Film / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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"Fight night! The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. God versus Man. Day versus Night. Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham."

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the 2016 sequel to Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and the second film in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio based on a story by David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder. It was released on March 25, 2016.

Two years after Man of Steel, Clark Kent/Superman has taken his place as an icon and hero that makes the planet a safer place to live. But many still distrust the "Man of Tomorrow", after the damage his battle with General Zod wrought on Metropolis. Fearing the destruction a godlike and now unrivaled superhuman could cause if he ever turned against those he protects, billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne, who fights crime as the vigilante Batman, has focus on preparing. His goal: destroy Superman and his apparent hidden schemes, whatever the cost.

But not all is as it seems, as corporate mogul and prominent Metropolis citizen Lex Luthor plans to benefit from the war Metropolis' Man of Steel and Gotham's Bat are now engaged in.

The film's cast includes:

The film also features Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan as Thomas and Martha Wayne. Harry Lennix reprises the role of General Swanwick from Man Of Steel. Scoot McNairy and Holly Hunter both play Canon Foreigners Wallace Keefe and Senator Finch respectively.

The film will get an extended edition on home video. The extended edition has an R-rating for some sequences of violence that were deemed too harsh for a PG-13 rating (which is what Zack Snyder was aiming for; he was actually surprised when the MPAA re-rated the longer version of the film). The extended edition is confirmed to be over half an hour longer than the theatrical cut, and will feature Jena Malone's character (as hers was a Deleted Role).

Previews: Teaser, Comic-Con 2015 Trailer, Sneak Peek, Trailer 2, TV Spot 1, TV Spot 2, TV Spot 3, Sneak Peek 2, TV Spot 4. Trailer 3.

Batman v. Superman contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Like in the Batman-centric movies since 1989, Batman wears black makeup around his eyes, which disappears immediately after he's unmasked by Superman. This is because the mask's eye-holes would be quite small if they were to replicate the comic look exactly, affecting both comfort and expressiveness. Instead, costume designers go for bigger eye-holes and the actor's skin is covered up with makeup to simulate the look - and nobody wants to see him with "raccoon eyes" once he's unmasked. A similar "disappearing makeup" scene also happened in Batman Returns. Of course, said scene is All Just a Dream anyway.
  • Action Girl: Wonder Woman makes her (live-action) cinematic debut; her major contribution to the film is to jump in during the climactic fight scene where she holds her own at least as well as the similarly-powered Superman.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: The traditionally blond Aquaman now sports dark hair (his actor, Jason Momoa, has brown hair). He does, however, appear to have blond highlights.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The costume designers manage to walk a tight line between evoking the classic Wonder Woman costume with a strapless bustier and swimmers cut, and making it seem more practical. Specifically: the bustier doesn't give her an Impossibly-Low Neckline, she has a microskirt that still shows off a lot of leg but looks a bit more like actual armored wear and her footwear extends all the way to her knees.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The story of the film draws many influences from The Dark Knight Returns for Batman's story and The Death of Superman for Superman without being a direct adaptation of either story.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In previous Batman-Superman dust-ups in comics and animated adaptations, Batman never actually goes into battle hoping to kill Superman. In one Tower of Babel arc, he even comes up with nonlethal albeit painful countermeasures and in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman only wanted to beat up Clark, give him a Humiliation Conga and fake his death, and not actually kill him. Affleck!Bats on the other hand fully goes into battle, likening it to hunting an animal even, with the intention of killing Superman, and he would have done it had Lois not arrived and pleaded for Superman's life.
  • Age Lift:
    • Bruce is depicted as having a long career as Batman before Superman shows up, and will be in his mid-40s (like Affleck), instead of the usual 30 to 35 from the comics and about the same age as Superman. Contrasting this, Jeremy Irons is about the right age for an Alfred early in Batman's career, but next to Affleck he could almost pass for an older brother.
    Bruce: I'm getting slow in my old age, Alfred.
    Alfred: Even you've got too old to die young. Not for lack of trying.
    • Wonder Woman is at least five thousand years old per Word of God, unlike the comics where she's as old as she looks, and it's her mother Queen Hippolyta (the same one as in Greek Mythology) who's thousands of years old. Not immediately apparent unlike Batman, because she's a metahuman who appears to age more slowly. In fact, Wonder Woman (as a known superhero) predates both Batman and Superman, as her upcoming origin story will take place during World War I. She might even be this universe's oldest example of a superhero.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The AI on Zod's ship. It warns Luthor that combining human DNA with Zod's corpse to create a Humanoid Abomination is forbidden by the Krypton High Council. However when Luthor points out the High Council no longer exists, it proceeds with Luthor's commands.
  • All There in the Manual: Batman's apparently fatal methods against criminals have proved very controversial among comic fans. But the tie-in books and comics clearly say he has a no-killing code with them. Zack Snyder acknowledged that Batman doesn't directly "kill" Mooks as in straight up shooting them but rationalizes their deaths via ricochet, their own weapons as collateral damage, and amounting to "manslaughter more than murder"note  and he distinguishes between mooks and civilians, putting the latter on priority over the former. Hence his shooting the Flame Thrower container and sparing Martha in exchange for the mooks.note 
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: Played on the bagpipes during Superman's funeral.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Lex has a tendency to be a twitchy in personal conversations and mutter to himself in fragmented sentences. During a social function he manages to hold the audience attention for about 30 seconds until he gets distracted and goes on an awkward tangent.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Lois invokes the Jewish tradition of throwing a handful of dirt on Clark's grave.
  • The Antichrist: Invoked against Superman, with some labeling him a "False God" and so forth.
    Luthor: But we know better now, don't we? Devils don't come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
  • Anti-Hero: The movie plays up Batman's nightmarish appearance and sometimes destructive battles; while he's still obviously a hero, it really emphasizes him as Good Is Not Nice in comparison to Superman.
  • Armor Is Useless: Thoroughly averted. Both his regular suit and Powered Armor prove to be absolutely vital to Batman's survival. The armor allows him to take large amounts of punishment in his confrontation with Superman, and in a fight with some mercenaries his headpiece is seen deflecting bullets at close range.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The interior of LexCorp is very informal and comparable to a Facebook office.note 
  • Arc Words: Both titular characters have them.
    • For Batman: "Men are good".
    • For Superman: "She was my world" and "You are my world".
    • For both of them: "Martha".
  • Artistic License – Physics: The effects of nuclear weapons in high atmosphere mean that those nukes would have caused much more damage from EMP to both cities and satellites.
  • Atlas Pose: Superman is shown holding a large rocket over his head, very close to this pose.
  • Audience Surrogate: Oddly enough, Lex Luthor. Much of his dialogue is highlighting just how much people want Superman and Batman to fight it out, coming close to Breaking the Fourth Wall in doing so. He even enjoys the sight of their alter-egos meeting. Of course, he already knows who they are.
    "Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent! Ha, I love it; I love bringing people together."
  • Avengers Assemble: Bruce says in the ending that he plans on recruiting the metahumans Lex had files on, so that they'll be ready to fight together if need be.
  • Badass Boast: Batman to Superman, reinforced by the voice changer.
    Tell me. Do you bleed? (Superman takes off) You will!
  • Badass Normal: Batman, as per tradition. He's a normal human in peak condition who relies on intelligence and prepared traps to fight his enemies, and with the right weaponry actually go toe-to-toe with the Flying Brick that is Superman. He also manages to not only survive the battle against Doomsday, but with quick thinking, out-maneuver the creature and assist in killing it.
  • Bad Future: The nightmare is heavily implied to be a vision of a possible future Gone Horribly Wrong. It comes as a result of Lois dying in that timeline, ensuring that Batman and Superman remain enemies and that the Justice League never forms.
  • Bald of Evil: Big Bad Lex Luthor ends up losing all of his hair by the end of the film. At the beginning, however, he still has a full head of hair.
  • Barbarian Hero: Aquaman, a hero with wild dreads, a beard, a bare chest, and extensive tattoos.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Done gradually rather than all at once. It's said throughout the film that Batman has become more violent, ruthless and cruel ever since Zod's attack on Metropolis in Man of Steel, and that he blames Superman for it. His story is about that moral descent into wanting to kill Superman, and doing so with premeditated intent.
  • Battle in the Rain: Batman and Superman have a face off in a rainstorm.
  • Beam-O-War: Between Superman and Doomsday. And it is glorious. Doomsday won, but props to Superman for trying.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Batman goes after Superman because he feels the world would be safer and "make sense" again once he is gone. In the climax Doomsday kills Superman and Batman is wracked with guilt, knowing now what kind of person Superman is.
