Batman vs Superman: It’s extended… but is it any better?

Batman vs Superman: It’s extended… but is it any better?
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One of the major criticisms levelled at “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” was that editing had left the film feeling quite disjointed. In some cases scenes had clearly had key elements removed which removed context and left them hard to follow.

So, to rectify this, shortly after the film was released (and the negative reviews started rolling in) Warner Bros announced that “Ultimate Edition” would feature an additional 30 minutes of footage which had been removed. Now call me stupid (please don’t) but if you felt a certain scene or moment was crucial to the telling of your story – why would you allow it to be cut? The cut version was still two and a half hours so it’s not as though we’re talking about the difference between a short film and a long epic – it’s a bloody long film no matter how you spin it. So why not just leave the material in? The cynic in me suggests it might be to do with creating extra hype and to almost force people to re-watch your film when many had sworn that once was enough.

The added scenes do make a little bit of difference, they add some back-story and context where previously it was lacking but there isn’t sufficient material added to turn haters of this film into lovers.*

[* = I actually enjoyed the film and although the storyline was quite scatty it was, for the most part, very enjoyable.]

So what HAS been added then? Here’s a brief list of some of the scenes which have been either added or extended:

  • The opening scene in Nairomi has been extended so it becomes a lot more clear why US forces are there
  • Clark Kent is scene investigating “The Batman” in Gotham City
  • Lois Lane’s investigation into the Africa mission and the evidence she finds is stretched out
  • The widow of the human-trafficker apprehended by Batman is shown, fleshing out his story and adding more fuel to the “Batman is an animal” fire
  • We see the fallout from the bombing at the Capitol Building
  • Ben Affleck’s arse (Buttfleck?)
  • Lex is seen communicating with Steppenwolf, the confirmed villain for the Justice League movie
  • Batman + Lex = Arkham

I’d say that the biggest winner here is Team Superman – The Man of Steel himself gains some actual dialogue (the real shame being that Henry Cavill is far too wooden to deliver it properly) while Lois Lane’s tenacious investigative side is showcased far better and she’s able to piece together a string of clues that lead her to conclude that the Capitol Building bombing has all been orchestrated by Lex Luthor – not a disgruntled victim of Superman’s recklessness.

However there are some glaring problems which no amount of editing could possibly fix:

  • Jesse Eisenberg is still an awful Lex Luthor, the writing does him no favours but his portrayal is borderline slapstick
  • Doomsday looks more like a mutated pond creature rather than a product of Kryptonian DNA splicing
  • Henry Cavill simply cannot act or, at the very least, he cannot act as Superman
  • The trailers still gave away far too much and ruined many of the big surprises in the film
  • That sodding “Martha” scene*

[* = I’ve had people sit down and try to explain this to me as if I don’t understand the poignancy of this moment… I understand it perfectly well, it’s just a really lazy piece of story-telling to stop wanting to kill someone after TWO YEARS because they mentioned a name which happened to be the same as your Mum. Seriously.]

And certain aspects simply didn’t need improving in any way, shape or form:

  • Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
  • Ben Affleck as the best Bruce Wayne and second (?) best Batman
  • Gal Gadot
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Wonder Woman
  • Amy Adams breathing real new life into Lois Lane who, like her beloved Kryptonian crooner, has become tired and boring
  • Did I mention Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman yet?

I still think that Batman vs Superman is worth your time but, if at all possible, try to watch the Extended Cut as you’ll find yourself MUCH less frustrated. This is the first offering in a whole new DC universe and, as far as first efforts go, this one is pretty good.

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