Was it really better than the 2017 version? The short answer: Yes!
Spoilers ahead in this Zack Snyder’s Justice League review; consider yourself warned.
I closed the work day on March 18 with an active target on my mind: The Snyder cut was out, and I was anxiously looking forward to four hours of re-edited Justice League glory. I was anxious because I desperately wanted a good DC movie. I wanted a fuller story that pointed me in a direction I wanted to look forward to.
The DC extended universe, for as long as it’s been around, hasn’t given a fan like me a sense of trajectory. We’ve gotten pockets of cohesion here and there, but they had not painted a vision for the long haul. Inevitably, because we’re talking about superheroes, everyone is going to look the Marvel way and talk about how they awesomely paved their road. Call me greedy, but I want the same for the DC universe, if not better.
So, did Zack Snyder’s Justice League bring us any closer to those greedy demands? His version of the movie did a much better job than what came out in 2017—so take that as a hell yes.
Four hours long and complete
I won’t deny that the screen time was daunting, but it also set up the Justice League story to be told in its entirety. Were there scenes we could’ve done without? Yes (I’m looking at you, Alfred + Diana tea scene). Were there loopholes that weren’t addressed? Yes (not the biggest but, Mera, are you pulling a Wanda with your accent?). Despite those glitches in the matrix, what we were served was a realized end-to-end story and in the way it was meant to be told. It was a fuller telling of character arcs and story plot points—even Steppenwolf felt like a decent villain in this version (with an awesome appearance upgrade to match).
While it isn’t a perfect film, it did give me a concrete sense of direction. By the end of the film, I understood that Darkseid and the anti-life equation were the way forward, and that we still had the development of the Martian Manhunter to look forward to, as well as a new Green Lantern. Looking past the embellishments and minor flaws, Zack Snyder’s Justice League feels like we’re being led to an actual destination and we’re just at a pitstop.
Marking this as a check in my books.
Treated like a reset button
Seeing as how this felt like a new movie, I unconsciously (almost effortlessly) accepted that the heroes on screen were a bit different from how I had come to know them. Let me illustrate: It was a slap in the face for DC fans to have seen Superman kill Zodd in Man of Steel because Superman was the unbreakable moral compass, no matter what the scenario. In this version of Justice League, we see Wonder Woman brutally kill Steppenwolf at the end of their battle with no other member saying a word. Different? Yes—and that’s okay.
This retelling has actually provided a new anchor to reference our heroes against, one that obliterates what was established by the 2017 version. Zack Snyder managed to bring us into the story with a convincing use of characters, that it was a lot easier to accept the changes to the heroes we recognized from the cartoons and the comics.
How does this affect the DC cinematic universe?
At the moment, it doesn’t.
In an interview with Deadline, Zack Snyder says that, as he was finishing his version of the movie, the gods that be at Warner told him that the Whedon version would be maintained as canon in the DC movies. That means that the Snyder cut, as much of an improvement as it is, remains in limbo. Warner, of course, can still change its mind but, for the moment, we are stuck with the 2017 version (like it or not).
Still, if it’s one thing that the Snyder cut has proven, it’s that the fans have a voice and when that voice gets loud enough, people tend to listen. Only time will tell how loud fans voices will get about the Snyder cut.
Not without flaws but surpassing expectations and its predecessor, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the Justice League movie that fans wanted in 2017 and the DCEU direction that would’ve given fans something to look forward to. What a comeback.
The final verdict for this Zack Snyder’s Justice League review? 8/10.
Words Yosu De Erquiaga
Art Alexandra Lara