Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016, Warner Brothers, Snyder)

The year is 2016.  The place: America.  It’s a dark time for everyone.

Eight years after the apocalyptic battle between the extraterrestrial Democratic National Party scarred the nation and killed off its biggest leader, Bill (whose famous command, “Kneel Before Bill,” tended to drop even the mightiest of interns to their knees), President Obeezy has become a controversial figure.  He is hailed on one hand as the savior of mankind, ushering in an age by which those of his political affiliation need no longer fear the vestiges of evil and degeneracy characterized by their previous face, yet vilified by others as a divisive fascist whose power knows no significant boundaries.  In his off-time, he philanders with news outlets and celebrities, “investigates wrongdoing”, and has committed himself to a deep, romantic involvement with Media Matters.

Billionaire Oneper Center blames the President for carving traumatic wounds into the national fabric and exacerbating social tensions with his foul economic policies.  But at the same time, in the shadows, Oneper has masqueraded as the mysterious GOP, bringing his unique form of ‘justice’ to black market smuggling operations with a vigilante brutality matched only by his taste for the theatrical.  This has sparked Obeezy’s attention—the law, as he sees it, is an extension of his moral code, a weaponized form of rightness he alone presides over and chooses to enforce at will; there is no place in this system for some renegade GOP to go about assaulting do-baders.

Meanwhile, the slimy head of BigCorp, Flex Junior, has also come to disdain the President—the regulations he’s passed have only helped his competitors and the regulations he’s proposed could mean an end to what free reign he has left on the marketplace.  His best hope is to secure the weapons of eight years ago—the cadavers of the old Left—and their machinery in order to create a politogenic weapon.  All while he invests the resources to exhume the founding documents from the deep recesses of the Washington Deep.  Flex is a young man, an inheritor of the company he runs; a man of action more than of principle, an investor and job-creator; most importantly, one who considers the GodKing religiosity of the President’s image to be a little hard to swallow.  He is a man secularly opportunist in tooth and claw.

At a BigCorp fundraiser, Oneper Center happens to run into Obeezy—not the Presidential type, mind you, the one normally seen flying from country to country apologizing for things he hasn’t done while ordering drone strikes on women and children—but rather, just Obeezy, the President’s alter-ego.  A few quips here and there—“the GOP is a bit out of control, wouldn’t you say?” “The White House’s idolization of tyrants doesn’t give you much room to talk, my friend,” etc.—leads to Flex Junior’s arrogant intrusion: “MMMMmm, I just love bringing people together!”  And so the corporate goon stalks off to give a speech about putting money into politics, conveniently letting Oneper snoop around his facilities while Obeezy, using Presidential Powers, snoops on his every action before zipping out to give a photo op in front of some lower-class welfare recipients.  Oneper has barely enough time to get some information regarding what he believes to be bribing and industrial espionage before a mysterious woman thieves it from him!

He tracks her down and finds out that this mysterious woman is, in fact, Hillary Clinton!  She returns the stolen tapes and, while decoding them, he receives a bleak vision of an even bleaker future: Obeezy’s tyrannical domination over a desolated planet reigns supreme, all because—in his own words, she was my world.  What could it mean?  Oneper Center wakes up to receive another message, this time from a time-travelling Marco Rubio of undisclosed origin: Media Matters!  She’s the key!  You were right all along, Oneper!

Naturally, with no way of understanding what any of this means, Oneper continues to the business at hand: reading the now-decrypted tapes.  Turns out, they’re just profiles of some upcoming presidential candidates that BigCorp has been keeping tabs on:  Senator Bernie Sanders, a confused medical patient whose accidental exposure to social media technology turned him into a second-rate superhero with grandiose aspirations propelling him toward the White House; former Governor Jeb Bush, a quiet merman whose frequently disastrous interaction with the media led to his eventual seclusion in an undersea cave prior to election season; Senator Marco Rubio, whose speedy ascent to senatorial position and seeming altruism led to numerous accolades, such as Best Dimestore Robbery Thwarter of 2013; and lastly, Hillary Clinton herself, revealing incriminating, publically-available photographs of her involvement in the Libyan and Syrian conflicts.

In addition, somewhat unimportantly, the GOP discovers BigCorp’s plans regarding the exhumation of the Constitution.  He leaps into action, driving the most expensive military-grade vehicle he could get his hands on (from his private garage) and pursues justice, hoping to grab the vital founding document from these paid-off henchmen before it fell into Junior’s hands.  Unfortunately, just before he could succeed, President Obeezy, decked out in full official regalia, intervenes and says to the caped GOP, “cut it out, you’re being mean, and to be quite honest, I don’t really know what’s going on but just stop, okay?”

Obeezy makes it back to the Capitol building just in time for congress to think about the complete castration of their legislative authority and begin asking questions, when suddenly, a disabled white man turns out to have a bomb in his wheelchair and, as you can imagine, all hell breaks loose.  People die, Obeezy is blamed, and parallels to 9/11 truther theorists begin circulating—all while, unnoticed, the GOP ignores Obeezy’s warnings and goes right ahead to steal the constitution anyway.  Off-screen, of course.

