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Mar 23, 2016
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Director Zack Snyder’s much awaited battle of the big guns movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, is the ultimate geek fantasy—two caped icons in an epic showdown to the death. But before the flick hits theaters this March 26, it might be in your best interest to get reacquainted with some elements that’ll help you better understand why these crusaders of justice are at each other’s throats. Before you choose a side, here is a quick cheat sheet to guide you through all the high-octane brawling.

Wonder Woman’s Appearance

The ultra-smokin’ Gal Gadot does not have a huge role in all of this superhero madness, but she does shine bright in the little screen time she’s accorded. As Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, Amazon goddess/badass warrior, the Fast and the Furious alum will be lending a hand to Bats and Supes as they try and control the havoc that Lex Luthor’s Doomsday brings.

Sticking to the Source Material      

The film is inspired by Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns, but Snyder has taken a lot of liberties together with screenwriters Chris Terrio and David Goyer. In the comic, Superman actually works for the United States and this is the reason Batman sees him as merely a government pawn. The film is different in the sense that in this version (or in this cinematic universe), political leaders do not support Superman and a sly senator is actually out to stop Superman from bending international laws in the name of heroism.

The movie also introduces a millennial version of Lex Luthor as the catalyst that pits the two heroes against one another.  

Superman’s Dilemma

In this film, Clark Kent is faced with this question: Should he continue to play savior for a world that can barely understand his godlike abilities or succumb to the pressures of the government to keep him within the confines of the law? When you’re an alien with deity-like powers, conforming to the rules of man can be challenging when you feel like you have a higher calling. They are the troubles of a golden boy. Suppressing one’s old school Americana sensibilities to exist in a world that does not want (but desperately needs) a beacon of hope—the very antithesis of his rival in the film.

Batman’s Agenda

In the movie, Batman and the rest of the planet are first introduced to Superman after the events that transpired at the end of 2013’s Man of Steel, where he fights the evil Kryptonian General Zod. The collateral damage of this throwdown: Metropolis City. You'll see in the movie why Batman isn't very pleased with this development.

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And can you blame the brooding Bat? The damage that Supes does means that people's lives are lost—which, as many of you already know, is a no-no in Bat's playbook. He too has lost loved ones before.

So is this a Man of Steel sequel?

Yes and no. If it were intended to be a follow-up to Snyder’s Man of Steel, the only thread connecting the two films is the fact that Clark Kent and Lois Lane are still in it. The movie might be perceived as a precursor to a possible Justice League movie, whose cast has already been announced and has been generating its own autonomous buzz online.

With much of the focus being on Bruce Wayne, it might even be confused for being a standalone Batman film. Whatever audiences choose to categorize it under, it’s the clear kickoff for the next few versus-themed superhero films that are about to invade theaters.

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