So, I sat through the entire four hours of “The Snyder Cut” of “Justice League”, and I have to say, I was a bit surprised. The Internet Trolls were right, for once.
This was the “Justice League” that we should have had, all along.
The theatrical cut of “Justice League” turned out to be a confused, mismatched, unworkable mess, due in large part to Joss Whedon coming in at the 11th hour to take over directorial duties from Zack Snyder, who left the project for personal reasons. Joss then turned out exactly what Warner Brothers wanted: A big-budget superhero spectacular, that would thrill audiences, and come in at two hours or less.
Unfortunately, Whedon was also tasked with making use of most of the footage Snyder had already filmed, so as to save money. There were reshoots, of course, but Whedon did manage to edit what Snyder had filmed into some semblance of a workable blockbuster, in the end.
It just wasn’t all that good.
Now then, let’s get to “The Snyder Cut”. When “Justice League” failed to live up to expectations (it didn’t quite bomb, but it might as well have), WB eventually brought Zack Snyder back in, and let him go to town with the project. Money was apparently thrown around like water, reshoots made, new footage filmed, and so on.
What we got wasn’t just the proper film that “Justice League” should have been, but we got “Justice League 2”, for all practical purposes, as well.
Now then, what did I think of “The Snyder Cut”? Well, I can only think of one complaint, and frankly, it is probably what the suits at WB might have with it: It is way too long for one sitting. There is nothing wrong with a four hour epic film, and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” certainly qualifies as such, but it should have been two films, released perhaps six months apart, in a proper theater setting.
“The Snyder Cut” practically begs you to watch this in IMAX, on a massive theater screen. I can only hope that when this pandemic is over, Warner Brothers will choose to release this film to theaters, as a two-part epic.
Yes, friends, “The Snyder Cut” really is just that good.
Let’s put it this way: My wife actually cried a couple of times during this film, and I must admit I teared up at least once, as well. Why, especially after watching the original release version of “Justice League” multiple times over the last few years?
Because this is not that film. Not by a long shot.
Now I like Joss Whedon’s work, as a general rule. But he should never have been allowed to come anywhere near “Justice League”. WB should have just shelved the project when Snyder stepped away, and put it on hold until he was ready to return! Because, now that we can see what he wanted to do with the film, it would have certainly have been worth the wait.
I honestly cannot say enough good things about this film. It is by far my favorite Zack Snyder project to date, and in fact my favorite DC film, in the Zack Snyder era, post-Nolan.
The cinematography is excellent, the effects are vastly improved, and best of all, the story actually makes some semblance of sense now. That last point alone places it head and shoulders above the original release version. But it is more than that, really.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is a pay-off for Snyder’s previous DC films. It completes the character arcs begun in such a dark and muddled way in “Man of Steel”. It is also a goddamn apology for the outright abomination that was “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”. The retconned scene at the beginning of “The Snyder Cut” made that abundantly clear, despite it being among the weakest parts of this epic.
Now then, where can DC go from here? “The Snyder Cut” sets up multiple spinoffs, side projects, and sequels, many of which apparently will be impossible, as Zack Snyder has stated he is done making films in the DC multiverse.
If I were in charge of WB, though, that would have to change.
This film could well revive, if not outright save the DC Extended Universe of films. We all know that “Wonder Woman 1984” was mediocre at best, and while “Aquaman” was a huge hit, it wasn’t exactly cinematic gold, either.
WB, and DC in particular, need Zack Snyder. To be honest, they also need Christopher Nolan (who frankly need’s DC, too, if you’ve seen “Tenet”). So, here’s what I’d like to see, going forward:
- “Aquaman 2” continues, as planned. Maybe work on the script a little more, make it less “The Fast & The Furious Under Water”, give it something more for the cast to chew on.
- Keep Patty Jenkins working on the “Wonder Woman” franchise, but perhaps bring in someone to assist with the script, for the next film. Just saying.
- Of course, the “Flashpoint” film has to continue, as planned. I would use this as a way to either replace Affleck as Batman with Robert Pattinson (with “The Batman” obviously coming out), or…
- My preference would be to keep Pattinson’s Batman project as a “Joker”-like art film, aside from the regular universe, and pay Ben Affleck anything he wants to return as Batman. Let him write the future Batman films and direct them. In fact, sign him to a multi-film deal, with appearances in other DC films, as well. Let’s be honest here: Affleck might as well be DC’s Robert Downey Jr, now.
- Keep Snyder on both the “Superman” films (as strange as that sounds), with “Man of Steel 2”, as well as the “Justice League” series. Pay the man whatever he needs to make this happen.
- Mostly, though, DC needs a guiding hand, atop of all of this. They need someone overseeing the DCEU films, to ensure cohesiveness. Not to take over other projects, just to guide them so that they don’t cause conflicts with each other, and lead naturally back into future JL group-up epics. That role needs to go to Christopher Nolan. Yes, seriously.
So anyway, that’s about it. I’m not really much of a film reviewer (obviously), so I’m sure this was a bit of a rambling mess. I’m sorry about that. But let me conclude with this: I feel that “The Snyder Cut” effectively revived the DCEU, after WW1984, and especially the original release of “Justice League”. Let us strike the Joss Whedon Cut from official canon, and move on into the future from here.
We have so many new possibilities to explore, and so many bright, capable minds with which to bring them into being. Don’t fuck this up again, Warner Brothers.