Disjointed pacing was not an attribute that benefited the theatrical cut. With the Ultimate Edition, a certain flow to the film is established. As the Africa sequence makes more sense, and Luthor’s role is fully explained, the additional footage ends up completing scenes that otherwise spewed question marks. Suddenly it makes sense some of the world sees Superman the same way Batman sees Superman – as a threat. Despite the fact that Supes saves countless lives, he also has the potential to kill everyone, accidentally or intentionally.
Unfortunately, Batman and Superman’s conflict with each other still stems more from misunderstanding than opposing views on how to impose justice. While Batman still fears Superman’s power, it now makes sense that Clark rejects Batman’s brand of vigilantism. It’s a shame Snyder didn’t play into this more. The plot winds up relying on Luthor to orchestrate the contrived standoff between the two, which leads to the infamous too-quickly-resolved Martha scene.
Without directly comparing the two versions of the film, it feels as if Superman/Clark gets a larger portion of screen time. He has an additional phone call scene with his mother, adding more to his internal conflict stewed by the world’s opposition to him. He also gets more journalism time in Gotham, which further elaborates on his dislike for Batman.
There are still oddities that make this ambitious opus a puzzler. The dream sequences are still as crazy as they were, though they remain fascinating. The Pa Kent scene feels as out of place as it did before, even with some added footage beforehand. The introduction of ‘detective’ Batman also suffers from this version of the character not being established in his own movie ahead of time. Tracking down the sex-trafficking criminals still doesn’t connect to the overall story except to showcase the bat-branding, which also gets a necessary expanse.