My holidays, as any occasional reader kind of already knows, are not the family-filled traditional holidays that Hallmark markets to the average white American female. No, my holidays are spending a day with my mom… and sometimes we get food. This Easter is no exception.
My mom and I like to see movies on holidays, so we went to see Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. I might do a full review of it later, but in general I really enjoyed it. It’s dark and broody, Ben Affleck is actually a better Batman than I was anticipating, it sets up at least four more super hero movies (Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg in case you’re curious and don’t know) not including an actual Justice League flick, lots of action… My only real critique was plot holes… but all movies, especially superhero movies, have plot holes. For I, the hobbyist hero fan, it was pretty good. For die-hard DC hero comic fans… I’m not sure it’s going to be the movie you all wanted.
I know a lot of people, including myself, were not excited about Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Luthor has portrayed all kinds of ways, and I guess my main complaint when I heard the casting was that I didn’t know how they were going to write him. I couldn’t see Jesse being the Luthor that I wanted. Instead of giving me what I wanted, he gave me a performance I didn’t expect, but definitely didn’t hate. I would even say that I liked it. Luthor is jumpy and cerebral, like so many geniuses I’ve actually encountered. He’s also xenophobic and reality doesn’t match logic he’s volatile. It’s a good performance if you go in with no expectations. I, not being a Superman fan, had absolutely no expectation, because I didn’t follow this movie’s production very much. I hadn’t even seen Man of Steel. I don’t find Superman relatable… but I found Luthor relatable.
I’m a narcissistic, condescending sociopath with an above average IQ and a vast knowledge of general stuff. Lex is a charismatic, narcissistic millionaire genius psychopath with a penchant for power. Now, what’s relatable there is that I watched BvS:DoJ and understood completely why Lex wanted to contain the Superman. Superman is a wild card, essentially. I know that in the comic book canon he’s got a long and varied history of being reliable and good, but in this particular universe… he’s new and he’s ultimate, and if you’re not scared of someone with ultimate power, you’re a moron.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
There’s no way I’d trust an alien that the world is incapable of keeping under control. There’s no check. There’s no balance. It’s not that I assume he’s up to no good, it’s that I can’t reasonably assume he’s not.
So then I have to wonder… is Luthor really a villain?
This evening mothership and I watched Man of Steel just because it was on TV and we thought we should see it now. In that movie we are confronted with a General Zod that’s been PROGRAMMED from birth to protect Krypton. I’m not that familiar with Zod’s comic book canon, but in this instance you can’t call him a monster. Zod is literally just following programming through the entire movie. He was born to protect Krypton, whether that be from other races, impending doom, or the rulers themselves. With Krypton gone, but the potential for a population on Earth, his programming can’t let him walk away from an inhabitable planet already equipped with a Genesis Chamber. He has to protect the future. Then Superman destroys the potential… and… well… what the fuck is one to do when someone takes everything they exist for away from them? He had nothing left.
Outside of Superman, I do this with lots of villains. Magneto is trying to ensure the future of mutants and normal humans are a threat to their wellbeing, because humans instinctively reject what they cannot understand (and often try to kill it). I get that. The Penguin is ostracized or just treated as a pariah, depending on incarnation, and turns to crime as a way to grasp at the straws of his ever-dwindling humanity. I get that. There’s very few villains who I don’t understand. I mean, they exist, but a lot of villains are victims of our hateful human society, or they’re trying to do the right thing but circumstance dictates they must do it in the wrong kind of way, or they’re not necessarily doing the wrong thing as much as they’re just doing the right thing and it interferes with someone else’s right thing.
The one villain I can never see any of this in, of course, is my favorite: The Joker. But an analysis of The Joker could be a whole separate entry.
Anyways… we ate shrimp, I contemplated the nature of evil, and then we had apple pie.
It was a good Easter.