One of those times where a second watch forgives a lot of sins, BvS UE is undoubtedly a treat to watch. It’s still an unholy mess though. Take enough ideas for two or three superhero screenplays; cram them into a blender; grind and serve. Sure you’ll get to enjoy plenty of delicious pieces, but you’ll still be left with a peculiar -and at times unpleasant- taste in the mouth.
The Ultimate edition definitely improves matters however and has a salving effect on the some aspects of the story; filling in certain blanks and adding context to key scenes that didn’t seem to make sense in the theatrical cut (the ‘framing superman’ subplot is an example). We also see a bit more of Clark Kent which gives us at least a crumb of supes' personality, his love for Lois, and his reasons for distrusting Batman. Sadly it’s not enough to save the film entirely. The characterisation of Superman & Luthor; the manipulation of Batman; and all their motivations (particularly in Luthor’s case) are appallingly written and still don’t make sense. Superman in particular is a horribly realised character. As a warrior, he’s fine: nailing the badass scowl and exhibiting his immense powers in a way no superman before him has done previously. But he’s so utterly charmless, unpleasant, miserable and resentful that you wonder why he has any fans at all. “You don’t owe the world a thing” Martha sneeringly tells him, spitting on humanity and the audience at the same time. Well, I beg to differ. 80 years of fan support deserves at the very least a character that can be called a superhero. I’m still not a fan of his look either; a suit so dark you can’t tell where the blue ends and the red begins, and a gait that can only be described as ‘chunky’.
Where it does work however is in delivering as an action/ fantasy spectacle and in establishing a truly superb Batman and Wonder Woman. Bat-fleck nails the role and his scenes are almost uniformly exciting. I say without caveat that the ‘warehouse’ scene, now with added R-rated carnage is, the best live-action set piece in any Batman film- if not any DC movie period. A punishingly brutal and satisfying melee smackdown that wouldn’t look out of place in Dredd.
The titular fight is also fantastic fun as we see Batman use every trick in his arsenal to overcome the near-insurmountable advantage the Man of Steel has over him. It’s a shame then that this scene is deflated by one of the most cringe-worthy dialogue moments in cinema history, leading to an instant 180-degree character turnaround that’s plain embarrassing. The film however remains in high gear until the showdown with ‘Doomsday’ and even despite going full ‘CGI destruction mode’ is a lot more exciting than I remember. Superman fighting full-tilt is thrilling, as is the timely arrival of Gal Gadot’s insanely sexy and effective superheroine Wonder Woman. That theme, that outfit, those moves, those fierce looks; dayum!
It’s a shame such thrilling moments have to jostle for space with so much abject cruddiness. Jessie Eisenberg is still teeth-clenchingly irritating, endlessly spouting shallow Snyderisms about ‘Gods and devils and saviours’ and behaving like an idiot in every single scene. 'Doomsday' is a generic, motiveless troll that has no reason to exist. The means by which Lex Luthor creates him are as bafflingly implausible as the reasons for him doing so. Just…why? Then there’s an absurdly indulgent and unjustified funeral sequence that completely negates the ‘anti’ sentiment that drove the story earlier.
And yet… I had so much fun at other times that perhaps its better not to overthink it, but to just strap in and enjoy the ride.
Picture quality is superb although being a Snyder film, many scenes exhibit thick grain and dark, murky scenes that don't lend themselves to being shown off as demo quality. However barring that stylistic choice there's little to complain about. The audio however is a sonic powerhouse that will impress everyone (especially those without the added benefit of atmos). The TrueHD 7.1 is a force to be reckoned with.
A solid selection of featurettes completes a terrific package. While they don't offer a truly meaty documentary or commentary track, they are a lot more in depth than the fluffy offerings that get rationed out on Marvel's discs.
So even for BvS skeptics its a disc to be proud of. For fans, its essential.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice User Review
Better version of a flawed film, on an excellent discReview of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice blu-ray by lucasisking, Aug 4, 2016.This item was purchased for 15.00 from Sainsburys in 2016. The reviewer still owns this product.