Film Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

(The Ultimate Edition)

starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Holy Hunter, Gal Gadot

Watch the Batman v Superman final trailer 

(source: WarnerBrosPictures)

Fearing the actions of a god-like super hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs.  And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. (via Warner Bros. Pictures)

First of all, this is a very late post, but it's better late than never. So, I will still post my review of BvS here because I loved the movie and good thing I'm late in posting this as there are two versions of it. I saw it last March, during the weekend it opened in theaters. In fact, I saw the film a few times. It looks like the version I first saw was called the Theatrical Cut and the recent Blu-ray release (which I bought my copy, which included both versions) is called the Ultimate Edition (aka the Ultimate Cut) with 30 minutes more extra footage that were missing and removed from the TC!

As a big Superman (and Lois Lane) fan, I saw BvS a few times in theaters as it was a follow up to Man of Steel that I saw previously (Read my Film Review: Man of Steel) and loved and enjoyed watching that movie. I know this movie has Batman and Wonder Woman (her first Cinematic introduction and debut), so I got more excited and had waited a long time as this movie took over two years before it was released. I've heard film critics didn't seem to like this movie and it gotten mixed reviews (from fans and audiences alike), which I never understood their hatred and unfair criticisms this movie got. I saw the movie and was thinking, did they watch the same movie I saw? Because I disagree with their criticisms or rather opinions of the film being poor or it being a worst CBM movie, it wasn't. Sure, it wasn't perfect and it had its flaws, and I get what they're saying about the pacing issues, the uneven editing (I noticed it in a few scenes that didn't make any sense), the dark tone (I didn't have a problem with it because of where the story was going and it made sense), and not enough Superman (and Lois...which I do agree with them about this part)...and don't even get me started with the ending that was so unexpected and I so did not see coming! It sure was shocking...Still, it doesn't mean the movie was bad or worse just because, in their opinion, it wasn't what the movie they expected or wanted to see. I guess, they wanted to see a typical, campy, action flick, which this movie wasn't. I get the things they didn't like, but they were minor issues and I didn't mind them. For me, the movie was very good and It wasn't perfect, but I loved and enjoyed watching it that I even saw it a few times at the big screen.

Then, I learned that the film had an ultimate cut with an additional 30 minutes of footage not seen in theaters. This version was, apparently, the whole movie that director Zack Snyder had originally intended, but was cut due to time constraints (over 3 and 1/2 hours long and 30 minutes longer than the TC) and its rating content from MPAA). Now, it made more sense the unfair criticisms it gotten because the film sure did feel incomplete with deleted scenes (as aforementioned, there were a few or more scenes that didn't make sense because the additional or extended scenes were edited out), and its uneven pacing and editing. Everything else were still very good though and the ending remained the same (albeit with additional extended scenes not seen in theaters), just those deleted 30 minutes that were taken out from important scenes. I'm very glad that the Ultimate Edition was released (first on a one night only limited theatrical release for fans in selected cities) on Blu-ray and I got to see the complete movie as Snyder intended it, because I loved and enjoyed watching this movie even more! In fact, after seeing the UC, I now prefer watching it over the TC. It's definitely far more superior, in my opinion, than the TC.

I've seen the UC version now and just loved it even more. There are so many things I loved and appreciated about this movie in the UC version. It fixed the problems from the TC that most film critics and some people who didn't like this movie. It fleshed out the story more (as it was originally intended). The flow and pacing of the movie and the edited well, was so much better in this version. The characters were much deeper here. It's such a multilayered film, not only in story, but also in allegories and symbolism, etc. Also, there was more of Superman and his alter-ego Daily Planet's reporter Clark Kent investigating at Gotham and a bit more of Lois Lane too, which made me happy as a big fan of these iconic DC characters.

The Cast (in order from returning from MOS to new additions):

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman - Great to see Henry returning to reprise his Clark Kent/Superman dual roles especially in this UC version. He did a superb job in this movie (as he did in MOS). His Clark Kent character appeared more and I'm so glad to see more of his CK (especially as an intrepid reporter doing some investigative work as he should, just like his partner Lois Lane) on this one because they were omitted on the TC version. Henry did a superb job playing both roles and it made me so very sad and teary-eyed every time I saw Superman in that courtroom blindsided and helpless and most especially that heartbreaking ending scene where he sacrificed himself to save the world. That scene, which I didn't see that coming, surprised and shocked me at the same time...and made me cry every single time I see that powerful and emotional scene. Can't wait to see his return in Justice League next year!

