Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★

Previously a 70, now an 80

Zack Snyder's divisive superhero epic has grown in stature and mythical resonance with the Ultimate Edition, a home-video release with around 30 minutes of new footage. Fans of Batman v Superman are currently rejoicing and haters are skeptical, but the real truth lies right in the middle. This is merely a vision fulfilled and freed from the constraints of studio meddling, showcasing a film of bombastic grace and anguished feeling in its full glory, but it is not a different film or a drastic improvement. Those saying so are merely using this UE as a way to veer away from their initial attacks, a cinematic apology springboard and nothing more, but if you weren't pleased with Snyder's treatment of the titular characters, sprint away as fast as you can. This cut is for the curious and the fascinated, people ready for another dose of such a strange, goofy, vivid portrait of America and its mythical figures. Sadly, some shit remains unchanged (that email scene, The Flash, Lois and the Spear, "luckily the area is unpopulated!" etc.) and it sticks out like a sore thumb as it always has, resulting in a piece of cinema constantly close to greatness but absorbing in its trials and tribulations nonetheless.

It's better to see both cuts as companion pieces - two different ways to view the same feeling and images - because while someone might prefer one over the other, each have merit. The TC is utterly abstract, flying through vignette after vignette with the intention of sending an idea or a rush to your head before moving on to another location. It was globetrotting heaven, at times dizzily so, but the core of the film remained true; a symphony of trauma and eventual rebirth. In the Ultimate Edition, *actual* scenes exist, important details are let loose, and coherency never wavers. The film morphs into a heavier, expansive alternative to the TC, expanding on aspects that frustrated some viewers and indulging in areas that'll probably frustrate them to an even greater degree, but it remains just as tragic, textured and grandiose. If you praise this Ultimate Edition at the top of your lungs, you probably either loved the film already or you were enthralled by some of the TC's previous components. Worth watching again just to witness Zack Snyder dissect American heroes and toss their remains into an unforgiving modern world.

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