(Heavy spoilers ahead for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, read at your own discretion)
Previously in my Man of Steel Review, link here, I stated that I wasn’t going to review BVS:Ultimate Edition because I gave it to Kyle already, that link here. To review it is kind of pointless but I do have some things to say about the film. First, I give the film a solid B+ rating. I do in fact like Man of Steel more and believe that is a better and more well rounded film. I am also talking about the Ultimate Edition, the only edition as I could write an entire piece on why the fact this wasn’t the theatrical cut annoys me and irritates me to no end but I won’t. This movie is definitely a worthy follow-up and the way it ties into the events of that film and the impact the finale had on this universe while pushing forward and building the Justice League, I feel was done in a remarkable way. Sure, the Justice League scene isn’t perfect as it does feel like it was almost put in there just to be there but the entire Lex Luthor discovering these beings and the way he uses both Batman and Superman against each other to fuel his own psychotic and egotistical agenda is honestly so smart. I’m going to go into a few reasons why I believe this is a movie that is and should be getting the attention it deserves and is finally becoming a film that comic book film and just film fans are able to dedicate 3 hours to this film and feel like they’ve spent their time well.
1. It isn’t afraid to tackle things other Comic Book Films are.
One of the plot points in this movie revolves around the destruction from the end of Man of Steel that Superman and Zod caused during their fight and how it has affected both the people in Metropolis as well as the world as a whole. I honestly think the movie does this in a thought-provoking and realistic manner as some of the imagery looks almost reminscent to real world conflicts. Something that was an issue for filmgoers was Batman’s jaded mortality and his brand of “justice”. Now, this was mainly an issue of the theatrical version being so damn sloppy but also it just didn’t seem like the Batman we all knew and loved. I am a huge fan of this because for one thing, Snyder deconstructs Batman and shows how 20 years of crimefighting have damaged and broken this man. Superman coming into the equation and causing destruction sent him over the edge and he doesn’t care anymore. One thing that Suicide Squad did well to show, albeit a rarity in that film, was in Batman’s cameo, you see he is more traditional and doesn’t have machine guns on his Batmobile. That being a flashback, it goes to show that Batman has officially finished trying to serve Justice the way he used to because he’s witnessed so many innocent people die at this man’s hand. He doesn’t feel the world is safe because of Superman being so powerful that he will do anything to stop him.
2. The Dark Tone
The biggest factor that turns people off of this film is the tone. I think the fact the film takes itself seriously and is a little more grounded then other films. This is a dark and somber movie, but it’s not being dark and somber for the sake of it. The themes of power, politics and religion are handled in a way that had me thinking constantly throughout. Superman is a being that no matter how much good he does, he’s still being looked at as a figure of fear because humanity fears what it doesn’t know.
3. The Action
I think the scene that best represents this is the famous warehouse scene where Batman dispatches a handful of henchmen in brutal ways reminscent of the Batman: Arkham games. We have never gotten a Batman like this before. The entire last hour and a half is an action fest and while this is the weakest part of the film, it is still absolutely magnificent action. While I wish the Batman/Superman fight was double the time it was, what we get is absolutely epic.
4. Superman’s Sacrifice
Something that people found that wasn’t warranted was Superman’s sacrifice at the end. I found this to be a spectacular moment on the movie that feels earned from the themes of the film and the way Superman is looked at in both Man of Steel and this film (the ultimate cut, since he’s hardly in the theatrical) feels like the only way people see Superman as the hero he is is with a sacrifice of death in order to stop Doomsday. I always find this to be a powerful moment and end the movie on a somber note and while I wish the final shot of the movie was left out and we end without knowing that Superman is going to return in Justice League, it would of been perfect.
I love this film. I find it to be extremely ambitious and while it’s not perfect particularly in the 3rd act, it still works a lot more then people gave it credit for. People are finally seeing this movie for the awesome experience it is and I think with more time it’s gonna be even more well received. With Wonder Woman out now (review here), people should go back and watch this, I feel it’s going to make a lot more sense. This is a 3 hour epic of a film and I think you’re gonna really enjoy it if you haven’t seen it already.