NOTE: This review is for the ULTIMATE EDITION of the movie, aka the director’s cut. I wont be going much into the details of the plot because it came out in March, this one is mostly a comparison of the theatrical and extended cuts of the film.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was one of the most anticipated films of 2016, with hype building up among fans well before the release date.However there was a slight hiccup with the movie…it was a mess. I was excited to see the movie that the Warner Bros. executives had given a standing ovation to, but somehow I didn’t feel like that was the movie I got to see. Fast forward to summer and the release of the ultimate edition, I finally realized that the movie we all saw in theaters wasn’t the original movie, and this is one of the few cases (for me, at least) where the extended cut is the only version of this film I would watch.
When it comes to the theatrical cut, I had positive things to say about the cinematography and I had gripes with certain story elements. I didn’t think that it was so horrible that it deserved a 27% on rotten tomatoes, and I hate that on the internet you’re only given the options to worship it or despise it. I thought it was “okay”, and my biggest problem was the poor editing, a choppy flow, messy story structure, and the fact that it was trying to accomplish so much in 2 and a half hours. To me, the worst kind of comic book films end up being the ones that are so concerned with expanding their universe (see: The Amazing Spiderman 2), and since this is only the 2nd film in the DC Cinematic Universe and they wanted to try and hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s popularity that was built up for 12 movies…its no wonder that BvS fell flat on its face at some point. Essentially, there were 5 different movies all jam-packed into one, and that let to discombobulation.
After really thinking about it and changing my rating about a billion times, I gave Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Theatrical Cut) a 5.5/10
Since I really wanted to like this movie, I’m pleased to say that the ultimate edition definitely fixed this issue I had with the film. This version, simply put, felt like a wholesome movie. It wasn’t choppy anymore, it actually flowed, so many things that initially raised a question mark finally came full circle. Due to the nature of this review being comparative, I’m going to make it easy on my readers and talk about things via a list.
[SPOILERS BEGIN HERE]
1. Lex Luthor’s plan makes a little more sense: It was still extremely convoluted and complicated, but that’s how Luthor is supposed to be. There were some scenes added where other characters uncover secrets and Luthor’s motivations/activity become clear.
2. Superman is more likable: We get scenes of Clark Kent being an actual reporter, we get to see him unravel the mystery of Batman all for himself and reach the point where he starts to view Bruce as the villain. Basically, we got the other side of this story in the extended cut instead of seeing more Batman than Superman.
3. Lois Lane isn’t as annoying: She gets a purpose in the extended cut similar to Clark doing his research on Batman, except she’s doing her research and uncovering things about Luthor. It doesn’t feel like she’s there because she “has to be” or because of the star power of Amy Adams.
4. Arkham Asylum: I still have no idea why they couldn’t just put this in the theatrical cut, it would’ve been an extra 20 seconds that would’ve been a cool name-drop. Basically Batman visits Luthor in his cell (my stars, what a scene) and Luthor still feels accomplished and that nothing will happen to him. That’s when Batman drops the bomb that he’s being transferred to Arkham Asylum and the shrewd smile from Luthor’s face vanishes. It was awesome.
Despite this huge issue of horrible story flow being fixed, here’s what didn’t change that I didn’t like. Less detail will be given here because these are still the same complaints from the theatrical cut, but you can always ask me for specifics outside this review!
- Jesse Eisenberg….what are you doing? I’ve heard a lot of people try to defend this one, I just can’t get behind it. I’m all for different interpretations of a character, but it just didn’t work in this case.
- Wonder Woman is still a tacked-on part of the movie. I really would’ve loved it if she had more screen time.
- Someone had to have realized that certain references they were trying to make weren’t going to stick. Look, I know what a motherbox is and I know that Darkseid is the future villain of the DCCU. That doesn’t mean everyone is going to know these things when you shoehorn them into the film. Despite the now 3 hour run time, its STILL too much content for one movie.
- The Justice League is revealed because of an email. This might be the laziest way to introduce a future part of a cinematic universe that I’ve ever seen.
- Unfortunately, the 30 minutes that were cut didn’t include any of the fight scene. Its still only an 8-minute fight with sub par action. Batman beating up the goons in the warehouse is still the best part of the movie when you only take action into account.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) is an improvement, and gets a 6.5/10
For fun, here’s how the other two studio’s comic book films of the summer ranked for me:
1st Place – Captain America: Civil War, 9/10
2nd Place – This movie
3rd Place – X-men: Apocalypse, 5.5/10
Those are my final thoughts on BvS, as always I’d really appreciate shares, followers, likes, dislikes, discussion, etc.
That’s all for now,