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The Zack Snyder Cut Of Justice League Was Awesome, But Is It Too Little Too Late?


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Zack Snyder seems to have done the impossible. He actually has gotten me excited about the DC Cinematic Universe again with his updated version of the Justice League movie airing now on HBO Max.

I actually watched the new movie twice before writing this, which was time-consuming with a four-hour movie but worth it.

When the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League was first announced as happening, like many, I had my doubts. The original theatrical release of the movie was so bad for such a variety of reasons, it was hard to imagine a few edits could really make much of a difference.

If you are not really up on the whole original vs Snyder Cut thing, here is a brief recap of what happened.

Snyder, who had directed both the previous Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice movies, began work on the third chapter in his story with Justice League. Before that project was completed, the director faced family tragedy after his daughter’s death by suicide. He stepped down as director to be with his family, and the reins were handed to Joss Whedon to finish post-production.

 

At the time, Whedon was heralded for his success of the first Marvel Avengers movie. I think it is safe to say the folks at Warner Bros wanted to see the same success for Justice League.

Even though Snyder’s name was kept on the original Justice League movie released in theaters in 2017, the released movie differed widely from his original vision. It’s hard to say who really was responsible for these changes, Whedon himself or the studio who saw this as an opportunity to create a movie with a lighter tone similar to the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Regardless, the end result was not well received by fans, and the movie was deemed a failure. After that, the studio seemed intent on dumping all plans for their comic universe while starting anew. Even though movies like Aquaman starring Jason Momoa, Wonder Woman 2 starring Gal Gadot, and Shazam were released, you could tell the films tried to distance themselves from the Snyder vision. I might add, other than perhaps Shazam, all those movies in my opinion were quite bad.
 

 

Fast-forward to the present. After a tremendously long fan-led campaign to convince Warner Bros to allow Snyder to tell his original story for Justice League, we have the Snyder-Cut version of Justice League. Personally, I don’t think Warner Bros. had much faith the recut movie would be any better but saw an opportunity to hype their newly launched streaming service, HBO Max as the exclusive distributor instead of movie theaters.

The Snyder-Cut movie isn’t just adding back in a few scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor. Snyder took this opportunity to create a seemingly new movie with re-shoots and editing that turned a 2-hour movie into a 4-hour, 6-part saga.

So was it all worth it? In my opinion, yes. I was amazed at how much better this version of Justice League was over the original release. Honestly, I don’t know if this is truly what Snyder had intended for the original, or if several years of fan feedback on the theater release allowed him to make something better. We know even if Snyder hadn’t stepped down from the original movie, it wouldn’t have been four hours long.

 

Nevertheless, this new movie allowed him to do things that were sorely missing from the original, like develop the character background on all Justice League members, beyond the big three of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The one benefiting the most from character development was Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Not only did his character become a much more integral part of the story, we were actually allowed to see what drives him and how he came to be.

Since the original movie, accusations have come out against Joss Whedon for abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable behavior while working on Justice League. Fisher was the first to publicly make these accusations against Whedon, but other actors have come forward to support the claims. I don’t know if the friction between Fisher and Whedon played a part in Cyborg’s character being downplayed in the original release or not, but when you watch this new movie, I think you will come away finding Cyborg much more interesting than before.

Another thing sorely missing from the original release was the real main bad guy for the DC Cinematic Universe, the character known as Darkseid. In the original movie, Darkseid was barley even mentioned let alone seen. Imagine if Marvel had tried to build up to Avengers: Endgame without ever showing or barely referencing Thanos.

 

Snyder provided a more prominent role for Darkseid in this new version.

Much of the Snyder-Cut of Justice League plays out like the original, only fleshed out with more depth and updated special effects. This movie's main bad guy Steppenwolf, a CGI character, looks much better than he did originally. Many of the fight scenes also look better, although you still get a fair amount of the Snyder-style slow-mo stuff seen in other DC movies. They also removed some of the lighthearted stuff, which I felt was originally added to be more like a Marvel movie. Scenes like when Aquaman was sitting on Wonder Woman’s lasso are thankfully gone. That’s not to say there still aren’t some lighthearted moments in here. The first time Flash meets Bruce Wayne which was one of my favorites is still there, and there are even a few additional scenes with Flash that have been added that I think are good.

