When it comes to watching movies, I rarely watch the Director’s Cut version, unless it’s something that I am a huge fan of, and if I am told to watch that version instead, such as Ben Affleck’s “Daredevil”.
However, with “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”, as I mentioned in my earlier review of the film over here, I wanted to see how the Ultimate Cut compares to the theatrical cut; and to see if those thirty minutes that were cut out improves it. I also had two of my siblings who have not seen the theatrical version yet to also watch it with me to see what their reaction was.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that at the end of it all, I ended up really liking this particular version, to the point that I would gladly watch the film over and over again to see if there were other things that I missed out on during my first viewing. Unsurprisingly, my two siblings who were watching the film for the first time, greatly enjoyed it, and loved Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, or Batman.
Now, without further ado, let us get into spoiler territory, so here’s a big WARNING for spoilers, for those who have not seen the Ultimate Cut yet.
WARNING: SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!
One of the reasons that the Ultimate Cut was a big improvement from the theatrical cut is the fact that the additional thirty minutes gave more context and insight into the story, and was able to develop the characters more- with character moments that balanced out the action sequences. Also, those scenes, even those scenes that were edited and rearranged for the theatrical version, made the story flow more organically, and it made much more sense.
One of the biggest things that it did was showcase how Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) manipulated things so that it would ultimately end up with Clark Kent or Superman (Henry Cavill) going against Bruce Wayne or Batman (Ben Affleck), right from the get go with the scene in Africa, all the way to Lex using his Russian mob connections to get bat-branded prisoners shanked at the prison in Metropolis. This, I think, also allowed them to show that Lex in evil, in a way, and not some annoying and eccentric rich kid. However, it still did not diminish the fact that the “Martha” scene made me laugh a little, but I was glad that both superheroes were able to talk a little bit more with each other before Batman went off to save Martha Kent himself.
Also, I sort of liked that little moment when Batman dropped Martha off safely in the street before going after Doomsday, and it looked like she gave a little tentative wave at the general direction of the Batplane before the scene ended.
Also, showing Lex talking to Steppenwolf (that deleted scene that was released a week after the theatrical cut was released) allowed viewers to not get so confused about what Lex was talking about during Batman’s visit to Lex’s jail cell. Also, I loved the fact that Bruce still has some pull at Arkham, which opens the doors for new possibilities in the DC Expanded Universe, especially as Arkham houses a lot of the Batman’s rogues gallery, such as Harley Quinn and the Joker.
In line with this, I was also happy to Clark and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) using their reporter skills more in order to discover more about Batman and about the mercenaries in Africa, respectively.
The extra telephone conversation that Clark had with his mother, Martha Kent (Diane Lane), also added more layers to Clark’s character, and were great character moments for him. It was a shame that they did not put that in the theatrical cut as I kind of had a little problem with him being all doom and gloom all the time. At least, in this version, were able to get to know more about him, and see him struggle with his inner conflict more.
The Knightmare sequence also made a little bit more sense, especially as it was clearly shown that the soldiers attacking Batman were Superman’s soldiers, as seen by the “S” logo on their shoulder patches. When I first saw that scene, I was a little bit confused until Superman himself came to confront and unmask Batman. The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) cameo right at the end of that sequence also made more sense, and the additional lines of him asking if he was “too early”, gave viewers a little bit more to go on that that is the Flash. I, unfortunately, when I first watched the theatrical cut was not really sure who that was, and only discovered afterwards that that was the Flash. It was also a little bit jarring for me the first time around as I have gotten quite used to seeing Grant Gustin as the Flash in the CW’s “The Flash”, my favorite superhero show airing today.
Speaking of the Flash, this time around, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) discovering and showing the audience the other future members of the Justice League did not seem as forced as it had been before, and that scene transitioned into it smoothly as compared to before.
At the end of it all, I would recommend watching the Ultimate Cut over the theatrical cut, and I honestly, in my humble opinion, would have paid to see the Ultimate Cut in the theaters, despite its length, as this one presented the story in a way that made more sense as compared to the first version.