March 18th hearlded the release of the #SnyderCut long lobbied for by Zack Snyder’s league of fans, a gambit that has paid off for the Justice League film. THERE ARE SPOILERS APLENTY!
We sat down yesterday for the impressive FOUR HOUR and TWO MINUTE long movie. We have long loved superheros, Snyder’s own Batman V Superman turned the tide for us, and made us disciples of the Snyderverse. When the director stepped away from the original release of the film amidst ongoing studio battles (he was loosing) and a tragedy in his family, we knew the movie was in trouble. Film schools could hold a class on the stark differences of two directors at the helm of a film. We didn’t like the original justice league. We hated how Whedon took Patty Jenkin’s masterful presentation of Wonder Woman and the Amazon’s and used them for fan service in Justice League. Frankly we were fucking insulted. Whedon had heroes chasing after villagers, and a lack luster plot that didn’t let anyone connect to the heroes of this story. With a movie all over the place, and nowhere at the same time, we joined the chorus of DC comics fans all over the world begging, pleading, and hoping to see a better version of their epic heroes on screen.
BAM. The Snyder Cut slapped us across the face with impressive storytelling skills in just the first minute of the film. We see once again Superman’s dying breath, this time we are experiencing this tragic battle in slow motion, the shock waves of his death cry as he saves humanity an echo throughout the planet with dire consequences. We wanted to weep it was so cinematic, it was epic, it was SUPER. This ladies and gentlemen is the introduction to the superhero narrative we all needed. We settled in, and were excited for a promise of the world’s greatest heroes. DC is famous of dark storylines, overcoming their flaws is an exploration of the human condition DC builds into their heroes, and Snyder delivers frame by frame. Well, okay, maybe not the lady who huff’s Aquaman’s sweater, what the hell was that, but then again maybe we’d huff Jason Mamoa’s sweater too. Still weird.
WOMEN! First of all Amazonian Glory is RESTORED! The women of the Snyderverse are absolutely fantastic. Lets just clear the noise and start with the Amazonians. These women are brilliant. Watching them fight Steppenwolf made us want to jump on the couch and beat our chests as we drew javelins for retaliation! Zack gave us the full scope of their power, the deadly awe-inspiring creatures of myth that Patty beautifully gave us in Wonder Woman. He brought back the mythos of the fearless women willing to die for justice and might, that the world exploded over with joy in the well recieved titular Wonder Woman. It is a far cry (THANK GOD) from the over sexualized, weak willed, failures Whedon gave us. We wanted to throw a tantrum and toss soda at the screen watching Justice League through Whedon’s eyes for the garbage he tried to pass of as Amazonian might. These women we’re epic and instead the theatrical release looked like Victoria Secret held a cos-play sword event and dubbed it hot Amazon. Barf. Snyder gave us warriors. We could have wept with joy. Wonder Woman was impressive. He showed us a tempered and brilliant warrior unafraid of taking on unimaginable odds. Her fight scenes were restored to glory, with Steppenwolf prodding at her greatest fear, a dynamic we loved watching her overcome on screen. It gave us hope for a future where Diana is able to re-unite with her sisters after hundreds of years of banishment. Wonder Woman deserves that much, she deseves to have her fight scenes matter, her story heard, and we thanked the editing Gods that cringeworthy Flash scene of him nestled between her breasts as he babbles around like the class clown was wiped from the face of the Earth. We will never look at Justice League again, its the SnyderCut or its nothing. Diane Lane was given a much better use of her talents as well in this version. A mother with a quiet strength, she was a pillar, a perfect compliment that took the outward fight of the heroes and internalized it for all the humans suffering loss in silence. Diane Lane like usual is a masterclass in acting, her quiet power rivited us. Equally Connie Britton was brilliant, the scene with her prayer to Artemis for the safety of her daughter as she sent her alone to war, once again, but, with the hope of a reunion made us feel. The first film gave viewers nothing to fight for in the characters. The SnyderCut is passionate, and leaves you rooting for each character in a different way.
