When “Justice League” hit theaters in late 2017, it was both a critical and financial disaster. With stories of endless production troubles and expensive reshoots, many felt that it was doomed from the start. The most notable being the replacing of director Zack Snyder with Marvel “Avengers” director Joss Whedon. It was clear that Zack Snyder’s dark vision of the iconic heroes was greatly watered down and saturated into an unrecognizable mess.
However, over the past three years since its release, Snyder’s fans and supporters petitioned and lobbied endlessly for the release of the director’s original vision. Finally, after billboards and hashtags galore, Warner Bros. finally delivered the long-awaited Snyder Cut in all its four-hour glory.
The film sees the world following the death of Superman. Because of his passing, Earth is now opened to far greater threats. It is now up to Batman and Wonder Woman to assemble a team of heroes (Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg) to save the day. The threat they face is the forces of Apokolips, led by Steppenwolf in a quest to retrieve all three Mother Boxes in the name of Darkseid.
The biggest issue that the theatrical “Justice League” had was taking Snyder’s four hour story and condensing it to a measly two hours. Along the way, character development, story beats, even entire subplots vanished from the movie. While four hours is a lengthy runtime for any movie, the expanded time allows our characters to breathe. Characters like Cyborg now have a purpose in the film, characters like The Flash now have more personality and depth than lame jokes. It also allows for characters to build a connection and interact more, which is something you think they would want to keep in a team-up film no matter which version you watch.
While this cut of the film is superior, that does not mean that the film is flawless. There are still the same Zack Snyder trappings. There are times when he relies way too heavily on style over substance, with an almost comical amount of slow-motion. You will also find moments where the visual effects look quite unpolished. However, in that instance I give the film slack due to Snyder only having $20 million to finish any unfinished work.
Despite the flaws, “The Snyder Cut” will give fans exactly what they want, and it is clear that Zack Snyder’s passion for this material leaps off the screen with every frame. If you were let down by the theatrical cut, you owe it to yourself to give “The Snyder Cut” a chance. It is truly the definitive version of the film. While it is unclear if Warner Bros. will continue the story of Snyder’s “Justice League,” as they have attempted to go in new directions with their film slate, it’s still important that you sit down and see what this film was truly meant to be.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is now streaming on HBO Max.