Star Rating: 4 out of 5
*This review contains spoilers*
I cannot recall a single movie this past year as divisive as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Early reviews said the film was fantastic and a great addition to kickstart the DC Cinematic Universe. A few days before the movies public release reports from critics started to claim the film was terrible. Even before critic and public opinions came out about the movie many of the decisions made during production appeared to spell disaster for the hotly-anticipated movie. Many fans laughed when Ben Affleck was announced as the new Bruce Wayne/Batman. Many more hated the subtitle Dawn of Justice because it was clearly picked for its setup of future DC movies. Unfortunately a movie with this much anticipation could never life up to the hype. Shortly after terrible reviews from critics and general public, Zack Snyder announced that there would be an Ultimate Cut of the film when it was released on blu-ray and DVD with 30 extra minutes of footage. This announcement gave hope to many people that the Ultimate Cut of Batman V Superman:Dawn of Justice would do the movie justice.
Many of you know my feelings on the theatrical cut of the film, so this redux review will focus exclusively on the Ultimate Cut of the movie.
There were a lot of problems with the theatrical cut of the film, namely a lot of plot points were muddled through too quickly or were just lost in throwaway exposition that made things confusing without proper context. The Ultimate Cut does fix a lot of those issues, especially with the plot of Superman saving Lois in the beginning from the African warlord. It was also helps to add some (not a lot) depth to Lex Luthor’s ultimate plan to bring down Superman. The Ultimate cut does not fix any of the terrible dialogue, logical inconsistencies, or any of the seemingly silly things that happen.
My biggest complaint if I had to go back and change one thing would be at the beginning when Bruce is in Metropolis during the Kryptonian battle. Why is he there? Seriously, why does Bruce feel the need to get into a helicopter, fly across the body of water dividing Gotham and Metropolis, get into a car, and drive said car into the destruction? During all of this he gets on the phone with one of the men inside the Wayne Financial building (Why is this building in Metropolis when the two cities ARE RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER?!) and tells the man to evacuate the building. Why haven’t they already started evacuating? This entire scene would make a lot more sense if Metropolis and Gotham were not divided by a small body of water. If the two cities weren’t so close to each other it would make more sense why there is a Wayne Financial building in Metropolis and it would give Bruce a real reason to be there. Otherwise, this entire scene could have taken place with Bruce in his swanky bachelor pad while he watches the news and uses his cell phone. But then again, that doesn’t make for a very exciting action scene and then the rest of the movie falls apart like when Batman leads Doomsday out of Metropolis and back to the abandoned parts of Gotham. Nonetheless, there is no logic behind the scene and for that I cannot forgive Mr. Snyder, Mr. Terrio, or Mr. S. Goyer.
The additional 30 minutes of scenes add more complexity to the plot as it unfolds. Perhaps the best addition comes from Jena Malone’s Jenet Klyburn, a scientist (works for S.T.A.R labs in the comics but this is not mentioned in the movie) who helps Lois Lane by analyzing the bullet found in Africa, which eventually leads Lois to the discovery that Lex is up to something fishy. The ultimate cut also adds a significant amount of footage to the beginning scene in Africa and it helps to clarify why everyone hates Superman after the incident occurs. There is also a scene after the final battle that gives insight into why Lex acts the way he does so much of the time and tells us there is more going on behind the scenes.
It is still far from being a perfect movie. The whole “Martha” thing is still dumb, although I might be slowly coming round to it. But for the most part I actually found myself enjoying the movie more the second time. Perhaps this is because of how much the Ultimate Cut adds to the movie, but it could also be because I had lower expectations going into it this time. Either way, its worth a second chance if you have the opportunity to watch the Ultimate Cut.