  • Beware the Superman: Invoked by the anti-Superman factions in the film, who are wary of what kind of world could come about if Superman was left unchecked and turned out to be A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt billionaire Lex Luthor serves as the film's main antagonist, and mutual enemy to both Superman and Batman.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Wonder Woman saves Batman when Doomsday attacks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Doomsday is defeated, Luthor is jailed, the foundation of the Justice League is set, and the horrific future that Batman sees in the nightmare is averted — or, at the very least, stalled. However, this comes at the cost of Superman's life (which leaves the world in a more vulnerable state), and Luthor reveals that more alien threats are on the way. Luckily, Superman appears to be regenerating, although none of his allies know about this.
  • Blade on a Stick: Batman fashions a spear with a Kryptonite blade in order to fight Superman. It's used by Superman at the end of the movie to kill Doomsday.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • A really bizarre case happens in the Japanese version of the film and also overlaps with Gratuitous English: The Japanese title of the film is "Batman v Superman: Justice no Tanjou", which stands for the the same thing. The egregious part of it is the fact the word justice was left untranslated and only transliterated to katakana, rather than using the Japanese word "seigi" in kanji for the same concept.note 
    • In Israel, when Diana reads the message sent to her, the word "you" is translated as the male form. This is particularly bizarre, as Diana's actress, Gal Gadot, is a born and raised Israeli who has Hebrew as her native language, and can barely hide her Hebrew accent throughout the film. You'd think she'd know!
  • Blunt "Yes": When Superman and Luthor confront each other.
    Superman: You think I'll fight him for you?
    Luthor: Mn, yes I do.
  • Book Ends: We open and close the film with a casket about to be buried.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Lex uses Zod's fingerprints, skinned using a kyrptonite scalpel, to gain access to the crashed Kryptonian vessel. Using this access as a stepping stone, he creates access for himself.
  • Brick Joke: A very twisted one is set up by Lex Luthor for Senator Finch. As she rejects his demand for an import permit to import the kryptonite sample, she tells him "You can piss in a jar and call it Granny's Peach Tea". Later, during the Congressional hearing, Finch interrupts her speech when she notices a jar of urine left there by Luthor, with "Granny's Peach Tea" written on it, seconds before the bomb goes off.
  • Bulungi: Lois Lane's first appearance is in the fictional African desert nation of Nairomi. The name is most probably inspired by Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya.
  • California Doubling: Gotham, Metropolis, and what appears to be Washington, D.C. were all filmed in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Call Back: To Man of Steel. Early in that movie, Clark refers to Krypton as "his world". In this movie, he says the same thing about Earth.
  • The Cameo:
    • General Zod's corpse is shown in Luthor's possession.
    • Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash appear in the files Bruce Wayne stole from Lex Luthor and sent to Diana Prince.
    • Real-life figures also have some. The movie features talk show host Charlie Rose and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson as themselves. Long-time Batman fan Senator Patrick Leahy also has this as the latest of his several cameos through the years, the first of which was in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown".
    • Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) returns in a dream sequence where Clark talks to him about what he should do next.
    • Chris Pine as Steve Trevor can be seen in the WWI picture of Wonder Woman, setting up Wonder Woman (2017).
  • Cape Snag: A mook drags Batman to the ground by his cape. It only slows him down for a second.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Both of Superman's antagonists happen to be successful tycoons. They're also depicted as barely-contained madmen who hate what they can't control. There's no mistaking them for just being eccentric.
  • Chair Reveal: This is how Luthor presents Keefe with his new electric wheelchair.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When preparing his Kryptonite weaponry, Batman only had enough to make three gas grenades. He uses two in his fight with Superman, and the last against Doomsday, who is also vulnerable to Kryptonite.
  • The Chessmaster: The plot is Lex's plan to get Superman axed, down to the most minute angle and set up months in advance. He set up his own men in Africa to frame Superman for the innocent casualties there, knowing full well that even if the military puts two and two together, they won't go public with the truth since guess who those weapons were going to be for. All of this, while he's bringing in a massive Kryptonite shipment and freely experimenting on Zod's corpse illegally. He's unable to legally get permission to bring over his Kryptonite shipment as Senator Finch is too smart to buy his rationalization, but that's okay. He plays upon the tragedy of Wallace Keith and the burning, vengeful grudge within Bruce Wayne to drive Wallace to be his unintentional suicide bomber —driving public opinion of Superman down further— and pushing Batman beyond the Rage Breaking Point to decide it's time he made an exception to the "one rule".
  • Chewing the Scenery: Lex Luthor is very hammy and can go on very odd tangents sometimes. Such as when he gave a speech about Greek history and goes on a rant about gods/devils.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: In addition to the glasses, Clark wears loose clothing to hide his muscular build to conceal the fact that he's Superman. When Luthor raps him on the chest, it makes a very distinctive thud.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • As established at the end of Man of Steel, Clark wears glasses and tweed jackets, and has messy hair to contrast Superman's perfectly coiffed hair and the tight suit emphasizing his musculature. In addition Superman has a much more rigid posture, as Clark Kent looks more relaxed. Clark also has a brash, aggressive personality to contrast Superman's gentleness. Superman's mannerisms are also a blatant affectation, as he drops them the moment he is alone with someone who already knows his secret identity, even while still in the suit.
    • Wonder Woman takes the persona of antique dealer Diana Prince to blend into high society, where she meets Bruce Wayne. She's appropriately dressed for the occasion.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Averted this time; "Superman" has been adopted by the general population to refer to Clark Kent's alter ego.
    • Like in Arrow, Anatoli Knyazev is not called KGBeast. Justified, considering that the KGB has long since been disbanded.
    • Diana Prince is only referred to as "Wonder Woman" in the credits.
    • "Doomsday" is never used as a proper name for the creature created from Zod's reanimated body, but rather as a term used by Lex Luthor to describe its intended role of killing Superman.
    • Played with; Batman is only once called such; whenever they feel the need to call the night vigilante something the news and Perry White just call him the "Gotham Bat," except when Perry says, "Nobody cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman."
  • Composite Character:
    • Lex Luthor is actually Alexander Luthor, Jr., a separate character from the comics. He starts off with a full head of hair like Alexander before losing it and more closely resembling the villainous Lex.
    • General Zod's body is transformed into Doomsday. Doomsday's origin in this film - being created by Lex Luthor from a Kryptonian - also brings to mind Bizarro's origin in at least two continuities.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The film has strong influences from The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman.
  • Continuity Nod: The trailer for Suicide Squad reveals the Joker at some point got his hands on a Robin suit and spray painted graffiti all over it to taunt Batman, strongly hinting at the death of Jason Todd at the hands of The Joker in the comic book mythos.
  • Continuity Reboot: Interestingly as part of a crossover rather than a standalone film, this film ignores the history from The Dark Knight Trilogy for Batman, because the Nolan Trilogy is a self-contained, stand-alone story. The Batman of this film is a whole new iteration much closer to Frank Miller's 1980's comic books.
  • Conveniently Empty Building:
    • The news reports of Doomsday in Metropolis, specifically on the Lex Corp tower, mention that it is fortunate most of the population is at home and not at work. This is just moments before a giant energy wave is unleashed that causes significant damage to nearby, lit-up skyscrapers.
    • Played straight with Superman's battle against Batman. The building has been long abandoned and looks like it's about the collapse anyway, and the graffiti on the walls suggests it was The Joker and Harley Quinn's hideout. Batman tries to draw Doomsday's attention to that site, as he has Kryptonite-based weapons left there from his fight with Superman. Wonder Woman criticizes him for luring Doomsday from an uninhabited island in the bay back to the mainland, but Batman mentions that the entire docks are empty.
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, naturally. It seems to be a mix of the Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy and the art deco hot rod from Batman and Batman Returns. It also has more than a passing resemblance to the versions from Beware the Batman and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: It's Batman versus Superman! What else would you expect?
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The movie follows the modern idea of Lex Luthor being one. Here he uses "private security forces" to create incidents that allow him to manipulate politicans, and smuggles materials that he needs to accomplish his Evil Plan. This is in contrast to the "Honest Corporate Executive" in Bruce Wayne and to the land-grab-scheming outlaw portrayals of past movies.
  • Crossover: Between Batman and Superman. However, this is not an Intercontinuity Crossover, as this movie sets up a shared cinematic universe for DC characters.
