Justice has finally been served. The long awaited Snyder Cut of Justice League has arrived and it doesn’t disappoint. Despite a long 4 hour runtime, Snyder crams what could have been several solo superhero origin films into one colossal Lord of the Rings-esque epic that manages to give us a defining DCEU film, one that WB SHOULD HAVE stuck with.
Unlike Joss Whedon’s Avengers-Lite take on the theatrical cut, the Snyder Cut continues to try and depict these characters as God like beings worthy of admiration and awe. No bad jokes about brunch here, this film gives each hero a moment to shine and shows them as competent defenders who despite having super powers must still contend with very relatable issues. The only character who really stands out is the one who brings them together, Batman. Sure Batman has all the cool gadgets and cars, but next to Atlantians and Amazons he’s just very…human. The character kind of takes a backseat to his super powered counterparts which is good to showcase them, but not so good to show why Batman would try to go into battle with them when he would be better suited commanding the action from a safe distance. That and the comic geek in me cringes every time I see Batman wield a gun of any kind. Maybe a sequel would help show why and how Batman would really shine in battle.
As for the other characters, everyone gets much more character development, especially Cyborg whose scenes were mostly cut from the theatrical film. We see his origin and his motivation. He’s set up as one of the most powerful members and the Snyder Cut really makes you wish the solo Cyborg film would still happen.
Flash aka Barry Allen also benefits from this cut of the film. He’s still a fast talking jokester but he’s a competent hero who gets to show off just how powerful he is as well. No more jokes about pushing people and running away.
The film’s main antagonist, Steppenwolf not only benefits by way of a much more imposing redesign but he also gets a little bit of a backstory and motivation this time around. He’s almost like the sniveling Starscream to Darkseid’s Megatron (that’s a Transformers comparison for the uninitiated) in the fact that he wants to be Darkseid right hand man but fell out of favor with him when he betrayed him. Now Steppenwolf answers to Desaad, another highly appointed figure within Darkseid’s inner circle.
As far as the rest of the story goes, as mentioned earlier, everything gets more time to breathe. The fact WB wanted to cram this all into a two hour film made no sense whatsoever. Establishing heroes we never met, introducing a cosmic villain and why he wants to destroy Earth oh yeah and then resurrecting Superman??? That would be like if after Iron Man 2 Marvel Studios decided to go right into Avengers without introducing any of the other characters. Somehow, Snyder finds a way to pull it off here in a four hour film.
Superman is treated with reverence and the true cosmic threat deterrence he is which portrayed perfectly in the film’s opening moments. His death sends shockwaves through the planet which sets the stage for the film’s events.
As shown in the trailers we do see Darkseid and Joker in the film BUUUUUTTT don’t think they play major roles. Darkseid is shown as the puppet master behind Steppenwolf and the Joker is revealed in the Knightmare timeline via a nightmare Bruce has. The Knightmare timeline sets the stage for future sequels that may or may not happen.
Because the Snyder Cut broke records for streaming; crashed HBO Max; and is beloved by critics and fans already WB is now put between a rock and hard place. Do they move forward with SnyderVerse sequels and concede further that they royally screwed up? Or do they move forward with films like JJ Abrams Black Superman reboot, a proposed Hourman film, or a stand alone Batgirl film which NO ONE is wanting to see at this time (fans still want a Henry Cavill Man of Steel sequel).
If WB wants the DCEU to succeed, this Snyder Cut experiment has shown that they simply need to listen to the fans. Stop trying fix what isn’t broken and give your audience WHAT THEY WANT!
In closing, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the superhero masterpiece we have been promised since 2016. It doesn’t try to copy Avengers, in someways it even surpasses it. The Snyder Cut sets the stage for future JL sequels and future DC films (some of which are still in the process of being made).
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