This post obviously contains spoilers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Enter at your own risk if you have not seen the movie.
A lot of movies leave us with unanswered questions. We’ve been doing these posts for years, because we found that a lot of Hollywood blockbusters, particularly those in the sci-fi, superhero, fantasy, action and horror genres play way too loose with logic – not just with reality as we know it but reality as the movie should know it. Also, with so many big movies being based on comic books and badly written YA novels and occasionally poorly developed ideas of visionary auteurs, a lot of the scripts for these things seem to forget to lay out everything for the actual audience of the specific movie they’re watching.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice really takes the cake as far as the number of questions we were left with regarding its logic and its underlying elements that aren’t communicated to the viewer – the latter mostly because of all the set-up it seems to be doing for future DC Extended Universe movies (plus we know a bunch of stuff was excised or trimmed back that will end up in complete form on the R-rated BvS “Ultimate Cut” on home video). So, this edition of Unanswered Questions involves a lot more Qs than ever. Normally we try to have 10 to make sure it’s a necessary endeavor. For Man of Steel we only had seven. For this new follow-up, we have 50, including those questions that can now be answered but frustratingly weren’t by the movie itself.
Check them all out below, but only if you’ve seen the movie. I’ve tried to stick to the order I asked these questions while watching, through to the very end, so as it goes on it gets more and more SPOILERY.
1. Why wasn’t Bruce Wayne killed along with his parents?
Of course this is canon and how it’s always been, but it’s always bothered me. Sure, he’s a kid, but he’s also seen your face and you’re already over the edge. You’d kill the boy and we’d never have a Batman to begin with.
2. Why was Excalibur opening on a Wednesday in Gotham City?
John Boorman’s fantasy film opened on April 10, 1981, which was a Friday. Yes, this could be a second-run theater, as they also so revivals like The Mark of Zorro, a movie that is also a canonical part of the Batman origin story.
3. Why did Bruce Wayne rush into the crumbling Metropolis?
Sure, he’s a hero, but he’s not invincible. Did he really think he could be much help? Maybe he could have at least thrown his Batsuit on for some protection?
4. Why did Wayne Industries employees need Bruce Wayne to tell them to evacuate Wayne Tower?
When Bruce calls the executive to tell him to evacuate, the guy at Wayne Tower looks out the window with a look like, “oh, didn’t realize that was going on.” But what were these people waiting for? Get out of there already!
5. Why was everybody just standing around watching so much destruction happen around them?
Well, as we’ll see by the end of this weekend, sometimes people can’t not look at a disaster, even when they’re told to avoid it.
6. Who is the little girl that Bruce Wayne rescues from being crushed?
Maybe she’s nobody, but maybe we’ve seen too much Gotham to think that a kid is ever just a kid in these things. If anything maybe the actress will at least grow up to play one of TV’s all-time most hated characters, a la King Joffrey.
7. Why are the World Engine remains sitting around for scavengers and villains to pilfer them from “somewhere in the Indian Ocean”?
I’ll let Birth Movies Death answer this one since they asked it first. But I’d say Superman doesn’t want to go near it because of the Kryptonite. Actually, I don’t think he knew about Kryptonite so I guess it’s because it’s just not a threat to Lois.
8. Did they just immediately kill off Jimmy Olsen?
Apparently that’s iconic Daily Planet photographer Jimmy Olsen with Lois Lane in Africa, but after being discovered with a tracking device in his camera he’s shot by the warlord. Well, we don’t see him die…
9. Is it because these movies already have “Jenny Olsen”?
She wound up having another last name than fans theorized, but the Jenny character is still already a Jimmy surrogate, so an actual Jimmy is unnecessary.
10. Why does Superman only save Lois in Africa?
He couldn’t have gotten there a second earlier to save Jimmy and maybe found a way of securing the situation so other people aren’t also killed while he’s there?
11. Why does anyone care what happened in Africa anyway?
Americans don’t care about things that happen in Africa anyway, but would Congress really bring a woman over for a hearing to discuss what Superman did over there?
12. Do people really think Superman is responsible for shooting deaths of villagers during a skirmish with a warlord?
Maybe because he didn’t save anyone but his girlfriend, they’re mad at him, but nobody should think he was the one shooting people.
13. How does Batman not realize The White Portuguese is a ship?
Obviously it’s the name of a ship. Anyone who says it out loud should get that. He’s a great detective?
14. Why has Batman been trying to find out what The White Portuguese is for so long?
The significance of the ship is that eventually it transports the Kryptonite to Lexcorp. But why is Batman investigating its name before this happens?
