With Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition arriving on Digital HD today and Blu-ray next month, last night Warner Bros. offered fans in select cities a chance to see the extended cut in movie theaters. Since information about this R-rated extended cut hit prior to the films theatrical release, fans have wondered if the extra thirty minutes would solve story problems, and if WB should have released the extended cut in theaters instead of the version that went out around the world.
While I understand why WB wouldn’t want to release a three hour R-rated superhero movie (especially one designed to sell toys and t-shirts to kids) the version they put in theaters had so many story/script problems that even the most die-hard DC fans were left scratching their heads after the film ended wondering why certain decisions were made by the main characters.
But after watching the ultimate edition last night, I can honestly say the three hour cut of Batman v Superman is such an improvement that I strongly suggest giving the film another chance. Not only does the North Africa sequence at the beginning of the film now make sense, you get to see Clark Kent be an investigative reporter, understand how Lex was pulling the strings to frame Superman, how Lex was behind the killings when Batman branded someone, and so much more.
Besides the big scenes, which explain a lot, the ultimate edition is loaded with smaller moments tacked on to existing scenes. Have you wondered why Superman wasn’t able to see the bomb during the Senate hearings? That’s explained. After the bomb goes off, you see Superman helping the injured while people clearly don’t want him there. Remember when Clark leaves Metropolis to go into the mountains and talks with his father? That sequence has a new beginning.
Also, the funeral towards the end, you get to see a lot of familiar faces you might remember from Man of Steel. There’s more with Wonder Woman. Longer fight sequences between our heroes. So many scenes have added moments it’s literally impossible to summarize them all here. But that’s what happens when you cut thirty minutes out of a three hour film. That’s one sixth of what Snyder wanted to release.
When the film ended and we were leaving the theater, I started to feel bad for Zack Snyder. Since the film was released and got mediocre to terrible reviews, he’s stayed quiet and didn’t say anything about his three hour cut and the film he wanted to release. He’s been a company man and supported Warner Bros. decision to release the shorter version.
But it had to hurt.
After watching his full cut I have to say I’m even more excited to see his take on Justice League. And I was pretty amped up after doing that set visit last week.
Look, I’m not saying the Batman vs Superman: Ultimate Cut solves all the problems. Far from it. How does Amy Adams know to go get the Kryptonite spear after throwing it away? Why couldn’t Superman keep trying to talk to Batman before their fight to explain how Lex was using them? He tries for like a second and then it’s fight night. But the extended cut does solve tons of little things which didn’t make sense in the original release so instead of a dozen problems, I’m only frustrated by a few things and it’s a lot easier to forgive a few things than a dozen.
I know many of you are not going to give the Ultimate Edition a chance because of whatever reason. But I’m telling you the Ultimate Edition is a radical change to the theatrical cut and if you’re a Batman or Superman fan you should absolutely check it out.
Last night, right after watching the movie, Jon Schnepp, Dennis Tzeng, Umberto Gonzalez and I recorded a special episode of Collider Heroes. All four of us thought the ultimate edition was better than the theatrical cut and Schnepp, who didn’t like BvS, had the biggest transformation. Watch what we had to say in the video above and let me know what you think in the comments below.
You can also watch my interview with Zack Snyder from before Batman v Superman came out where he talked to me about the three hour cut and why he couldn’t release that version.