  • Cramming the Coffin: Inverted. Superman had two funerals, one for Superman which was a widely attended public funeral where he was buried with full military honors, and given a memorial which had a candlelight vigil attended by thousands of mournful citizens. There had been a more private ceremony held for Clark Kent back in Smallville, where the body had actually been buried.
  • Cruel Mercy: Batman doesn't kill criminals, but he brands them with the Bat symbol to let other inmates know that they're responsible for particularly evil crimes. Prisoners mete out their own justice in a lot harsher fashion than Batman.
  • Crushing Handshake: Luthor is surprised by Clark's grip, jokingly telling Bruce not to pick a fight with him.
  • Darker and Edgier: One of the early cuts of the film was rated R by the MPAA, revealed by the studio to be released as a Director's Cut. This would make it the first officially released film featuring either Batman or Superman to be rated R. The rating itself is actually not that unusual as many big films aim for PG-13 and end up being rated R by accident, forcing them to submit a different version.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    Zack Snyder: We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don’t have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?
    • Mercy Graves also doesn't survive to the end of the movie.
  • Death Is Cheap: As in the "Death of Superman" original comic, not even being murdered can kill Superman.
  • Decomposite Character: Jimmy Olsen shows up early on as a CIA mole who is killed. Jenny from Man of Steel returns in this film and continues her role as an underling at the Daily Planet, having more of Jimmy's traditional role than the actual Jimmy.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Like Man Of Steel before it, the film deconstructs concepts glossed over in many comic book movies (such as exploring the consequences of the property damage that occurs in battles, and noting the political instability caused by a Physical God intervening in international affairs) before ultimately proving that even with said problems in mind, the world is much better off with superheroes than it is without them.
  • Deconstruction: Similar to what Lois did in Man of Steel, Lex Luthor is smart enough to follow the chain of clues to figure out Superman was Clark Kent long ago. The smartest man in the world is NOT fooled by Clark Kenting. Neither was he fooled by Bruce Wayne being a Rich Idiot with No Day Job.
    • Batman gets this in regards to how much torment a normal person can handle. After 20 years of crimefighting with no sabbatical, an ever-increasing crime wave and a dead sidekick, Batman has come a long way from the younger and idealistic vigilante audiences are used to.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jimmy Olsen, one of the more well-known supporting characters in the Superman franchise, shows up in a single scene at the beginning. He's tragically executed in front of Lois by Knyazev just minutes after he appears.
  • The Determinator: Batman. You have to be one if you hope to stand a chance against Superman. In a fight against a squad of mercenaries, no matter how clever his gadgets are he slowly starts getting overwhelmed, but that's when he becomes even more dangerous.
  • Didn't Think This Through: All three of the main characters get a moment of this throughout the film.
    • The first comes for Superman, when he arrives at the Senate to speak about the incident in Africa, with witness from Wallace, who lost his legs due the to battle with Zod and had defaced Superman's statue in vengeance just before. Superman was too taken by his own nervousness to do a sweep check for any dangers. Cue Lex's bomb in Wallace's wheelchair going off and killing everyone present besides Superman.
    • The second comes from Lex himself. In accordance with his overall objective he's been deliberately setting up some extreme goading for months for Batman to abandon restraint and resolve to kill Superman...thus does Lex return to Lexcorp, to find his men being pulled into ambulances, his building in ruin and, most importantly, his mass of kryptonite that he worked so hard to get into his hands absconded with. Whoops.
    • Last but not least, the Bat himself. In preparation for the upcoming battle, Batman developed kryponite gas grenades, knowing perfectly well that in a straight-up fight he hasn't a prayer. The problem is, he had nothing to test it on, so he has no clue going in how long it'll last. Cut to midfight after one dosage, and suddenly Batman's fist lands with a harmless "clang". Batman backs up defensively, knowing he just lost his edge and he has no "Plan B" for this.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Lex brings up something he called the "Metahuman Thesis," which is an all-encompassing term for people with superpowers. He's revealed to be keeping files on such people. In the comics "Metahuman" was in reference to humans with a inherent gene that would manifest as superpowers (similar to the X-gene being the root cause of mutants in X-Men and Marvel universe). In the film (and sometimes in the comics as well) it's a general designation for anyone with unusual powers regardless of the origin, as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash are not considered metahumans in that sense in the DCU.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech: Luthor at the library gala starts out with a couple of lame attempts at humor and wanders through some stream-of-consciousness musings. It looks like he's finally on to something when he quotes Herodotos (see Shout Outs, below), but he loses the train and wobbles to a halt.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Batman, courtesy of Superman, in the nightmare sequence.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Superman shouts "Stay down! If I wanted it, you'd be dead already!" to basically beg Batman to stop fighting him.
  • The Dragon: Doomsday is the final obstacle the heroes must overcome before taking down Big Bad Lex Luthor.
  • The Dreaded: Batman is naturally this, but he's apparently something of an Urban Legend in Gotham, keeping out of the public eye while still putting pressure on criminals. Clark describes him as "a one man reign of terror."
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Flash is introduced in a group of computer files that detail various metahumans right before the big climax of the film, but he first appears earlier by using his powers to travel into Bruce Wayne's dreams to cryptically warn him of a key factor in his upcoming battles.
  • Establishing Character Moment: As buildings are being destroyed during Superman's fight in Metropolis, bystanders are running away from the destruction. Bruce Wayne is running directly towards the destruction.
  • Evasive Fight Thread Episode: Averted. The fight goes on for a while, but due to the use of kryptonite, and Superman not unleashing his full strength, Batman has the edge through most of it. Bats wins decisively, and has Superman at his mercy and was going to kill Superman until he was talked out of it. There is no ambiguity about the winner.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: Or a Chrysler in this case. Various Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles are used in backgrounds, while one early scene gives prominence to Bruce's Jeep Renegade, with a special edition model linked to the film.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is far campier and over-the-top in contrast to Batman and Superman.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • The Wayne Enterprises executive in the beginning, who upon realizing that the building he's in is about to be destroyed by Superman's fight with Zod, merely crosses himself and says one last prayer.
    • Superman himself as Batman is about to deliver the coup de grâce with the kryptonite spear. The only thing he asks is not mercy, it's saving Martha (his mother).
  • Fanservice:
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Superman's Senate hearing is picketed by a distinctly Westboro-esque crowd, complete with "God Hates Aliens" signs.
    • Batman's xenophobia towards Superman leads him to momentarily believe that fellow metahuman Wonder Woman is in cahoots with him. This is similar to how some people will automatically assume that people of the same ethnicity must know each other regardless of outside factors.
  • Foil: The differences between the two title characters are emphasized—Superman is a superpowered alien who stands for light and hope (at least in theory), while Batman is a human with no powers who stands for darkness and terror. Lex picks up on this.
    Lex Luthor: Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!
  • Final Battle: Between Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doomsday.
  • Foregone Conclusion: You would certainly think that it would be obvious Batman and Superman will put their differences aside and team up, laying the foundations of the Justice League (as the title implies). However, there's a twist to this. While Batman and Superman team up, Superman ends up dying (if only temporarily, as he's heard regenerating later) in his successful attempt to kill Doomsday, leaving Batman and Wonder Woman to form the team in his absence.
  • Foreshadowing: The nightmare sequence alludes to the presence of a much, much larger threat that will become prominent later on. The Parademons that attack Batman, combined with the presence of a gigantic Omega symbol in front of a destroyed city, signify that Darkseid will come into prominence in the years to come.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The famous cover to Action Comics #1 is recreated as a news photo that momentarily flashes on screen at one point.
  • Freudian Excuse: There's a reason Lex is so inclined to bring his father up in conversation so constantly... His father was abusive, driving Lex to not only despise him, but form some pretty warped opinions about the notion of a god existing. In enters Superman, who challenges Lex's worldview just by being.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Not so much in intensity, but what it represents. When Superman and Lex meet face to face, Lex calls him Clark Joseph Kent, also indicating that he knows who his mother is.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the Battle in the Rain Batman has glowing white eyes thanks to his his armor, and Superman has glowing red ones thanks to his heat vision.
    • Aquaman also has this, seen briefly in his cameo.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: In his cameo, Neil deGrasse Tyson points out that the whole Superman controversy stems from the entire human race suffering from this. After all, they found out that not only do aliens exist, but possess godlike powers and could singlehandedly destroy their entire species if they really wanted to.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Invoked by Batman when justifying his plan to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule and eliminate Superman.
      Bruce: He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. If we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty!
    • Lex believes the same thing in a desperation move to kill Superman, releasing Doomsday.
      "If man won't kill god, the devil will do it!"