15. Why does the media act like Batman is some new vigilante in town?
In a news report on Batman’s latest crime-fighting incident, he’s referred to as simply “the Bat” and treated like someone who hasn’t been doing this for many years and even has a Bat-signal for use by officials looking to the Caped Crusader for help. Also the police act like he’s still a totally mysterious figure in their city.
16. What does a lowly sex trafficker have to do with Lex Luthor?
The criminal Batman brands is somehow tied to LexCorp because he’s a part of the investigation into who or what The White Portuguese is. Is Lex Luthor in some way supporting every bad guy in Gotham City – and the world?
17. Why does Lex Luthor go to Senator Finch about his anti-Superman weapon plans?
He is obviously doing just fine in the shadows with various criminal activity, so why bother even trying to get official okay on importing the found Kryptonite?
18. What is Lex Luthor’s beef with Superman anyway?
Lex is a weird character in this movie and little that he does or says makes much sense. He’s poorly developed. But mostly his reasons for hating Superman on such a personal level are unclear. Especially compared to why Bruce Wayne hates him.
19. Why does Lex Luthor keep talking about his father?
Should we know anything about Lex Luthor’s dad? He won’t shut up about him. Or is it just that every character has to have daddy issues in these movies?
20. Why is Wayne Manor in ruins?
I guess we’ll find out in another movie? But why is Bruce Wayne living in the Ex Machina house? Is he building an A.I. there?
21. Why doesn’t Clark Kent know who Bruce Wayne is?
Clark Kent has only been a reporter for over a year and only been on earth for a few decades, but Wayne Industries and its billionaire playboy namesake would seem to be well-known to him right away I think.
22. Why can’t Bruce Wayne tell that Clark Kent is Superman?
Again, he’s supposed to be some great detective, so he of all people should see through the whole glasses-as-disguise thing.
23. Why does anyone pay attention to Lex Luthor or let him run such a huge company?
LexCorp is said to be a private company, so I guess he wouldn’t have a board to fire him for being such a nut job, but why is anyone listening so attentively to his rambling nonsense at his party? Because he’s rich? That’s not enough reason to actually be interested in this guy. He’s crazy and annoying.
24. Why do movies think it’s always the Day of the Dead in Mexico?
There is no other indication of the part of the year the movie takes place in, but it doesn’t look to be the fall let alone Halloween time. But Superman rescues a girl during the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico because that’s how movies see Mexico always – well when not seeing the place as a land of drug cartels.
25. Why can’t Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, decrypt the files she stole from Bruce Wayne?
Even if she can’t figure it out, she could probably find someone to do it for her. Or I bet she could wrap her lasso of truth around the drive and it would just tell her what’s inside.
26. Why is Diana Prince trying to steal a digital photograph?
Sure, she doesn’t want people knowing how old she is, I get it, but retrieving a copy of a digital file of a photograph isn’t exactly the same as getting the real thing. It’s still on the server. And probably physically in a vault or file cabinet.
27. What is Neil deGrasse Tyson doing in this movie?
Is he meant to be security against lists of questions like these? Like if he’s a part of that world, it must all be legit scientifically and such?
28. Why is Vikram Gandhi in this movie?
If you’re not familiar with the documentarian on screen with Tyson, check out his film Kumare, in which he sort of wears a costume protecting his secret identity.
29. What’s up with Bruce Wayne’s apocalyptic nightmare and those crazy flying creatures?
That’s a premonition of the destruction of Darkseid, complete with his flying Parademons – not that we get that from or need to know it for this movie’s plot.
30. Who is that guy who appears when Bruce Wayne seems to wake from the premonition?
That’s The Flash, traveling back in time from the future to warn Bruce Wayne and inform him that Lois is the key – not that we get that from or need to know it for this movie’s plot.
31. What is Lois the key to?
I guess we’ll find out in another movie – not that many of us want to watch any more of this universe.
32. Speaking of characters not explained, is that supposed to be Robin’s costume in the Batlair?
Yes, but we don’t know what happened to him and his existence has little to do with this movie except to remind us that Batman has lost too many people to freaks dressed up like clowns.
33. Why does Batman put a tracking device on the truck carrying the Kryptonite?
Doesn’t he already know it’s going to LexCorp?
34. Why does Batman chase the truck he’s already tracking?
Maybe just in case that giant tracker falls off.
35. Why does Batman drive the Batmobile into the truck he’s tracking?
He comes so close to knocking off his giant tracker.
