This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
*Viewed the Ultimate Edition*
Was excited to view this extended cut upon hearing its existence. Having enjoyed the theatrical cut, though wished it was stronger, I was hoping that the extra scenes would enhance the movie to a spectacular experience. Friends, my prediction proved dead right. Not only should this 3-hour cut have been the version released to theaters back in March, but I also think would people would have graciously accepted it as high-quality art, it would have made a billion at the box-office, and the DCU wouldn't have that identity crisis its currently having (though frankly, I'm still optimistic over their future work, especially Wonder Woman and that Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie).
With spoiler warnings, here is a brief look at everything added to the movie that ultimately improved upon the feature film:
1. The Africa subplot. Not only is the editing much improved and fleshed out, but character motivations are more explained here. That African woman who testified in court is given a backstory and her part in Lex's master plan (being bribed to frame Superman for the attacks) ultimately makes Lex's evil schemes make more sense, as in the theatrical cut, the editing was all over the place that some character motivations were rushed.
2. That wheelchair bound "False God" guy. In the extended cut, we find out that Lex rigged that wheelchair bomb at the Capitol explosion by making the chair out of lead, and as us Superman fans know best, Superman can't see through lead. The only reason why this information was cut from the theatrical cut was because Jena Malone's character, who plays Lois' partner at the crime lab, had all her scenes cut from the final picture. Very dumb decision to do, because that left a major plot-hole in the final cut. Thank God it was placed back in to this superior extended version.
3. Lex. I was initially not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg's performance here, but here in the extended version, I could actually but into it. Sure that bizarre "Jolly Rancher" scene is still there, he still creates Doomsday, and he's mainly there for Justice League buildup, but his motivations make more sense when all the scenes are brought back to make everything make sense.
4. And finally, speaking of character motivations, for those who complained that Superman's hatred for Batman made no sense, have no fear. The extended version has scenes where Clark uses his journalism skills to investigate the "Bat branding" controversy, seeing Gotham citizens in fear of Batman's actions, scenes that were SHAMELFULLY CUT FROM THE FINAL PICTURE BECAUSE WB WOULDN'T ALLOW A 3-HOUR CUT!!! I mean, Batman's motivations already made sense in the theatrical cut; now with everything in place, the ultimate battle between man vs. bat is fully realized.
After rewatching this movie in its truest form, I can truly say that Batman v. Superman is a masterpiece. Literally. I 100% love this movie now. Sure Lois Lane is still Lois and that scene with the spear is stupid as crap, but with this and Man of Steel under his belt, I think Zack Snyder is a visual and storytelling genius. The way he took complex characters like Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, and Wonder Woman and crafted a 3-hour epic featuring tense character drama and top-notch visceral action, I'm now blown away. Even that Doomsday sequence is fully watchable now. To date, Batman v. Superman, thanks to this extended cut, is currently my favorite of the DCU.
The Justice League is in excellent hands with Snyder and Geoff Johns in charge...
That R rating for this was pointless, by the way. The action was still PG-13 level at best, and though they try to add "gory" blood spatter effects in some shots, the additions are so amateurish that the whole R controversy was a joke to begin with. This was just a publicity stunt just to get more people to buy it and to manipulate people that it would be another Deadpool. This is still the superior cut, but still, this is definitely a PG-13 movie, even with that shot of Ben Affleck's butt.
Even after two rewatches, that "Martha" moment doesn't annoy me. I know it gets the butt of many jokes, but I thought it was pivotal moment to restore Batman's humanity.
"And now you will fly to him, and you will battle him to the death. Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!"
94/100 (formerly a 76)