Let me start out with, I have watched Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice many times. Whenever it comes on, I’ll stop and watch it. So I like the film for the most part. But there has always been two parts that I have struggled with. One being the “infamous” Martha scene. Anyone who has seen the film knows what I’m talking about.
Recently, at The Director’s Cuts” panel at Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design on Sunday, Snyder addressed this much talked about scene and how they came about their reasoning for it.
It’s funny, because we, [screenwriter] Chris Terrio and I, we did reach that point in the movie, in our discussions… we knew how to get them to fight, right? But how do you get them to stop fighting? That’s a tough one. And we sort of were just throwing down on their humanity and Batman realizes Superman has humanity, he’s not just a creature, he’s a man — he’s an alien, but he is as human as, in a lot of ways, he’s more human than him, right? He’s sort of embraced all the good parts of the human race, and so Batman’s able to sort of see, in a lot of ways, a thing that he is not. And I think that that was how we started to talk about it.
That sounds good right? In the middle of what was a knock down drag out fight where Batman isn’t trying to subdue him. He isn’t trying to take him in to custody. He’s trying to destroy him, kill him. Rational thought has pretty much went by the wayside. So in the middle of his righteous indignation: “Do you bleed!?” Superman asks him to save Martha and suddenly like Dr. Freud snapping his fingers to wake someone out of hypnosis, he stops. Then when Lois runs up and tells him that Martha is Superman’s mother. Just like that Batman throws the Kryptonite spear to the side and it’s Kumbaya all around. Just doesn’t seem likely.
He was in a battle rage. (He probably needs to be taking on the Man of Steel). You usually don’t just turn that on and off. So basically, with the utterance of a single word (no, not Shazam!) okay, two words “Save, Martha,” rage over. Now does Bruce have the capacity to rationalize those kind of thoughts about “humanity,” absolutely…but not then, not there! If you ask the folks at GVNation, I’ve called it in the past a Wizard of Oz moment, or to be specific: A horse of a different color.
That sudden flip doesn’t make a lot of sense. Of course, Batman’s thinking for trying to take on Superman was problematic as well. So why take on that challenge? Because he is concerned that Superman might one day go bad and rule over everyone like a God because no one is powerful enough to stop him? Oh, and he causes a lot of damage every time he fights someone? Not to mention he’s an alien. He’s not from around these parts. If he was from Earth he could tear through buildings and cause mayhem and that would be okay. Batman did it all the time but he did it the old fashioned way: He drove his car through the buildings. But he’s from Earth so, no harm…no foul. So for the good of “humanity” Superman’s got to go down. Courageous? You bet. Smart?? Not so much.
Regardless, I still enjoy the film. It just has a couple of sticking points that make me go hmmm? Although to be honest, most films have those kind of moments…makes for fun discussions, like this one. Do you feel Zack Snyder’s explanation makes the scene more understandable? Share your thoughts about the “Martha” Saga with us at GVNation.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 15 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.