Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” lives up to the hype


Photo Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” features iconic heroes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

Blake Beashore, Editor-in-Chief

The original Justice League movie was released in 2017 to poor critical reviews and a disappointed audience. Some of the actors themselves expressed disappointment with the final product.

Many of the problems with the original release stemmed from management issues. Justice League was initially to be directed by Man of Steel and 300 director Zack Snyder. Snyder and Warner Brothers had many disagreements on what to do with the movie which resulted in Warner Brothers bringing in Avengers director Joss Whedon to add “comedic flair.” These disagreements and the addition of Joss Whedon caused a lot of on-set issues. While on-set issues discouraged Snyder, the suicide of his daughter is what ultimately led him to leave the production of the Justice League.

With Snyder’s departure, Whedon gained creative control of the movie. The management changes led to a movie with a confused mood, constant changes in tone, and all in all, a goofy superhero movie when fans were looking for a comic-accurate story that showed the darkness of the DC Universe.

I enjoyed the original cut of Justice League. I did not love the movie or even think it was necessarily a good movie. It was just a movie that you could sit down and enjoy, especially if you let the lack of character development, weird dialogue, and unnecessary sexualization of Wonder Woman go.

After the release of Whedon’s Justice League, fans took to social media to support the hashtag #releasethesnyder. Cyborg actor, Ray Fisher, joined in the conversation to ask for a chance at the Snyder Cut.

Now four years later, the Snyder Cut is finally released. When nearing its release, there was a lot of social media discussion about it. You had people who were incredibly excited and saying it was going to be amazing, while others were saying everyone was going to be a disappointment because all it was going to be was the same movie with a few extra scenes.

For me, the Snyder Cut lived up to the hype. With a four-hour and two-minute runtime, the Snyder Cut is split into six parts and an epilogue. The first two parts of the movie focus on the background of the characters and adding a baseline for development that didn’t exist in the original cut. The middle parts focused on team building and developing the villain.

The main thing that the Snyder Cut did was provide much-needed background. It also provided character development for every single character that allowed underwhelming characters to become great. An example of this is the portrayal of Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. In the original movie, Cyborg was limited to a role of a side character whose backstory we never see, while his character is reduced to shooting a few bad guys and then saying “Booyah” when they win. However, in the Snyder Cut, Cyborg is one of the main characters and is one of the main reasons the Justice League were able to win in the end. They gave him an entire description of his backstory and gave him a development that allows him to understand his purpose and goes from seeing his powers as a burden to being able to use them as a gift.

The Snyder Cut did the same thing with Ezra Miller’s Flash. We see the Snyder Cut incorporate the Flash as a hero, while the original cut treated him as purely comedic relief. The Flash in the original cut talks about never being in a fight and being too scared to go fight people, but in the Snyder Cut, he gets a lot of scenes where he shows his true power and exactly how fast he can truly be. Some of the best scenes in this movie are scenes of the Flash, and none of them were in the original cut.

Maybe one of the best things that the Snyder Cut did was remove the unnecessary sexualization of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Joss Whedon has had a history of directing superhero movies where female characters are sexualized. Take one look at any of the Marvel movies that he has directed and you will find plenty of scenes with unnecessary shots of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widows backside or putting Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff in a revealing corset (which is somehow her outfit she wears for battle). A quick look into Whedon’s directing history will show that he is a womanizer and constantly sexualizes the women in his films. The original cut of the Justice League is no different. Following the release of the Snyder Cut, people have taken the time to put some of the similar scenes side by side. In some of these scenes, there is only one change made and it is obvious what it was. Many times throughout the original cut, Joss Whedon took the time to include Gal Gadot’s backside in a shot, when she would be completely absent from the shot in the Snyder Cut. While the Snyder Cut added two hours worth of runtime to the original movie, Snyder also took the time to cut the unnecessary sexualization of a strong female character.

The Snyder Cut turned out to be exactly what all of the excited fans had imagined, an opportunity for Zack Snyder to finally see out his vision, turned into an incredible superhero movie that provides opportunities for the future if WB ever decides to continue with the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). As someone who enjoys the DC characters and the darkness of their stories, I loved this interpretation of the Justice League. It showed the characters as they were written, not trying to copy the success of the MCU, but just trying to be its style. The cinematography of this movie was incredible, and the acting was just as good to match. There were some incredible moments within the movie, and even being four hours long didn’t keep you from being on the edge of your seat. For me, the Snyder Cut is one of my favorite superhero movies that I have watched, and even with the four-hour runtime, I plan on rewatching it soon.