Finally it’s here, Silvers, the Ultimate Edition! I know, this review is late, but in my defense, it’s also delivery service’s fault. Guess pre-ordering didn’t really help since the package has been delayed for unknown reasons. But as promised since the First Glance post, here’s the full review of the movie, and the wait was worth it. Since I’ve already talked about the movie previously, let’s get started the actual review right away.
The Plot is Actually Brilliant
We all know it. Superman has arrived recently while others like Batman have been in this world for a while. So we get to know this universe from Superman’s point of view but we also learn Batman’s one. Now, many criticized the reasons behind the fight between Superman and Batman, but I think those critics were too much influenced by the mixed up feeling left by the movie mostly due to pace and cuts. If we analyze the plot itself on the paper, it’s a good one. The main one is the possibility of Superman being a threat and whether we are willing to let that happen. We get this feeling through Bruce’s perspective and we understand it right from the beginning when he sees his whole building and the city of Metropolis being destroyed in front of his eyes. We can actually feel his rage when he looks up to the sky watching Superman fighting Zod. The consequences of the existence of a being like Superman are disproportional and unlike anything we could ever imagine. And since we can blame him for bringing those disproportional threats, just like Bruce said to Alfred “This son of a bitch brought war to us“, there’s every reason to take down Superman. Along with the main plot, we have all the politic, religious and society aspects. Absolutely brilliant.
No More Pace Issues
This was the main critique when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice came to the cinema, and it’s understandable. When you watch the Ultimate Edition, everything feels so much smoother. You notice easily every cut which has been removed from the cinema version, and watching the movie in its whole as it was supposed to be and as Zack Snyder had in his mind from the beginning, it can really make you change your mind about everything. This is clear from the beginning when Superman comes to save Lois in the desert. There were actually many cut scenes in this part and when you get to see this scene complete, the rest of the movie makes more sense. For example, when Superman is victim of a conspiracy and what makes him seen like a threat. With the whole movie and pace being smoother than the original, we now feel better the tension that Zack Snyder had tried to set up. Compared to Man of Steel, where it’s based only on Superman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t have quite that much amount of action, but we have much more at stake and the tension which increases from the beginning until the end fits perfectly the plot. The action scenes get more intense and close to each other when we approach the end, which makes sense as we finally get to know the outcome of the story with Doomsday.
Breathtaking Visuals (but you should already know that)
We know Zack Snyder already, and since 300 the guy really improved his style! Through Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Man of Steel, I don’t think there’s anyone better than him for a Superheroes movie. The mix between CGI and realism is pure. He managed to give a 3D feeling to the shots without the need to make us watch Batman v Superman in actual 3D, and he puts you in the middle of any fight without making you feel lost. We all know what it’s like to watch an action scene with the camera going all over the place at such speed that you might even risk throwing up from your popcorn. Well, Zack Snyder keeps you in the action all the time without making you feel sick. You can see everything that is going on, but with the exact feeling of how it should be. And we’ve witnessed that in Man of Steel already, when a being like Superman is fast and brutal, and we see everything clearly while still aware of a fight that is fast and brutal. Well, during the action scenes between Batman and Superman but mostly during the epic fight of Doomsday, we didn’t miss anything either. Thankfully he’s still on the Justice League and as I can’t wait for the epic fights, the Flash is a character that will make him level up in order to follow the action at a really fast pace without missing anything.
All of them are brilliant (except Lois Lane of course) and I can not not describe all of them one by one. From the script of the characters to the actors playing them, they are all perfectly adapted from the comics and for the purpose of this DC cinematic universe.
We already saw him in Man of Steel and he was already perfect in it. Henry Cavill embraces Superman like no one else before. To begin with, he’s imposing. He also manages to make us feel every single emotion that his character goes through. And he gives everything he has into this. From the absolute power and strength through the sadness and numbness to the loneliness, everything is there. He is closer to the New 52 version, young and still managing his way through this world, and I love this version. Even though here he’s with Lois Lane instead of Wonder Woman, but anyway… Henry Cavill doesn’t only play Superman but also Clark Kent. And here we have this rebel Clark Kent who’s ready to confront danger and steps in front of every injustice. Superman is my favorite character and I really thank Henry Cavill for bringing us such an amazing Superman.
