Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) is a lot of things, muddled, confusing, illogical, but ambitious isn't one of them.  Out of all the comic-book movies I've seen in recent years, none have been as ambitious in tackling complex ideas, philosophies, and storytelling.  Perhaps that's why the movie failed in so many ways, particularly in terms of storytelling. However, it's not the movie's mishandling of its own story that concerns me, rather the movie's engagement with classical mythologies and philosophies that are littered over the course of the movie's first two acts, and sort of dissipate during the final act, as the movie's inevitable climax of smashing and punching begin.  Up until that point the movie is deeply concerned with ideas surrounding the relationship between Gods and man, Superman's position as a God, and the problem of evil in the world.

The problem of evil refers to the existence of evil in the created world we live in, when the characteristics bestowed by thesits to their creator, specifically, the goodness of God, his wisdom, and justice, contradict the reality of the lived in world.  In other words, if God is good, then why is evil allowed to exist?  If God is just, then why are the unjust allowed to thrive?

The Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, in referring to God and the problem of evil, wrote:

'Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he able and willing?  Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able not willing?  Then why call him God?'

 

This questioning of God's omnipotent and omnibenevolent force in the world is one challenged by Lex Luthor over the course of BVS.  He wishes to expose Superman as a false God in the eyes of the world.  During their encounter before Superman's showdown with Batman, Luthor explains to Superman why he has done what he hasdone.  Luthor begins by taking about "The problem of evil in the world" and the "the problem of absolute virtue".  What Luthor is of course referring to, is the quote above; the reality that there cannot be absolute virtue in a world with evil, and Superman's failure to be that symbol of absolute virtue means he is not all-good.  As Luthor states:

"If God is all-powerful, then he cannot be all-good.

And if he is all-good, then he cannot be all-powerful."

God can either be all powerful, or all-good, but not both.  Luthor's plan over the course of the movie has proved that Superman is not virtuous enough to save everyone, a fact he realises after the bombing at Washington; and thus, the only other type of God he can be is an all-powerful one, and that is why Luthor arranges a gladiatorial battle between Superman and Batman, to destroy any lingering beliefs in Superman as God. 

A further exploration of this idea over the course of the movie would have been interesting; and yet, that isn't what we got.

Who am I?

My name is Stuart Kilmartin, and I hail from Galway, Ireland.

I studied English Literature at NUI Galway (B.A. & M.A.).  Spent many a moon reading Edgar Allan Poe & I can recite Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley, word for word; it's irrelevant, but I'm proud of it.

Deep-rooted passion for all things film and television.  For those who say David Lynch is too obscure, I agree; and yet, I love him.

I started this blog with the intention of getting my thoughts out there and to gain more experience in entertainment writing; and to prove that all those years watching movies weren't time wasted.

I've been writing for over a year now, and I've collaborated with ComicBuzz & Headstuff, where I've had a number of pieces published.  Check out some of my other published work here  http://comicbuzz.com/author/stuartkilmartin/ or https://www.headstuff.org/author/stuart-kilmartin/ 

Get in Touch!

If you found any of these articles interesting or insightful, feel free to email me at pipinghotproductions@gmail.com.

I would absolutely love any feedback you may have relating to any of my articles.

If there are any suggestions for future topics, please tell me. I'm always looking for new material to write about.

 

 

 

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