Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition makes me angry…angry because THIS is the movie that we should’ve gotten.
When I first saw the theatrical cut, I enjoyed it but was left with a lingering feeling that it had been rushed, that something was missing. Before watching the Ultimate version, I once again watched the theatrical cut, just so that I could have it fresh in my mind. Not even half way thru the Ultimate version and I could already see how much more superior it was.
To make sure that my opinion wasn’t influenced by my prior experience with the movie, I had my parents sit down and watch it. I of course answered some questions for them since they weren’t completely familiar with the material. When the credits rolled, we had a pretty in-depth discussion on the themes of the movie (it surprised me just how deep the discussion was, but that’s neither here nor there) and what they got out of it. They both absolutely loved it and thought that it was easy to follow. Neither one thought that the movie was too long or boring as they were engaged with the story. When I told them that the theatrical cut was 30 minutes shorter and explained to them what had been cut, they both said that it was crazy as the movie made no sense then.
I don’t want to give away specifics of what was added (as I would want you to discover that for yourself) but what was added makes for a far more complete and cohesive story. In one of the extra scenes when Lois and General Amajagh (the African Warlord) are having a conversation. He has two lines that, in hindsight, reveal the overall tone and underpinning themes of the movie: “Ignorance is not the same as innocence” and “men with power obey neither policy nor principle. No one is different, No one is neutral.” The theatrical cut clearly shows us why Bruce has a problem with Clark, but there wasn’t any clear cut reason for reciprocal feelings from Clark. This version of the story actually addresses the motivations for the animosity between the two heroes.We get to see just how truly Machiavellian Lex’s scheme was. Lex is shown to be far more patient and calculating in this version vs the petulant and unbalanced character that he was in the theatrical cut. It also better sets up what’s coming in the later DC Universe movies, as we know that Darkseid is coming. The R-rating on this movie was due to some brief nudity, additional graphic violence, and ONE instance of the f-bomb: nothing that the more adult audiences that WB/DC is catering to with the grittier and more realistic tones of their movies haven’t already seen.The only question that I have now is why wasn’t THIS what we got in theaters: was Snyder or the suits at Warner Brothers too afraid to put out a longer movie or were they more concerned with having a shorter movie that could maximize the number of showings per screen per day?
The special features on the set consist of 10-15 minute vignettes. Unsurprisingly, there are no extended or extra scenes as they’ve already been incorporated into the Ultimate Edition.
– Uniting the World’s Finest
– Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants
– The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder
– Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile
– Superman: Complexity & Truth
– Batman: Austerity & Rage
– Wonder Woman: Grace & Power
– Batcave: Legacy of The Lair
– The Might and The Power of A Punch
– The Empire of Luthor
– Save the Bats
“Uniting the World’s Finest”, “Gods and Men: A Meeting of Giants” and “Superman: Complexity & Truth” are all quite entertaining, and contain some interesting behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. “The Warrior, The Myth, The Wonder” is a pretty cool mini-documentary on Wonder Woman that I wouldn’t mind having expanded to at least an hour, as we get to know more about such an underrated and yet critically important character. I’m a wee bit of a gearhead, so the “Accelerating Design: The New Batmobile” was pretty damn entertaining as we got to see how they came up with and built the new Batmobile from the ground up. My favorite feature had to be “The Might and The Power of A Punch”, where the fight between Superman and Batman is analyzed and broken down with statistics and scientific data. The only thing that I was disappointed wasn’t included was a Spanish language soundtrack—it does have Spanish subtitles, but the soundtrack probably would’ve been appreciated more by my parents.
Does the Ultimate Edition fix Batman v Superman? In my opinion, yes it does. The added length of the movie means that you have to be willing to give up a solid chunk of the day, but in the end it will be worth it. If somebody has never seen the movie, the Ultimate Edition is the one that should be watched over the theatrical cut.
I give the Ultimate Edition 4.5 capes out of 5.