It’s the ending however where the recut movie is completely different from the original, and for me it was the original ending I hated the most. The way, this movie not only tells an overall better story, it sets up much better for what’s yet to come.

 

It adds to things that were originally started in Dawn of Justice, which until now I found pretty confusing. In fact, I would argue that not only does this new version make Justice League better, it also helps make Dawn of Justice better.

Dawn of Justice is a movie that I initially wasn’t a huge fan of, but then they released an extended version of that film that explained in more depth how Lex had manipulated Bruce and Clark. After that, I found myself liking that movie more. Along with the Snyder-Cut of Justice League, they released the “Ultimate” version of Dawn of Justice on HBO Max. I do recommend you watch that before watching Justice League. To me, Dawn of Justice is really Chapter 1 of Justice league, and the two movies come together well now as one big story.

As for the length of the movie. Well, I’ve seen it twice now, and the four hours never once dragged for me. I am glad this is a home release, because I admit sitting in a theater seat that long is not appealing. For those I’ve seen complain about the runtime, I do wonder if they would have complained if this was a movie they were truly seeing for the first time.

 

Since a sizable portion of the movie is similar to the original, there is an element at play of already knowing what’s going to happen, at least until you get to the end.

So for me the big question is, where do we go from here? Assuming this Snyder-Cut is deemed a success by the studio, will that convince them to continue what has been established here? Will the studio, even if they wanted, be able to get all the actors back including Fisher, or even Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, both of whom seem to have moved on from the DC movies.

One of my biggest fears for this Snyder-Cut movie has been — would it almost be worse if I ended up really liking it, because now I want more of something that may never come. I have to wonder if that is now where we stand?

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  • JayC changed the title to The Zack Snyder Cut Of Justice League Was Awesome, But Is It Too Little Too Late?

If they released shorter version (3 hours at least) of this in 2017 and it got similar reviews, we would be living in very different reality for DC movies, but whatever happened happened, I guess silver lining here is that we wouldn't be able to get Jared Leto Joker actually finally redeem his Joker with that awesome Knightmare scene if it wasn't for this whole fiasco, so who knows what future holds, it's a fact that more people and critics are liking this 4 hours cut,  run time that by itself isn't exactly something general public finds desirable, another interesting conclusion we can get from it is that all Studio/Wheadon reshoots were for the most part either damaging to overall movie or absolutely unnecessary, I really don't get why did movie need do you bleed scene added or what Supes scenes with Lois and his mom done differently that wouldn't be accomplished with original footage, let alone it would spare us horrible cgi face of Cavill. 

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I was extremely surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  I absolutely hated the original cut, and hadn't watched it since it's release.  Like a lot of people I just didn't think any edits would make much of a difference.  I will now admit how wrong I was.  The movie still has issues, but the contrast in the changes is so much that it's easy to look past them.  The differences are so fascinating that I've been watching scenes from both cuts and studying them for fun.  In the end I'm glad we have this cut, even if they don't do anything else with the future storyline it hints at.

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Like everyone who's seen it, it's much better than the original and I was also surprised by how much I liked it. Who knew, character and world building mattered to a story! I gave the original a 5/10, the Synder cut is at least a 7/10. The 4 hour runtime went by fast and I was fully engaged throughout. If that isn't the mark of a good movie then I don't know what is.

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Two very significant factors played a role in the Whedon botch up we got in theaters.  Snyder had a family tragedy during production which forced off the film and Warners wanted marvel movies for DC thinking they could emulate their box office success and remove some of the fears after BvS and its serious take on the DCEU.  One couldnt be helped. The other was a huge miscalculation by Warners. First misstep was getting Whedon and his infantile characterizations to change Snyders vision.  The fans don't want DC to make Marvel movies they DC movies to be their own flavour and style.  It's clear now Snyder had a vision for the franchise and it was a good one.  I wonder allowing Affleck to direct after Snyder had to leave would have been better than bringing Whedons juvenile style in?

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Yes, the film is good and better than the original cut, in general, but there are one thing to consider, and another that detract it from the previous cut:

1) If the movie was released in 2017, in theaters, with Zack Snyder directing it, he would have to cut it down to 2-2:30 hours, and the final result could be even worst than what we saw previously.

