While Ben Affleck is receiving amazing amounts of praise for his perfect portrayal of the Bat of Gotham, there are plenty of people complaining about a certain thing that Batman does throughout the entire movie: he kills. For quite a while now, it has been common in many versions of Batman that he refuses to kill because he doesn't want to be like the people that cause havoc for his city. Much like the movie, many are split on this direction of having Batman kill: some hate it and some are okay with it. I am on the latter half and I will explain why.
QUICK WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
See a character arc doesn't have to begin and end in one movie, sometimes they begin in one movie then end in a future installment and I think people missed a character arc for Batman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
It began with those words spoken brilliantly by Jeremy Irons' Alfred,
"That's how it starts. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness. The feeling that turns good men....cruel."
Just from this line of dialogue we can tell that Bruce has changed over his many years in the cowl: he's darker, colder, more cynical against the world, and definitely angrier. Can you blame him? Just going by DC knowledge, at this point Batman has dealt with villains like the Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Deadshot, the Riddler, and more plus he's dealt with the death of his apprentice, the paralysis from the waist down of another friend, and who knows what. All of these things have made Batman lose his way and now he thinks that criminals aren't worth fighting anymore but a super powered being is worth taking down. When it came to regular criminals on the streets of Gotham, the ones he didn't end up killing, he would brand thus probably making other criminals to kill those ones in prison.
However this cold side of Bruce seemed to slowly fade because of one man: Superman, the Symbol of Hope. The Caped Crusader saw that same look in Superman's eyes of losing his mother which mirrored his own many years ago in Crime Alley so he backed down, letting Superman live and promised him that his mother will not die that night.
At the end of the movie, Superman had found his love for Earth again and his want to save it no matter what so he sacrificed himself for the people of Earth to stop Doomsday. Not only does Superman impale Doomsday with the Kryptonite spear but Doomsday impales Superman with his bones thus bringing us the iconic 'Death of Superman.' Of course we all know that Superman isn't dead but the Batman doesn't; it's Kal-El's act of courage and selflessness that shines a light in the Caped Crusader's mind and brings on probably Batman's best and most important line in the entire movie,
"Men are still good."
This line combined with his scene with Lex Luthor in prison where he could have simply snapped Luthor's neck or branded him, leaving him for the rest of the prisoners to kill him...but he didn't. Batman simply punched the wall and let Luthor live without a brand. These two things show a sign of Batman returning to his no killing roots, maybe not in this movie but perhaps spending time with people like Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman will fully bring back the lighter side of Batman and maybe, just maybe we'll get a scene in either Justice League Part 1 or Part 2 where he has an epiphany and says to himself: "Maybe I've gone too far."
Either way, just those four words uttered by Bruce show that his faith in humanity has been somewhat restored. Will he continue to kill? Well we'll just have to watch the Justice League movie or the solo Batman movie (rumored to be directed by Ben Affleck) and see for ourselves. In the meantime all we can say is: #MenAreStillGood
Now keep in mind, this is just how I interpreted the movie and how I felt they set up the character of Batman. Could I be wrong? Yes. Very wrong. So what do you all think? Am I looking too deep into the movie or did I make good points? Let me know in the comment down below!