Eric Cloutier’s review published on Letterboxd:
“The women in the village heard a noise, like the sky cracked open. He came down, then came fire. Even worse came after, the government attacked. No mercy in the villages. My parents tried to run.”
“The world has been so caught up with what Superman can do, that no one has asked what he should do.”
Above is an example of the fear permeating Batman v Superman, though written by Lex Luthor as part of his Holy War against Superman it remains fitting: the Senator reacts as she would, condemning Superman; it antagonizes Bruce Wayne further on his Holy War; it comes from a real place of fear within Lex Luthor; it comes from a real place of doubt within Clark Kent, a Living God (belonging to none yet all religions) as far as this film is concerned.
Belonging to none yet all religions is achieved thru the 2nd dream sequence (Batman in the New Desert) & the cavalcade of pundit barrages following a favorite sequence of mine: Superman saving the Mexican woman from the burning building. The many-religions is shown by how he is revered in saving the Mexican woman, & then forcefully reinforced thru “90% of people believe in a higher power & every religion believes in some sort of Messianic figure… this is a paradigm shift. We have to start thinking beyond politics”, “every act is a political act”, “human beings have a horrible track record of following people with great power down paths that led to great human atrocities”.
To understand Batman we have to understand his Undying rage, spurred to new heights by the destruction of Metropolis via General Zod, accounted for as “that son of a bitch [Superman] brought the war to us”. We can glean that Bruce Wayne’s driving psychological force is fear, & now an Undying constructed supplement: anger. Anger for the way his parents were stolen from him; anger for the advent of a new God/Devil (both are Superman); anger for the way his ‘bat vigilante’ is still treated, if only because Superman can use the Daylight; anger because he’s been lied to, because we’ve all been lied to: by the bats that ‘ascended’ us, our parents, our governments, our politicians, our world leaders who would rather genuflect to an Alien than ask him what he wants.
Finally, Bruce Wayne/Batman/The World’s Greatest Detective has his view of Superman obstructed by gathering smoke as mankind’s introduction to the Superman concludes. A leitmotif in this film is Wayne’s obstruction, his obfuscation from the Truth: Superman is as weary as you, Bruce; he’s far closer to invincibility, but, as we learned in Man of Steel, his reality is the same of so many others raised in this country after 9/11, & he's been doing his ‘Superman thing’ unaided & without rest for 2 years.
Let's talk about how this film could only ever exist in a USA in the 2kTeens, including the dysphoria of the world inherent in the government response to 9/11 & the 2k08 recession. Fear, anger, doubt, & Gods. Government oversight & rulings in proceedings beyond their capability to Control. Ruling, therefore acting, on Principle, no matter the cost, the stakes, the detriment. Acting as Judge, Jury, & Executioner as part of the Holy War.