Of the many problems that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had the one that unphased me was the idea that Batman killed. The Dark Knight has been portrayed in the comics and animated series as a person who doesn’t kill, in fact at times he refuses to do so. Though there are some times where you can argue that he killed characters indirectly.
But when it comes to Batman (Ben Affleck) in Dawn of Justice, the Dark Knight seemed to have killed criminals with no restraint. This did not sit well with some fans, and director Zack Snyder made a few arguments that showed when and where Batman has killed in media. Now there is a new video that shows how many people Batman killed in the movie. So place your bets, and guess what the number is before checking out the video below.
The video comes to us from Mr. Sunday Movies. However, some of these kills can be questionable as you can see in the early portion of it, some of it may just be seriously injured criminals that scurry around Gotham City. Although when it comes to exploding cars that roll and tumble, it is pretty safe to say that no one is walking out of that alive. But the video does lay out some guidelines as to how he determined who lives and who dies, which you can see in the video description.
But that isn’t what makes this video so interesting. What makes this video work, at least on some level, is the fact that the video uses clips from The Dark Knight, where characters are watching the TV viewing just how many people Batman have killed. So to see Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) watch in horror as Batman is shooting a gun – again, another Zack Snyder decision that has Batman straying away from his ideals, at least in film. And then there is the Knightmare, which one could argue doesn’t mean he really did kill people if it wasn’t on the physical plane. The video actually makes note of that, by subtracting from the kill count at the end of the Knightmare sequence, which Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) just so happens to be watching.
For what it is worth, Superman was responsible for a lot more deaths of innocent people as opposed Batman where he is outright hunting criminals. And while killing and the use of guns may have been a bit disturbing to see from someone like The Dark Knight, it wasn’t really that much of a problem as much as the narrative issues. Remember, Snyder wanted to portray Batman as an aged and very experienced superhero who has been at the game for quite some time. Obviously, ideals will have to change as does the criminal mind as time passes. Feeling like nothing he does will have an impact, Batman has to abandon his ideals of mercy and show that he will no longer tolerate criminal activity.
Creative changes come with any adaptation, and of course, they are subject to controversy. So while some may welcome a Batman that is willing to kill and use guns, some are not. But I think most would agree that Affleck’s Batman was one of the things that saved Dawn of Justice from being a complete failure.