Revisiting "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice"

When "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" hit theaters, I was one of many critics who demolished it and drug it through the mud. I was left in a state of shock from scenes of my favorite hero, Batman, using different types of guns and firearms to kill bad guys. Anyone who even casually keeps up with the Dark Knight knows he has a serious issue with the use of guns and doesn't take lives. Superman seemed like a selfish, whiny teenager that couldn't come to terms with who he was or wanted to be. It was a visual and narrative mess with so many problems it was overwhelming.

Just to do a quick recap, tt's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis. The loss of life and collateral damage left many feeling angry and helpless, including crime-fighting billionaire Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth. Meanwhile, the conniving Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”.

Fast-forward a few months, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gifts us "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" Ultimate Edition. Director Zack Snyder gets the opportunity to bring his grand vision of the film to the public and redeem himself in the eyes of the masses of haters. I can't even begin to tell you what 30 minutes of extra footage can do to save a movie, but I'll briefly try.

I'm going to go into this proclaiming that the movie still has issues an extended cut can't magically fix. My main issue is the same. I know Snyder is trying to show a Batman who's reached his breaking point and now fights crime by any means necessary (ie. guns). I still don't like it. Jesse Eisenberg is miraculously not quite as annoying as he was in the theatrical cut, but ultimately doesn't capture the essence of the comic book version of Lex Luthor. Superman continues to be a lovesick mopey emo kid, but we're shown there's a little more to him.

To be fair, I didn't sit down and compare frame-by-frame what was new footage and what wasn't. Some of the additions were very noticeable while others were not. The one thing I can tell you for sure is that as a whole, the “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” Ultimate Edition flows better and leaves the viewer with a clearer understanding of what's unfolding before them.

“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” Ultimate Edition is rated R for sequences of violence. It does contain more gore and onscreen brutality. There’s also a lot more unnecessary profanity included. The one big scene everyone is talking about is seeing Ben Affleck’s bare bottom at one point. I can wholeheartedly assure you we see more of Hugh Jackman’s butt in the PG-13 “X-Men” movies than we ever see in this extended cut.

I've read a lot of reviews of the “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” Ultimate Edition. Many claim that this version makes more sense and narratively moves along better and I would concur. Critics also say that there's a lot of extraneous footage that could have been left out and that's where I disagree. The additional footage, no matter how insignificant it may seem, helps create a more satisfying and complete viewing experience. Doesn't that make it extremely significant in the grand scheme of things? Here it virtually saves the movie from being a pile of storytelling rubbish.

“Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” Ultimate Edition is available now on Blu-ray and as a digital download.