Retrospective: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

There is only one version of this film.
It is not the theatrical version that was chopped up and released to the public because of caution regarding ratings and runtimes.

The Ultimate Edition was filmed, edited and presented in it’s entirety by Zack Snyder.
It is a beautiful film that does not rely on any pre-existing type of formula that dictates how a movie based on comic book characters should be presented.
It is a film crafted by a man who is very aware of the state of our world and wishes to place these mythical beings in the center of it. He allows himself to deconstruct these heroes. He allows himself to present them to us in their weakest moments, thereby allowing us to follow their progression rather than blindly marvel at their superiority without relatability.

We, as human beings, are flawed.
If our heroes have no flaws to better themselves from, what is there left for us to aspire towards in this age in great need of inspirations?
We are presented with a Batman, masterfully portrayed by Ben Affleck, that has lost all sense of who he once was. The caped crusader we knew growing up did exist at one point, but he stumbled. He fell.
We are also reintroduced to a Superman, once again beautifully portrayed by Henry Cavill, that isn’t really Superman.

Yet.

There is more to Superman than flying around and saving people.
Being Superman means having a set of ideals and carrying ones self with a specific mindset. We are allowed to follow Clark Joseph Kent on a journey that continues to shape him closer and closer to the image we have painted in our minds.
The image of Superman.
I use the words “we are allowed” a lot, because I think that it is an aspect that is very unappreciated.
We are allowed into the mind of a man who wants us to study and understand these characters to their very core. We have seen them at their best multiple times. We have, however, very seldom seen them at their worst. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film that isn’t afraid to get close and personal with these characters in their lowest points. It challenges us to understand that Superheroes struggle with more than just bank robbers and powerful monsters. It introduces a villain that is the very opposite of physically imposing, yet it is a villain that brings gods to their knees. Not with fists, but with brains.

The philosophical questions and ideals raised in this careful study of comic book lore are a breath of fresh air. It allows for the genre to flourish and expand. The plot of the film does feel slightly rushed by the end, though it is a small con that is forgiven by the smooth development given in the majority of the movie. Also, while I previously stated that there’s more to superheroes than fighting powerful monsters, that is still an aspect that I greatly enjoy.

Cinematographer Larry Fong and director Zack Snyder have created one of the most visually stunning films I have seen in quite some time. The script, written by academy award winning writer Chris Terrio, is absolutely phenomenal.

This is, in my personal opinion, one of the most thoughtful superhero movies ever produced.

It’s bold. It’s risky. It’s beautiful.

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