Photo taken from Zach Synder’s Justice League
By Ethan Platt, staff writer
Disclaimer: Possible Spoilers ahead for Justice League (2017)
The Justice League movie has been in the spotlight a lot as of late due to the original director of the film, Zack Snyder, returning to recut the film he never got to finish that had instead been finished by Joss Whedon. The recut version of the film is much better and deeper of a movie than the cash grab basic superhero mess of a film we saw back in 2017.
The reason this cut happened in the first place was due to fans begging for it. Back when Justice League (2017), was being made, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013) had mixed reviews with its sequel Batman v Superman (2016) doing poorly both critically and by audience reviews. However, the follow-up-slash-prequel that Snyder produced but did not direct, Wonder Woman, had been a box office hit, and fans were starting to want more.
Snyder had been having creative differences with Warner Bros., the company owning the rights to the DC films. Snyder’s original plan was to make a trilogy of Justice League movies, and he had already filmed a plethora of footage for the first one when one of his daughters, Autumn Snyder, took her own life, and Zack had to step down from the project.
Warner Bros. promptly replaced him with Joss Whedon, the director of Marvel’s The Avengers (2012). When Joss was added to the project, the decision was made to remove the dark and serious tones that Zack had put in place in order to create what they thought would be a fun action movie for the whole family, similar to Marvel films, which caused characters like Cyborg and Flash to have large parts of their story arcs cut out entirely.
On top of that, CGI elements were changed to make the movie look less dark, but these caused it to look cheaper and low-quality. This all led to a Frankenstein-mash-up of a film with barely a plot, no character development shown on screen and in many cases, no character. The film was not received very well by fans.
After rumors of an cut of Snyder’s original vision for the film, fans began a hashtag: #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Even actors from the movies got in on it. After a large outcry, this version was finally greenlit. Zack Snyder would get to finish and release his vision of what the movie would have potentially been, and this version is much better.
For the most part, the Zack Snyder cut is just the unused footage being added back and unfinished CGI scenes being completed, as well as those certain parts of the film that were released being changed, for example, certain character redesigns. There were also some lines redubbed as well as a few scenes newly shot or reshot.
The first very obvious difference that elevated the film was how they tackled the start with Superman’s death. In Justice League (2017), there was a memorial in the beginning, but you did not really get the sense that his death was a huge deal for the universe. Just at the start of the Snyder cut, the way they portray it really makes you feel like earth has lost its best defender, and now everyone throughout the universe knows it.
The main McGuffin in these movies, called “Mother Boxes,” are more thoroughly explained as to what they do and why the bad guys need to be stopped from getting them. The history of them are also explained better in longer scenes and flashbacks which hadn’t been done as well in Justice League (2017).
There is much more character for newly arriving heroes. As of now we have had a movie all about Superman, a movie introducing Batman and a Wonder Woman movie. The two new characters, Barry Allen/Flash and Victor Stone/Cyborg, had not gotten much character or spotlight in Justice League (2017), but here they really shined.
Flash had an extended scene with his father, causing the audience to care more about their relationship and situation. Barry is fleshed out much more instead of acting as some clumsy, silly, comedic plot device. He plays a more important role, and you can see he has drive and goals he wants to achieve.
Cyborg has become almost the main character, being very important to the plot as well as having been given serious characterization and motivation that makes sense. Victor’s story is tragic, and we see him come from a dark place and work through it to help save the world. Victor and his father also have more scenes, and with additional content for that character, the scenes with his father seem more important and make more sense.
And finally, we get a payoff from Batman v Superman as well as set up for the future with what is being dubbed as “the nightmare scene.” This adds more excitement for what is to come as well as an extension to the Batman v Superman nightmare scene and Batman’s vision of Flash from the future. We also get Jared Leto’s Joker and Ben Affleck’s Batman having a scene together that is chilling.
Overall, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a much better film than the mess that was Justice League (2017).