2) I didn’t see my beloved heroes on Snyder’s cut. Wonder Woman, in his vision, is an executioner, not a warrior. She kills twice at cold blood and just for pleasure. There is no reason why she did killed that unarmed terrorist, and she would never do that in the comics, or any other “hero” per say. Anti-heroes or vigilantes would do that. And, at the end, decapteting a Fallen enemy is just cruelty that, again, we don’t expect from her. Also, the last battle is gruesome. Aquaman stabed Steppenwolf in the back, Superman tortures him, by punching and taking of his horn out of pure merciless... he did not had a chance against Superman as his first hit showed. It was just a matter of disabling him and sending him back to his home world. That is what the “real” Superman would do, but in Snyder visionary vision, his moral is as good as the guys he fight against... 

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Two extra hours and an R rating just for Snyder to duck tape in extra blood and "F" Bombs? Garbage.

If you're a movie maker doing a Superhero movie, especially involving Superman, and at any point you decide rated "R" is the way to go, get help.

If you think that crap is "awesome," it's already to late for you.

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Im not a DC fan. I hate Dawn of Justice. I enjoyed 2017's Justice League. This? This was beautiful, I loved every second of it, even if it made the movie longer without adding anything to it and was just setting things up. It was great and I hope we get more of it.

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I loved it. Steppenwolf was so much more badass but it was very brutal what they did to him in the end. Didn't really fit the characters. Overall, the movie felt very epic and makes me want to rewatch Dawn of Justice and see if that's any better the second time around.

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Film was ok but it's never too late to go back and carry this on. Hollywood really is 'never say never'. There are some interesting seeds planted that would be nice to see explored. However I'm guessing there's going to be reset in flashpoint

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Thanks for the review J....It was as long as the movie (just kidding)...

I read the post on this movie from the pro, con, and funny (mako)...

I have not seen this version of movie yet....Personally I liked the original ( Joss Whedon)...

Will check it out. But to be honest.....Marvel is so far Out in Front of DC (IMHO)...

Looks to me,  like they have to rethink a "LOT"  of things...Maybe Batman, Wonder Woman story line???

I don't know. I hope they do =^)

 

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According to a recent interview from Variety with WarnerMedia’s Ann Sarnoff, the studio seems to be sticking to their guns that they are done with the Zack Snyder version of the DC Universe.
 
Quote

I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC. We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the “Justice League” to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now.

 

Of course for anyone who watched the Snyder Cut Justice League movie that premiered this past weekend on HBO Max, it was clear this movie was not made in order to tie things up. It most certainly was made with the intention of showing a much bigger story is yet to come. If Warner Bros truly thinks this movie was somehow going to satisfy fans and make it so they could move on to something new, then I think they are more out of touch with their DC fan base than many have thought. Seems to me that by allowing this movie to be made, if they really have no intention of going forward with more, all they have done is opened old wounds, and the fact the movie seems to be getting high praise from many fans and critics alike, only makes it worse.

It's hard to truly judge how successful the Snyder Cut Justice League movie really is since their are no box office numbers to look at. As far as I know Warner Bros' also hasn't released any kind of data showing how many new HBO Max subscribers they picked up since the movie premiered on the streaming service. Never-the-less, as fan-praise for the movie continues to grow online, one has to wonder how worried the WB execs are at the massive hole they seemingly keep digging themselves when it comes to DC Comics.
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They said exactly same thing before, so it's really up to AT&T to decide what's next, if SnyderCut will provide needed numbers it's very well can be considered we will get something down the line, be it new lesser budget movie or limited event series like Mandalorian.  I mean it is still Snyderverse per se, it all his cast just different movies, which had separate movie franchises already, end result of Justice League is still Superman comes back to life and they defeat Steppenwolf. They can still easily make new Justice League movie that continues main idea of Darkseid invasion, which is inevitable if there's even some talk for new Justice League movie, even if in Flash movie everything get rebooted it still would be the most logical move.

