them for warmth? And, if he just leaves them on the floor, how does he protect them from the elements? If he goes off to battle for "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" on a rainy day, won't his clothes be wet when he comes back?
In the old Superman TV show, George Reeves, who played the hero, would run into a Daily Planet store room to change and fly out a window. That would keep his clothes dry, but it doesn't explain why no one else uses that store room and finds Clark's suit on the floor. Here’s another unanswered question that is unique to that old TV show. When facing a criminal with a gun, the view would always show Superman standing smiling with his hands on his hips while the bullets would bounce off his chest. When the bad guys' guns had emptied their ammo, they would always throw the gun at Superman who would duck so the gun didn't hit him. Why would he let the bullets hit him - but, duck for the empty gun? Since this was unique to that TV show, it is doubtful we will ever get an answer to that question.
5) Why isn't Batman/Bruce Wayne in an institution? Let's face it: Batman, as the saying goes, is a few fries short of a happy meal. The caped crusader is portrayed as a dark and and horribly tormented figure who, even though it is years later, still hasn't moved on from the murder of his parents. He is a pressure cooker whose overwhelming anger is constantly pushing his mental state toward the abyss. Rather than capture criminals, it seems as if every arrest is an act of revenge for the murder of his parents. Face it, he has no life outside the superhero gig. His only real friend is Alfred.
While I am not a psychiatrist nor have I ever played one on TV, it is pretty obvious that Sigmund Freud would have had a field day with this guy. Part of the Batman lore is that Bruce Wayne "died" the same day as his parents, not physically, but mentally. Sometimes, one wonders if Batman is the Sybil of superheroes not knowing which personality is in charge. Is the real personality the Batman who "puts on a mask" to become Bruce Wayne, or is it the opposite? And, lets not forget that he is self-destructive. He has no real super powers, like Superman, or a healing factor like Wolverine, Batman is simply a regular guy who has worked out, yet he is constantly putting himself in danger. Anybody looking at Batman objectively knows this guy is a major league loco who, at the very least needs to switch to decaf.
Please don't misunderstand my intentions, "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" was a very enjoyable movie. It's just that, after all of the individual Batman or Superman movies (and now one combining the two in one film), isn't it reasonable to hope the folks at DC comics would answer these key unanswered questions? Some might believe the questions posed above are ridiculous, or the product of someone with too much time on their hands. But, I am not trying to criticize or over-think, just to help the folks at DC Comics to fill some very open plot holes.