From director Zack Snyder (Watchmen) comes Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, the sequel to Man of Steel and based loosely on the classic Frank Miller series The Dark Knight Returns. The film is available digitally now in it’s “Ultimate Edition” format and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jessie Eisenberg.
Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was a good time when it hit theaters. Did it have problems? Obviously… The film was convoluted, took it’s sweet time while drowning in seemingly useless sequences and it was all over the damn place. However – for comic fans, it was a delight to see two of the world’s most famous heroes square off and set the stage for a Justice League sequel even with all those issues. With the new home release being dubbed the “Ultimate Edition”, the movie is officially a half hour longer, making it clock in at 3 hours instead of the theatrical 2.5. The issue I have right away with that — is I considered the standard format of the movie to be way too long already.
So does the additional half hour make the movie better? No. Not at all. First things first – the Ultimate Edition is Rated R. There seems to be more digital blood and a couple extra bone cracking Batman hits here and there while Scoot McNairy drops an F-Bomb for no reason as well. BUT – Even the latest Transformers movie dropped one of those and as long as you only do one, you can still get a PG-13 release. The R-Rated label was unnecessary here and I’m assuming it was only done to cash in on Deadpool’s success which is a shame.
The additional footage is mostly extended scenes and a subplot involving Clark Kent investigating the Batman, showing a darker side to his shockingly new violent methods of crime-fighting. It also shows us how Kent is being set up by Lex Luthor far more and in several new ways, shining a new light on Superman and perhaps not displaying him as the villain in his own story. In the theatrical cut — that kind of seemed to be the case. So I will say that it was interesting to see the added footage and scenes showing Superman to be a more redeeming character and how it displays Batman as kind of a dick as well, but it’s still an EXTRA 30 MINUTES OF EXPOSITION.
For a movie that was already way too long and really that was my main complaint to begin with, when you simply add a half hour of more drama then you’re just making it worse. The extra brutality was barely noticeable in the action sequences so I didn’t need any of that anyway. The theatrical cut is superior to the Ultimate one and I’m sad because Zack Snyder’s director’s cut home releases are typically superior. When I think of a longer cut doing a better job, I think back to Watchmen. Now THAT – is how you do an Ultimate Edition. I don’t think it was necessary here even if it fleshes out Kent’s story more, I do think they could’ve cut out much other drivel in order to do this better in a faster runtime.
Batman V Superman was a solid film and one that benefits in no way from the ‘ULTIMATE’ edition unless you like watching a three-hour superhero movie that packs less than a half hour of action.