A few weeks have gone by and those of us devoted to believing a better Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was out there have taken the time to watch the Ultimate Edition blu-ray. Many of us agree it’s better than the theatrical cut. For those unaware, the Ultimate Edition packs in an additional 30 minutes of footage that was cut from the movie. This extra footage mostly serves to flesh out the film's characters from what was cut in the theatrical version.
Some major scenes cut from the film include Clark Kent going to Gotham City to investigate the one called Batman, a scene explaining the bullet that Louis Lane bring up continuously, and another that enhances Luthor’s overall scheme. Even the man who branded by Batman at the beginning of the movie is more established in the ultimate edition. All would have been interesting additions, but one scenes in particular would have made all the difference in the overall quality of the theatrical cut.
A Pivotal Scene
Shortly after the events that unfold in the court house in the theatrical cut, namely the explosion of a bomb that is placed inside of the wheel chair of Wallace Keef by Lex Luthor, Superman emerges, seemingly the only survivor of the attack.
In the ultimate edition, the scene plays out quite differently. Check out the scene below:
As you can see, in the Ultimate Edition Superman goes the extra mile to save everyone who had survived the blast from the bomb. He looks around, taking in all the death and destruction that took place. He’s upset he never noticed the bomb located inside of the wheelchair until it was too late. It ends with him flying away just like in the theatrical version.
Why Snyder Should Have Kept This Scene
Director Zack Snyder, earlier in the film, does show Superman rescuing a little girl out of a burning building, coming to the aid of an over-turned ship stuck in ice, aiding astronauts taking off into space inside of an exploding shuttle, and helping a family trapped on top of their house from a massive flood, but this capital scene is in my opinion much more significant.
This scene alters viewers' perspective on Superman and his feelings. In the theatrical version he simply flies away, knowing he will be blamed for another incident. In this version he attempts to save lives showing he cares and that he’s not the “Illegal Alien” or “False God” that some portray him to be. One portrays him as angrily resigned, the other motivated by compassion.
The scene gives us reason to root for Superman, especially as Ben Affleck’s Batman seems to be the film's focus as far as having a clear mission. It also adds some emotional weight to Superman's fate in the end of the film. The funeral scene in the Ultimate Edition is also longer, showing that people do care about this powerful being.
The best part of this cut scene may just be when a firefighter thanks Superman for his help. It doesn't matter if the officer is for or against Superman, he acknowledges this controversial person for the good he's done.
This inclusion of this small scene may not ultimately change viewers minds about the film as a whole, but viewers of the Ultimate Edition seem to agree it was a better viewing experience than the theatrical cut. All the extra scenes add more flavor to a film that appeared to jump around way to often. At times the story feels uneven, with too many things happening at once. With so many characters crammed into one film, it isn't surprising that a version of the film where each is more developed would be better received.
This seems to be one example of studio execs messing with a director's vision. There are rumors Zack Snyder fought to have this cut of the film released instead. However, the Warner Bros. executives won and we saw what they gave us. By far Snyder’s version is more complete with many scenes that would have enhanced the final version.
Here's hoping Snyder is given the freedom he needs to bring us the version of Justice League: Part One fans most want to see come November of next year.
Have you watched the Ultimate Edition? Did you like it better than the theatrical cut? What scene would you have kept?