Zack Snyder’s Justice League is arguably one of the greatest comeback stories in recent times. The much-rumoured director’s cut of the poorly-received 2017 release was resurrected and brought viewers thanks to an unwavering fan-petition. The release of the ‘Snyder Cut’ is something that doesn’t happen in Hollywood. Warner Bros. simply acknowledging its existence was a bold move, because let’s be honest, claiming that there essentially a vastly different movie lying somewhere on the cutting room floor only reiterates the studio meddling and directorial differences that Snyder and step-in director Joss Whedon had.
Avengers director Whedon was called-in to finish the original film following Snyder having to step away due to a family tragedy, and it’s abundantly clear from the outset that the Snyder Cut isn’t a director’s cut of the film, but an entirely different movie altogether.
Not only does the film look and feel completely different, but there are thematic elements and pivotal scenes which were completely omitted from the original. And ironically, the theme of resurrection and second-chances are prominent throughout the 4-hour superhero adventure, making it almost a meta piece of art that is well worth a watch for fans, those who felt unsatisfied with the original, and for those who never experienced the 2017 edition.
Where the Snyder Cut differentiates itself from the original the most is its look and feel. The film features Snyder’s iconic unsaturated, muted tones for a more classic cinematic look, and instead of the familiar soundtrack of Whedon’s more upbeat version, Snyder brought back the dark, ominous scores from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to create more continuity with the tone. If you loved the dark, gritty feel of those earlier Snyder DCEU films, you’ll enjoy the tone Justice League creates.
It just looks better, and the overly colourful costumes and set-pieces carry a far more serious and grounded tone thanks to the suppressed colours, being more in line with Wonder Woman, BvS, and Man of Steel. The visual effects look fantastic in Snyder’s larger 1:33:1 aspect ratio (originally shot for IMAX purposes), and although some green screen sequences are drowned out by a bit too much lens flare, the overall bleak, otherworldly feel is there.
From a storytelling perspective, Zack Snyder’s Justice League tells a far more comprehensive narrative around the pivotal moments in the DC arc, most notably the formation of the Justice League itself. But where Snyder’s film thrives is its small character moments which flesh out each heroes’ motivations. Snyder manages to explore Bruce Wayne’s regret over going to war with Superman in Dawn of Justice, to the crucial father-son dynamic that drives Cyborg’s redemption story. While there are a handful of B-plots, they all tie together excellently and share a common thread: the idea of second chances. In this sense, much like Snyder himself, Justice League tells the tale of extraordinary people who have an opportunity at redemption, and that’s something that everyone can relate to, and the heart that was lacking from the 2017 version.
Jeremy is the Editor of MenStuff and has worked as a professional journalist at SA Rugby magazine, MyBroadband, MyGaming, and written for FHM and TGF Tech. Every now and then, with promises of cake we manage to lure him over to the WomenStuff offices to share his wisdom with us.