• Oli Mora

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

With the director's cut of Zack Snyder's Justice League coming to HBO Max later next year, it feels like a fitting time to review one of the director's most famously hideous films: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (although for the purpose of speed we will be referring to it as simply BVS).

As I stated previously, this film has been infamously despised by critics and film lovers alike, with a staggering 28% on RottenTomatoes.com, and a 2.4/5 on Letterboxd.com.

These reviews are mainly aimed towards the theatrical cut, however. Like many of his other films, Snyder's original edit was butchered to fit the requirements of the studio behind it. These versions of the movie are the ones widely released to viewers around the globe.

Today, however, we will be discussing the "ultimate" director's edition of this film, more popularly known as the "Snyder Cut."

Starting off strong, BVS sports some pretty incredible action scenes. Whether it be the realistic gunfights, brutal hand-to-hand combat, or fun (albeit goofy) special effects, the movie is littered with entertaining and thrilling action from beginning to end. It is no secret at this point that the Marvel films, although they might have better scripts, have nothing on DC's combat choreography and direction.

Another strength of BVS is its consistency in terms of violence. In many other action/blockbuster hits such as Iron Man or Inception, the violence level is in conflict with itself. At times, characters get shot and graphically lose blood. Other times, they seem not to bleed at all. In BVS, when characters get hurt they really get hurt. This is mainly an effect of the PG-13 rating that comes by default with the vast majority of modern action films. In fact, the theatrical cut of BVS suffered from this problem as well. Fortunately, Snyder decided to release his cut of the film with an R-rating, meaning that he was not limited in the content he could display on-screen.

The editing in BVS is also a huge improvement over it's theatrical twin. Where the original cut is pieced together in an awkward, incoherent, and confusing fashion, Snyder rearranges it to fit a perfect timeline that is much easier for the audience to follow.

Lastly, BVS has some pretty awesome costume design. The Batman costume seen in this film is incredibly good-looking, and miles better than any other version from any other movie or television show. This continues to be a strength for the Superman and Wonder Woman films.

Unfortunately, this is where the positives end for this film. Although the "ultimate" cut of BVS is probably one of Snyder's least flawed films, it is still riddled with the problems many of the modern DC films face, such as bad writing, horrible character development, cheesy and overused special effects, unpleasant color saturation and brightness, predictable twists ending in boring CGI filled battles, sluggish pacing, and bad acting.

In conclusion, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) is one of the better DC films out there, but is still plagued by the signature flaws of this cinematic universe.

Although it has many things going for it, BVS remains a hard movie to recommend, hiding all of its positive qualities under a pile of negatives that are hard to see through.


C-

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©2020 by Oli Mora and Tobi Liberman / ©2020 The CinemaScope