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After four years of demanding and waiting, fans finally got to watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League last Thursday. And If there was ever any doubt whether the movie would be better than the 2017 version of Justice League, The Snyder Cut absolutely squashed that entire debate.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was not only a love letter to all DC and comic book fans around the world, but it was also a huge improvement on the Theatrical Cut of Justice League. The differences between both movies were like night and day. And it’s frankly baffling that Warner bros cut out any of the core aspects of Snyder’s original film.
I mean, even though the Snyder Cut has its issues, the movie delivers a solid follow-up to Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman (ultimate edition). And by the end of the film, the Justice League itself felt like a proper team, and each member had earned their spot on the superhero group.
Even the movie’s villain Steppenwolf, was so much better in the Snyder Cut, as the film not only gave the new god a proper character arc but also made him feel like an actual threat to the League.
And this is why I feel Snyder’s Justice League works so well. The director uses his four-hour film to tap into the rich history of these DC characters and produces one of the strongest re-imaginings of each one of them.
The rest of this article contains spoilers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Click here to skip to The Verdict.
Cyborg & The Flash
After watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I think we can all agree that removing Cyborg and The Flash’s character arcs from the Theatrical version of Justice League was a crime against cinema itself.
As many have already said, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is the heart and soul of the Snyder cut. And it was amazing to see how much justice the movie does to his character (especially his origin story).
One of the best scenes from the entire movie was seeing Cyborg learning about his powers while the calm voice of his father, Silas Stone (Joe Morton), guided him through. This scene highlighted what a digital god Cyborg is in today’s world, and it showed how easily he could upset the world’s economic and military balance.
But as much as I loved seeing Victor’s digital powers on full display (what DC fan wouldn’t), one thing I appreciated is how Snyder’s Justice League brings Cyborg’s story of anger, personal loss, and self-loathing to a satisfying conclusion.
The Flash was no different.
While Ezra Miller’s Flash was nothing more than comic relief in 2017’s Justice League, The Snyder Cut evolves him into the most important member of the entire team.
Throughout the movie, Snyder uses every scene with the speedster to show off his creativity with his powers. From SuperSpeed to electricity and even accelerated healing, there was always something new to see with Barry Allen.
All this leads to one of the best moments of the Snyder Cut when Barry uses the Speed Force to turn back time and save the world from The Unity.
As a comic book fan, this scene left me speechless, as I never thought I would ever see that aspect of Flash’s powers executed so well in live-action. And after seeing what Snyder has done with The Flash character, I can’t wait to see what Flash Movie (2022) brings to the table.
Steppenwolf And The Forces of Apokolips
Steppenwolf was another pleasant surprise from Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
While the Theatrical cut mildly hinted at the new god’s true motives, Snyder’s Justice League properly develops his character and sees the exiled general of Apokolips desperately seeking redemption from his nephew Darkseid.
Through its four-hour runtime, the movie logically explains every step Steppenwolf takes to achieve his goal of conquering the earth for his master. And despite the League’s interference (and DeSaad’s doubts), Steppenwolf actually comes very close to succeeding at his mission.
The new god’s siege on Themyscira and Atlantis was something to behold, as he easily tore through the defenses of both the Amazons and the Atlanteans to retrieve their Mother Boxes.
Even when the newly resurrected Superman arrived to save the day, Steppenwolf and his forces were still competent enough to buy time for The Unity to synchronize.
But just when victory was in sight, the Flash ruined everything by reversing time at the last minute.
Personally, I feel bad for Steppenwolf as the new god only did what he did to get back home. However, he really shouldn’t have pushed Wonder Woman, as that fight was only ever going to end in one way.
The Justice League We Deserve
One of the best aspects of Snyder’s Justice League is that the movie sees the Justice League functioning as a team rather than just relying on one character. Every member of the team had a role to play. And though Cyborg and The Flash were essential, the rest of the League got their time to shine.
Even without being the film’s protagonist, Ben Affleck’s Batman felt revived and upgraded in the Snyder cut.
Snyder not only restored Bruce’s intelligence and common sense, but he also showcased an aspect of the Dark Knight that’s often forgotten in movies: Batman invents his own gadgets.
The Bat gauntlets were an amazing idea that allowed The Dark Knight to compete effectively against this new threat to the world. And I loved how Bruce put up a hell of a fight with the Batmobile before the rest of the League came in to assist.
Enter Wonder Woman (Ancient Lamentation Music is playing)
While I enjoyed the Ancient lamentations of Wonder Woman’s incredible theme song, I also thought the Amazon princess was an absolute beast. Snyder really did Justice to Diana and her Amazon sisters. And every scene that saw Wonder Woman in action (especially against Steppenwolf) was just too good to be true.
Aquaman wasn’t left behind either, and similar to the rest of the League, the Snyder cut significantly improved his character arc and flawlessly linked itself to the 2018 Aquaman movie.
Where Bruce was the brains behind the League and provided the resources, Arthur was Diana’s backup and helped her restrain Steppenwolf long enough for Victor and Barry to complete their part of the plan. And while Steppenwolf eventually overwhelmed them, they did last long enough for the Man of Steel to arrive.
The cherry on top of Snyder’s Justice League was the conclusion to the Superman story he kicked off in Man of Steel. After struggling for years to find his place on earth, Clark returns to a world that not only wants his help but now houses the three most important people to him. His mother Martha, Lois Lane, and his Unborn child.
The Man of Steel’s journey up to this point was perfectly summarised by the beautiful voice-over tribute from his two late fathers (Jor-El and Jonathan Kent), both of whom tell Clark that his time to help the people of earth has finally come.
Though I found it funny that Superman essentially bullies Steppenwolf at the final battle, I also loved that The Man of Steel’s strength alone wasn’t enough to save the day. And that it takes the combined effort of the entire League to stop Darkseid’s plans.
Speaking of whom…
Even though the Lord of Apokolips isn’t in the movie for very long, his dark presence is felt throughout the Snyder Cut. And by the end, the movie makes it clear that Darkseid will come for his prize on earth and destroy anyone who gets in his way.
And considering that Cyborg’s premonition of the Knightmare universe has already begun, it’s only a matter of time before Darkseid arrives on earth.
But I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Though it’s not perfect, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the superhero team-up movie we should have gotten in 2017, and it’s definitely the movie DC Fans needed now. The film strikes a good balance between fan service and proper storytelling. And as I said in my opening, it gave us one of the strongest depictions of these beloved characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I hope Warner Bros finds a way to incorporate a sequel into their current plans because I need to know how this incredible story ends.
- Good Storyline
- Great Storytelling
- Incredible Characters
- Awesome Action Scenes
- Long Runtime (4hours)
- Occasional Poor Music Choices