Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★

March 2017: Flounder’s Scavenger Hunt #3
TASK #30: A film with pointless dream sequences!

When I first saw this in theaters, I walked out massively disappointed. After loving Man of Steel, I was really looking forward to Batman v Superman and I found it to be a letdown. In July, I watched Snyder’s intended three-hour version and I was very impressed. I decided to give it another shot today. Not only did this Ultimate Edition get even better on another viewing, but it also makes me hate the theatrical cut and how Warner Bros. is handling the DCEU even more. Does the film have problems? Absolutely. The Martha scene has a good idea behind it, but the way it’s executed makes it seem like it’s taking random DC trivia and misguidedly making it deep and profound. Jesse Eisenberg’s performance as Lex Luthor is awkward, and I mean, beyond awkward (like if Max Landis and the Joker had a love-child with Jar Jar Binks syndrome). If he was playing the Riddler, he’d be perfect, but as Lex Luthor, it’s way off. The ending with Superman dying I still find pointless because Batman and Wonder Woman were already dealing with Zodsday well on their own and Wonder Woman, who’s an immortal may I remind you, could’ve easily killed him with the spear, plus you see dirt levitating off of his coffin, making it even further pointless and unnecessary. Not to mention, why would you kill him two movies into this universe? The Justice League set-ups are still painfully forced and stupid and the dream sequences serve no purpose to the story, no matter how visually stunning they are. Aside from those, I really like this version. The motives for why Batman and Superman are against one another? They’re made much more clear and are fleshed out a lot more. Lex Luthor’s plan makes way more sense here and his motives are also made a lot more clear than in the theatrical version. Lois Lane served no purpose in the theatrical version but is indispensable in the Ultimate Edition. This is a cut that delivers more of what those who were let down by it wanted it to deliver on. The performances, aside from Eisenberg, are great, especially from Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman herself is awesome and she really shines during the climax. That smile she gives when battling Zodsday? Glorious. The visual effects look stunning. The cinematography by regular Zack Snyder collaborator Larry Fong is absolutely breathtaking throughout the entire film. The action sequences are all beautifully filmed, edited, and paced and are all so much fun to watch, in particular the Batmobile chase sequence and the fight sequence in the warehouse. The musical score by Hans Zimmer & Tom Holkenborg is fantastic, particularly the tracks titled Is She with You? and A Beautiful Lie. The editing by David Brenner is also done much better here. Despite the long three hour runtime, the film moves by at a swift pace and the scenes move with actual cohesion this time around as well as a much more even flow to them. Snyder, David S. Goyer, and Chris Terrio also manage to tackle the themes of fear, power, hope, family, sacrifice, justice, what being a hero really means, how even being a hero can lead to unfortunate consequences, and how a powerful and seemingly destructive god among mortals can truly be more human than we first thought and they do so in a genuinely poignant and insightful way, a way that makes the film honestly quite thought-provoking and that much more engrossing. If you want to watch this film, see this cut. It’s by far the definitive version. Hey, uh, theatrical cut? To quote the Nostalgia Critic, "May an army of devils sing thee to thy fiery death!"

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