Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition Review


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Batman v Superman’s extended edition came out last week and I got a chance to watch the much hated and criticized version of Zack Snyder’s epic failure on the box office. I long time back I told you that why a Justice League movie in bound to fail. I was then called a bully by many. But I guess my predictions were almost true after all.

Batman v Superman is as heartbreaking as my last breakup. You wait for something for two years, as the time goes by, you cannot stop talking about it. Then comes the day when it turns out to be a lousy move and you leave for your home, alone and heartbroken.

So who is to be blamed, for the movie (not for my breakup). After extended edition, it turns out that it was totally Warner bros fault who decided to cut down the movie at important parts. No wonder it turned out to be so badly edited. While a lot of things make sense, most of the things don’t. Lex’s plan and how he obtains the files is still unknown, Batman and Superman’s rivalry and that cringe worthy Martha scene are things leave you baffled in the end.

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The best part of Ultimate Edition is that it makes Clark Kent an actual character. The greatest improvement to the film comes from Clark’s expanded story. The biggest problem with theatrical cut was that it shorted Clark Kent/Superman’s real story. The theatrical version didn’t give Clark a whole lot to do while the Ultimate version gives him so much more. Clark has to consider the consequences of his actions throughout the movie and Batman becomes his dark mirror.

There’s a scene prior to the car chase sequence where Clark meets with the wife and son of one of the criminals branded by Batman. All of a sudden the entire sequence and why Superman needed to confront Batman starts making sense. Because of lack of these sequence, the Batman Superman fight scene feels like a random moment in the theatrical cut.

We also get some Superman moments that make him seem a lot less like a cranky and mopey persona and more like a responsible hero. There is a huge sequence after the Capital bombing where we see Superman helping survivors as the carnage of the aftermath unfolds.

The expanded opening gives us flamethrowers scorching bodies which implicates that Superman killed the African warlords. We also get a lot more insight into Lex’s overall scheme and get actual confirmation of every implication about Lex’s responsibility for the bombing of the Capitol. The extra scenes make this plot point feel a little more fleshed out. It’s not perfect, but then things start making sense.

Han Zimmer’s Man of Steel theme does more for the character than the actual performance does. The piano melody is solemn, lonely, but hints at an abundance of hope. Although not the bombastic and powerful ballad given to us by John Williams, it does tease the old theme throughout the soundtrack, and the newer theme is a strong piece that makes up for some of the character’s flaws to create a feeling of greater depth.

Actually, Han Zimmer and Junkie XL did a great job with the soundtrack. With Batman’s Suite we hear hints of Danny Elfman’s take on the character. Some of the music is drowned out in the mix early on in the film, but some songs come through quite powerfully. Namely ‘Is She with You?’ the Wonder Woman Theme, which is an onslaught of heavy war drums and gritty guitar riffs. Well done.

Other tracks are more operatic, perhaps more in line with the great opera Zack Snyder attempted presenting us with. The Lex Luthor theme is whimsical and maniacal all at once, much like the character portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg.

The Ultimate version doesn’t fix everything. If you’re looking for any clarification about the strange dream sequences (aka the ‘Knightmare’), then it still doesn’t make sense. Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is still badly written character. The bit where Superman says ‘Martha’ and they become best friends: still there. Nothing here helps lighten the overall dark and philosophical tone of the film. The editing becomes better, the direction is still bad so you’ll still have to sit through the three hours of bad filmmaking.

In any case, the “Batman v Superman” Ultimate Edition will be a nice thing to have going forward into the DC Extended Universe. It’s not the best possible version of the movie, but it’s better than being saddled with the theatrical cut forever.

 

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