I held off reviewing Batman v Superman when it first hit the theaters because by the time I saw it there was already talk of a “better version”. Naturally I didn’t think it would be fair to review something that even the director knew was an inferior product. Now that the “better version” is out, I rewatched the theatrical version and then followed it immediately with the Ultimate Edition. I think it’s fair to review them both now.
All that extra content in the Ultimate Edition
Just to save you time I will say up front that I do not think the additions in the Ultimate Edition add any substance to the movie and it doesn’t change the plot in any significant way. I really felt that every single added scene would’ve just been something on the bonus features of the regular edition as ‘deleted and extended scenes’ had they not planned an Ultimate Edition as early on as they did.
Some of the added scenes just put little exclamations on things you could already infer from the theatrical release. If you watched to the end of the theatrical release then you already knew Lex was behind it all. So when they added little bits like one character admitting she lied about the ‘Superman Incident’ it didn’t really mean anything because that doesn’t change anything. Lex flat out told Superman how he duped Batman so showing Lois in the home of the bomber is yet again a pointless trip.
The only scene that could possibly be considered to change the story was adding a 2.1 second clip of either Steppenwolf (most probable) or Yuga Khan. It implies that Luther was taking orders from someone BUT ultimately in the context of the film it doesn’t matter. This very short bit was a tie to Darkseid but fans who would know this character already knew about Darkseid because of other things in the theatrical version. The Omega symbol carved in the ground during the Knightmare sequence and the appearance of parademons in that very same sequence. Add to that the blurt about ringing the bell by Luther in the last moments of the movie and there really was nothing special about the added clip.
The thing about Snyder’s Superman
Batman v Superman still underlines that Snyder has no idea how to depict Superman. Be salty about that if you want but it’s true. How else would you be able to explain that the overwhelming majority of this movie is about Batman. It started as a sequel to Man of Steel but now it even puts Batman’s name first. This simply isn’t a Superman film.
And it really isn’t a Batman movie either. Sure it stars someone called Batman that looks like Batman but it really doesn’t do any of the things that Batman the character is known for. You can say it’s Batman when he’s pissed off but that isn’t Batman. Batman just doesn’t blow up cars with people in them. He doesn’t kill guys with flamethrowers while people watch. Whatever you say about Batman’s past in comics, you can’t deny that the Batman that has been the most successful and longstanding does not go around killing people indiscriminately, not even criminals.
Right from the start we are thrown into Powertrip Hero Fantasy Land. When Bruce’s father balls up his fist and charges at Joe Chill. Of course he dies but it doesn’t matter. Superman even after being raised to have such a ‘good heart’ and be a ‘good man’ doesn’t hesitate to start a fight with Batman even knowing full well that they are both being manipulated into the fight. So not only is Superman now a bully but he’s stupid too. It seems that the one thing Snyder is consistent with these characters is that the whole hero fantasy thing ends up with lots of death, carnage and misery for all involved, including innocent bystanders.
The Quick and Dirty Verdict
“Might have been better if it wasn’t Batman or Superman.”