36. Why is the Batmobile chase sequence so hard to follow?
To make Christopher Nolan look like a better director of action with that chase sequence in The Dark Knight that’s still incomprehensible but not as bad as this.
37. Why didn’t Batman just steal the Kryptonite at the port?
He really could have. He really should have. But then no chase scene.
38. Why doesn’t anyone see there’s a giant tracking device with a bright blinking red light stuck to the truck?
LexCorp has some very bad security. We already saw evidence of that at Lex’s party. Later Batman is also able to go in and take the Kryptonite, finally, with little effort.
39. Why did Superman interrupt the chase and nearly kill Batman?
I don’t get why Superman was concerned about Batman’s activities there, especially since they had nothing to do with Lois. But as Birth Death Movies points out, he’s also dumb for letting the bad guys Batman is chasing get away. Well, yeah, they didn’t have Lois either.
40. How and why was Lex Luthor intercepting Wallace Keefe’s checks?
And how did it not come to Bruce Wayne’s attention earlier? And why didn’t Wallace look into it?
41. Why did Lex Luthor blow up the Capitol?
Another big scheme just to try to set up Superman? Lex also killed his own assistant who seemed the only one doing a good job of looking out for his interests. It did all seem excessive and for little gain.
42. Wouldn’t the Kryptonian ship be able to tell Lex Luthor isn’t Zod?
Even with the lifted fingerprints. And once he’s in the ship it does eventually identify him as Lex. He somehow overrides the system, but a ship with that level of security and awareness wouldn’t have thought he was Zod for too long, if that’s how he managed to take control. That all just seemed too easy.
43. Why did Lex Luthor want Superman to fight Batman?
Does he really just want to see it happen? Does he think Batman will kill Superman knowing that he has a Kryptonite weapon?
44. Why does the movie interrupt its own suspense at this point, just as the titular Batman v Superman battle is about to take place to quietly introduce us to the future Justice League characters?
One of the weirdest bits of editing in the movie is how this is the point where we watch Diana Prince open LexCorp’s files on The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. It really should have just played after or in the middle of the end credits.
45. Why does LexCorp create branding for each of the super humans?
Did Lex Luthor also get to name these heroes in addition to coming up with cool logos for the first letter of each of their superhero identities?
46. Why doesn’t Wonder Woman already know about Aquaman?
Her people and the Atlanteans should have a past. Maybe with Aquaman’s video she’s just shocked he’s been captured on camera.
47. What was that MCU-esque magic cube thing in Silas Stone’s lab?
Yeah, yeah, DC had Infinity Stone type stuff before Marvel, whatever. Still, what was that MacGuffin sitting there that helped create Cyborg? We’ll find out in his own movie, right? Only have to wait until 2020 for that one.
48. Why was Wonder Woman at an ATM?
Does she really use automated teller machines like a regular person? I guess why not, but it still seemed weird for her to be at an ATM when she claimed to have been laying low for many decades.
49. Back to the battle, why couldn’t Superman just quickly explain his dilemma?
As it turned out, all he had to do was drop the name Martha and it’d have been over before it began. Just jump over, quickly say, “Lex Luthor kidnapped my mom. Help.”
50. Why can’t Superman see through Batman’s smoke diversion?
Superman’s X-ray vision hasn’t really come into play in the DC Extended Universe so maybe he has none? Otherwise he could have literally seen right through Batman’s diversionary smokescreen tactics.
51. Why doesn’t Batman suffer severe burns, bruises or chapping to his lips?
He build this mighty Superman-busting armor but left enough room for himself to talk and maybe have a snack if it went on long enough that he got hungry. But if he thinks this is a serious battle against a powerful alien, he might want to have all of his body protected.
52. Why did Lois throw the Kryptonite spear in the pool of water?
Come on, Lois, you need better assurance that thing that can kill your boyfriend is destroyed or otherwise incapable of being found and used against him.
53. Why did hearing his mother’s name make Batman go all weird and stop fighting Superman?
Did he think Superman was talking about his mama? That would make most people more angry. But why would Superman bring up your mom who died 35 years ago? What a weird moment and reason for the fight to be over.
54. How did Lois hear the whole Martha/Martha confusion where she was?
She runs in explaining who Superman’s Martha is but wasn’t that close when it was said to have heard it. Maybe dating Superman somehow leads to you having super hearing, too.
55. How did Batman know where to find Martha Kent?
I don’t remember anyone being informed of her location. He was supposed to go see Lex Luthor.
56. Why did Batman go to Martha Kent’s rescue?
Superman could have just flown in, tossed everyone aside with his powers and grabbed his mom easily without any one being killed. Actually he could have done that before fighting Batman if it was that easy to find her.
