Director Zack Snyder did his best to bring us a compelling retelling of the first meeting of the Man of Tomorrow and the Caped Crusader. While I gave a tepid review of the theatrical version of the movie Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, my review of the Ultimate Edition dives into it with a bit more clarity.
The film opens with Zod’s (Michael Shannon) invasion of Metropolis from the film Man of Steel. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) witnesses the devastation from the battle with Superman (Henry Cavill). This creates an immediate distrust between Wayne and the last son of Krypton.
18 months later, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) is collecting kryptonite with the help of a Russian gang. He is manipulating both Batman and Superman into a conflict that will have repercussions for Gotham City, Metropolis, and the world. In the background, Louis Lane (Amy Adams) and the mysterious Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) are working to solve what is really going on.
Zack Snyder films are a lot liked well-wrapped Christmas presents, but you open them to find a schoolbook or a sack of socks. It is stylish, sleek, has a lot of flash, but despite all the hype, it has no heart. When I saw the theatrical version, it was good, but littered with plot-holes that left me wanting. The extended or “Ultimate” version fills in most of the plot-holes and left you wondering why he chose to cut certain scenes. For instance, the boring montage of celebrities debating on the philosophy of Superman yet they leave out an important scene that explains an important plot point.
As for the cast, I’m sick and tired of the angsty Superman. I’m ready for him to lead. He’s supposed to be about hope, but all he does is mope. It is getting old. This is in no way meant to bash Cavill. He’s a good actor, but the script was so lackluster and offered him no wiggle room to show his skills as the Man of Steel.
As for Ben Affleck, his Batman is a caricatured version of Frank Miller’s writings and the Arkham video games. He is brutal and gives no quarter. While I did not mind watching Batman pummel criminals, I was disturbed in his blatant disregard for human life. He is more akin to Kevin Smith’s Batman than anything. Overly emotional, lacks any detective skills, and is just focused on being right than stopping crime. There was a lot of collateral damage, murder, and manslaughter. Now, Jeremy Irons was a good Alfred, so kudos for that.
Of course, Gal Gadot stole the show in preparation for her starring role in Wonder Woman. She was the one bright spot in the entire movie.
My main concern is with Jesse Eisenberg. He does not just bring a new twist, he abandons all familiarity with the character. He resembles the Riddler more than the brilliant mastermind whose intelligence challenges the power of Superman.
I will say, Snyder does know how to direct a fight scene. The battle between Batman and Superman, and later the Trinity battling Doomsday, is epic in the way it is cut. He brought it together in a way that is both entertaining and powerful.
Bottom line, the Ultimate Edition is an excellent upgrade from the theatrical version. It brings the story together fashionably, but it still has the blatant disregard of the heroes’ source material. As I stated previously, it has a lot sleekness and style, but no heart. Instead of an epic showdown, we are treated to two grown men acting like angsty teenagers who listened to too much Goth music.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Tell me, do you bleed? You will.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, foul language, brief nudity
That is my review. What did you think? Let me know in the comments below and tell me if there’s a movie you’d like me to review. Check out my thoughts on the heist film Baby Driver. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.