Amy Adams as Lois Lane - Amy's Lois Lane continued to impressed me in her character's investigative skills (since MOS) and drive to get the scoop for a story as well as to prove Superman's innocence by uncovering and exposing Lex Luthor's involvement and manipulation (to get Batman and Superman to hate each other...though more so on Batman...hence the BvS title). I'm so glad she also appeared a bit more in this UC version as she wasn't much in the TC. Not too mention there was that morning after scene with Clark that was deleted (and unfortunately, wasn't in this UC version nor seen in the Extras...I wonder why...there was a pic of it from one of BvS official Movie Magazine Guide, but unfortunately, no clip or footage of it...I was so looking forward to seeing what that scene was about...oh, least we got a still of it to wonder about...). Loved that the Flash said, that "It's Lois. Lois Lane. She's the key," to Bruce's nightmare (or was it?). It made sad to see her sad towards the end. Can't wait to see her in Justice League with Clark Kent/Superman!

Laurence Fishburne as Perry White - Good to see DP's editor-in-chief Perry White back (from MOS) with his Daily Planet crew (ie. Clark, Lois, and Jenny). His one-liner and quotable quotes were so funny.

Diane Lane as Martha Kent - Though, Martha appeared in a few brief scenes in this movie, she still had an important and memorable scenes. She also had one of the most memorable lines telling her son Clark/Superman to "be their hero, be their angel, be their their anything they need you to be or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing. You never did." Such a great words of wisdom to cheer her son up. Loved it and her scene with Lois towards the end. Hope she will be seen in Justice League too with Lois & Clark.

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman - Like Henry Cavill with his CK/Superman, Ben also did a great job playing both his dual roles: Bruce Wayne and Batman. He really nailed both of his iconic character's secret identity and public persona. He looked the parts too of BW/Batman and loved his Batman costumes and gadgets as well as that Batmobile. His scenes with Alfred were great as well as with Clark/Superman and with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Can't wait to see him and Wonder Woman assemble more superheroes in the upcoming JL film!

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor - Jesse did an impressive job playing the crazy and manipulative and genius billionaire Lex Luthor. He was so good at being the villain in this movie.

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman - the lovely Gal Gadot was WONDERful and badass in her small, but one of the most memorable parts of this film. She was definitely one of the highlights and she looked and acted her dual roles as the Amazon Princess, Diana Prince aka and best known as Wonder Woman. Her casting was perfect (especially look-wise and her costume), in my opinion. Loved her Wonder Woman theme music "Is She With You?" that played every time she appeared in the movie. It was so catchy and memorable. The audience loved it in the few times I saw it in theaters. They really loved her as DP/Wonder Woman, even though she had a small part. It's the first big screen appearance of her character ever (on her character's 75 years history) it was awesome to see her on the big screen. Gal (or WonderGal as everyone now refers to her, much like CavEL for Henry and Batfleck for Ben, lol) was simply gorgeous and it was so awesome to see her with Batman and Superman as she completes the Trinity (as the 3 of referred to). Can't wait to see her in her solo film next year (June 2, 2017)! I saw the Comic-Con trailer and it looks amazing!!

Holly Hunter as Senator Finch - Holly was great as Senator Finch even though she had a small part, but her character had memorable scenes and quotable quotes.

The rest of the supporting cast (new from BvS and familiar returning from Man of Steel)...
The Russian guy, Mercy Graves, the African woman, Wallace Keefe and Jena Malone's mysterious role that only appeared in a couple scenes with Lois Lane were all very good.

My favorite quotes/dialogue from BvS...(so many of them, actually...they were memorable and in random order):

"I'm not a lady. I'm a Journalist." -Lois Lane

"I'm not a cop. I'm a reporter." -Clark Kent

"The ASK Lois." -Perry White

"Clark, you're going to flood the apartment." -Lois Lane

"Nobody cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman." -Perry White

"Here's the truth. A reporter got greedy for a scoop and went were she shouldn't have. Superman acted like some rogue combatant to rescue her and people died. Don't invent a conspiracy theory to put back his halo or yours." -Swanwick
"I don't have a halo over my head, General. I walked into the desert and people died. It keeps me awake at night. It should." -Lois Lane

"So, why didn't you tell me? You're digging up snakes, Lo. It's kind of dangerous." -Clark Kent
"That's why I didn't tell you." -Lois Lane

