Underrated: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition.


 

Batman v Superman Dawn of JusticeLet’s not beat around the bush here: the theatrical cut of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice wasn’t the greatest superhero movie of last year and while it wasn’t the worst comic book movie of the year, it was perhaps one of the most disappointing – for me at least. I had expected so much from the movie, because it was fucking Batman and Superman on the big screen together. And… well we got an average movie. There were parts that were great (Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot), and parts that were pretty good (Henry Cavil), and… some less than savoury parts. I left the theatre feeling quite unsure of how I felt; did the good outweigh the bad, or did it balance it out? What didn’t click for me? Could the movie had been better?

Shortly after seeing the movie I found out that there would be an R rated extended cut of the film released for home media, and I wondered whether that would do anything to set the film right.

As it turns out, it did.

Almost every problem I had with the pacing, plot and direction of the movie was made better by the extended cut. I still wasn’t happy that the entire movie had effectively been told in short form in the trailers, but there wasn’t much I could do about that other than not watching the trailer in the first palace. Since that wasn’t an option…

Look, I get that Warner Brothers probably had concerns about audiences sitting for an extended period of time… I mean the near two and a half hour run time of the theatrical cut was the longest movie in recent memory, and understandably Warner’s were concerned about audiences attention spans. It’s not like we’d ever sit patiently during Lord Of The Rings, or binge watch five hours of Daredevil in one sitting. That’s just not who we are. And to think we’d rather have  a great long movie longer than a slightly shorter average one would never cross their minds. 

It’s okay, though.

Whether it’s thanks to the success of Deadpool, or the critical slamming early on, or both, the Extended cut of the movie is a much better story in every way. The plot holes that resulted from the opening sequence are fixed because of the additional footage showing the soldiers using flame throwers to incinerate bodies to mimic Superman’s heat vision, if you wrote the movie off based on the theatrical cut then you’re missing one of the better superhero movies of last year.

Yeah, I said it.

The Extended edition is a better move than Civil War is, but because the real version of the film was never released in theaters, the movie as a whole got quite an unfair reputation – albeit fairly earned based on the expectations people had for this supposed juggernaut of a film, and what was initially delivered. If you’ve only seen the theatrical cut of the movie, then give the Extended edition a shot. The additional scenes add significantly to the overall experience, delivering a much better experience than anything you’d have expected from the theatrical experience.

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2 comments

  • To say the Batman V Superman Extended Edition is better than the Theatrical release is akin to saying the flu is better than pneumonia. While one is “better” than the other, it is still preferable to not be sick at all. Both versions of BvS make me ill. Neither Batman nor Superman are ever truly heroic. We have a Batman who brands and murders criminals, but only the blue collar ones. The white collar one at the end he lets off with a warning. We have a mopey, insecure Superman who gets crappy advice from his Earth parents, and seems to only want to save Lois Lane. He interrupts Batman’s car chase and tells the Dark Knight to “knock it off”, but only after Batman has already killed about a dozen henchman. He doesn’t save the people at the Capital. He has murderous Batman rescue his mom. Lex Luthor is a neurotic, giggly, effeminate sociopath, and . . . what exactly was his plan anyway? The only good part of the movie is Wonder Woman, but she’s not in it enough to redeem the awful mess. It is dark, grim, joyless and hopeless. The extended edition is not as awful as the theatrical release, but is still quite awful.

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  • Great post on which I pretty much totally agree. I did like the theatrical cut of BvS but I happen to really really like the ultimate edition, which is clearly how the film was meant to be seen. Folks bash it for being dark and grim but I think it was necessary for the story and the outcome allows for a brigther and more heroic direction for Justice League that I don’t see as a ‘course correction’ but more of a progression of the DCEU.

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