Justice League, Snyder Cut

What could have and should have been!

Avery Seldin, Staff Writer

One of the most well-known “rough cuts” of a movie in recent years was the original version of the 2017 movie Justice League. Due to a family tragedy, Zack Snyder was unable to finish filming his version. The new version, directed by Avengers director, Josh Whedon, is almost a complete overhaul. In spite of the director’s talents and claims of the original film being “unwatchable,” the film was released to lukewarm reviews from critics and audiences, which killed off DC’s attempts at creating a cinematic universe like Marvel. 

However, stories about Snyder’s take on the movie soon began to appear across the internet. From there, interest in the movie spread, with #ReleaseTheSnyderCut becoming one of the most popular hashtags online. Sure enough, DC soon confirmed that the original version was in production, with it releasing on HBOMax on March 18th, 2021. The story is mostly the same as the theatrical version, with Batman and Wonder Woman coming together in hopes of assembling a team to defeat the out-worldly threat of Steppenwolf. In the end, they realize that they need to bring Superman back from the dead in order to defeat the crazed alien. 

One of the biggest turn-offs about Snyder’s version is its length. Clocking in at almost four hours, this movie could be rather difficult for people to get through if they can’t sit through longer films. Building on this, while the movie does make the most of its long runtime, there are more than a few scenes that feel like they are there solely because they needed to pad out the runtime. Finally, the movie is much more violent than anything else in the DCEU, so it could be a turn-off for younger children. 

In spite of the longer runtime possibly being a turnoff for some people, the movie-for the most part-absolutely makes the best of it. The story of the film is given much more background, allowing much more room to actually make sense in the grand scheme of things. The runtime also allows for more backstory to characters who sorely needed it, such as Flash and especially Cyborg and Steppenwolf. Speaking of Steppenwolf, he was easily the worst part of the original movie, as he was a bland villain with incredibly bad special effects, who additionally appeared to be very out of place, as he appeared to be taking the role of his traditional boss, famous comic villain Darkseid. Here, not only does his costume look far better, but he also gets more depth, and, while he is still the main villain that the newly formed Justice League faces off with, Darkseid actually appears in the backstory, as well as getting a few scenes in the movie. And speaking of Darkseid, for his first live-action movie appearance, he does not disappoint. With only a few scenes, he really shows how powerful and intimidating he is. The team also feels far more like an actual team, rather than a drafted army. Because of this, the action scenes feel much more fluid and impressive, especially with the ramped-up violence. 

While I can’t say if the movie would have been much better if Snyder didn’t have the gift of hindsight, considering that both of his prior films, Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, received mostly negative reviews from critics and fans alike, it is definitely one of the better DC films to come out in recent years. While still not reaching the heights that Wonder Woman set, the movie still is an enjoyable watch and makes me very upset that we will most likely never see the two sequels that Snyder had planned as well. 

Rating: 5/5