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I was very much not a fan of the original theatrical release. I hated so many things and so many eff ups like the cavill moustache debacle alone was super cringey to watch. The idea that Steppenwolf was the only big bad and he looked like garbage and was so uninteresting overall. The Snyder cut is easily much much better than the original. I found myself very engrossed through the whole 4 hours. I loved all the extra CG, the character build up, finally showing darkseid and having other new characters introduced or shown/teased. I was expecting much more from Darkseid tho from all the promotional material for the film. I think that was my biggest disappointment, they never really had that conflict with him. I was so excited to see Desaad and Granny in the screenshots, to then find out they werent really much of anything in the movie at all. Still those additions just having them in there made the experience that much more entertaining and interesting compared to Whedons release. This is the film that should have been to have boosted the DCCU. What sucks is this is basically a movie of what could have been instead of something to hype for the future of the DCCU. Kind of bittersweet. Glad to finally experience it but now I just want more and now we get a reset of it all. 

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 If Warner Bros truly thinks this movie was somehow going to satisfy fans and make it so they could move on to something new, then I think they are more out of touch with their DC fan base

I think their motivation was clear from the start; WB had a brand new streaming service that no one was subscribing to and they needed something to drive new viewers. That's really it. I seriously doubt there was ever any intention of following up on the Snyder films because, quite frankly, most of the films they've released since Snyder left have been far better recieved. (Though obviously not all... *sideeye's WW84). 

 

Honestly, even as a fan of Snyders earlier, non-DC films, I've very glad they're changing direction. I enjoyed the first half of MoS, but absolutely LOATHE BvS with every fiber of my being. The Snyder Cut of JL was fairly entertaining but only underscored that his vision of most of the characters is not one I'm interested in. 

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2 hours ago, JangDangus said:

Scrap it and move on

Gotta agree. I liked Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman (Luthor casting not withstanding), but even I have to admit the tone was way off.

Time to start over and put these characters back on track.

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Honestly, the Snyder was a bit better than the theatrical release.

I still don't the big problem with the Henry Cavill mustache. Part of it is I just really never cared about a Superman that can't fly on a his own. They fixed that with both versions of the Justice League movie.

I heard good things about the Snyder cut and I enjoyed a good chunk of it from watching it last night. BUT, I also see why they needed to recut the movie for the theatrical release.

To say Warner Brother is out of touch to not continue the DCEU is more or less a fan boy comment. DCEU just wasn't great. They needed someone other than Zack Snyder to oversee the projects. Sure Snyder makes cool scenes but he sure doesn't know hot to tell a story. Took him 4 hours when Whedon and WB more of less did the same story in 2 hours.

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On 3/21/2021 at 5:59 PM, mako said:

 

If you think that crap is "awesome," it's already to late for you.

I think this crap is awesome!

Being a father of two little girls, the wife and I are on our third night of watching this extravaganza.  Yep, we need to break it up into that many chunks because we don't get 4 hours to ourselves.

I like this so much more than the theatrical version which I could tell even at the time was some Frankensteined Snyder/Whedon/WB Think Tank monstrosity.  Snyder definitely has a unique take on these heroes that I appreciate even though I do not agree 100% of his creative moves.  It's epic, it's self indulgent, it's melodramatic, it's not MCU, and I find myself surprisingly into it.

I for one am not ruling out a sequel.  I know I've seen what they WB's statement is on it, and I've had other fans point out to me all the reasons why there WON'T be a sequel, and they are not wrong.  I also know that money and hashtag movements talk in this day and age.  Who knows what might happen with enough support.

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The best part of this epic is that it is not MCU.  It's not perfect but it succeeds in being it's own superhero movie and if DC has to have its movie universe this is a great place to build it from.  I never wanted DC movies to be more Marvel movie than Marvel movie. I think now most fans have seen how good DC movies can be with this cut and they will want more.  

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Exactly. Add Jared Leto to the luther list. Man of Steel is 8 years old. If we start a new DCU now, a new Justice league could pop in within 3-4 years. If we keep the current one alive it will be 10. I'd rather build Joaquin, Robert, and the new comers. with multiple sequels. Use that foundation to build a new WW and Super. WW84 was a flop, it's over too. Patty is moving on to Star Wars. Let's all move on too. 

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7 hours ago, JangDangus said:

WW84 was a flop, it's over too. Patty is moving on to Star Wars.

WW3 is definitely moving forward, with both Jenkins and Gadot. WB already announced that back in January. WW84, by COVID metrics, was still a decent success for them because a ton of people watched it on HBOMax. It may have been terrible, but then so was BvS and they still let Snyder make Justice League. 

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