With the release of the mediocre Joss Whedon theatrical cut of Justice League, I think we can all agree that we were left with wanting more. More of a coherent story line. More character development. More of an imposing antagonist. More… well, just more of everything. Just, a bit less of the cheesy and out of character jokes. The Snyder cut delivers on all of these points, making it one of the most epic superhero movies ever made.
And, I never thought I would be saying that. I was excited for the movie, just because it wasn’t difficult to improve on the originally released version. I was expecting something better, just not the brilliant movie that the Snyder cut is. At a running time of almost 4-hours, it felt like I had just binged a high production mini-series. The run time may be off putting to some, but it is broken down into parts, for those that may wish to watch it as such. However, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop watching.
This brings me to my favourite changes in this epic version of Justice League:
The story of Cyborg- where the original cut just dropped Cyborg in as a side character, this new cut gives him a fully fleshed out background story and highlights him as a main character. Fans of Cyborg won’t be disappointed with his development, as it is now well paced and detailed. I was personally a fan of how the movie demonstrated his true ability in modern society.
The seriously improved Steppenwolf- Beefed up and now wearing some badass armour, this bad guy is finally as he should be. He actually looks like a challenge for the Justice League, instead of whatever that attempt was in Joss Wheden’s version. His fight scenes are improved, so that he actually looks like a warrior that knows how to fight. And, he now has a backstory, so we can see his reason to fight. I actually felt myself feeling for the character toward the end, in his story of wanting redemption.
The longer fight sequences- The fight sequences are better, longer and more brutal. Snyder managed to show the true power of all the hero’s featured in Justice League, especially with the likes of the godlike Wonder Woman and Superman, just as they should have been. The final battle is all kinds of epic, with Superman’s entrance being perfect.
Darkseid and the ending sequence- The introduction of Darkseid into the movie was a brilliant addition, not only because it added an element to Steppenwolf’s plotline, but mostly because of how the movie ended. I don’t want to spoil anything, but you’ll know exactly what I mean if you’ve seen it. It leaves it open in a great way, along with a scene that includes a better version of Jared Leto’s Joker…
The removal of cheesy jokes- Yes, you read that correctly. In this version, the noticeably cheesy lines of Batman are nowhere to be seen, and the more cringe worthy scenes of Flash are gone. Thank you, Snyder.
However, among all the good things I have to say about this movie, there are some bad. I can’t say that not a minute is wasted during this rather long piece of cinematography, as there are added scenes that feel like they are unnecessary. Not that they are bad, but there removal to shorten the film would not have had any impact on the story. There are also some odd song choices for some of these scenes, that I feel, perhaps, took away from there intent. Overall, the soundtrack is amazing, but it could have been consistent throughout, as these odd choices seriously stand out. My last point, one that has been pointed out by many, is the hit and miss CGI… especially that of Cyborg. Often, throughout the movie, it appears either dated or unfinished. Perhaps this is due to comparing it to the outstanding CGI throughout every battle scene and Flash sequence, but I’m not sure why consistency wasn’t maintained.
Now, for the conclusion – Justice League: the Zack Snyder cut is a work of art. Brilliant. It has its flaws, yes, but it is everything I wanted from Justice League and everything it should have been in the first cut. Everything about it is better. It has probably become one of my favourite superhero movies (and not just because I’m a DC fan boy… but maybe). I do understand why a 4-hour version of the movie wouldn’t have worked in the cinema, and how a cut down version of this wouldn’t have worked. It needed that development of every character to become a movie of this calibre. It just worked in every way. Perhaps streaming services are the future of superhero movies of this scale? I’m totally hoping they are because this is a game changer. With all that said, it’s so close to being perfect – I give this movie 4.8/5.