Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) Review

The edition that does the job in a far better manner than the original

The History

When the movie first came out the Internet was filled to the brim with bad reviews of it bashing poor ol’ Snyder left right and center. Honestly, after  having read those reviews many people did not bother watching the movie even though they might have wanted to. After all, it was the first attempt by someone other than Nolan to make a good Bat movie and DC fans would know how important the Dawn of Justice is in the whole DC saga.

The thought of watching the movie kept on pushing itself in the mind of a true DC fan regardless of how bad the reviews of a movie was. Then magic happened – The Ultimate Edition came out. Besides being able to now enjoy the full cinematographic elements of the DC universe on one’s own screen what else did the Ultimate Edition have that the original movie didn’t? Well for starters, anyone that would have seen this particular movie the first time instead of the original cinematic cut would have given a much more positive review of it and would have actually liked the story, the cinematography and developed faith in Snyder’s direction capabilities.

The Plot

With close to about 47-50 additions in the entire narrative of the movie the critical edge the Ultimate Edition has over the theatrical version arises from this very point. Not being subject to the whims of commercial scale restrictions that affect theatrical releases of a movie, the Ultimate Edition features scenes that make the entire flow far more seamless than the original. There has to be a reason for each and every event that takes place in the movie and the Ultimate Edition does the job perfectly. The plot thus, seems far far better than the original even though it is the same as it was in the theatrical cut. The Africa sequence pans out better than it does in the original, especially with the inclusion of the drone (which causes much more sense – the theatrical cut decided to shroud this particular part in mystery). The for hire goons that appear in the first instance are clearly shown to be for hire. This wasn’t evident in the theatrical cut and is pretty clear here. There are various other scenes that help make the story flow a lot better, you can read about all of the new scenes added here.

Overall, the opening sequence depicting the origin of the Batman is well done and induces far more emotion, even though many fans deemed it necessary. The sequence was important to bring casual flow to the movie as many fans constantly forget that the movie was going to be addressing a handful of viewers that do not know the source of Batman’s personality and why he has a constant rage affixed to his personality all the time. 

Other than the Batman story arc, the Superman arc could have been done a lot better. Superman, comes off as smug and self loving – when the truth is that he isn’t. For an alien that comes from such a smart race destroying half a city should be able to induce feelings of regret and confusion. However, that does happen in the story as Superman does fall into confusion but still does not become self loathing. 

Many fans may have missed the fact that Snyder introduces depth into the narrative (albeit pretty much on the surface) by adding discussion on consciousness. Batman is shown to be an avid dreamer and dreams form a huge part of his personality – the Knightmare sequence makes sure of that. Also, the part when Flash talks to Batman there arises a confusion in the viewers mind as to whether what he saw was a dream or a vision. This is pretty solid execution. 

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Other than what is mentioned above, the plot faced pretty much the same challenges that the execution of fast paced action packed plot introducing a new timeline and universe faces. Critics lashed at the plot calling it a huge mess. That is understandable if one stays exclusive to the theatrical cut. This isn’t true with the Ultimate Edition again which due to the addition of the extra scenes that provide further light on the plot structure makes much more sense. Even so, the ending sequence seemed pretty much sped through and should have been slowed down.

The Cinematography

Gal GadotThe Blu-Ray edition has an excellent playback and print albeit our copy did skid at certain points. The colors and sounds were right on point although the mapping of music over sound could have been done better (the music flows over the sound and drowns it out to some extent). The idea that Snyder was pulling on was giving the movie a comic book feel – something which wasn’t done in the Nolan flicks. Nolan is a movie genius and gives Oscar quality to all the work he does. Snyder takes a different approach from him and the Nolan effect had not left the viewers minds by the time the Snyder series came out.

The dark setting, the colors used, the outfits and the general cinematography all brought a comic book to life. The characters were certainly placed in this manner and the camera angles and execution of shots were in tune with the emotions the director wanted to induce in the particular scene – although he could have done a better job at it. Even though the attempt was on point , the result was a bit off as the emotional aspects could have been done a lot better.

The Characters

Lex Luthor and his assistant definitely seemed like a play on Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The way the characters were shaped had a comical effect. Lex being a young ruthless billionaire descending into madness was certainly new in the form that he was displayed in the movie. The character was fresh and pretty much acceptable but the actor – Jesse Eisenberg was a wrong choice. His acting is overdone and seems comical and pretty much most moments. He does not have the confidence to execute the character that was required of him.

Lex Luthor

Affleck was OK but cannot carry out the persona of the billionaire playboy. Affleck’s acting was also overdone. He has done a far better job in the past in other movies, In Dawn of Justice he does a poor job of executing the character of Bruce Wayne albeit his Batman persona is mediocre but acceptable. The worst character in the whole movie was Alfred – Alfred , the most lovable character in the entire Batman universe was shown to be smart arse mechanic rather than a butler and Bruce Wayne’s only surviving family. Henry Cavill is annoying as always with his smugness. His acting in Man of Steel was far better than the acting he executed in this movie. Gal Gadot gets the nod of approval simply due to her beauty – her acting was alright. The entry of the Wonder Woman was perfectly timed though and the cut to the soundtrack gave a very pertinent effect – Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer have done a beautiful job with the theme. However, we were not able to explore her character in depth and the attempt to keep her mysterious fails miserably. In particular, the selection of actors could have been done better. Snyder should have spent more time at the auditions. 

The Ultimatum

If your a DC fan well then watching this cut would definitely provide some healing to you. The movie does make a lot more sense and for a viewer that is watching it for the first time, he or she will definitely end up liking the movie and Snyder a lot more than if his first exposure was to the theatrical release.

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Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)
7.2
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)
  • Direction
    6
  • Plot
    7
  • Dialogue
    8
  • Acting
    5
  • Cinematography
    8
  • Music
    9
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