March 15, 2017
The first time I watched BvS in theatres I had one of those experiences where I genuinely wanted to leave. A film that I hoped would answer the criticism levelled at Man of Steel and finally deliver a new incarnation of Superman, was in reality a convoluted mess through WB's misguided need to play catch-up to Marvel. The ultimate cut was a better experience with story threads that now seemed to amount to something, but still excessively long and poorly paced for the story that was being told.
With BvS No Justice we get a much more streamlined film that focuses on the two main characters with improved pacing and storytelling. Most of the principals benefit in some way. Lois in particular felt more purposeful in this version.
I loved the omission of Wonder Women, the Justice League cameos and removal of the fight with Doomsday. Action for the sake of it is never a good idea and killing Superman off after barely establishing the hero felt unearned.
What didn't work for me;
- When Clark leaves for Mexico the inserted MoS flying shot is clearly daytime when the scene occurs at night.
- Martha's line 'you don't owe this world a thing, you never did'. The rest of this scene is fine however the last line rings very cold.
- Removing Batman firing a tracking device onto the van. Batman had no idea that he was going to run into Superman, so to think he would have found time is a bit of a stretch.
- Removal of the scene between Superman and Lois on the balcony after Capital Hill explosion. Granted the silly dialogue about 'Superman' being the dream of a farmer from Kansas made no sense. Otherwise this scene seems necessary, due to the pay off of lead being found to conceal the explosive and Lois's line to Superman about coming back for her after she is later rescued.
- Removal of Batman jumping out of the batwing before smashing into the warehouse.
- The lack of ambient sounds and sound effects for the first half of the scene of Clark entering Lois's apartment, makes the scene seem unfinished.
Some things can't be fixed. In particular the motives for Batman and Superman's showdown, both characters behaving like psychos and the fact that Superman doesn't go to greater lengths to reason with Bruce all the while knowing his mother is in danger. This is all bad set-up on the part of the film makers and no amount of editing wizardry is going to fix this.
Much has been said by fellow reviewers of the need to reinstate Bruce's dialogue 'Martha won't die tonight'. Whilst in principle I agree, when watching the edit I can fully appreciate why it was cut. As to show Superman back on his feat and handing the baton to Batman to rescue his own mother wouldn't have seemed right. Especially in the absence of anything else for him to do.
All in all a marvellous fan edit and my preferred version of a film which previously I felt unlikely watch again or often. Great work Reese!!
Theatrical cut 3/10
Ultimate Cut 5/10
No Justice 7/10