Batman v Superman, the R-rated Version

11

Hey there, superhero movie fans! With the jumbled, confused and generally rather messy Suicide Squad just hitting theaters, and with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice topping the video sales charts, it only seemed right and timely that I should take a quick look at the “Ultimate Edition” of  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that just came out and let you know what it has up its muscle-stuffed sleeves. (Hey what’s a little more messiness among friends, right?)

Let me start off at the top here and admit that as a DC comics fan from way back, I was pretty disappointed with the Bat v Sup movie. Not only was it dour, humorless and a little too bone-crunching, it just didn’t ever seem to catch the true character of those well-defined and much admired titular heroes themselves.

But what about this new three-hour, R-rated, Blu-ray version that’s being touted as director Zack Snyder’s intended movie-house release? Why, we wonder, would it be rated R? Violence? Language? What? And what about the story? Does it clear up all the confusion the theater version left viewers with? Does it give the supers a real reason to mix-it-up other than that paper-thin Lex Luthor manipulation? Does it make the good guys a little less brainless and bull-headed?

Well, I can say this definitively: It’s longer. And bloodier.

The 30 extra minutes of screen time give us a few new storylines. For instance, we watch Lois Lane investigate an evidence thread that tells us why Superman didn’t catch a certain Senate house bomb. We see Clark Kent investigate and grow angry over a certain masked vigilante’s savage ways. We witness “The World’s Greatest Detective” numbly ignore a certain set of clues, over and over. And we get a better sense of just how certain-sure crazy Lex Luther is.

Other than that, the additions depict more blood, more bat-brutality and more profanities (including an f-bomb).

More heroism? More goodness? More happy endings? More sense? Well, I guess that’ll all have to wait for the movie remake.

(We’ve added an addendum to Paul Asay’s full movie review that you can check out for specific problematic content additions.)

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Posted by First Comment Guy


I can't help but feel that most people missed the point of what Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was trying to show us: Batman and Superman at the lowest points in their career.


I myself am a hardcore Superman fan, and I was able to understand why Supes didn't smile during most of the movie. I mean, put yourselves for just one second in Superman's shoes (er, boots); you saved the world, but at the cost of killing off the last of your kind. But the majority of the public still hates and distrusts you. Plus, you're being framed for committing crimes that you didn't commit when you were at the crime scene just to lend a helping hand, Now, ask yourself, would you be all peachy and smiles?


As for Batman, there are two things a lot of people can't stand about him: it's that he kills, and he kills with guns. But remember: he does those things because he's angry and broken and is on the verge of losing his humanity. To quote Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight, "You either die a hero or you live long enough to become the villain." The latter is what has happened to Batman, and it isn't until the end that Superman saves him from the monster Batman has become.


Anyone who complains about what exactly Lex Luthor's plan was, it's simple; he can't stand other people with more power than himself. If you listen closely, Lex talks about how he was abused by his father, causing him to hate those who aren't in his control (which is why he's been keeping an eye on a handful of meta-humans).


I will now be going into SPOILER territory.


Then there's the biggest problem most people have: the "Martha" line. Most people find it paper thin and convenient that Bats and Supes have moms that have the same name. But the real deal is that Batman realizes two things:

1) That without his mom (and his father for that matter), Batman has turned into a monster. And if Superman loses his mom, then he'll turn into the monster that Batman is afraid of. Basically, he sees himself in Superman. And even though Batman wasn't able to save HIS mom, he can save someone else's.

And 2) That Superman is willing to put his mother's life in front of his own. That requires bravery. During the VS fight, Batman told Superman, "You're not brave; men are brave!" And the fact that Superman values his mom's life more than his own is one of the bravest things anyone can do.

It's just too bad this scene wasn't executed properly. To fix it, have Superman say "My Mother" instead of "Martha"


And then there's the ending. Superman dies, and Batman and Wonder Woman agree to work together to form the Justice League. Batman decides to form a team not because he needs to set up a future movie down the road (he he). Rather, Superman's sacrifice has restored his faith in complete strangers. He no longer sees the worst case scenario in any stranger he encounters.

Also, a lot of people criticize this movie for how dark it is. But that's because of how serious the topic of what the movie was trying to show. And the ending makes us realize that the future is looking to be a bright one. To quote Harvey Dent again, "The night is darkest before the dawn." The ending of Batman v Superman is the dawn: the Dawn of Justice.


I understand that this may be me just blabbing my mouth elaborating on how the movie worked for me and why I really liked it, but I really feel like BvS is one of the most misunderstood, if not THE most misunderstood movie of all time. Try watching it by looking at the movie from Batman and Superman's perspective, and you might see what the whole point of the movie was in the first place.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

How do you feel BvS differs from, say, the Nolan trilogy in its portrayal and themes? You speak of a Batman who has lost faith in humanity, one who even kills -- and with guns at that -- a trait traditionally athema to Batman's classic ethics. In departing from the comics so, what further themes do you think Snyder, and perhaps Affleck as well, were exploring?

I'm curious, because I love both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (haven't caught Rises just yet), and, given the general lack of excitement over BvS, I wasn't in a hurry to catch it.

But I'd appreciate a second opinion!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

BvS is really 3 movies in 1. It's a Batman movie, a Man of Steel sequel, and a Batman vs Superman movie. 

All three movies have there own themes and morals, but the Batman one is the most interesting in my opinion. It shows us what happens when we keep our hurt feelings to ourselves and how doing can make you do some pretty nasty things, like drinking alcohol or taking drugs to relieve your pain.

On the flip side, Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy shows us what justice really is and how telling a lie, instead of keeping a secret, can work for you in the present but cause great harm in the future.

Batman v Superman may not be the comic book movie we want (because let's be honest, everyone likes Superman better when he's smiling), but I do feel like it is the one we need. Just watch the Ultimate Edition if you haven't already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

Thanks!
MichaelHovey More than 1 year ago
I've never really liked superhero movies much in general, save for the first 3 Spiderman movies, but I gotta say out of all the Batman movies I've tried to watch Tim Burton's Batman Returns is probably the best one simply because of Danny DeVito's penguin. For me Batman Forever and Batman and Robin are both too silly, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are both too overwhelmingly dark and disturbing, and this newest version seems too dark and violent as well. So for me I say long live Batman Returns, the only worthwhile Bat film out there I think.
MichaelHovey More than 1 year ago
I've never really liked superhero movies much in general, save for the first 3 Spiderman movies, but I gotta say out of all the Batman movies I've tried to watch Tim Burton's Batman Returns is probably the best one simply because of Danny DeVito's penguin. For me Batman Forever and Batman and Robin are both too silly, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are both too overwhelmingly dark and disturbing, and this newest version seems too dark and violent as well. So for me I say long live Batman Returns, the only worthwhile Bat film out there I think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

"Where did I put that old copy of Batman Begins..."
bobed More than 1 year ago
Huh? Since when is Batman Begins any less bloody, profane or morally grey than BVS?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

Well, since PI gave BB a full star more than BvS, that's when.

Why don't you take it up with them?
bobed More than 1 year ago
My opinion and PI's opinion sometimes vary. Sometimes I think I have a stricter moral standard when it comes to profanity and violence. I was no more or less impressed with BB than with BvS, and I consider both boring, dreary, dark and lifeless adaptations, though when it comes to quality I suppose BB is my "favorite" of the two. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by Smith.

You're welcome to an opinion, of course.

Though if you agree with mine that BB is (probably) the better film, than why even bother taking issue with my comment in the first place?