What’s good squad, Frosty Phenix here! So I assume most of us strapped in and rode this 4 hour roller coaster of a movie redo and have come off of the ride with thoughts and opinions. I’m going to get to my takeaways of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and touch on points from the Joss Whedon Cut/Theatrical Version that was released in 2017 to compare. If I miss anything, let me know in the comment section down below. Let’s get started!
First impressions are everything...especially movie opening scenes
So the Snyder Cut opens with the conclusion of the fight scene between Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman versus “Doomsday” (aka General Zodd Zombie). In Superman’s dying “shout”, he awakened the Mother Boxes left by Darkseid and his horde involved in the mission from centuries past. It was revealed later on that his death had indeed awakened the Mother Boxes as he was now no longer a threat for Darkseid’s Invasion. I wonder how Superman dying at THAT POINT was the best time, even though he had only been alive and active as Superman for about 10 years or so. Why could they not call out to Darkseid’s army before then? I’m just saying but MOVING ON.
We get to see WAY MORE of Cyborg (Shout out to Ray Fisher)! In the Whedon Cut, we were more so told about the trauma Cyborg/Victor Stone was going through after his life changing experience with the Mother Box of man. Let’s be honest, if you woke up as a cyborg one day, as cool as you THINK you might feel it might not be the best realization in the world. But not only do we see MORE of him, we get to dive into and EXPERIENCE more of his back story (YES! I said EXPERIENCE). We see Victor’s mother, Elinore, in LIVE SCENES and interacting with Victor, giving us more of an understanding for the ire he developed for his father that we witnessed in his introduction scene of the movie. We also get to see and grasp how powerful Cyborg is early on. The biggest point his father made to him was basically that he was overpowered, however the challenge wasn’t how much of his power he possessed, but having that power and resisting temptation to use it for malicious actions (like give his personal bank account an unexplained boost). And as heartwarming as it was in the Joss Whedon version for Cyborg and his father to have a bonding moment exploring his powers at in the movie’s conclusion, his father dying in the Snyder Version was way more impactful on the stakes and gave Cyborg more of a reason to end Steppenwolf’s life and plan (the Whedon scene is definitely still appreciated, gotta love happy endings like that kind).
Every Scene was important and needed
I have to say...4 hours was a LONG TIME for a movie (not to mention the moments my girlfriend and I paused to talk about different scenes or to get our food at the door from the delivery person, laying it out on our table and then continuing the film), but I understand why it had to be that long. The reason this movie had to be so long is because cutting up the story so much made it feel rushed and unfortunately Whedon’s edits did not make the movie feel seamless for the scenes they tried to squeeze together that were not meant to convey what they conveyed. From Barry in the middle of an interview for a part time and running OUT OF HIS SHOES in order to save Iris from a car accident to Arthur having a heart to heart with Wilem Defoe’s Vulko to Victor’s heartfelt blessing on the woman down on her luck by hacking her bank account giving her a significant financial blessing (can you hack my account and do that for me Victor? I would appreciate it!), it gave the characters more depth than just small introductions. Even the scenes with Martian Manhunter and Superman going to meet Alfred to get intel on the battle at hand, it all felt necessary.
Rated R vs Rated PG-13
The tone of storytelling matters, it conveys to us which emotions we as the viewers are supposed to access while viewing the film. The Whedon Cut felt very Bright and Comical, Corny at points, to convey more of a “fun” feeling. This set of movies is not that, and so it stood out from the others because their tones did not match at all. This “original version” delivered the tone that continued from the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie, along with the tone that continued with the following titles “Wonder Woman” and “AquaMan”.
In the scenes with Steppenwolf going on a curbstomp spree at the locations of the mother box, the first cut did not have as many understood casualties...where this version...had BLOOD...quite a bit of BLOOD. When Steppenwolf tore through the Amazons in Themyscira and the Atlanteans under the sea protecting their respective mother boxes, he legitimately tore through them. When I personally saw the blood splatters from Steppenwolf’s victims, it told a more dire story over just “hitting them really hard and assuming they are dead based on how strong we assume he is”. They also threw in a VERY naughty word in two places in the movie where it’s delivery had a particular UMPH to them. Rated R gives you the flexibility to cross those adult accepted boundaries, even if they aren’t crossed all throughout the movie.
Hints of A Future that is NO MORE...for now
You can tell this Justice League wasn’t just a “one and done” film, it was setting up side stories to become its own universe of representation for the DC Universe. The ending scene with the Martian Manhunter (played by Harry Lennix) offering his assistance for the coming battle...hats off to you Snyder! And only a couple of differences to the Lex Luthor end scene. Instead of forming a team, Lex hires DeathStroke to specifically hunt down The Batman. And Ofcourse I mention the “future prediction” Bruce experiences in a nightmare, which would be expected to trigger should Lois Lane meet an untimely end. Sadly none of this will come to the big screen because for now Synder has announced no plans to follow up on this storyline now that this movie is completed.
I AM SO GLAD THESE WERE MISSING
As funny as these scenes may have been at the time, I am glad these cringe and unnecessary moments were missing from Snyder’s vision for the Justice League
Bruce and Diana’s awkward love angle that had begun in Batman vs Superman but did not continue here...good job!
The unnecessary shot of Gal Gadot’s backside as Bruce and Barry are descending from Bruce’s Private Jet.
The scenes involving that random family that lived in the town near the Nuclear Plant that Steppenwolf took over. Yes, even the scene where Barry ran the family out of town to safety by pushing their truck.
SCORE: 8 out of 10 It was not a PERFECT MOVIE, there are few of those, but if this movie had come out first instead of the previous version fans and movie viewers would have been a little more satisfied. Since the Whedon version was met with such dislike and critique, the Snyder Cut stands on its shoulders to greet the public with a purposeful story told. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out on HBO MAX, free to view for those with a subscription.