Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice "Ultimate Edition" (2016)
Director: Zak Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
Back in 2013 Warner Brothers rebooted the Superman film franchise with the Zak Snyder directed Man of Steel. Snyder's vision was much darker and more mature than any Superman film made up until then. It divide critics' and audiences' opinions alike, but was still a big hit at the box office. I for one absolutely loved its new take on the "boy in blue". You see growing up I was never a big fan of Superman because he always seemed too powerful and unrelatable. He was this unstoppable god who's only weakness was a rock from his alien world that didn't even exist anymore! In Man of Steel we finally get to see him grow and be challenged by what it really means to be Superman. We get to see the formation of his famous and unshakable moral core to do what is right and protect the human race. Tonight's film is not only the sequel to Man of Steel but also serves as the expansion of the DC Comics film universe and the beginning of the formation of The Justice League. This time Superman shares top billing with my childhood favorite superhero Batman. Wonder Woman is also introduced and we get our first on screen glimpses of The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg! Once again Zak Snyder is back behind the helm and once again the film has divided critics' and audiences' opinions. Now that the film has been released into the home market Warner Brothers has included an alternate cut of the film called the Ultimate Edition. It adds thirty minutes cut from the theatrical version and sports an "R" rating. This is the version of the film I'll be reviewing tonight. So how does this film stack up to Man of Steel, and is the Ultimate Edition cut worth a watch? Lets dive right in and find out!
During the final confrontation in Man of Steel, one of Wayne Enterprise's buildings in Metropolis is destroyed and Bruce Wayne is there to witness first hand the kind of destruction and chaos that a Kryptonian could cause if left unchecked. Three years later an incident in Africa causes the world to question Superman's role in our society and The Batman of Gotham begins to plan a way to neutralize the Man of Steel should he become a threat to the human race.
After I saw the theatrical cut of BvS my reaction was that while I liked it a lot, it was deeply flawed. The reasoning behind why Batman and Superman would fight each other was rather vague, Eisenberg's Lex Luthor seemed to just be a bad guy for no reason, and and overall the film just felt bloated and rushed. On the plus side Cavill is still absolutely charming and dashing as Clark Kent / Superman, Ben Affleck plays the best Batman to ever grace the screen, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is an absolute badass, and Hans Zimmer's and JunkieXL's score is fresh and memorable. The movie further explore's what its like for Superman to be Superman and Affleck's world weary and brutal Batman is something new and exciting that audiences have never seen. So did the Ultimate Edition fix all my complaints? Absolutely. Every loose end is neatly tied up and every motivation is now fully fleshed out. Now its not to say that if you hated the theatrical version that this will somehow change your mind. I mean more of something you hate isn't gonna make you enjoy it. If though, like me, you enjoyed it the first time around or want to give it another chance, you should definitely see this version. If you have held off from watching it at all make sure you watch the Ultimate Edition cut of the film. Back in May I walked away from the theatrical version liking it, but tonight I'm finishing the Ultimate Edition and loving it.
Trivia from IMDB for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
Ben Affleck asked Christian Bale for any advice he could give about playing Batman. Bale told him to "make sure you can piss in that suit." The two men met quite by accident in a costume shop. They were each buying a Batman costume for their kids.
The batsuit that Ben Affleck wears is based on Batman's suit in the comic book "The Dark Knight Returns," written by Frank Miller and published in 1986. The film itself is partly based on the graphic novel.
Superman's suit is considerably brighter, with the blue of the suit being lightened to suit the comic version. The yellow background behind the "S" has been made into a bright gold. Certain patterns in the suit have changed also, notably on the "S."