  • Guttural Growler: This version of Batman has an added electronic filter making his voice sound deeper.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Senator June Finch summons Superman to a Congressional hearing to decide whether he is a threat or not and to account for the destruction of Metropolis in Man Of Steel, with a legless Wallace Keefe as primary witness. Unfortunately, it's all a trap. Wallace's wheelchair, provided to him by Lex, was stuffed with explosives, and Superman is the only one who makes it out alive.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Superman suffers a brief one after Luthor's bomb goes off in the Capitol, but, par for the course, recovers when it's time to save Lois. In mid-air, no less.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Lex Luthor's foppish personality hides a ruthless businessman who excels at manipulating others.
    • Played for laughs between Bruce and Diana.
      Bruce: I've known a few women like you.
      Diana: No, I don't think you've ever known a woman like me.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Bruce Wayne, a highly philanthropic businessman like always. A former employee, who was crippled in the events of Man of Steel (in fact was rescued by Bruce), goes to the news and becomes a figurehead for anti-Superman legislation. Bruce's first reaction is to wonder why the company hadn't been supporting him. He is told the guy had been returning his checks for months, but they didn't want to bother him with that problem.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: Batman does this on Superman (again), wrapping a cable around his ankle and swinging him around (courtesy of the powered armor and some Kryptonite gas, which temporarily disables Superman).
  • Hypocrite: As Bruce points out it's extremely hypocritical for Clark Kent to be in favor of Metropolis' Destructive Savior Superman and against Gotham's vigilante Batman.
  • Ideal Hero: In contrast to the Classical Anti-Hero take on Superman in Man Of Steel, he has almost completely become this during the Time Skip (although he suffers from some self-doubt and uncertainty), at which point he's saved hundreds of people from around the world. Bruce Wayne even jokes that he probably helps kittens that are stuck in trees in his spare time.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The desert operation was supposed to frame Superman for the deaths, and yet Lex went out of his way to provide his undercover agents with unique ammunition that would easily identify him as (or at least link to) the real perpetrator of the scheme.
    • Mercy Graves notices that Wayne is “lost” in their database room but doesn’t go to check more closely what he was doing there. It could be because Lex was intending to plant the information for Wayne to find, but if that was the case, what was the point of showing Wayne that he got busted while stealing it?
  • I Have Your Wife: Lex compels Superman to fight Batman by holding Martha hostage and threatening to burn her alive if Superman doesn't bring back Batman's head within the hour.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: The police officer Batman encounters starts wildly firing at him. When his partner comes up to investigate, the officer comes within a few inches of blowing off his partner's head off, for which he gets chewed out.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Superman yells at Batman "If I wanted it, you'd be dead already".
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Jimmy Olsen has a tracking device in his camera that is not only brightly blinking, but also beeping loudly, though in fairness it was concealed in a roll of film inside his camera. The tracking device that Batman later in the film fires on the truck that carries the Kryptonite is also blinking and beeping with no such justification, and yet goes ignored by the dozens of people standing around within ten feet of it.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Word of God from Zack Snyder himself is that Batman justifes all the fatal casualties he inflicts onscreen as "I was shooting the car the criminals were in, if the cars blows up and the criminals end up dead, it's not my problem". It shows just how far Batman has fallen in his morals.
  • Insult Backfire: Lex is rather proud that Lois considers him completely insane, as it means his ideas are quite simply "too big for little minds".
  • Intrepid Reporter: Superman uses his Clark Kent persona to look into the story of the Batman while in Gotham City, and the film seems to favor the "aggressive Clark" interpretation following the comic version of Man of Steel. Amy Adams has noted that Lois Lane will carry this trait over from the previous movie, implying she'll effectively be the Justice League's intelligence gatherer.
  • Irony: Perry White tells Clark to stop his crusade against the vigilante in Gotham, because "No one cares about Clark Kent taking on The Batman." This is in a movie called Batman v Superman. Also a bit of Leaning on the Fourth Wall, since the two are one of the most famous Friendly Rivalry in comics.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Superman goes to Mexico to save a girl from a burning building during the Day of the Dead. Many people in the crowd that starts venerating him like a divine savior have calavera makeups on their face.
  • The Jeeves: Alfred Pennyworth, the snarky british butler, is here like always. This one takes a more active role in assisting Batman in crimefighting than the Dark Knight Trilogy's version.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Superman kneels before a smirking Lex Luthor, which makes it the second time in two films that Superman's knelt before the main bad guy.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Kryptonite is discovered among the wreckage of Kryptonian technology scattered after the events of Man of Steel. It's explained as a radioactive isotope that actively harms Kryptonian cells. Before a large chunk is found in the Indian Ocean the most they could find was only good for small surgical tools. In contrast to prior portrayals, small amounts have no effect on him just in proximity, Batman develops Kryptonite laced gas grenades as his best bet at subduing Superman, with a spear as a Finishing Move. This also applies to Doomsday, who is Kryptonian in origin and just as vulnerable to Kryptonite.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Superman and Batman are both superheroes with imposing chins.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The first line in the film's trailer could refer to the audience's divided reactions towards Man of Steel as well as the world's reaction to Superman's appearance.
    "Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?"
  • Leitmotif: While the characters are expected to have them, Batman is an interesting case in that Hans Zimmer, composer of The Dark Knight Trilogy, wants to avoid using any of his material from those movies for this film.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Batman is intent on eliminating Superman out of fear of The End of the World as We Know It if Superman ever has a Face–Heel Turn. Superman wants to force Batman into retirement, as he generally doesn't approve of Batman's methods when it comes to crime fighting. In the end, Bruce can't bring himself to kill a good man, no matter the potential future dangers, and Clark realizes Bruce is not nearly the monster he has made Batman appear to be.
  • Mad Scientist: Luthor gets his hands on General Zod's corpse. He decides to play Doctor Frankenstein and ends up creating Doomsday.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The depiction of Superman and his powers is meticulous. It's shown that Zod's body is in custody of the government and they have a loose understanding of Kryptonian powers and Kryptonite's effect on them. Doomsday, unlike the comics version, dispenses energy pulses and has laser eyes similar to Superman, as a result of being a mutated version of Zod's corpse. Batman, without prior knowledge of how it was made, could see that it is Kryptonian in origin and thus likely vulnerable to Kryptonite just like Superman.
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Averted. Clark Kent and Lois Lane are a couple in this film, and evidently sexually active.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Lex Luthor. Over the course of the film, he manages to manipulate both leading heroes in one way or another, set up an Evil Plan that means he gets his way no matter what, and the one Senator that sees through him ends up being killed in an explosion at a hearing that Luthor orchestrated her into setting up.
  • Mega Corp.: LexCorp, par for the course, is a giant Fortune 500 company engaged in shady weapons deals and in bed with the military.
  • Meta Casting: While still out of left field, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor also had its own internal logic: Eisenberg's most famous role is Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, a self-made 20-something billionaire with an arrogant God complex over his own genius. Many of his other roles follow a similar path, just not as diabolical as Luthor.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The main poster shows Batman and Superman staring down each other.
  • Mission Control: Batman has Alfred monitoring situations from the Batcave, feeding Bruce information on enemy placement and building layouts.
  • The Mole: Jimmy Olsen worked for the CIA.
  • Mommy Issues: Batman has a serious case of this for a 40 year old man who is older than both his parents at the time of their deaths. Just hearing his mother's name, which was his father's Famous Last Words is enough for Batman to snap back from pre-meditated murder.
  • Monumental Damage: The United States Capitol building gets blown up from within. Metropolis takes yet another beating because of Doomsday, but it's not nearly as extensive as from Man of Steel, with the Gotham docks taking the brunt of the damage. The large Superman statue in Metropolis gets defaced by a protester, and later destroyed.
  • Mook Chivalry Averted by the thugs in the warehouse; They have no qualms with rushing Batman from every direction at once with combat knives. Batman can manage just fine anyways.
  • Mook Horror Show: Batman's first appearance is described as being like a horror movie for the criminals he goes after... and the slaves those mooks were trafficking.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Batman has traditionally been a hero who sticks to his rules of never using a gun and never killing anyone in the comics. In this film, he uses a sniper rifle to fire a tracking device, a grenade launcher filled with kryptonite gas, and many Mooks' guns while they're still holding them. However, despite thinking that his fight with Superman is justified, he's directly responsible for ending the lives of around 13 or so Mooks from the machine guns mounted on his Batmobile and Batplane, and the resulting explosions of their vehicles.
