Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★½

I return to this quite a lot. I appreciate the Ultimate Edition more upon rewatches, but not quite as much as Man of Steel. I will defend this film because the hate that it gets is ridiculous and unwarranted. Nevertheless, there are a few things in the film that I would like to have gone differently.

The opening sequence of Bruce Wayne's dream shows us the childhood trauma of losing his parents, the funeral, his fall into the bat cave and symbolic rise as Batman. As important as these things might be to the character, as they are fairly synonymous with most recent iterations of Batman, they don't get across how his mental state significantly differs in this version. I would have liked to have seen some dream-like visualisation of some of his more recent trauma, such as Robin's demise. This could have alerted the audience to the darker path this Batman has taken, from the outset of the film, with the subsequent Metropolis destruction scene then pushing him to breaking point.

Lex Luthor's plan certainly was fiendish, and the Ultimate Edition makes it clearer that he knew who Batman and Superman's alter egos were from the very beginning. This was all very good, but surely Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent should have investigated each other more thoroughly and also discovered each other's identities sooner.

Potentially Clark knew that Bruce Wayne was Batman after overhearing Alfred in Bruce's earpiece at the Library Benefit. At the very least he would have known that Bruce was only acting like a feckless playboy. Surely, as he was investigating Batman, he would have found this out anyway and we could have had some additional interesting interplay between them (yes, I would gladly watch a 4-hour version of this film). His discovery of who Batman really is would also give us more insight into this version of the character and his troubled history. I would have liked to see Clark discover Bruce's childhood pain, empathising with him as his own adoptive parents are so important to him, having provided the guidance, love and stability that Bruce may have lacked. No offence to Alfred.

With Bruce's distrust and suspicion of Superman, it seems likely that he would have discovered his secret identity too, just as Lex did. I think discovering the Martha connection earlier through investigation would have worked nicely to soften his stance on Clark and prompt him to focus more attention on Lex's shady activities.

As it stands, Batman and Superman don't really interact that much, and like most of the characters in this film, they are mostly off doing their own thing, pretty much by themselves. Perhaps that was the point of a film like this, and the imminent Zack Snyder's Justice League may provide some more healthy, communicative team spirit.

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