Fr. Mike Schmitz, Forfeit Your Justice League Membership Card!

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When I saw the title for Fr. Mike Schmitz latest video, I shook my head. Here it is:

Not another person bashing Batman vs. Superman (BvS)! I have heard more than enough criticism. It was a good movie. Was it a great movie? No. All three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films were better. But, that does not mean it was a bad movie.

There is plenty to be excited about in this movie. First, a gray Batsuit! For real. That matters. Look at how awesome it is:

Batman-News.com

This is something for which comic book nerds have been waiting. Ben Affleck portrays the Caped Crusader in a unique way, and, heck I’ll say it, he was better than Christian Bale. Just look at him.

IGN.com

Jeremy Irons is, hands down, the BEST live-action Alfred ever.

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Gal Gadot is AMAZING as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Her solo film is going to be epic.

MoviePilot.com

The score is incredible! While listening to it, you are reminded of the Tim Burton movies, the animated series, and the Dark Knight Trilogy. Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL did a fantastic job. Check out a clip here.

Lastly, Batman and Superman are in the same movie! That’s never been done in a live-action film before. So, to all of you BvS-haters out there I say: Stop it! Your unreasonable expectations hurt your enjoyment of this movie.

That brings me to Fr. Schmitz’s video. BEFORE YOU READ THIS: Go watch Fr. Schmitz’s video. I do not wish to viewjack him and Ascension Press, in fact we love Ascension Press at EpicPew and have promoted their projects several times, but you gotta know: he’s wrong. Fair warning, though, there are a few spoilers here. So, if you want to know ZERO plot points before seeing BvS and you have not seen it yet, stop reading, go watch it RIGHT NOW, and then come back to EpicPew and read away.

 

“The Title: ‘Batman v Superman’ Falls Short”

No, it did not.

 

“There are parts that don’t make any sense whatsoever…”

Maybe some things didn’t make sense to me because I have ADHD and just missed the explanation, but if others think so, there may have been some shoddy writing. However, I will say that there are some things the viewer should just accept. One review I read said that it is never explained how Lex Luthor knows Batman’s and Superman’s secret identities. Lex Luthor is a genius. I have no problem accepting that as a valid explanation there. Also, there will be more movies set in this universe. Perhaps, some things will be explained later. Relax.

 

“[Zack Snyder’s interpretations of Batman and Superman] do not have the nobility of Batman and Superman”

Bull crap! (My initial reaction featured only one of those words.) Did we watch the same movie, Fr. Schmitz? Were you not paying attention to the scene where Batman is about to take out Superman? What happens next? He sets aside his differences with Superman to go save Martha Kent, Superman’s mom.

 

“Superman is the slacker dude.”

Again, we must have watched different movies. Superman, more than once in this film, drops everything to go save the day. In both his duties as a writer for The Daily Planet and as Superman, he works hard and is dedicated.

 

“[Superman] has all this power, but he is not good.”

If I were just watching this video and not writing a blog post about it, I would stop watching at this point. I don’t even know where Fr. Schmitz is coming from at this point. He is not making sense. I may think Superman is a lame superhero, but I can acknowledge that he is a good guy (especially so in this interpretation of the movie).

 

“[Superman] doesn’t even know what to do with his strength.”

That may be true. Let me ask you this, though, Father: WOULD YOU?!? Imagine for second you have gained Superman’s powers. What would you do first? OK, after you’ve flown around for a bit, what would you do? There are so many problems in the world that it is near impossible to know where to start, and not everything can be solved by the Man of Steel’s abilities. The only superhuman man to really know his powers was Jesus, and Superman definitely falls short of Jesus. This might be a genius plot tool, actually.

 

“He has no idea why he’s Superman.”

Ummmm……In Man of Steel, it is explained that he was born on Krypton, and in Earth’s environment, he has more power than human beings. THAT is why he is Superman.

 

“[Superman] doesn’t know what the good is.”

There are times in this movie that, yes, Superman is unsure of what he ought to do, but don’t we all have those moments of doubt? Later in the movie, though, it is definitely clear he knows what is right and what he ought to do. In the big fight scene with Batman, he does not go there to fight; he goes there to make peace with Batman so they can unite against Lex Luthor’s evil schemes.

 

“Superman is not good in this movie.”

FALSE. There are numerous scenes in this movie where Superman saves people, does good deeds, and goes to Congress to explain his actions to Senator Finch. I do understand how one could consider Superman not good. The examples are amply supplied in the rest of the post.

 

“[Superman] lets his strength get wasted.”

So, that whole saving the world from Doomsday thing was a waste of his powers? If Superman were to waste his powers, he would not use them or use them for his own selfish purposes.

 

Fr. Schmitz mentions characteristics of what he calls the “real Batman”: Genius, dedicated, focused, driven, broken, and good.

Batfleck is all of those things. Batman displays some excellent detective skills in this movie, gives up having a life outside of Batman/Wayne Enterprises so he can fully dedicate himself to both, knows what he wants to do and stops at nothing to accomplish his goals, is haunted by his parents’ deaths, and saves lives.

 

“[Zack Snyder’s Batman] tortures people.”