  • Motif Merger: Just look at the page image, than look at the trope image. It's is the logo for DC's Superman/Batman series, albeit with more of an influence from the Superman logo from The Golden Age of Comic Books and the Batman logo from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • While the first look at Aquaman's costume is shot partially in black and white, the color scheme for it appears to be one that uses yellow and black instead of orange and green (although if one looks closely it appears his pants have some teal or sea green on them), as it is in the comics. It's justified to some extent in that his costume is partial-body armor rather than a suit.
    • Wonder Woman's outfit is still red and blue, if only much darker and muted.
    • Averted with Superman, whose costume is more colorful than it was in Man of Steel.
    • Batman himself is truly a subversion, as it's the first time the dominant color of a cinematic batsuit (not including the 60's Batman: The Movie) is gray rather than matte black. It IS slightly darker than the traditional black-and-gray costume, but both it and the Powered Armor are nearly identical to his costumes in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Mutual Kill: As in the comics, Superman dies in act of killing Doomsday. It was made into more of a deliberate Heroic Sacrifice as he had to use the Kryptonite spear to do so, which made him vulnerable as well.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Superman seems to be still haunted by the city destroying Final Battle in Man of Steel, of which serves as his motivation to save as many lives as he can.
    • This Batman is haunted by the death of Robin (most likely Jason Todd), whose tattered clothes are preserved in his Batcave. At the end of the film, he also regards Superman's death as another failure, feeling guilty for being manipulated by Luthor.
    Bruce Wayne: "I failed him in life. I will not fail him in death."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Batman's costume and Powered Armor are both inspired by similar suits from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
      • Lines of dialogue are taken directly from it as when Bruce says "The world only makes sense when you force it to,", "We've always been criminals", "It's time you learned what it means to be a man", and when he says "I believe you" when Knyazev promises to torch Martha Kent.
      • Likewise, certain scenes- like Martha Wayne's death and Batman breaking through a wall to take down a mook with a machine gun- are direct homages to the graphic novel.
      • Superman drifting in space lifelessly, after tanking a nuclear explosion, in a near skeletal state is lifted from the similar scene where he diverts a Russian nuke from hitting the US.
      • Batman has a grappling rifle in one scene, referencing him using similar equipment in issue 1.
      • Much like in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman tries to brand Lex Luthor. But purposefully misses as he's gone through some character development.
    • A brief moment in the Comic Con trailer seems to reference the book, as seen here.
    • Set reports claim a small restaurant is named "Ralli's Diner," which was actually featured in a 1987 Superman comic, in which Lex Luthor performed a Kick the Dog moment toward a waitress.
    • Superman is surrounded by a crowd who reach out their hands to touch him is a recreation of a page from Superman: Peace On Earth.
    • The masked troops surrounding Superman bring up Regime Superman from Injustice: Gods Among Us, even donning a Superman emblem on their shoulders.
      • And villainous Superman rips out Batman's heart because he "took Lois from him".
      • In the same sequence, Parademons appear fighting on Superman's side, evocative of Elseworlds' Superman: The Dark Side, in which Superman's rocket is diverted to Apokolips and he grows up as Darkseid's adopted son.
      • It is also an homage to the series finale of Superman: The Animated Series, in which Superman is brainwashed and forced to serve as an agent of Darkseid.
    • Mercy Graves is Race Lifted to Asian, just like she was in The Batman.
    • Batman has a vision of himself wearing a trenchcoat in a dystopian future, mimicking Damian Wayne as future Batman.
    • The Comic Con trailer features a shot of people standing on a roof with the "S" shield painted on it to signal Superman for help. The same method was used in Superman: The Man of Steel #18.
    • In the "Lexical Analysis" interview, Luthor dismisses Batman's intimidation tactics as "cowardly and superstitious".
    • The Flash makes a bizarre cameo in a vision, where he warns Batman of an oncoming threat, referencing Crisis on Infinite Earths.
      • Similarly, Lex Luthor's ranting about an imminent threat resembles his Villainous Breakdown at the end of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies.
    • Batman's Rogues Gallery:
      • Bruce, believing Diana to be an art thief, notes that he's known a few women like that.
      • Batman is on the search for the mysterious entity known as the "White Portuguese", to which Alfred suggests that this "phantasm" may not even be a man, maybe they're a woman for all they know.
      • In the building where Batman nearly killed Superman, one of the graffiti on a large column is a distinct question mark.
      • Bruce asks Alfred that in 20 years, "How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?". He's most likely talking about Two-Face.
      • When Batman gasses Superman with powdered kryptonite, he tells him "That's fear you're breathing". He obviously borrowed that gimmick from Scarecrow.
    • Cyborg's creation camera footage is courtesy of S.T.A.R. Labs.
    • When Bruce assaults the warehouse at the end, the combat sequence is similar to the "Arkham" series of games. In fact, the device he uses to render several mooks' guns inoperative is straight out of Batman: Arkham Knight.
    • Perry mentions that the Daily Planet was built around 1938, the same year when Action Comics #1 was published.
    • Speaking of Action Comics #1, the famous cover depicting Superman lifting a car can be seen recreated as a news photo in a Freeze-Frame Bonus moment (seen in Wallace Keefe's hate-shrine to Superman).
    • The Final Battle against Doomsday naturally ends with The Death of Superman... or so it seems.
    • In one scene, Superman was counseled by the "ghost" of Jonathan Kent, similar to Smallville in season 10.
    • In Post-Crisis, Lex Luthor is initially older than Superman (old enough to be Perry White's childhood friend). Here, it's reversed where Lex appears to be younger than Superman and Batman.
    • Lex mentions his father being an immigrant from Europe. Lex's first appearance has him as the leader of a war-torn European nation.
    • Lex's father being abusive brings to mind Lionel Luthor from Smallville, as well as Superman: Secret Origin and Superman: Birthright.
    • Wayne Manor is shown burned down, as in Kingdom Come and Batman Begins.
    • Zod's body resembles Bizarro. So does Superman, after being struck by a nuclear missile.
    • Third movie where Superman deals with nuclear missiles.
    • Thomas Wayne was about to punch the mugger before being shot. In the Justice League Unlimited episode "For the Man Who Has Everything", and the comic story it was based on, Thomas fights Joe Chill in Bruce's Black Mercy-induced dream.
    • Young Bruce fell into a cave of bats during his parent's funeral, like in Batman Forever.
    • Bruce's first nightmare has a giant monstrous bat, akin to the Man-Bat. As well as the giant bat in a deleted scene of Batman Forever, which was used in the music video of "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2.
    • In the movie theater scene, one of the movie posters shown is the 1940 The Mark of Zorro. This is the movie young Bruce and his parents saw that fateful night in the comics.
    • Doomsday crashed back down to Earth, and landed on Stryker's Island. In the comics, it's also the location of a maximum security prison.
    • Superman takes Doomsday into space during the fight, same as in Superman: Doomsday.
    • A TV interviewer asks Senator Finch "Must there be a Superman?" This was the title of a famous Bronze Age Of Comic Books story which explored similar themes.
    • Batman's Training Montage is intercut with him in a lab experimenting with Kryptonite. In the earliest comic depiction of Batman's origin, he's succinctly depicted in two panels working out with a barbell and next in a lab doing a chemistry experiment.
    • Perry calls Batman "the Goddamn Gotham Bat-thing." Sound familiar?
  • Name's the Same: Invoked. Both Clark and Bruce's mothers are named "Martha". This information ends up being crucial to the end of their fight.
  • Nerves of Steel: After stopping the Batmobile, Superman rips off the car's hood. Batman's response is to calmly stand up from his seat and stare down Superman. Even more ballsy for Batman is that he does this immediately after a car accident and throws the Badass Boast mentioned above.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Superman arriving at Congress to attend a hearing about him. However, they never get a chance to ask Superman anything as a bomb planted by Lex explodes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Despite the fact that Superman seems to have Doomsday well in hand, clearly overpowering him and about to break orbit having only taken a handful of hits, the President decides now would be a great time to nuke them both, nearly killing Superman and sending Doomsday rocketing back to Earth, much more powerful than before.
    • Wonder Woman cuts off Doomsday's hand...which leads to Doomsday growing the bone spike that he uses to impale Superman.
  • Nightmare Sequence: There is a sequence of nightmares throughout the film, the first one being Bruce reliving the night of his parents' murder. A more prominent one (dubbed the "Nightmare" by merchandise) is set in the Middle East, in which he's a fugitive and Superman is a dictator with his own army, reflecting his fears of what Superman could become. Another involves a vision of him meeting a red-masked man in a vortex ominously warning him about something.
