Gender Roles - Women
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Gender Roles - Women: 4 Stars
The women in Batman v. Superman are all a cut above average. Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) is crafty and fearless. Lois Lane is a dedicated investigative journalist. And Senator Finch is a principled politician who isn't easily bowed by blind panic and threats. Where Batman v. Superman goes wrong isn't in failing to give it's female characters brains and backbones, but in failing to give them the dialogue and plotlines that they deserve.
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 3 Stars
Batman v. Superman doesn't include much diversity in terms of skin tones or body types, but it does include a fair variety of feminine costumes - from Diana Prince's sleek and revealing evening gowns, to Lois Lane's more practical desert wear, to Senator Finch's power suits. We never get the impression that any of these women are either made or restrained by their wardrobes. They simply wear what the occasion calls for - and something that's sure to bring out their distinct personalities. There's enough genuine confidence and strength embedded in each of these women to overcome any temporary pre-occupation with skin or anatomy.
Room for Improvement:
Gender Roles - Men
Gender Roles - Men: 2.5 Stars
Batman's reaction to the emergence of Superman is stereotypically violent and one- dimensional. He never takes a moment to consider the ways in which they are alike or the possibility of reconciling their animosity through constructive dialogue. To the contrary, he decides early on - and without much provocation - that the only way to keep the city safe from Superman is to destroy him.
While Superman himself is not nearly as hardened or skeptical of mankind, his attitude towards Batman is similarly defensive and confrontational. Batman v. Superman creates a world in which male ego and aggression are not simply reserved for the bad guys, but can easily be turned against anyone who appears to pose the slightest threat and happens to wander into another alpha male's perceived sphere of influence - regardless of motives or intentions. Were it not for Lex Luthor's vile games forcing these two heated heroes to work together, the confrontation between them might have ended in unnecessary bloodshed.
Plot: 3 Stars
The women in Batman v. Superman each play a small but impressive role in propelling the action forward. Senator Finch is savvy enough to see through Luthor's scare tactics and temporarily block his ambitions (even if she ultimately becomes something of a pawn in his grand designs). Lois Lane is able to piece together a trail of broken evidence, independently exposing Luthor's plans to turn the Metropolis against Superman. And of course Diana Prince eventually dons her Wonder Woman disguise and joins the fight against Luthor's menacing kryptonian creature. Despite their best efforts however, none of these women is able to truly impact the trajectory of this story. Luthor is still able to import his shipment of kryptonite and set his plans in motion. Batman and Superman still end up in a violent life or death struggle. And when Luthor's monster finally appears, it is Batman and Superman who ultimately save the doomed Metropolis.
Although the roles of these remarkable women are both small and ineffective, Batman v. Superman still gives them the opportunity to do more than simply sit on the sidelines. Audiences can only hope that when Wonder Woman is given her own film, there will be far more action for this intriguing character.
Character Development: 2 Stars
Unlike most superhero films, Batman v. Superman spends a fair amount of time adding flesh and motivation to its core characters (primarily Batman, Lex Luthor and Superman himself). The women, on the other hand, remain more or less caricatures of their comic book origins. Lois Lane is still Superman's steadfast love interest - even her journalistic pursuits are focused on him. While Diana Prince, at least at this point in the franchise, is more of a mystery than a real person. Regardless of what the studios do with her character in future films, this brief introduction isn't much more than raw material - almost as stock and predictable as the more minor women characters in the film.
Love: 2.5 Stars
Batman v. Superman isn't much of a love story. Lois and Clark have one brief scene that delves into the complexities of their budding relationship, but everything that follows is Superman rescuing Lois from dangerous situations (and on occasion, she rescues him as well). Perhaps the most disappointing part about this lackluster couple is that there are so many delicious opportunities in this storyline to test Lois and Clark's relationship. Moments when they might disagree or breakdown or lose faith in each other as chaos engulfs the city. But Batman v. Superman is more of a tale of male ego and aggression than love, and never does more than scratch the surface of this potentially tumultuous romance.
In the aftermath of Superman's epic battle with General Zod, Bruce Wayne and others in the destroyed Metropolis begin to look for ways to control this new breed of superhuman. As tension in the city escalates, Batman prepares to fight and destroy the nearly invincible Kryptonian. But when a common enemy emerges, Superman, Batman and a mysterious woman named Diana Prince are forced to unite in order to save the world from all-out destruction.
Kelly is a labor law