The new and improved Justice League: Snyder’s Cut



Originally directed by Zach Snyder, he eventually left the production due to family complications. Following his return, Snyder revealed the cast, release date and run time for the film. A four hour and two minute long film sounds extreme, but compared to the 2017 version, Snyder needed to make major adjustments.

Jemiah Clemons, Opinions Editor

The long awaited Justice League premiered on HBOMax March 18, 2021. The original director, Zach Snyder, stepped down from the project following a family tragedy. Joss Whedon went on to replace Snyder for the film, but Snyder would later return. Once released, fans did not appreciate the changes made by Whedon. Justice League received negative reviews on nearly every media platform. Years later, after fans demanded Synder’s cut of the film, Warner Brothers allowed him to return and complete his unfinished version. Management at Warner Bros gave the go-ahead for production, but did not anticipate the amazing turn out from fans.

Synder’s version of the film differed dramatically from the 2017 version. Improved character development, comedy and action sequences still leave fans shocked four days after the release. Characters such as Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash no longer hid in the shadows of the film. Snyder displayed Cyborg’s origin story and made him a major character. This development allowed viewers to gain a new perspective of the movie and ultimately see Cyborg as more than “the new guy.” The Flash (Ezra Miller), did not come off as the unnecessary comedic relief, but instead the young member of the team that needed to reach his personal goals. 

Joss Whedon received plenty of criticism because of the way his 2017 version portrayed both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). Fans described not only Wonder Woman, but all the Amazonians as pawns for feminism rather than actual characters with a purpose. In the Snyder cut, the Amazonians put up a brave fight against Steppenwolf, the main antagonist of the film,  and did more than just look good on screen. Viewers of the original version also did not like Batman’s character. Deemed too dark and boring by fans, the new Batman took everyone by surprise. Snyder successfully showed viewers a relaxed and faith reliant Batman, while keeping him as a dominant force.

Snyder receives high praise, but he knows criticism quite well. Viewers and critics often refer to his DCEU projects as dark and eerie, with no room for comedy. In his version of the film, all characters landed jokes that fans reference on Twitter. Even Jason Mamoa’s portrayal of Aquaman gained criticism. His character came across as a careless meathead while his character in the stand alone Aquaman movie shows fun and witty humor. Snyder fixed this by allowing viewers to see more of Atlantis and a more vulnerable side of Aquaman.

“I won’t lie, I didn’t have any good expectations going in and I felt like I was wasting my money. I watched and genuinely enjoyed it. This version is way better than the original,” senior Kristen Rainey said. 

The missing piece of the puzzle, Super Man (Henry Cavill), made a return in the movie. Instead of solely focusing on his revival, as done in the previous film, it added on to the story. The film did not revolve around Superman and the other heroes did not look severely inferior. Not only did Snyder upgrade the justice league, but Steppenwolf improved as well. From CGI effects to his motives, fans truly enjoyed his presence in this film. In the 2017 version, Steppenwolf appeared generic in terms of digital effects, but in the Snyder cut, he looks sharper, cleaner and more dangerous. This film also reveals his true motives and backstory. This added the desperately needed context that fans begged for.

This film’s ending left eyes open and jaws on the floor. The film introduced exciting characters such as Martian Manhunter (Harry Lenix) and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello). A surprise interaction between Batman and The Joker (Jared Leto) left viewers speechless. Their dialogue hinted at several unseen characters and potential content for a sequel. The major improvements and new additions makes the four-hour run time worth it. Now more than ever fans hope for the return of the ‘Snyderverse’.

Chant Grade: A-