  • No Endor Holocaust:
    • One major point of the movie was addressing this trope. The opening sequence retells the destruction from the Battle of Metropolis, making it clear that thousands of people were killed and the world is holding Superman responsible. Throughout the film any deaths even remotely related to Superman's actions cause debate on his accountability. Batman himself is shown killing several bad guys (he does so when they are shooting at him with high powered weapons or threatening innocents). There is some destruction in the climactic fight (Superman is thrown through a skyscraper and Doomsday would emit energy pulses that cause damage to the skyline), but character dialogue, news broadcasts and military reports are clear that any collateral deaths were kept to a minimum.
    • However, the film fails to address the fact that the US government fires a nuke at Doomsday and Superman as they rise to low orbit above Metropolis. Radioactive fallout is apparently not a thing in this universe.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: A major theme of the film is the dangers of and general reaction to Superman's god-like power. Bruce figures he needs to kill Superman because, at the moment, the only thing stopping Superman from killing everyone in the world is moral fiber.
  • No Name Given: Diana is addressed once as "Ms. Prince", but never as Diana or as Wonder Woman.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Wayne Manor is a burnt out ruin, with Bruce and Alfred living in a newer, smaller, more modern house built on the grounds of the estate. How this state of affairs came about is never explained.
    • Long ago in Krypton's history, somebody performed experiments with Kryptonian DNA that resulted in the creation of an Humanoid Abomination like Doomsday. Who this scientist was and what became of that creature is not revealed, only that the High Council forbid any such further experiments.
    • Wonder Woman has apparently fought and killed alien creatures before, but she doesn't elaborate about the specifics. These may have been supernatural creatures, depending on how you read the words "from another world".
  • No Sell: Superman can take everything that comes his way, including the Batmobile at high speeds. During their fight in the rain, Superman is shocked when Batman completely blocks a hit, despite Clark's Super Strength. It is reversed when the effects of the Kryptonite gas wear off. Batman's punches on Superman's face suddenly start hitting the Immovable Object again, until he shoots another gas grenade at Superman.
  • Not Even Human: Invoked by Batman when he's psyching himself up to kill Superman. He later comes to regret this.
    You're not a god. You're not even a man.
  • Not So Different: Twice between Batman and Superman. The first is when Clark Kent condemns Batman's violent vigilantism and Bruce Wayne points out that Superman, too, has been responsible for a great deal of damage. The second is when Superman, about to be killed by Batman, pleads with him to save his mother, Martha, from Lex's goons, which strikes a chord with Bruce, (who is hinted via flashbacks and symbolism to be haunted by Martha Wayne's death even more than Thomas Wayne's). This gets him to snap out of his Unstoppable Rage and stop fighting Superman.
  • Not Quite Flight: By Gal Gadot's own admission, Wonder Woman can "practically fly", and is also able to leap great distances, similar to Superman early on in Man Of Steel.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The film is the direct sequel to Man of Steel, yet Batman gets top billing. Similarly, the title uses "V." instead of "VS.", as director Zack Snyder felt it made the title more distinct.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • The look on Superman's face when Batman effortlessly blocks a punch with his Powered Armor.
    • When Batman finds out the effects of the kryptonite gas on Superman are temporary.
    • As Batman is sitting in his wrecked Batwing and Doomsday is about to fire a heat-vision blast at him, all the Dark Knight can say is "Oh, shit."
    • The look on Luthor's face when he calls up the goon holding Martha hostage...and Batman answers.
    • The look on June Finch's face when she was given "Grandma's Peach Tea" in a jar by Lex, whose seat is vacant.
  • Older and Wiser: Batman is portrayed as being older than he is in most other film adaptations, being seasoned to his job. He even mentions that he's grown older than his father ever was. The Waynes were killed in 1981, which places Bruce in his early 40s. It's eventually subverted, as Batman had grown more cynical and, according to Alfred, more "cruel" in his methods. His conflict with Superman reaches a point where he realizes how far he went, and pulls back when it really matters.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Here, Lex Luthor is younger than both Superman and Batman. He's less weary than they are and more arrogant. It's justified in that he's actually Alexander Luthor Jr.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Scenes from the Superman/Zod battle in Man of Steel are shown from the perspective of Bruce Wayne, where one of his buildings was destroyed. Specifically, it shows Zod's first use of heat vision from the viewpoint of everyone on the street.
  • One-Man Army: Late in the film Batman has to take on a group of mercenaries in a warehouse, and he proceeds to deliver one of the most brutal Batman beatdowns ever depicted.
  • One Steve Limit: An important plot point. Batman starts to empathize with Superman when he learns that the latter's (adoptive) mother shares the same name as his.
  • Only Sane Man: Alfred struggles to convince Bruce that Superman isn't who he should be fighting because he's not a monster and that Bruce himself is becoming "cruel".
  • Our Founder: After being rebuilt, Metropolis has erected a statue of Superman following his victory against Zod during the events of Man of Steel. Some people in Metropolis are outraged about this.
  • Parents as People: Martha Kent admits to Clark that she wanted to keep Clark to herself rather than share a miracle with the rest of the world. She's proud of him, but can't help but feel a little selfish.
  • Perma Stubble: Batman doesn't seem to have much time to shave these days, but it never seems to reach the level of a full beard either.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: After Superman and Doomsday kill each other, Batman gently collects his body and lowers it off the rubble they were standing on to Wonder Woman and Lois below. Lois cradles him in her lap while Batman and Wonder Woman flank them.
  • Powered Armor: Batman sports high tech armor with glowing white eyes in his Battle in the Rain with Superman.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "You're not brave. Men are brave."
  • Precision F-Strike: Batman gives off a dejected "Oh shit" when his jet is shot down and with him still strapped in as Doomsday lines up for another shot.
  • Private Military Contractors: Lex Luthor has PMCs infiltrate a terrorist group in Africa to set up Superman as a scapegoat. They also serve as Luthor's goon squad throughout the rest of the film.
  • Product Placement: Turkish Airlines got a special version of Trailer 1 showing its appearance in the film, with Diana riding one of their planes. (A possible Mythology Gag regarding the Amazons of actual Greek myth, who were said to live in a region which includes modern-day Turkey.) Later, two new TV spots were aired during the 2016 Super Bowl in the form of faux-Turkish Airlines ads for Metropolis and Gotham, with Eisenberg and Affleck appearing in-character.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Superman considers acquiring Batman’s help would be very useful in successfully rescuing his mother. The way he goes about explaining the situation, however, is by aggressively approaching Batman, wasting several sentences’ worth of time on meaningless jabber, and then throwing him through a building. Though Batman already intending to kill him from the start makes him uninterested in listening anyway.
  • Punch Catch:
    • When Batman does it to Superman thanks to a Kryptonite grenade suppressing Supes' strength, cue the Oh Crap! look.
    • Superman later does it to Doomsday.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Used in a different way than normal. As Batman was fighting Superman he had gotten the upper hand via Kryptonite and was laying down some rapid attacks. He repeatedly punches Superman across the face, but as Superman regains his strength the punches deal less and less damage until he is back to No Selling it.
  • Putting on the Reich: The soldiers Batman fights in his Bad Future nightmare wear Stahlhelm-like black helmets.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: On paper, Luthor succeeds in getting Superman killed thanks to Doomsday. However, he ends up in jail as a result, Batman is keeping an eye on him and will work with Wonder Woman on starting the Justice League, Superman is now remembered by everyone as a hero and will probably come back. Finally, his head was shaved bald when he entered prison.
  • Race Lift:
    • Half-Hawaiian Jason Momoa as Aquaman, who is usually portrayed as having White racial characteristics in spite of being an Atlantean.
    • Mercy Graves is played by Japanese actress Tao Okamoto. As a bit of RetCanon, DC reintroduced Mercy as an Asian-American woman in the New 52 Justice League title to reflect this.
  • Ramming Always Works: Batman tries crashing the Batmobile into Superman. It doesn't work.
  • Real Is Brown: The film reuses the desaturated filter of Man of Steel and features multiple night scenes, to give the film a "real world" feel.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Hooray, Superman saved the planet! He also damaged quite a bit of property in the process and was unable to prevent thousands of deaths in spite of his best efforts - and that he is also blamed for much of said death and destruction by those who simply haven't had any experience with a superhero. This understandably causes divisions on Earth of people who believe he's a protector, and others who believe he's a disaster waiting to happen. It's been noted that exploring this trope was Zack Snyder's intention from the start, but he saved it for the sequel in order to keep Man of Steel's focus on the Super Hero Origin.
