If you’re like me, you’re up late watching CNN coverage of the 2016 election. You’ve finished your most on-the-nose strong beer (in my case a 32-ounce can of Arizona Wilderness American Presidential Stout). You should go to bed, but you can’t stop fretting over the future of this country.
This is worse than, say, the Cubs winning the World Series. It’s times like these that I go back to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
It’s the most divisive movie of 2016. While fans like me loved the movie, critics panned it for its dour tone and murky character motivations.
But what are you doing tomorrow? You sure as hell don’t want to watch the news. That doesn’t make you feel good. Instead you feel fever. Rage. Powerlessness.
So watch Batman v Superman again. Tell me you don’t understand Batman’s descent into near-villainy. Tell me you don’t feel like stabbing something with a kryptonite spear.
Everyone loved Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight because he was an agent of chaos. A dog chasing cars, he tells us. No one seems to understand Lex Luthor’s motivation in BvS, so let me spell it out for you.
He’s a petulant toddler throwing a temper tantrum. He inherited fame and fortune from his father, and he uses it to stoke his own delusions of grandeur. He’s playing with fire, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and it doesn’t matter because it more or less works.
Now watch Batman try to redeem himself. By the time he starts to believe, by the time he starts fighting the real bad guy, it’s too late. The world is doomed. The bells have rung.
And yet Batman emerges from the whole thing with hope. Maybe if you watch Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on the day after Election Day 2016, you’ll feel it, too.
Men are still good. We fight. We kill. We betray one another. But we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to.