Although the initial release of “Justice League” in November 2017 was largely panned by both critics and fans, director Zack Snyder may have saved the day with his version of the movie, which was released for streaming March 18 on HBO Max.
In 2017 the DC Universe was trying to catch up to the massive success of Marvel, but its movies were falling flat. “Justice League” was originally supposed to be directed by Zack Snyder and fans were excited to see his take on the famous superhero group.
After the tragic passing of his daughter, Snyder left production of the film. When Joss Whedon took over, he took out many of Snyder’s scenes. The movie seemed to have no continuity and all the characters lacked an immersive backstory. They threw Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman and The Flash into a film and expected it to be successful.
Following the film’s theatrical release, fans immediately demanded to see “The Snyder Cut.” Snyder’s vision far surpasses Whedon's with characters that are more developed, exciting action scenes and the movie actually makes sense.
The plot of the movie is essentially the same. Superman, played by Henry Cavil, is dead, whereas Batman, played by Ben Affleck, is worried an attack is coming and forms a super team to stop the villain Steppenwolf, played by Ciarán Hinds.
Snyder gave the villain a relatable story as an outcast, while also making the villain more significant to the story in his version. He also introduces Darkseid, played by Ray Porter, the arch nemesis to the Justice League, who was left out of the initial release.
One of the main benefits to this new film is the R rating. It allows Snyder to be more aggressive with the action sequences and incorporate more gore that accentuates the movie's overall dark tone.
Actually being able to dive into all the character’s backstories made the movie more impactful, as there is an abundance of new scenes and characters to see on screen for the first time.
Characters like Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, and The Flash, played by Ezra Miller, benefit the most from this as viewers get to see their personal struggles and understand why they want to feel like they are part of a team.
There is finally an interaction between Jared Leto’s Joker and Affleck’s Batman that helps to close out the film while also setting up the next movies in Snyder’s version of the DC universe as well.
Unfortunately, these movies will probably not happen. Snyder has discussed that his “Snyderverse” would have probably ended with Justice League and he has no intentions of directing the sequels. He even came out and released the plot for the next two films that were supposed to be made. Even if he does eventually make these films, he already spoiled the plans for the projects.
Of course, the film is far from perfect. A streaming service like HBO Max would be the only way this movie can be released because of its excessive four hour and two minute runtime. While the movie benefits from the extended run time, sitting through a movie for four hours is very difficult. However, Snyder did make the film more viewable by splitting it into different chapters.
The film also has a great amount of slow motion sequences that drag on; with a movie that’s over four hours, audiences would expect these sequences to be cut back, but that’s not the case. However, Snyder’s use of slow action shots in all his films can get irritating.
Considering Marvel’s success in superhero movies, DC and the “Justice League” still can not compare or compete.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” easily puts the 2017 version to shame. If anyone is to reference a “Justice League film” from here on out, they should reference Snyder’s version. Although the movie is long, it’s worth the watch to see many DC fan favorites debut on the big screen. The movie is more meaningful and contains a good message that other DC movies should take note of if the studio plans to continue their universe.