    • Batman tries to hit a super strong and invulnerable man with the Batmobile, and is thrown like a toy as he bounces off harmlessly. His threats also fall flat when he gets out since Supes just flies away.
    • Superman seeks to help and protect people, promising them he won't kill anyone, but even if people die in incidents that he tries to prevent he is blamed all the same.
    • Batman's meticulous planning and exploitation of Superman's weakness still only barely allows him to overpower Superman. Had the fight gone on much longer (or if Superman had been truly out for blood) Batman would have been soundly beaten.
    • The fight against Doomsday makes it quite clear that in a fight of this nature Batman is completely outclassed, having to spend much of it simply trying to avoid getting blasted by Doomsday's extreme heat vision streams in an effort to find the right time to fire off his last remaining kryptonite grenade. It even extends to Superman, who still isn't the most refined fighter and gets thrown around like a ragdoll. The only one of the three who actually fights Doomsday on relatively equal footing is Wonder Woman, who's been fighting longer than either Batman or Superman have been alive. Even then all she can do is stall the monster and hack off a hand. As Diana said herself, she's killed monsters from other worlds before.
  • Realpolitik: Batman justifies his personal war against Superman as a necessity with this sort of mindset - if there's even the slightest chance Superman can't be trusted, then he presents a great danger to the world.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Senator Finch wants Superman to answer to some authority other than his own. She cares about the people caught in the crossfire whenever Superman acts. She also sees right through Luthor's anti-Kryptonian "deterrent" proposal.
  • Re Cut: A three hour cut, similar to Snyder's Watchmen and Sucker Punch releases, will be coming out on video in addition to the standard version.
  • Retired Badass: Diana mentions to Bruce that her faith in humanity was shaken by WWI and she has been apathetic about aligning with any side ever since. Bruce reaching out to her in friendship and trust gave her the spirit to rejoin the fight.
  • Revision:
    • Bruce Wayne was present in Metropolis when Superman and General Zod fought.
    • You remember how Clark Kent was saved by whales in Man of Steel after saving people from a collapsing oil derrick? Apparently, Aquaman sent them.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Superman can carry and land very heavy objects (like huge pieces of a shuttle, for example) without breaking them.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job:
    • Bruce Wayne, per usual, is this, though he makes up for it by also serving as a philanthropist. He clocks in at night, so to speak. Amusingly, when Clark confronts him as a Daily Planet reporter, Bruce tries to remember if he owns THAT particular paper.
    • Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is officially an "antiques dealer" but mostly appears terribly rich.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Superman starts feeling the weight of helping people but being blamed when his intervention results in the death of others. After the Senate hearing is bombed, he starts second guessing himself as to why he wasn't able to see it coming.
  • Save the Villain: The first person that Doomsday tries to take out is Lex, but Superman intercepts the punch and saves him from certainly getting splattered.
  • Secret Identity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all have civilian identities but Lex Luthor easily figures the first two out and uses the information to be one step ahead of them at all times, while his database on superheroes suggests he's known about Wonder Woman for some time.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Lex talks about someone who "has found us" and rants psychotically in his cell. Bruce says he is going to try and unify the various metahumans so they'll be ready to fight, and a faint heartbeat can be heard echoing from Superman's grave while the dirt around it starts to levitate.
    • The scene of Diana looking through the files on the known metahumans teases the upcoming Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg movies. As Variety put it, in a meta sense, it's basically Diana watching trailers for three upcoming films.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Diana spends two scenes wearing dresses that bare her back. Those scenes are high-society parties so she fits right in.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Once again, when two combatants go up into space, they return to the exact same spot they left (give or take a mile at best) despite one of them being in uncontrollable freefall and having been blown even further away by a nuclear explosion when their parabolic trajectory should have taken them hundreds of miles inland or out into the sea.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Director Zack Snyder is a big fan of John Boorman's King Arthur epic Excalibur, which can be seen alongside The Mark of Zorro at a movie theater during the scene where the Wayne's are shot. note  It also shows (on their tombstone) the year of the Wayne murders to be 1981, which was when Excalibur was released. Later in the film, they had to retrieve the Kryptonite spear from a pool of water. When Superman uses it against Doomsday they both end up impaled, with Superman pushing Doomsday's spike further into himself so that he could drive his spear further into Doomsday, just like Arthur did to Mordred.
    • Luthor alludes to Paul Revere, who is supposed to have said "The Redcoats are coming!" to warn fellow American patriots.note  Luthor instead says "The red capes are coming!"
    • The phrase "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" very briefly appears among the graffiti inside an abandoned building in Gotham. It not only references one of Zack Snyder's earlier films, it also speaks to one of this film's themes, that of "Beware the Superman" (taken very literally in this case).
    • TK-421 can be seen on Lex's prison serial number.
    • In his Disorganized Outline Speech at the gala, Luthor quotes a version of Herodotos's "This is the bitterest pain known to man, to have much knowledge but no power."
    • Luthor verges on Speaks In Shoutouts as the film progresses; he greets Lois Lane with a free-associating "Lo, plain Lo, in the morning! Lola in slacks!" and taunts Superman with "Late, late, said the White Rabbit!"
    • The slogan chalked on Superman's memorial is an English language version of the inscription on St. Paul's Cathedral: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice (" if you seek his monument, look around").
    • The Wizard of Oz :
      • Lex refers to the discovery of Kryptonite in the Indian Ocean as 'Emerald City'
      • At one point, Perry White wonders where Clark keeps disappearing to and whispers to himself, "Clicks his heels three times and goes back to Kansas, I suppose."
      • When Batman meets Lex at the prison near the end of the film, Lex says Superman's death: "Ding dong. The god is dead."
  • Sigil Spam: Much is made of the promotional material showing just the "S" shield and the Bat symbol note .
  • Smug Snake: Part of Affleck's Bruce Wayne Rich Idiot with No Day Job side is the smugness that is practically dripping of him when talking to Clark at Lex's party, such as when he says Clark criticizing Batman is "a little...rich."
  • Stock Scream: Wilhelm's promising career with Lex Corp is cut short when the Batmobile rams his car and send it flying.
  • Super Hero Origin: Batman's parents' Death by Origin Story is covered to some extent, but downplayed in that the movie is not about the origin of Batman himself. He is actually coming out of retirement to face Superman.
  • Superman Stays out of Gotham: Averted, for more than just the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny reasons. In this continuity Gotham is an actual sister city to Metropolis, separated by a bay. It was compared to San Francisco and Oakland, or New York City and Jersey City. That means in all practical sense they are operating in the same metropolitan area from the start. In previous continuities Metropolis and Gotham were either within a few hours drive or even a few hours by plane.
  • Speed Blitz: In the CCTV video of Flash stopping a store robbery, he moves so fast, the milk he had been holding doesn't even hit the floor by the time he returns.
  • Spoiler Title: Averted with the soundtrack name "Tuesday", which is actually Doomsday's theme; though it does make for a clever pun of sorts.
  • Take That, Us: During a montage of public figures talking about how Superman is viewed by the people, film producer Vikram Gandhi suggests that people project a messiah image onto Superman, something the previous film was guilty of.
    • In fact, the only characters who liken Superman to a godly figure either have a low opinion of him (Lex and Wallace) or are deeply religious (the Día de Muertos crowd). It's the characters who know him best that understand even Superman can have moments of doubt.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Bruce Wayne, with an emphasis on tall; at 6'4", Ben Affleck is the tallest actor to play the character.
  • Tattooed Crook: Antanoli Knyasev, the leader of Luthor's goons, has a distinctive bird tattoo on his neck.
  • Team Title: The "Justice" in the title refers to the Justice League.
  • Technical Pacifist: Batman avoids killing when possible, but is not adverse to death. His "Branding" of specific criminals is mentioned to be a "death sentence" while in prison, as the other criminals will shank them for being especially heinous. He kills a few mooks over the course of the film, but it's generally portrayed as him returning fire on enemies wielding high powered guns and prioritizing civilians. In his view, it is not his fault if a mook gets blown up with his own grenade.
  • Technological Pacifist: Side-material references Bruce Wayne's traditional reluctance to accept military contracts for his company. Funny how he's still spent nine figures on a prototype plane and exoskeleton tech, neither of which have materialised...
