In 2017 they can’t have been many people walking out of the cinema happy after seeing DC’s tentpole “Justice League” movie. Desperate fans would have tried hardest to appreciate what was on offer, but casual fans like me were most likely bemused that it was so poor.
After four years and plenty of internet pressure, we finally get “Justice League: The Snyder Cut”. The original was started by Zach Snyder but finished by the now disgraced Joss Whedon after personal reasons made Snyder pull out. What we got was a by the numbers superhero movie where big bad threatens Earth, heroes band together and give him a kicking. Add to that a plot that didn’t make much sense and pretty much wasted two hours of anyone who saw it’s life.
So should you now invest a further FOUR hours to see what the original director has done to it?
From the off, it’s quite clear this is a different kettle of flying fish. Rather than just stick in extended scenes and film a few new bits, Snyder has wielded his editing scissors like a boss. Plenty of Whedon scripted scenes have been cut (there’s no writing credit for him), other scenes rearranged in the running order, and the music changed – all to positive effect. The colour palette is also different, with Snyder draining some of Whedon’s brighter colours so that the movie has the washed out effect he’s always been so fond of.
The movie is now split into six sections, as well as an intro and epilogue, running at double the original length. The most obvious result of this is that the story now makes sense. We find out what the maguffin boxes are, why they are on Earth, who baddie Steppenwolf (who now has cool armour) is working for… it’s actually a decent comic book narrative that was totally lacking before. Character wise, the biggest beneficiary is Cyborg (Ray Fisher), who is now fully fleshed out and has actual powers hitherto unspecified, as well as an emotional arc with his father. The Flash (Erza Miller) also gets some decent development as well as a hell of a different third act. Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is probably the least improved, but hey, he got his own movie for that. The epilogue is fantastic, too, and sets up a sequel that we will never get, more’s the pity. Dammit! I want more Batfleck!
I genuinely went into this not expecting much. After all, how can adding two hours to a crappy movie improve it that much? Suffice to say it stands easily as the best DC movie to date, a title previously held in my mind by “Wonder Woman”. The run time flies by and the story is gripping. The action is plentiful and at times bloody (this one is R rated, kids), and characters feel strong, real and vulnerable. Basically, they feel like heroes rather than cardboard cut outs. Hopefully this may help DC get a hold on their future movies after the cinematic pile of shit that was “Wonder Woman 84”, and I never thought I’d say this: get Snyder back into the fold.