Zack Snyder’s die hard fans have been waiting for the Zack Snyder Cut since the abomination we all know and hate called Justice League was released four years ago.
The pleas of the fanboys (and fangirls) were heard and Warner Brothers finally released Zack Snyder’s Justice League in it’s FOUR HOUR glory on HBO Max on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The film is a HUGE improvement on the 2017 cinematic release, but it’s not perfect.
Snyder got many things right, and some things wrong. Here’s a quick rundown and the best of the film as well as the worst.
WHAT ZACK SNYDER GOT RIGHT:
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Flash (Ezra Miller), Batman (Ben Affleck), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and even Superman (Henry Cavill) were all upgraded from the 2017 cinematic version. Almost all of the stupid “comic relief” was removed as was the ridiculous sexualization of Wonder Woman, as well as the unnecessary “sexual tension” between Wonder Woman and Batman.
Each member of the team was shown to be fierce and necessary members of the team with their own exhibitions of their worthiness.
Junkie XL (as Thomas Holkenborg) did an absolutely incredible job with the music in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Joss Whedon’s 2017 Justice League had Danny Elfman, who is awesome in his own right, but the cinematic release felt like some weird Burton knock off with mismatched scenes and whimsical music that really didn’t fit the tone of what was on the screen.
Junkie XL’s score was a vast improvement and much more cohesive to the film overall.
THE FIGHT SCENES
It is now known that Joss Whedon cut over 90% of Snyder’s film and that’s apparent in the fight scenes. Almost all of the original fight scenes were shown in their entirety in The Snyder Cut and they are just SO MUCH better.
The fight scenes are one of the highlights of the entire film and there really seems to be no valid reason why so many of them were cut so short in the cinematic release.
Wonder Woman’s introduction to the film was one of the best scenes in the entire film and blows away anything she has done in any other film in which she has appeared.
While it could be argued that their bare midriffs were a weird fashion choice for a fierce breed of warriors, their costumes didn’t appear to sexualize them as much as they did in the 2017 film.
Their battle scene was reminiscent of Zack Snyder’s 2006 film, 300 and really illustrated how formidable they are and why they were tasked with guarding the box.
WHAT SNYDER GOT WRONG:
THE CGI VILLAINS
Steppenwolf was a vast improvement to the previous film, BUT every scene with the villains were reminiscent of a video game cutscene. It was as if each villain scene was a break from the main movie and felt slightly out of place and “fake.”
Darkseid missed the mark completely and was a far cry from his comic book iteration.
Harry Lennix is awesome and a great pick to play Martian Manhunter, however there was NO REASON to shoe-horn him into this particular film. Making him take over the scene between Lois (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) took that scene’s power away from the actual characters and begs the question, if Martian Manhunter was there, why didn’t he help?
He just sits back and lets the rest of them fight Steppenwolf and the boxes and never steps in to help? That’s a weird way to bring in an otherwise fantastic character and hero. The Martian Manhunter clips were completely unnecessary and kind of hurt the character’s image.
WAY TOO MANY SLOW MOTION SCENES
Yes, the fight scenes were far superior to the cinematic release, but the slow motion scenes are excessive. Some of them are absolutely epic and 100% belong in the film while others are extraneous and just take up too much time.
If half of the slow motion scenes were even slightly sped up or shown in regular speed with just the really interesting parts slowed down for emphasis, the film would be a lot shorter.
When Zack Snyder left the project in 2017 to mourn and process the tragic loss of his daughter, he had his personal laptop with the original 4 hour film he was proud to have made.
If he had stayed on the original project, those 4 hours would have definitely been whittled down to a much shorter movie. After he was given an additional $70 million to complete his vision, he didn’t just finish the 4 hour film he was carrying around in his laptop for 4 years, he did a bunch of reshoots including additional and unnecessary scenes.
A lot of the scenes in the Epilogue were unnecessary and indulgent. As much fun as it was to watch the internet explode when Jared Leto’s Joker said the line, “we live in a society” in a trailer, it was just an epic troll. Joker never says the line in the film.
The entire scene was unnecessary. As it was the dream sequences throughout the film began to feel redundant. Giving Batman yet another dream sequence when the film was already over was just irritating. The Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luther scene, as well as evidence that he escaped were both also unnecessary and time consuming.
Most of the additional Ray Fisher Cyborg scenes greatly added to the plotline and enhanced his character immensely, however some of them were unnecessary and it really felt like Snyder felt guilty over the abuse Fisher sustained at the hands of Joss Whedon and gave him some additional scenes in an attempt to make amends on some level.
We will never know what would have happened if the original film hadn’t been handed over to another director. Critics and fans are agreeing that this is a MUCH better film than the 2017 cinematic release, but there is no way to go back in time to see if Zack Snyder’s original vision would have been as well received if he was permitted to finish it back then.
Now we have the two films to compare, criticize, celebrate, and debate over until the next DCEU film comes out and we can criticize, celebrate, and debate over that one.
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.