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Superman disappears for a short time after the Senate Hearing bombing, trying to reassess his place in the world.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Lex Luthor finds the information needed to create a Kryptonian abomination. The Council of Krypton specifically outlawed the creation of abominations because of how horribly dangerous they are, but since Krypton and its people have been annihilated, nothing can stop Luthor from creating Doomsday.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The sheer fear in Batman's demeanor could only be this when the effects of the Kryptonite gas wear off far earlier than he really needed them to.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill:
    • Word of God says after the trauma he experienced when General Zod forced his hand, Superman vowed to find another way from that point on.
    • Batman, on the other hand, is more complicated. He won't directly kill Mooks, but he'll shoot the truck they're on, throw them at grenades, brand them, guaranteeing that they'll be killed in prison, and if you're a lucky criminal who he doesn't kill, he'll still maim you.
  • Throat Light: Doomsday while charging his heat vision; the way it fires makes it look like it's coming out of his mouth as well.
  • Time Skip: Two years have passed since Man of Steel, with Superman serving as a hero to people around the world, although his presence isn't completely welcome in spite of his altruistic deeds.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: The section of Metropolis that was completely flattened was able to be rebuilt in two years, with part of the area restored as a public park and the crashed Scout Ship being repurposed into a laboratory. There is some evidence of reconstruction still going on in other shots of the location.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In-Universe, Batman himself. When he begins branding the criminals he catches, Alfred wastes no time in pointing out to Bruce that he's gotten worse ever since Metropolis, and he's begun to become outright cruel beyond vengeful. This is thankfully reverted by the film's end, when Batman has Luthor cornered in his cell and refuses to mark him with the brand even after Superman's death.
  • Tragic Keepsake: At Clark's funeral, Martha Kent gives Lois a package that Clark had previously sent to Smallville, hoping to surprise her. The package contains a diamond solitaire engagement ring. Lois is seen wearing the ring at the very end of the movie.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer reveals that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will come together against Doomsday. It also appears to reveal that Doomsday is created somehow by Lex Luthor in an attempt to kill Superman when Batman won't do it, using Dru-Zod's corpse in order to create the monstrosity. In spite of this, Zack Snyder has stated that even with these reveals advertised, there's ultimately a lot that hasn't been shown.
  • Troll: Many of Lex's actions and words become this when it's revealed that he knows exactly who each of the heroes really are, and he has for quite a while now. His poking at Clark's grip, mentioning "you do not want to pick a fight with this person"? It was him getting his jollies at how entirely unaware both men were that this was exactly what he was going to do to them.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • The regular and Powered Armor Batsuits look almost identical to those in the comics. The regular suit in particular is textured fabric instead of the molded PVC / rubber suits from Tim Burton's, Joel Schumacher's and Chris Nolan's Batfilms.
    • Previous Batman movies didn't really focus on how expansive Batman's Rogues Gallery could be, with him fighting at most a couple per movie and just moving on (with most dying in the end). This film picks up with him already having a long career as a crimefighter, having dealt with a lot of enemies over the years and put them behind bars. Suicide Squad is made up primarily of former Batman foes.
    • Batman's fighting style can be accurately described as a live-action adaptation of how his fights are drawn in the comics. Previous films have either grounded his fighting style or relied on special effects methods that made it look staged—both of which restricted the kind of speed, range, and ferocity the comics tend to go for. Superman is similar, where he is depicted as quite invulnerable to extreme damage and his fights are powerful brawls, whereas prior depictions relied a lot more on Coconut Superpowers and some degree of obvious Wire Fu.
    • This version of Lex Luthor has more familiar aspects to the comics character (especially The '80s reboot): from the way he manipulates corporations and politicians to his disregard of traditional societal morals, him personally engaging in Mad Science (versus letting others handle it) and his misotheistic beliefs. It can also be noted that the original character HAD thick red hair in the comics before his iconic Bald of Evil.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Batman and Superman, two of the most iconic superheroes in the history of forever, finally meeting on the silver screen.
  • Unexpected Character: In the nightmare, Parademons are shown, and Darkseid's presence is strongly hinted at with the giant Omega symbol.
  • The Unmasqued World: Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman reveal that individuals with unusual powers have existed previously, but that Superman made it okay to be more open about it. This film addresses the topic directly as part of the plot. Superman is called in for Senate hearings about the destruction in Metropolis, with everyone taking sides on if they should hold him responsible and HOW do they hold him responsible. In a scene laced with irony, Clark and Bruce debate the merits of Superman and Batman, with Bruce remarking that condemning "the bat vigilante" for fighting crime while praising a godlike alien for the doing the same thing is hypocritical.
  • Versus Title: What do you think the "V" in the title stands for?
  • Villainous Breakdown: Luthor drops the smug act when he finds out that Superman and Batman refuse to kill each other. Cue the back-up plan.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Bruce, Alfred, Lois and Perry White wear this at various moments in the movie.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Aquaman has a bit of armor on and a strap around his chest, but most of his upper body is exposed.
  • War Memorial: The Battle of Metropolis site is given a memorial with the names of the victims on numerous stone tablets erected behind a large monument of Superman.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Deconstructed with Batman, there is no assumption that he can do anything physical to Superman without the aid of Kryptonite. All his preparations and combat experience does not close the gap. But in the climax he proves just barely able to outmaneuver Doomsday (no easy feat) via grappling hook and smoke bomb, and expertly timed his last Kryptonite gas grenade to help defeat Doomsday.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When Bruce is digging through his freshly-decrypted files from Lex's database, sees a file on metahumans, and opens it... to find a picture of Wonder Woman. During World War I.
    • This is later one-upped when he sends the data to the lady herself, and Diana digs deeper. Cue wham after wham of video footage, featuring the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman...behind closed doors. Lex Luthor knows who every one of them is before the Justice League has even been conceptualized.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Batman has convinced himself that Superman must be killed because he is not human, alternating between calling him an alien, monster or animal. What convinces him to not make the fatal strike is learning that Superman has a mother, one who is in trouble, and the "alien" is humanized instantly.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: A Justified Trope, according to supplementary material. Bruce and Alfred build everything in Batman's arsenal by themselves by means of using the Wayne fortune.
  • Willfully Weak: Early in their fight Superman is clearly using kid gloves against Batman, hoping he'll wear himself out. Seeing as Batman is wearing Powered Armor that lets him take more punishment than a normal person, that still involves being thrown through walls and crashing through the Batsignal. In one specific instance, Superman reaches out as if putting his hand on Batman's chest and knocks him back 50 feet. To cap it off, Superman uses If I Wanted You Dead...
  • Wolverine Publicity: Batman's name gets placed before Superman in the title despite it being a sequel to Man of Steel, the film opens with his origins, and with Superman dead, he is set up as The Leader and founder of the Justice League, roles traditionally belonging to Superman in comics and other adaptations.
  • Working the Same Case: Bruce and Diana both go after Lex Luthor for what at first seem like unrelated reasons, but that turns out to be different aspects of Luthor's grand anti-metahuman plans.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: At Clark's funeral in Smallville, Bruce has a conversation with Diana about how badly he screwed up, and wants to change things and do better. He talks of bringing together the other metahumans and Diana says they don't want to be found, explaining that she gave up on humanity a long time ago. Bruce asserts that "Men are still good." and they can do better.
  • Wretched Hive: Gotham is shown to have the aesthetic of America in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and its reputation for being a center for crime is felt even on a good day. Perry White even remarks that to say that Gotham has crime is to say that water is wet. It's also right across the bay from Metropolis, and apparently has traditionally been downtrodden in comparison to its sister city, sort of like Jersey City to New York, or Oakland to San Francisco.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Lex Luthor sets up the "gladiator fight" with a mind to benefit from as many outcomes as possible. If Batman prevails, it all worked out; Superman is proven not to be "all powerful". If Superman wins, Lex gets payback on the Bat and ensures he won't be meddling any further, and Superman now has blood on his hands; no longer "all good". Even beyond that, Batman's bought him time to unleash Doomsday.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Luthor makes some last-minute adjustments to his plan towards the end, as he didn't plan on Batman's Roaring Rampage of Revenge including laying waste to Lexcorp and taking off with the Kryptonite, but even this gets worked into the overall scheme. He knows there's only one reason Batman would take the Kryptonite, after all, so he sends Superman against him.
  • You're Insane!: Lois confronts Lex Luthor at one point, calling him "psychotic".
    Lois: You're psychotic!
  • Zorro Mark: A criminal is captured and chained up, a scarred imprint on his shoulder is shown resembling a bat. It's mentioned such marks are reserved by Batman for rapists and pedophiles, and can be considered a death sentence for those given them.note 

Alternative Title(s): Batman VS Superman

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice