June 27, 2016


3 Flaws I Hope Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition Fixes


When I first saw the movie, I considered making a write-up on what I thought the flaws were. But I decided to wait until the Ultimate Edition was close in hand.  I loved the movie. I saw it three times and each time I watched it, I loved it more. Generally speaking, this is not out of the norm for a movie, but in the case of BvS, I think the reason goes a bit deeper.

In addition, I do think the structure lacked dramatic irony, which is something I was looking forward to and didn’t really get. I discuss this in detail later in this article.

The “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition” adds another 30 minutes to the theatrical cut. The digital release is on the way, but I have already pre-ordered the blu-ray, which will arrive July 19. I am staying away from any spoilers as I hold out until then.

I don’t know if the extra 30 minutes will address the issues I had, but here are the 3 key things I wish were in the movie and hope are in the Ultimate Edition.

#3 Superman doing a personal save

Before I begin, let me just say that Superman is my favorite superhero.

We’ve seen Superman saving the world twice. He killed Zod and Doomsday, dying in the process of the later.

But what we haven’t seen is Superman saving a person (or people) on a personal level. Sure, Clark did it in “Man Of Steel”, but since he’s been Superman, that hasn’t been detailed.

Yes, he’s rescued Lois when she was pushed off the roof. And I loved when he saved Lex from Doomsday. That was a tremendous add. But I wanted something more.

What did we get?

There was a montage with people on the TV discussing the heroics of Superman, including Superman hovering over flood victims. But it lacked some warmth that comes with the type of save I’m thinking of.

Let’s looks at the fire scene:

Clark watches the tv, sees a fire and unbuttons his tie. Then we jump to him carrying the girl out, handing her to the mother when the crowd treats him like a God, which weighs on him in an emotional way.

I think this type of twist is bold and I appreciated it. I always wanted to see a Superman that had to deal with the pressures. But what was missing is the hope, the why behind what he does.

When you focus on the struggle and the pain, then as a viewer that’s what I’m going to feel. What was missing from the scene was the actual save.

Fire scene breakdown: Sees the fire, (skips the save part which is off screen), carries the girl and feels the weight of it all.

The save is where the hope comes from… where we see and feel why he does it. He can’t be saving people just because he has to. He has to do it because he wants to. That kind of thing was left to the “well he’s Superman so we know he’s a good guy.” But as a Superman fan, I want to feel it. I feel it by seeing and, therefore, experiencing it.

What should have happened: Superman flies into the burning building and saves the scared girl. This is the moment where we see the emotional reward. The why he does it. To give this girl hope that she will survive the fire. To give the mother outside, who sees Superman fly in, the hope that she will get her daughter back.

Now, this personal save didn’t have occur during the fire. It could have been something else. But the fire was the perfect spot.

#2 Clark investigating The Batman

We didn’t get much of Daily Planet Clark Kent in “Man Of Steel” and that’s fine since it was a Clark Kent/Jor-El becoming Superman story.

But here we have Superman disliking Batman for ideological reasons and we don’t see him doing a lot of research. It would have been nice to see him talk to that branding victim.

Clark felt rather sheltered. He was mainly in the office and didn’t have much contact with people outside of the usual suspects.  

Gotta add that I loved the scene where Clark Kent meets Bruce Wayne at the party. Their chemistry is off the charts, which bodes well for future Justice League films.

#1 Lex’ plan should be more upfront (eliminate the connect-the-dot method of story telling, add DRAMATIC IRONY)

One of the main concerns I read was:
  • The film was a mess
  • People didn’t understand some things (claiming plot holes)
  • Africa seemed pointless (including the African woman at the Senate hearing)
  • Lex plan made no sense

I was able to follow everything the first time I saw it. But I believe the reason I enjoyed it better the second time was because I knew what was happening. This is another thing I hear people say often.

Question: Why were people confused?

It’s been established that there were editing issues bringing the film from 3 hours to 2.5 hours. But you can edit and still not have some people feeling completely lost. It’s about WHAT you edit and HOW you order your scenes that could impact CLARITY.

Answer: connect-the-dot method of story telling

This comes from not knowing any of Lex’ scheme until later on. It really wasn’t until the senate bombing when all the pieces really came together. Inferences had to be made, then on the helipad scene, Lex boasted to Superman:

For some, by this time they were lost or maybe they stopped trying to follow what Lex was doing.

For others (like me), it was a rush of information as I connected the dots and got validation for what I had inferred.

How to fix the connect-the-dot method of story telling

Very simple. Something as quick as a two minute montage during the “18 months later” black screen where we see Lex in front of computer screens showing things like:
  • Matching images of Clark with Superman
  • Tracking the Batmobile to Bruce Wayne (using street cameras)
  • Receiving files of the other Justice League members in an email to show that he is gathering intel on meta-humans
  • Lex talking to KGBEast so we can establish that Lex is connected to the Africa incident when the Africa incident happens (instead of us having to connect the dots later).

Things like this. Now I’m not saying that we have to have a montage. But it’s just an easy way to go. What I am saying is that we needed something.

As it stands, the theatrical cut did not show us Lex being involved in things from the start. So it felt like a bunch of separate stories that took long to come together where the common thread ended up being Lex Luthor.

“The Dark Knight” also had a lot of stories and subplots. But it was easy to follow because the Joker’s plans were laid out for us. There weren’t a bunch of things happening behind the scenes with us left not knowing until much later on (like in BvS). Sure you can have twists and turns but you need to establish a foundation first.

For fun try this, watch “The Dark Knight” and imagine how the movie would feel if you eliminated the beginning Joker scene in the bank and the Joker meeting with the mafia men (you know, the disappearing pencil trick). Without the Joker as the connective thread, the story would feel messy.

Lack of Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony, in a nutshell, is when the audience is privy to something the characters are not. It gives the audience a front seat to the action, because they’re in the know.

Example in a Horror movie: The audience sees a killer with a knife at the end of the hall. An unsuspecting character walks toward the danger and as she walks down the hallway, we are stressed out because we know something bad is lurking in wait.

When I saw the trailer with the party scene, it seemed like Lex knew who Bruce and Clark were.

But when the scene comes in the movie, we don’t know… not until it’s too late to enjoy it. Unless you’re on your second viewing. We also see Diana there.

Imagine if we knew that Lex knew who Clark and Bruce where… now imagine the same for Diana… the scene has a totally different feel and it becomes quite funny as we watch his pawns move around the room.

The connect-the-dot method of story telling robbed us of dramatic irony.


About Lisa

Passionate about movies and writing. Hopes to someday be a published writer. So when she's not staring at the tube, she's spilling her imagination onto a blank page.

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