Everyone had doubts about Ben Affleck but I honestly never did. He’s a great actor and I’ve always trusted him for the Batman’s role. But damn, I wasn’t expecting it would be this epic. When the trailers started to appear one by one, it was amazing. And this scene where he fights the thugs holding Martha? Absolutely stunning. This is how Batman should fight. Brutal, efficient and tactical. The batarangs, the grapnel, all of those gadgets are used so smartly and efficiently during the fights and everything feels so smooth. Ben Affleck embraces this brutal, old and grumpy Batman who has seen and been through a lot. The Joker had killed Jason Todd already as we can deduct from the Robin costume in his batcave, and he’s still haunted by the death of his parents. This Batman is tortured and will do everything it takes to achieve the means. His alter ego Bruce Wayne is the perfect rich philanthropist who pretends to be the stereotyped version who wastes his life and money into expensive cars and clothes, alcohol and girls. Overall Ben Affleck incarnates Batman and Bruce Wayne perfectly. He has prepared so well for the role that he’s now physically massive, and despite Superman being Superman, we don’t laugh at Batman for willing to take him down. I would definitely laugh to see Christian Bale‘s whinny and boring Batman taking up Superman.
- Wonder Woman
I don’t even know where to start. Even though she’s more like a bonus and most of the movie we see her as Diana, she still brings a lot. She remains very mysterious as Diana, roaming around and hiding her purpose. But seriously, when she suddenly steps in front of Doomsday’s laser to save Batman and then we see her in slow-mo with her music theme in the background – SO MUCH excitement! That was so freaking awesome that I felt like a hyperactive child on Christmas! And the whole fight of Doomsday was pure delight. This lasso of truth was amazing! I wasn’t even expecting it! Oh my god. I despise every single person criticizing Gal Gadot for her small breasts or her muscles or her non blue eyes. She embraced Wonder Woman with such powerful perfection. She’s perfect to incarnate this female role model that will inspire so many young women and girls. She is strong and fierce like the Amazon Princess. And honestly, those people who underestimate her and are the ones praising Lynda Carter, as if Lynda herself had any physical resemblance to the Wonder Woman comic character, seriously… Gal Gadot gave absolutely everything she had for the role and with the little experience she had and that we have seen, she is a pleasant surprise as Wonder Woman and I can’t wait for the stand alone movie.
- Lex Luthor
This is the most criticized character, I think. I can understand, and I didn’t like him much either when I watched Batman v Superman for the first time. But after having watched it for the second, and then the third time, I started to really like him. Jesse Eisenberg played a version of Lex Luthor that many are not very familiar with. An eccentric one, even annoying with all the noises and quirks. Some would even talk about him as an inferior version of the Joker. Even though the Ultimate Edition is not going to change how the character is, on the other hand we understand better his purpose and we actually get to see how smart and brilliant he is – as he’s supposed to be. He is one of the most intelligent on Earth and he has managed to turn Batman and Superman against each other. On top of that, he’s this lonely, rich and spoiled kid who always seeks more power and more knowledge. I’m really curious to see how he will evolve in the DC Cinematic Universe.
- Alfred Pennyworth
This Alfred is a very different version from what we are used to. He’s a bit younger and is more tactical and willing to get his hands dirty. He’s more like a Batman/Bruce partner rather than just an advising butler. I know some of you might think the age of Alfred and Batman are too close to each other, but I invite you to actually look the age of both actors and that it represents well their age in Batman v Superman. This version of Batman is in his 40s and Jeremy Irons is 68 yo even though he looks younger. But even though he looks different, he’s still the same grumpy old butler who gives moral lessons to Bruce every time he can. He’s also the one who will always be there. I really enjoyed this new vision of Alfred.
- Secondary Characters (Doomsday, Lois Lane, Perry White)
I loved Doomsday! I was so excited when I first saw him in the trailer, even though I would have loved to have that surprise during the movie. Even though the way he’s created is way different than in the comics, we still have this invincible creature who was born to destroy everything and everyone, and who will evolve more powerful each time he absorbs damage. The only way to take him down is for Superman to give up his life for it.
Lois Lane is still this whiny bitch from Man of Steel who runs around all the time and has to be rescued every time. She looks to be faster than the Flash as she has to appear in every single scene, which of course, makes her becomes more annoying than anything else. She’s the really dark point of the DC Cinematic Universe and it’s such a shame she isn’t more interesting as she can be sometimes in the comics.
Perry White is there since Man of Steel and even though he’s still faithful to his first appearance, he still deserves to be mentioned for the amazing role he has. Laurence Fishburne plays a different version, but it totally makes sense and I wouldn’t see anoyone else taking the role but him. He is strong, confident, a great leader and knows how to listen (when he’s not being stubborn). Laurence Fishburne manage to give us all of this with his amazing performance.