This is actually quite common with Batman. Did you not see The Dark Knight? He beats the crap out of the Joker. This characteristic is even portrayed in the 1960s Batman TV series in a scene where Batman and Chief O’Hara CLEARLY deny one of Riddler’s goons his right to legal counsel. It is also found in the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, like the time he ruffed up a thug in front of the guy’s wife and son. To criticize this interpretation for torturing people is to criticize the Batman character in general.

 

“[Zack Snyder’s Batman] is willing to kill people.”

Many people have used this as a criticism of BvS, and I think that it is a weak criticism. Batman does not murder or directly kill, but it is irresponsible to say people have never been killed as a casualty to Batman’s mission (See: Zack Snyder’s interview where he explains this). Any “killing” Batman does in this movie is far less egregious than the “I don’t have to save you” moment in Batman Begins.

 

“This new Batman is as Alfred says, ‘a good man who becomes cruel.'”

That is NOT what Alfred says. To fully understand this line, one must look at its context.

Everything’s changed. Men fall from the sky, the gods hurl thunderbolts, innocents die. That’s how it starts, sir. The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men… cruel.

Alfred is not saying Batman has become cruel. He is saying what Ice Cube said in 1993, “You better check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self.” In this scene, Batman is describing his plans for Superman, and Alfred is warning him to be careful and not do something rash.

 

“[Batman] doesn’t use his strength to help..”

Wrong. In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman breaks up a human trafficking ring, saves Martha Kent, and helps defeat Doomsday. What more can you ask for in this complex plot that’s allotted 2 hours?

 

“We don’t know what to do with our strength in our culture.”

Agreed. But, that is not what is happening in this movie.

 

Fr. Schmitz mentions Senator Finch’s errant philosophy.

This is a straw man argument. According to this argument, Zack Snyder is trying to promote the same philosophy as Senator Finch. To characterize the overall philosophy of the movie based on what one character is saying is wrong. Just because one character has an errant philosophy in a film does not mean an entire film is trying to portray that philosophy as what is right. Senator Finch’s philosophy is not the movie’s overall philosophy.

 

“I don’t believe Zack Snyder believes in such a thing as the truth or the good.”

We cannot say for certain, and we should not be judgmental. However, it is important to note that at the end of the film, good wins, evil is defeated, and the good guys all like and trust each other. That means he believes in good triumphing evil, right?

 

“The reason why we tell these stories of heroes is not because we’re trying to tell a real-life story; we’re trying to tell a story about what you could be. This is what humanity could be.”

Ignoring the obvious “humanity could never be a Kryptonian like Superman” response, I would just say I do not see how this movie does not inspire us to be better human beings. Kids who watch this movie are going to see this and go home to pretend they are Batman and save the world from bad guys.

We also make these movies for entertainment.

 

“Superman’s not a servant.”

I disagree. In this movie, Superman puts himself at the service of society. He makes a rescue in a burning building, he saves Lois Lane more than once, and in a move that proves he recognizes he is not the ultimate authority, he goes to Congress for a hearing on his actions.

 

“Batman doesn’t really protect people in this movie.”

Again, by the numbers:

1.) He breaks up a human trafficking ring.

2.) He saves Martha Kent

3.) Despite Doomsday’s obvious ability to squash him like a bug, he joins Supes and Wonder Woman in their battle with this beast IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE WORLD.

 

“[Batman is] just trying to kill someone – Superman, and it doesn’t make any sense.”

The Church teaches that in certain circumstances killing can be justified. So, the guy can fly, leap buildings in a single bound, and shoot freaking lasers from his eyes would not fit in that category? There is such a thing as a justified war (the war against Hitler being a prime example), and Batman (perhaps foolishly) believes he is at war with Superman.

Alfred: “You’re going to go to war?”

Batman: “That son of a b**** brought the war to us…Alfred, count the dead–thousands of people. What’s next? Millions? He has the power to wipe out the entire human race, and if we believe there’s even a one percent chance that he is our enemy we have to take it as an absolute certainty. And, we have to destroy him.”

This war is not justified because Superman is a good guy. BUT, here is the most important part: HE DOESN’T KILL SUPERMAN. HE REALIZES IT IS A MISTAKE TO TAKE HIM OUT. They become friends. Bad motive, but not an all out war. mmmmk?

 

“Is this story we want to tell our children? Is this [sic] the heroes we want to present to our kids?”

In this story, Batman and Superman overcome their misunderstandings and differences and then stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday. Two flawed individuals overcome their shortcomings and do the right thing. Yeah, those are the heroes I want my future kids to see. I do want them to hear/see stories like this.

 

Fr. Schmitz asks us to imagine what it would be like if these two heroes were truly good

I direct you all towards previous argument as to why Bats and Supes are good. There is a long list of people Batman and Superman protect/save in this movie. One of the entries on this list is entire world.

 

“There’s a sweet fight scene at the end–Batman clearing that room. DUDE, SO GOOD!”

FINALLY! Something with which I can agree 100%.

 

My Final Thoughts

There are some parts of this video that completely misrepresent what happens in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (the complete twisting of Alfred’s line being the most egregious), and it saddens me that people who watch this movie will get the wrong impression. So, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Forfeit Your Justice League Membership Card!

Jk. We love you and Ascension Press

 

Oh, One More Thing

In the crypt where Thomas and Martha Wayne are buried, there is a picture of St. Michael the Archangel, adding further proof that Batman is Catholic.

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