March 25, 2016, fans of both movies and comics alike flocked to theaters to get the first glimpse of Batman and Superman on the big screen for the first time in either characters nearly 80-year history. The early reviews were poor to average for the most part. A lot of critics hated the movie and most of the audience had mixed reviews.
At first glance it would seem that a lot of the hate and disappointment was justified. The story was confusing, seemingly unorganized and quite honestly over bloated. There were so many things going on that everything felt like it was brushed off to the side. Many of the problems with the movie, were brushed off by people such as myself that understand why the movie was the way it was.
Warner Bros. got nervous about the run time of the original cut which came in at 3 hours, very long for even the most patient of audiences. Weeks before the films release Zach Snyder and co. were forced to make some last minute alterations to the movie to get it down to a slightly more reasonable length for movie audiences. Many fans were holding out hope for now. July. When Batman v Superman was released on Blu-ray it included the Ultimate edition with the original full cut of the movie.
The movie begins the same as it did in the theatrical release. In essence this movie is the same, but the added half hour seriously adds a lot that was missing from the original cut. Things added to help clear up questions and plot holes.
If you saw the movie in theaters and didn’t like it or had problems with it, the ultimate edition will without a doubt do enough to make you enjoy the movie more. If not, at least you will understand everything a bit better.
One of the biggest problems I have with the first movie is that Lois Lane (Amy Adams) felt very out of place and never really had her story explained. She was an accessory in a very bloated plot. The extended cut we actually get some more screen time with Lois and some further clarity and explanation as to what she was actually working on through the movie.
Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenburg) had a very elaborate plan that was at time hard to follow. There was never real explanation as to what his real motivations were. There is additional footage with Lex that really clarifies not only his motivations, but reveals the seeds of his madness.
Fans seemed discouraged when arguably the biggest comic character ever, Superman, had hardly anything to do in this movie, as well as minimal dialogue. There are several new scenes featuring Clark Kent where he actually does some reporting investigative journalism. We actually get to discover his motivations as to the reason he wants to end Batman. You also get to see Superman himself actually do things you would expect superman do, save people and feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Audiences need to realize that Superman, as he is now in the movies, is not the final version of superman we will see on screen. Even in Man of Steel it was clear that Zach Snyder planned to grow this character from being a farm boy, scared of what he is and what he could become, to being the light for which the world looks to for inspiration. While we won’t see a conclusion until Justice League comes to theaters in 2017, I think people will really see Superman grow into the best version of the character they know and love. Henry Cavill is great in this movie and does this character justice.
Batman in this movie is a killer. No way around it, this is not the ideal version of Batman who never uses guns or kills. However, this is a very different Batman. His Robin is dead and he has seen the world around him go to hell. He even says in the movie “20 years in Gotham Alfred, we’ve seen what promises are worth, how many good guys are left? How many stay that way.” He has seen men fall and people die. This version of Batman has almost given up because despite everything he’s done, everything he’s sacrificed, he is still no closer to his goals of cleaning up the city.
Ben Affleck is absolutely the best version of Bruce Wayne. He can play the suave millionaire who drinks a bit too much at a party, which actually working to do some behind the scenes work. This is the first movie where you get to see Batman be who he is… a detective. This on-screen Batman is the most brutal we have ever seen. He is a combination of the Arkham series Batman and the animated series Batman. Simply outstanding in every way.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) doesn’t really have an expanded role in this film, she was somewhat of an accessory, until the fight at the end. At that point though, she stole the show. From the epic theme for her, as well as her taking the best elements of both Batman and Superman and combining them into one fierce package.
A lot of the problems with flow in terms of the story were addressed with the ultimate cut. The plot is still very bloated. There is a great movie in there it just needs a bit of room. It feels like Warner Bros. wanted to have so much in the movie to set up for Justice League. This movie, while not perfect, is one you can watch several times and find something new every time.
It all boils down to this… If you hated the movie at first, you will probably still hate it. If you liked the movie, you will like the movie. Some people, after having watched the extended cut will love the movie. A lot will still be mixed but ultimately have a positive response to this version of the movie. At the end of the day it’s still the greatest thing most of us have ever been waiting for our entire lives. Batman and Superman fighting and holding nothing back.
The ultimate cut is far better than the theatrical cut of the movie. The length is a bit hard to sit through for those who aren’t invested in the movie but it is well worth it, if you’re willing. The future is bright for Warner Bros. and the rest of the Justice League. Although, one can’t help but wonder if they had released this version of the movie in theaters, would this have been the billion dollar movie many thought it would be? I think it would have. But that is just one mans opinion.