Cyborg. What a difference a director makes. Cyborg’s story was wiped off the face of the Earth in the theatrical release. The Snyder Cut is glorious for Cyborg. We are given a backstory that breaks our heart as we imagine how many fight against absent father’s in their lives. How that guilt of absentism creates a gulf too large to breach, and yet the will is there. Cyborg was a prickly one dimensional character in the theatrical cut, in the Snyder Cut we can’t help but weep for a kid who didn’t ask for this. His budding relationship with The Flash was also a fantastic addition to the storytelling. We loved seeing him connect, to have those moments of humanity with Barry and Diana, showing us the willingness of pulling through trauma, something many can relate to. His final choice is poignant, and perhaps as well a message to everyone around the world for Suicide Prevention: You. Are.Not. Alone. A point made even more keenly in relation to Zack Snyder’s intimately personal relationship to the subject.
Flash. Welcome Barry Allen! Whedon’s Flash was hurftul to DC Comics fans all around the globe. He took one of the most beloved characters in comic history and turned him into a bumbling teenage idiot capable of nothing. Snyder snatched that narrative and threw it in the trash (where it belongs). We join Barry as he makes a decision to save Irish West, an act peppered with the possiblity of discovery alongside humor and heart. We melted, how could you not love Ezra Miller as Flash after witnessing that combination of humanity he brings to Barry? He’s a lonely kid whose been isolating himself in a lifelong quest to prove his father didn’t kill his mother, a night that veritably turned Barry into an orphan. This rag-tag group of heroes who takes awhile to come round to working together, moves his life back into action. For the fastest man on Earth, he had been standing still, Justice League changes everything for Barry. Plot points like that matter. They make you as an audience cheer for characters. Snyder did a beautiful job setting up origins and leaving space for stand alone films for each and every single one of the Justice League members. Flash in the SnyderCut is hilarious, in the theatrical version he’s annoying. We genuenly laughed at his speed moment with Superman. The angry eye twitch from Supes and Flash’s surprise is gleeful to see for DC comics fans. Snyder dragged a genuine cackle from us, in a way the theatrical never delivered. Again and again, this version of Barry had humor and heart in both parts that made us love him. We can’t wait for the Flashpoint film. Mostly, we loved that Barry mattered in this version, that his actions made a difference, and that we saw the speedforce, they are after all one in the same.
Batman is Batman, he was a better version of what we saw in the theatrical release. We do hope that Ben would return to the mantle only to finish the Snyderverse vision. Everyone said the Snyder Cut wouldn’t happen, but here we are. We are rooting for Ben’s Batman to finish his “day in court” as you’d say. Our favorite takeaway was more time for Alfred. Alfred is a delight. Honestly, he probably could calmly dispatch Darkseid as a nuisance for Master Wayne, Miss Prince and Master Kent by calmly and firmly telling him to bugger off. We love Alfred. What a treasure. Alfred’s personality was almost completley robbed in the theatrical release, we’re glad the Snyder Cut gave it back. Aquaman has more screentime as would be the case with a longer cut, but its worth it.
Overall the film is four hours ( and two minutes) yes it is long, but it doesn’t drag. We never felt stifled by the time. We found ourselves engrossed in this unique experience Zack Snyder was able to deliver. It was beautiful in a way DC Comics’ film’s haven’t had a chance to be. With the exception of weird sweater huffing lady (can we blame her though?) the film is brilliant. We hope its a revelation to the executives at DC to let their directors actually direct their vision. You’re on the train, just go for a ride. The beauty of the DCEU is you can always make another canon separate from these choices, but let fans love this. Let Zack Snyder relaize his storytelling potential by finishing the story he set out to tell. We also hope to see him cast John Stewart. Zack fought tooth and nail to reimagine Aquaman as we see him today. It’s so beautiful, to have more poc leading as superheoroes there are hardly the right words to express the impact. Zack also fought for Gal Gadot to portray Wonder Woman. His casting decisions are so spectacular, we wish DC would relinquish the chokehold they have on Zack’s creativity and let him find our John Stewart. Alright, we’ll give DC that Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor is literally never going to sell, kill him already and resurrect his father somehow that one was weird, but the rest? The rest of the cast is stupendous. Including The Martian Manhunter reveal. We wish he had more scenes, great TMM reveal Snyder. We’re rooting for your Green Lantern. Do we dare leave this as our last word? Yes, we dare. We loved the Snyder Cut’s Joker. There we did it. Jared Leto’s Joker is great! Buckle up, you’ve got an awesome weekend ahead of you. We could keep going, but this would end up a novel.