I’ve come to the conclusion that Zach Snyder can make a great 3+ hour movie and only terrible 2.5 hour movies. It’s almost becoming a thing where you might as well skip the theater experience because the extended editions at home will be significantly better. It has now been the case for Superman: Man of Steel, Watchmen, and now this film. The added scenes give a lot to the story and make it more complete. Most of my complaints were evaporated with the extra time.
*Spoilers will follow*
My main complaint with the theatrical version was that the African scene didn’t make much sense. There weren’t any establishing shots and it felt rushed. It made no sense and was more confusing than emotional. This take adds the establishing shots and fully fleshes out why this was such a large issue in the film. There is an added African woman who says some terrible stuff about Superman only to be revealed later that Lex set her up. That information makes it way more believable that Batman would have it out for him. He sees only what the media is showing him and that’s Superman doing some evil things and showing no remorse. He shows no remorse why? Because he didn’t do it and doesn’t feel the need to tell the world that. He wants to live in secrecy. Although it should be fairly apparent to him because you know, he works in media. But I’ll ignore that flaw for what the extended cut gave me.
Some other stuff that was added was some blood and Affleck’s bum. There was also a 5 second scene where Lois is called from a lab assistant that Superman couldn’t see through the wheelchair because it was made of lead. So Superman blames himself for being set up and it wasn’t really his fault. The security was to blame, but again, to the outside world, Superman is the bad guy. It also explains why Batman uses a lead filled smoke bomb. The world building of why the two superheroes fight makes all of the difference.
No onto some things that I originally didn’t like, but after watching the film the second time, I’m more okay with them. Batman killing people is 100% cool with me now. I think his fights were way more interesting because he did but it kinda makes some sense. He’s retired and just done with everything. After seeing so much death and destruction, Batman has given up on what he cares about, valuing life. He’s over the top and brutal because it looks cool and he can finally be unhinged. It was a little funny when he threw the box over his head and hit someone. I did laugh a lot.
Something else I didn’t mind was Lex Luther. His plan looked fully formed and was well presented this time. He was evil. He hired a secret gang to kill everyone in Africa and then stage that Superman killed everyone trying to save Lois. He then convinced everyone that it was Superman’s fault for showing up in court. To culminate into his idea to use fear mongering to get into the area so that he could play around with Zod’s corpse. It was well thought out and he manipulated everyone, including his assistant, into believing that Superman was the bad guy. He was so good, he even got Batman.
Wonder Woman was great again despite her goofy guitar riff intro. Doomsday was also pretty terrible again. I still didn’t like the ending at all. But it made more sense now that all of the pieces were in place. The Martha part was actually more upsetting this time. And Snyder still chickened out in the end.
Overall, this take is much cleaner. I wish I would’ve seen this film in theaters. I think it’s a little ridiculous to put out a bad movie just to sell more tickets (shorter run time means more showings). But I can live as long as I get this in the end. It got significantly better although the ending was still a little dumb.
Score: 8 out of 10