Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight appears to be losing the battle hard against Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel in this new footage from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But what this clip from the March 25 movie doesn’t show you is that a little bit of rope-a-dope is going on.

That was the fighting style made famous by Muhammad Ali against George Foreman during the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. Ali leaned back on the ropes and shielded himself while Foreman thundered away, blow after blow, while the elastic ropes absorbed most of the shock from his hits. Then, with Foreman exhausted, Ali moved in for the knockout.

You can see some disorientation taking hold already. Superman is lightning fast and has X-ray vision, but he doesn’t think much of this Batman fellow’s fighting style — so when a mere smoke bomb is thrown, he’s in no hurry. Superman assumes he has his opponent beat already. Smoke pellet? Bwa-ha-ha! And believe it or not, Batman is carefully nursing that overconfidence.

He knows what Superman is capable of, but Superman assumes he’s a chump. So at the end, when Batman fires that projectile at him, he simply grabs it. You can read the half-annoyed, half-amused look in Cavill’s face: This is nothing to him.

Some fans may be distressed to see Batman using a gun, but here’s something they should consider: Maybe that’s not a gun.

Sure, it works like a gun, but come on. Batman knows Superman is bulletproof. He’s not trying to shoot the guy. Not only does he know Superman can catch that “bullet,” he’s counting on it.

You’ll see.

Don’t underestimate Batman — unless you want to end up on your back.

For more DC Films news, follow @Breznican. Think this is wrong? What do you suppose is going on in this clip?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Movie
  • 151 minutes