57. Does Alfred control the Batwing by remote control?
Did he just take it over or does he normally give that much hands-on support. When he said he’d drop Batman off on the second floor it was like a parent dropping his kid off somewhere.
58. Why didn’t Batman more stealthily go in to rescue Martha Kent?
She could have just been killed at any time, as Lex Luthor implied would happen if anything went against his scheme. Instead he busts in and makes a lot of noise and takes a while to get to her exact location.
59. Why don’t the bad guys just kill Martha Kent when Batman shows up?
Because it’s a movie and no bad guy ever makes that logical decision in movies.
60. Why is the Mountain Troll from The Lord of the Rings so mad at Superman?
Oh right, that’s Doomsday. He looks like molded clay. Seriously, though, why is he immediately mad at Superman?
61. Why does Lex Luthor create a monster to deal with Superman?
If Lex Luthor’s issue with Superman is that he’s an alien who negligently led to much of Metropolis being destroyed, why would he create a more obviously worse alien creature from the flesh of the obviously actual Kryptonian villain, which will obviously lead to more destruction, and unleash it from the center of Metropolis? What does he plan on doing with Doomsday after it kills Supes?
62. Why does Doomsday have powers?
Doomsday is of Kryptonian origin and like Superman gets his powers from our sun. Just like Zod didn’t immediately have powers in Man of Steel because he arrived at night, Doomsday also wouldn’t have such powers without ever being around during the day. Unless we’re just supposed to believe he gets his powers solely from firepower, which fine whatever you want I guess.
63. Why is the President of the United States so quick to order a nuclear strike?
A new alien creature has been on the scene for two minutes and a nuke is immediately on the table. Is it because you’ve already seen enough shit happen with these destructive Kryptonians 18 months ago? It still seems rather quick and excessive.
64. Did the nuke kill Superman for a moment?
He looked dead or very close to it. Then his healing powers eventually brought him back. It foreshadows the idea that Superman isn’t really going to die at the end.
65. Why does Batman draw Doomsday towards Gotham City?
He could have just gone to get the spear and come back. Doomsday wasn’t going to follow him if he went with that safer idea.
66. Why does Batman think just because it’s night that nobody is around?
Thankfully Wonder Woman asks the previous question directly to Batman. He says it’s okay because it’s night and everybody is off work. But he can’t be certain. There could be security guards, homeless people, stray cats, anyone or anything.
67. Why does Lois go back to get the Kryptonite spear?
Again, she shouldn’t have thrown it in the pool of water anyway. And she didn’t have to retrieve it. Batman could have. But the movie needed her to be in peril again.
68. Why does Superman have to wield the Kryptonite spear?
Wonder Woman held her own pretty damn well with Doomsday. Instead of the guy who loses his powers from being around it, she could have thrown the Kryptonite spear directly into the villain’s heart and no heroes would have had to sacrifice themselves.
69. How does Wonder Woman’s lasso hold Doomsday down?
Isn’t that a lasso of truth? Is his truth that he’s not that strong? Or is her lasso also stronger than anything else on Earth? I guess there is a history of the lasso being stronger than even Hercules, but most of us only know of her having a lasso that makes people spill their guts.
70. Does everyone finally get that Clark Kent was Superman now?
Apparently not, given there has to be two funerals and an explanation that Kent was the only human casualty of the Doomsday incident. Besides, Kent wasn’t really anyone to most people anyway.
71. What is Lex Luthor rambling on about in his prison cell at the end?
He’s saying Darkseid is on his way.
72. Who is Darkseid?
Another villain, the one who’ll show up in the Justice League movies. He’s like DC’s Thanos, but of course he was created first.
73. How does Lex Luthor know he’s coming?
Who knows? But at least we didn’t have to find out by seeing a partly obscured bluish figure sitting on a throne in space or something for the hint.
74. Did Batman visit Lex Luthor in prison in the middle of Clark Kent’s funeral and then go back while it was still going on?
No, it was a flashback, but more bad editing on the movie’s part. That prison scene should have been another post-credits scene or something. Also Bruce Wayne didn’t need to tell Diana about his Justice League idea at the funeral anyway.
75. Is Superman alive at the end?
All that was missing was Superman quoting the old guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as his casket is being dropped into his grave. “I’m not dead yet!” As we saw earlier, he just needs a while to heal from certain things. He’s clearly immortal. Plus he has to be back for the Justice League movies. And it’s comic books. And that dirt that levitates at the end. Yes, Superman lives.