REVIEW: ‘Justice League: Snyder Cut’


I swear, Wonder Woman in this movie could literally be taking a stroll in the park and would still be accompanied by a slow-motion shot followed by tranquil, dramatic music. Zack Snyder really has a thing for that kind of filmmaking, huh?

Snyder’s cut of “Justice League” hit HBO Max on March 18 and tells the same exact story as the 2017 original Joss Whedon cut. The villain Steppenwolf comes to Earth in search of mother boxes in the hopes of using them to destroy the world (with a reason this time), and it’s up to the Justice League (Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman) to stop him.

I was not a fan of the original cut of this movie. It felt too jampacked with not enough runtime. After seeing this new cut, I can honestly say that I like the original cut even less than I did before.

While there were two things I liked better in the original cut, (explained below), it can’t disguise the truth: The Snyder Cut is a better film in almost every way. The scenes that Whedon altered or totally removed in the original cut have either been fixed or added back in and provide the necessary context to give people more of a reason to care about the story, and the character development is so much better this time around.

The characters Flash and Cyborg are the heart and soul of this film, hands down. In the original cut, they were never fleshed out, so I didn’t care about them at all. In this version, we see both of their backstories, and I really felt for their characters.

Cyborg, in particular, has a heartbreaking scene where he began to sob because his father did not appear at the biggest football game of his life, and that really hit me hard.

As for Flash, his humor and the jokes he brings to the table are elevated in this version in the best way. He is no longer a wisecracker at improper times like before. And rather than being a wimp like he was in the first cut, he is ready to jump in and help at the first sign of danger no matter what.

Steppenwolf is a much better villain in this version, as well. In the Whedon cut, Steppenwolf was one of the weakest villains I’d ever laid eyes on, and his motivations were rather vague and borderline stupid.

In Snyder’s cut, however, his character, like Flash’s and Cyborg’s, is more deeply explored and you are able to understand what his motivations are, even if you can’t truly empathize with him.

I was also pleasantly surprised with Darkseid, Steppenwolf’s father, and his amount of involvement in this film, (or lack thereof). It has become customary in the DCEU to rush things and bring in villains with no build-up whatsoever and try to present them as the main villain to defeat. This makes me cringe. On the contrary, Darkseid’s minimal involvement and shadowy presence was spot on, creating the perfect build-up for a bigger presence in a potential future sequel.

Despite all the adulation I’m giving the Snyder cut, I do have a few gripes. For one, there are many who praise this film for implementing a 4:3 aspect ratio to condense the screen in order to intensify focus; I am not amongst them. To me, a film of this size, in content and runtime (4 hours long), should be viewed with the biggest aspect ratio possible. Cutting it down, yeah, not a fan of that. Funny enough, this is something that the original cut did better. Using the common 16:9 ratio makes more sense for a movie like this. Why this was not the case in Snyder’s version is a riddle that I likely won’t solve.

The CGI in this film is also not that great, or rather, it’s barely passable. There were so many times I looked at my screen at certain creatures and other visuals and thought, “Wait, this looks arguably worse than the original version!”

After the credits rolled, I immediately rewatched certain scenes from the original to see if it looked better or worse. To my surprise, it actually looked better. The CGI rendering on Steppenwolf in Snyder’s version, for instance, looks appalling at times, whereas in the Whedon cut, it’s much better looking. It’s weird to admit, but in terms of visual effects, the Snyder cut loses in that category.

There are a couple other things I could talk about, like certain cheesy lines of dialogue, the unnecessary usage of The Martian Manhunter in this film, and the ridiculous slow-mo shots. But here’s why I won’t: even though this film is by no means a masterpiece, it is still very enjoyable for the enhancement of the action, aesthetic, chemistry between characters, and above all, the directors promise.

During the making of this cut back in 2017, Snyder’s daughter, Autumn, committed suicide, causing him to step down, which created an opening for Whedon to step in as director. Snyder never thought he would get to make his vision for the film come true but he did, and all for his daughter, Autumn.

This film is not perfect, but overall it is still a good superhero movie, though a little late to the party. As I previously stated, it is currently available exclusively on HBO Max, and I recommend this fun and entertaining movie (albeit not as fleshed out and well done as the MCU films).


Jury Declares: B