Zack Snyder’s Justice League is probably one of the biggest movies in 2021. The cut gained steam after Warner Bros released the Joss Whedon version of the movie that cut out most of what Snyder originally wanted to show. Whedon instead decided to make the movie safer, more quippy with it’s jokes, more saturated, and also decided to take reshoots after the original scenes were filmed. The Snyder Cut blows the Whedon cut out of existence, and shows that Zack Snyder can truly make a DC universe that actually works.
Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of this review, I want to go over flaws that I still have with the original cut and the Snyder Cut. First off, Superman’s character is still boring, but at least he has a little more emotion than in the theatrical cut. Lois Lane is also still just a mopey mess, and she doesn’t add much to the story. Another issue is the main villain, Steppenwolf. Although he got a complete makeover from the original cut, he still lacks the basic motives of an antagonist. After that though, the movie gets everything else spot on.
The movie starts off with a bang, with the death of Superman at the end of Batman v. Superman. The original cut started with two boys going up to Superman and asking him about what it’s like being a superhero, and the scene was taken out entirely, and replaced with the reaction the world had to his death. It’s a powerful opening that sets up the plot of the movie.
After that, it plays out mostly the same to the original cut, but adds more content and gives context to many of the broken scenes that Whedon chopped up.
The main plot revolves around Bruce Wayne, and the guilt he feels for letting Superman die to the hands of Doomsday. He wants to make sure that Earth would be safe after his death, so he and Diana Prince must go recruit several superheroes to prevent the coming of Steppenwolf and Darkseid. These heroes in the original are almost complete opposites to what they were in the Whedon Cut. They all felt more goofy in the original cut, which killed the mood.
Each character this time has more time to develop, due to the 4 hour runtime. Victor Stone, or Cyborg, gets an emotional and more tragic backstory, showing his past, and how he became a cyborg. Barry Allen, or the Flash, is given much more to do within the story, and ultimately saves the world at the end of the movie.
The reason that Zack Snyder left during production was because his daughter, Autumn, sadly passed away right after filming concluded. He decided to leave the project in the hands of the producers to mourn the loss, in which they decided to give the project to Joss Whedon, the director of The Avengers. Whedon wanted to change up the movie, so he decided to call the actors back into filming for reshoots. Most of them came back and redid scenes, but many issues arised. The actor of Superman, Henry Cavill, was already filming another movie, Mission Impossible: Fallout. He was required to not shave his mustache, so Whedon decided to film his scenes with the mustache, but then use CGI effects to make it disappear. It turned out horrible, making his face look hilariously bad. There was also the fact that none of the CGI for the villain was complete, which made them rush and make a dull mess, causing them to cut the major villain out, leaving Steppenwolf as the big bad. All of this caused the 2017 cut of Justice League to be such a mediocre movie, tainting the image of Warner Media, Zack Snyder, and the DCEU.
Overall, I say that Snyder’s Justice League is probably one of the most ambitious projects in movie history. From it coming out to theaters to a lukewarm reception, to it being restored to what it was originally meant to be, is truly phenomenal. I hope people watch this movie in all of it’s lengthy runtime, so they can see that the DCEU isn’t just a mixture of subpar movies and bad movies, that it can actually work and make sense. I am genuinely hoping for a sequel, but that may not be for awhile, but for now, I am satisfied with this movie, and I am happy to give this movie a solid 9/10!