It’s been over a year since Warner Brothers dropped Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on a bewildered public, and to this day I still see and hear weak jabs at the infamous ‘Martha’ scene. So let’s clear the air and try to get some understanding
If you didn’t like the film, that’s fine, every film has it’s supporters and detractors. Hell, I even met one miserable soul who didn’t like Joe Dirt. And even I will admit that at first the ‘Martha’ scene fell short of my expectations, but it wasn’t THAT BAD and if you are still taking low blows at the scene over a year later it just shows that after all this time you still haven’t figured out what the scene really meant, or you’re just an angry fanboy looking for cheapshots. So let’s delve into what was really going on in film.‘They stopped fighting because their moms had the same name, how dumb.’ No, you didn’t understand what was going on. Throughout the entire film Superman is portrayed as basically a God. He’s an alien. A threat. An unstoppable monster. Batman mentions several times throughout their battle that Superman is not a man. ‘You’re not brave, men are brave.’ ‘You were never a God, you were never even a man.’ Batman doesn’t see Superman as another person like himself, he see him as some kind of force or weapon that needs to be stopped permanently.
So when Bruce has Clark under his boot, about the to strike the final blow, and Clark mutters ‘You’re letting them kill Matha.’ and ‘Save Martha.’ Bruce’s total about-face it’s not only about ‘Hey! My mom has the same name!’, it’s mainly about Bruce realizing that Clark is much more similar to him than he ever thought. Clark is not the threat Bruce thought he was.
Yes, it brings Bruce back to the pain of his own loss, but mostly it shows Bruce the compassion and selflessness that Clark has within him. It humanizes Clark in Bruce’s mind. Instead of pleading for his own life, talking trash or making some kind of threat, Clark asks his would be killer to save someone else’s life. Would a monster do that? Would an ultimate weapon or threat plead for someone else’s life? No. Bruce finally puts the pieces together in his head and sees that what he thought about Clark was wrong and that he has been played by Lex Luthor all along. Bruce did not make a totally uncharacteristic change of heart because of the name of his mother, as a detective he finally saw all the clues, put everything together and made the right choice.
Once again, if you didn’t like the movie, or the scene, that’s fine. There’s not a single thing on this planet that is for everyone. But before you keep taking shots at this flick, please, ask yourself… ‘Did I even understand it?’ There was a lot going on, and I will even admit, while I enjoyed the film, there is a lot I miss or don’t understand EVERY TIME I WATCH IT. I catch something new every time. Batman V Superman was not your standard Hollywood fare. It is no Mega Blockbuster, cookie cutter, by the books plot. It isn’t a feel-good, sit back and let the movie take you away affair. You have to pay attention, you may have to use your brain a little.
So… now that you have all the clues, what choice will you make?