Epic fights, faithful to the original characters
As mentioned above, there are not many action scenes compared to Man of Steel. They are calculated and escalate progressively in Batman v Superman. But from the car chase with the Batmobile to battle Doomsday through Batman’s fight against the thugs and against Superman, it’s just the right amount with the right timing during the movie. We already know how Superman fights, but to see this new Batman is delightful. He fights the way we would have expected from the comics and that we never had the chance to see before (I’m sorry but Christian Bale’s Batman fights like someone in a Steven Seagal movie). And we have all the Batman toys so smoothly incorporated into the movie, that we don’t even need to know anything about the batmobile, the batarangs or anything to enjoy the action. We don’t need a scene with Alfred or Lucius explaining us for 15 minutes what this or this gadget is for. We know Batman already and we know his toys. He’s here for a long a time and he uses his toys as we would have expected from Batman. Just like Wonder Woman uses her bracelets but also suddenly uses her shiny lasso without the need of telling us anything. They all are iconic characters and we don’t to need to waste time on details we already know and that make them known for who they are.
The actual confrontation between Batman and Superman
The fight between Superman and Batman is perfect. It doesn’t change a lot with the Ultimate Edition, except for a few cuts. But if we pay attention, Superman does try to talk through Batman, but doesn’t have time to negotiate and has more important things to do – save his mom. Batman is stubborn and Superman is only left with the option to take him down quickly. Despite this, we do see the pure goodness that we expect from Superman, the fact that he doesn’t want to kill Batman, otherwise he would have done it already. Now, for the ones saying the fight was too short, I ask you to use logic here. We have Batman, yes with a badass suit and all, but a human still, against Superman. One laser through his skull, one sharp move and he snaps his neck or just crushes onto the ground and it’s done. Now Batman is here to take him down definitely. The fight can’t take ages. Batman is not Zod and can’t take Superman hits for too long even though he doesn’t want to kill him. And if Superman wanted to, the fight would have been shorter. To make a fight between them last longer, would only be boring and illogical.
The Martha dilemma
This is the most discussed scene in the whole movie, many parodies having been created from it. But this resolution didn’t shock me. Batman is a tortured soul due to his parent’s death, he still has nightmares about it. The last word coming out of his father’s mouth before he died was Martha. As a rich and spoiled child, Bruce was super close to his mom. She was everything to him. Now, I’m sure a lot of you didn’t realize both Batman and Superman mothers had the same name before. Saying Martha’s name triggers Batman’s trauma, and seeing Superman down to the ground struggling to say Martha, reminds him of his father saying the exact same words. And standing there, ready to kill him, it just places him as the murderer and he realizes how far he took things. Even in a general way, he realizes how a fanatic he had been (that way, seeing a more relaxed Batman in Justice League as the trailer makes it sound like, would make sense). Why not saying “Save my mom“? What sense would it make for Superman to say this directly instead of giving her name. He’s Superman and he doesn’t have a family anymore to the eyes of anyone, so he has to be more specific. On top of that, we would also be wondering whether they both know each other alter egos already. Batman is the greatest Detective and Superman is … Superman. Clark has also heard Alfred speaking to Bruce during Lex Luthor’s party. As Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, there was already a tension between those two and Lex Luthor increased it, as he obviously already knew who they were.
Batman v Superman spilled a lot of ink. These are the two greatest icons of the pop culture, that’s their role to spill ink. Unfortunately, today’s society is all about criticizing and proving who’s best. With Marvel on the big screen since years, using the same basic methods, they conquered the masses by making them think they know everything about superheroes and comics. And the critics are as good as them. And yes, The Dark Knight trilogy had been better received by the critics, but it uses the basic and boring pattern of any action movie. Batman v Superman is everything a comic adaptation should be, and it’s what Zack Snyder is good at. But it’s Zack Snyder! And he will be criticized, as always. It was okay with Watchmen or Sucker Punch, but after getting the iconic Superman, he got both Superman and Batman in the same movie, along with Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor and all the rest of the DC Cinematic Universe. But there’s no one else better to bring them to life, and I can only imagine that Justice League will be amazing. If you haven’t watched the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, watch it as soon as possible and you will see how different the two version are. Zack Snyder is a great director, he knows how to give sense to a movie, but any movie, with any director, if it has to be cut to this extent, will lose its original purpose. So watch the Ultimate Edition and enjoy this true masterpiece.
To me, this is Platinum.