So I finished the Snyder Cut. TLDR: it’s marginally better than the original, but it’s still not a great movie.
I only watched the “original” version of Justice League a year or so after it came out and landed on streaming services. I remember I didn’t have any high hopes for it, probably due to the immense negative press I’d been peripherally aware of. It took me 3 viewings but I finally finished it, and I walked away feeling slightly upset but mostly underwhelmed.
So it was with largely similar expectations that I clicked this new outing, and I think I was pleasantly surprised in some parts, and equally puzzled in many others. The Snyder Cut is a mess, technically, and in story, and as a casual comics fan who grew up loving Superman and eventually got absorbed into the behemoth that is the MCU, comparisons were inevitable four years ago, and they are still, today.
We get more backstory on Flash and Cyborg, and the dynamics during the formation of the “team”, but we also get the puzzling dream sequences that are Snyder’s way of telling the audience “look at the greatness that I could’ve given you!”. Indeed, it’s a much brighter film when it comes to color treatment, but then to honor “his vision”, we get the show in that stilted 4:3 ratio and visually, it’s still is a hot mess of reds, oranges, black and silver.
Sure, we get to see an improved version of Steppenwolf, and that flashback battle scene with Zeus and “all the tribes of Middle Earth” looks and sounds cool, but it just reminds me how spoiled we are as viewers. In a universe without the MCU and where most people are stuck in the 90s? This movie would have fared better.
I appreciate the removal of those gratuitous panty shots, and other traces of the monster that is Joss Whedon, but sadly that’s really the end of the Snyder Cut’s redeeming features. Zack Snyder excised everything he didn’t design to improve the outcome, with arguable results.
As it is, the Cut is an indulgent, still grim, still convoluted piece of storytelling. I actually liked the Superman presented in this version better, but all things considered, this feels like what people who have always thought superheroes were for kids would do to a superhero movie. Whatever possessed WB to put money into this is anyone’s guess, but I think the world has gotten enough of this bad treatment to the DC stable. It’s time to give it a rest for awhile.