"People hate what they don't understand. Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing. You never did." -Martha Kent

"Let the record show that this committee holds him responsible..." -Senator Finch

"We're criminals, Alfred. We've always been criminals. Nothing has changed." -Bruce Wayne
"Oh, yes, it has, sir. Everything's changed. Men fall from the sky. The Gods hurls thunderbolts. Innocents die. That's how it starts, sir. The fever. The rage. The feeling of powerlessness that turns good men...cruel." -Alfred

"The world's been caught up of with what Superman can do, that no one has asked what he should do." -Senator Finch

"You came back." -Lois Lane

"Clark. Joseph. Kent." -Lex Luthor

"Stay down. If I wanted it. You'd be dead already." -Superman

"Find him. Save Martha..." -Superman
"Why did you say that name? Martha? What did you say that name?!?" -Batman
"It's his mother's name!" -Lois Lane

"All this time I've been living my life the way my father saw it. Righting wrongs for a ghost, thinking I'm here to do good. Superman was never real. Just a farmer's dream from Kansas." -Superman
"That farmer's dream is all some people have. It's all that gives them hope." -Lois Lane
"This means something." -Lois Lane
"It did on my world. My world doesn't exist anymore." -Superman

"My name is Clark Kent. I'm from the Daily Planet." -Clark Kent

"Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent. I love it. I love bringing people together." -Lex Luthor

"This thing, this creature seems to feed on energy." -Wonder Woman
"This thing is from another world. My world." -Superman
"I've killed things from other worlds before." -Wonder Woman
"Is she with you?" -Superman
"I thought she was with you." -Batman

"Excuse me, Miss. The other night you took something that doesn't belong to you. Stealing is not polite." -Bruce Wayne
"Is it stealing if you steal from a thief?" -Diana Prince

"You don't know me, but I've known a few women like you." -Bruce Wayne
"Oh, I don't think you've ever known a woman like me." -Diana Prince

"It's Lois. It's Lois Lane. She's the key." -The Flash

"Do you know the oldest lie in America, Senator? It's that power can be innocent." -Lex Luthor

"You can call me whatever you like. Take a bucket of piss and call it Granny's Peach Tea. Take a weapon of assassination and call it deterrence. You won't fool a fly or me. I'm not gonna drink it." -Senator Finch

"No one stays good in this world." -Superman

"All the circuses back east, burying an empty box." -Bruce Wayne
"They don't know how to honor him. Except as a soldier." -Diana Prince
"I've failed life. I won't fail him in death. Help me find the others like you." -Bruce Wayne
"Perhaps they don't want to be found." -Diana Prince
"They will and they'll fight. We'll have to stand together." -Bruce Wayne

"A hundred years ago, I walked away from mankind...from a century of horrors. Man made a world where standing together is impossible." -Diana Prince
"Men are still good. We fight. We kill. We betray one another. But we can rebuild. We can do better. We will. We have to." -Bruce Wayne
[scene of funeral ceremony and graffiti - IF YOU SEEK HIS MONUMENT LOOK AROUND YOU.]
"The others like me. Why did you say they'll have to fight?" -Diana Prince
"Just a feeling." -Bruce Wayne

And many more...

Overall, I thought Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a great follow up to Man of Steel. It was SUPER. HEROIC. EPIC and an such an AMAZING film. The ensemble cast were outstanding, just great acting from everyone from the main to supporting cast (even cameo ones including Jena Malone). Awesome visuals and sound effects. Another beautiful Music and Score by Hans Zimmer with Junkie XL, especially that memorable Wonder Woman theme musical score, "Is She With You?" was just awesome and unforgettable. The cinematography here was visually stunning (more so than in MOS) by Larry Fong. Great direction by Zack Snyder as well. The story was great with great quotes/dialogue and memorable one-liners. I loved and enjoyed watching this movie from beginning to end. I so did not see those shocking courtroom and ending scenes coming! They were both shocking! I was surprised and speechless at the same time especially to see what happened to Superman towards the end! I didn't think they would dare do that to one of the main characters, but it was brave and comic canon, so it was brilliant and epic. Loved the character development for the main title characters (Batman and Superman) as well as the supporting characters (Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, etc.), the witty moments, and the strong and very emotional scenes (especially towards the end...very touching, made me cry...every single time I see that very sad ending...just heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time). I highly recommend you see this movie, especially this UC version, if you haven't already.

My Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - The Ultimate Edition Film Rating: (10/10; A+)


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