In response to public ridicule, Obeezy goes to play a few dozen games of golf before flying “home” to his only surviving parent: the Chicago Machine.  She tells him that he doesn’t owe the country a damn thing.

At long last, the GOP finally has the equipment needed to take on the President head-to-head.  Enough Federalist-educated Tea Party hot air to slow him down, a fancy power-suit made up of bureaucratic red tape, and a spear forged from dissenting opinions from columnists and tipped with a razor-sharp fitting of constitutional authority.

BigCorp has set the stage for their finale already, however.  In secret, he has kidnapped the Chicago Machine, and in addition, just to get the big guy’s attention, BigCorp kidnaps Media Matters and throws her off a really tall building!  President Obeezy, in full Nuclear Codes mode, arrives to confront Flex Junior.  “Be grateful I don’t completely dismember you personally; instead I will settle for utterly dismantling your company and forcing you to your knees in some jailhouse someplace,” the President barks, channeling his inner Wilsonian bloodlust.  But—

“Not so fast,” Junior exclaims.  “Throw me in jail, kill me, whatever, and you’ll never find out how to win back your precious Chicago Machine so your party can continue to sweep the next elections.”

“Blackmail?”  The President seethed.

“Blackmail?  Oh, you silly government types.  Call it by what it is,” Junior laughs, “bribery.”

And so, the titular fight commences.  Knowing that he’ll need the GOP’s help to defeat the greedy corporate types, he initially approaches Oneper Center with the intention of explaining the situation.  That soon backfires and both quickly succumb to their dialectical bloodlust.  Blow after blow is exchanged.  Brows are bloodied.  Bones are broken.  Dignity is thrown to the gutter to rot.

At last, poised over the tyrannical President, the GOP readies the strike of impeachment, only for Media Matters to run in at the last second.  “No,” she screams.  Cradling the broken President in her arms, she repeats the hoarse words that Obeezy has desperately tried to say.  “Think of the Establishment, GOP.  That’s what’s at stake!”

The Establishment.  Of course.

Shocked, the GOP comes to his senses and drops the spear.  They had to work together.  Unfortunately, just as this dawning realization hits, a grotesque mockery has appeared at their doorstep—Donald Trump, an indomitable behemoth grown deep in the labs of cultural depravity that BigCorp gained access to.  It was a bulging monstrosity, a new form of fascistic creature birthed from the relics of the past and excelled by the social machinery of the present day.

They split up.  The GOP will swoop in to save the hostage Establishment while Obeezy’s administration will try to fight the rising tide of enmity that has been made flesh and bone in the Donald.  Where the GOP meets success, saving the prized machine from the flamethrowers and torture implements of some enraged libertarian grassroots candidates, Obeezy’s efforts are slightly less of a triumph: falling from near-orbit altitudes after being nuked by a couple scandals.  The Donald’s return has only metamorphosed him into an even more impregnable evil.  No one could stop him now.

But Hillary Clinton steps up to the plate!  Clad in the colors of the American Flag (complete with some gold trimming)—“Is she with you?” Obeezy asks Oneper Center.

“I thought she was with you,” the GOP replies.

And so they fight the Donald.  He’s impervious to everything.  No matter what they hit him with, it only makes him stronger.  Surely, this will do the trick; there’s no way he could survive that; oh my god, his power just keeps growing!

Media Matters and the GOP quickly come to the same conclusion: only the anti-tyrant spear can kill the Donald.  Infused with the spirit of federalism and the weight of the Founding Fathers’ dying breaths, the spear characterized all that was good in the American system.  Clearly, it was their last best hope.  After a long sequence wrought with drama, Obeezy succeeds in retrieving the spear from the murky depths of an industrial puddle, where Media Matters had thrown it in an attempt to make sure no crazy right-winger got their hands on it again.  The irony that Obeezy, forced to endure a nearly insurmountable allergic reaction, would have to heft this spear in order to preserve the future of his party and the continuation of the country as a political construct, was not lost on her.  It takes a fascist to kill another fascist, it seems.

And so they won.  And, being that it does take a fascist to kill off another fascist, the Donald goes down with Obeezy impaled like Mordred and Arthur on the barren battlefield of their own making.  The Establishment is saved.  Hillary and Oneper Center stand strong among the rubble.  BigCorp is suspended and Junior sent to jail.  Just before the credits, Oneper Center confides to Hillary that he plans on forming a cabal, a Justice League, but of course, that’s just more empty political posturing… at least, until the next installment….

Upon further reflection, it is clear to me that LexCorp and Lex Luthor (Flex Junior) both represent aspects of social media and the anonymous internet ‘collective’ (whatever that means), rather than big corporations of any particular sort.  Eventually I’ll write an analysis of the movie with that in mind.  Don’t hold your breath.

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