This review does include SPOILERS for the theatrical cut of the film including for the scenes that were added into the Ultimate Edition. So be Warned…
Wow….. Who knew that adding an extra 30 minutes to this heavily flawed film would actually make the damn thing a good movie?? After seeing the Ultimate Edition it is 100% clear that this is the true version of the film. It helps if you don’t look at this as being 30 minutes added onto the normal film and instead look at the theatrical release being 30 minutes cut out of this film. 90% of the added scenes take place in the first 2 hours of the film where pretty much all of the flaws were, and where i was incredibly bored in the theatrical release, i have to say that wasn’t the case with this edition. Now what you need to know is that if you HATED the theatrical cut this edition will not make you LOVE it, and vice versa… but it is definitely the superior version of the film and the one that should be seen.
Probably the biggest thing altered by the included scenes was Lois Lane’s ‘CSI: Metropolis’ plot-line, which in the theatrical release was boring, irrelevant, and added nothing at all to the film, her entire presence as a result was completely useless. Here though, you get to see a lot more into that story and how what she experiences and finds out when investigating the mysterious bullet plays into the main plot. And YES it actually fucking makes sense now as to why she is looking into it and why she ends up being in certain locations later in the film. The plot-line goes from scattered incoherent scenes you don’t care about to a plot that is a lot more prominent and actually has some pretty interesting content that warranted her presence in the film. And one thing that was also given some more context and explaining were the events regarding the Wayne Enterprises employee who lost his legs and found himself in a wheelchair. It isn’t a lot of new info, but it made the whole progression of events from him being arrested, then released, meeting Lex, and then exploding the courthouse actually make sense without having to think about it. And they nicely tie it back to Lois’ story in a way that makes these scenes not seem pointless.
There next biggest alteration is the inclusion of quite a few scenes involving Clark Kent going and investigating the Batman in Gotham, and following the trail of death and destruction he leaves in his path. This was an element of the film that was not really featured in the theatrical cut of the film, the most ‘investigating’ he does in the theatrical cut is essentially limited to looking at a few newspaper headlines. It was a side plot that really only added to understanding where Superman stood in terms of his contrasting views from Batman, and again not boring. And we do get a little more of Alfred, it isn’t much but seeing as though he was very underused in the film it was good to see some more of him. And then you have a lot of other shorter scenes here and there throughout the film, some make some scenes better whereas others you can see why they were cut out, such as the ‘Steppenwolf’ deleted scene that was released shortly after the film. But the good thing is, none of the included scenes actually made the film worse, it only gave the film a boost which i was not expecting.
And there is a cool little scene right at the end in the jail between Lex Luthor and Batman which explains how Lex is being moved to Arkham Asylum after the events of the film. A cool little piece of information that could maybe be playing into Suicide Squad that releases this August…
Now another thing to note is that understandably there are definitely things that these included scenes could not fix such as Lex Luthor, the weak final 10 minutes, and a few individual scenes in the first two thirds of the film. But for the most part, this is an improvement on the theatrical release to the point where i would say this is the full, completed version of the film and the only one that is relevant from not on. It really is a shame that it couldn’t be released in theatres because then a lot of the backlash against the film i think could have been quelled. It is still not a great film but where i previously had the film sitting at a 6 (barely) after two screenings, i’m going to have to go higher with this one. The biggest thing to take away from this film is that it isn’t boring anymore…. i can look forward to watching this film one day in the future and not having to sleep through the majority of it.