Make no mistake: Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a bad movie by any objective measure.
But in a movie where people make speeches at each other rather than talk and where even the great Holly Hunter is given little to do, there are two standout characters.
One is Wonder Woman. I’m sure you’ve heard about her.
The other is Lois Lane.
Yes, Lois. More than that, Lois and Clark’s relationship is the key to the only parts of the movie that work.
I’ve heard the complaints: Lois gets rescued. A lot. She takes unnecessary risks. All this is true. But she’s also the most proactive and intelligent character in the movie.
The opening sequence features Lois doing her job, interviewing a warlord. Things go sour immediately. For some inexplicable reason, the movie decides that an unnamed Jimmy Olsen should be a CIA plant and executed. After everyone calms down, Lois begins her interview, only to have a massacre break out outside the encampment.
It’s later revealed that the entire thing was a setup. Not by the warlord, but by Lex Luthor, in an attempt to force Superman to interfere with world events. Lex counted on Superman saving Lois (or maybe being too late to save her) in order to prove to the world how dangerous Superman is.
It’s a rough setup for Lois’ character—needing to be rescued right off the bat— except that she’s determined to find out why it all went sour. People died, she was there, she must uncover the truth. Part of it is guilt, and Clark helps her work through that, but part of it is her driving need to get the real story, not what’s been spoon fed to her.
No one else is concerned with that. Batman is (supposedly the world’s greatest detective) is too busy growling at Alfred and building a Kryptonite spear to care. Superman, unfortunately, doesn’t share Lois’ concerns and is instead obsessed with stopping an out-of-control Batman. (Given that Batman is basically okay with branding folks and seeing them killed, Clark kinda has a point.)
It’s Lois who sees the big picture and investigates. She tracks down a clue in the form of a bullet to her sources in Washington. And it’s Lois who informs Clark that someone seems to be setting him up.
Clark trusts Lois so much that he listens when she says to give her time to sort out what’s going on. Unfortunately, Luthor kidnaps her before that happens. (Though this also proves her suspicions that he was the mastermind.)
This kidnapping isn’t a result of Lois taking unnecessary risks or Lois being too stupid to live but simply because she’s known to be a Superman magnet.
Still, while Lex has her captive, Lois still does her job, confronting him with the truth, up to the point where he tosses her off the roof.
(Aside: in a movie with so few good moments, this nod to the original Superman movie, where Superman catches Lois is a nice one.)
Lois isn’t done yet.
Superman is forced to confront Batman by Lex because Lex holds Martha Kent hostage. While the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel pound on each other, Lois is in action again, determined to save Clark’s life. She then jumps between these two goliaths to stop the fight and save Batman from killing Clark. Her presence stops Batman momentarily.
Her words about how Clark’s mother is a hostage stops the fight permanently.
(Yes, it’s silly that Batman stops because he hears the name ‘Martha’ and thinks of his mother but I prefer to think that Lois—a normal human on the right side—jarred him out of his over-the-top anger. The reminder of his mother and completed the deal.)
Lois also deduces that the Kryptonite spear is the way to defeat Doomsday (followed by yet another sequence where she’s rescued that’s horribly written) but the point is that Lois is always ready to risk her life for the truth, and especially ready to risk her life for the one she loves.
Sure, without Superman, Lois would be dead. But without Lois, Superman would be dead.
In a movie filled with ridiculous moments, including a nude scene in a tub that could have just been a tender scene with clothes, Lois comes across as the most intelligent and most dedicated hero. And, in the end, it’s her love that saves the day.
Now if we just had a movie worthy of this character and this relationship.
Corrina Lawson, blogger