Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’: The Ultimate Improvement

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Photo Credit: @snydercut Zack Snyder Twitter

Wyatt Rivers

After the massive flop that was the 2017 “Justice League” movie, many DC fans were left disappointed and frustrated. Most of this disappointment rose from the fact that the movie had failed at the two most important factors in storytelling: a stable plot and character development.

This was due to the fact that the original cut for “Justice League,” originally directed by Zack Snyder, was a little over four hours in screen time. Unfortunately, Zach Snyder had to leave his directing role due to family matters and left an undecided cut of the “Justice League” movie. Warner Brothers, the producers of the film, had yet to decide whether or not to release the film as a whole, or to instead release it as two separate films. That was when the new director for the film, Joss Whedon, decided to instead cut up the film and shorten the four-hour runtime to a two-hour runtime.

This was a good concept on paper, but when the product was released theatrically, it felt very much rushed and unfinished. Saddened to see his vision butchered and only as of the shadow as it once was, Snyder decided it was time to redeem the film’s integrity. Snyder would later release the four-hour version, with some reshoots and cuts here and there, nearly four years after “Justice League” hit theaters.

The premise of both the films stays relatively the same, with the main goal being that of Batman and Wonder Woman building up a team of superheroes in order to fight against the impending doom that threatens the existence of the world.

After releasing exclusively on HBO Max, bringing many new subscribers to see the film, the new version fans saw is to be explained as a phenomenal improvement. Despite the lengthy time required to sit and watch the film, its pacing felt so well done and fluent that it made it feel shorter than it actually was. The CGI and remaster looks for various characters, especially Steppenwolf (the main antagonist of the film) had also been vastly improved, bringing a sense of polished realism to the audience.

Being a longer film also brings forth the potential of character development and relationship expansion. And boy does the film deliver this as well. This time around, the character had been much more defined and constructed. Before, the characters felt to be quickly put into the film and had no sense in why they even had to be there in the first place. Now, each role of each character was explored and written to highlight their weaknesses, strengths and contributions to the team. Before the two most undeveloped and underwhelming characters for the movie was the Flash and Cyborg. But now, they are easily the most defined and arched characters in the film.

That is also another highlight to this remastered version, the chemistry of the team itself. Each character and how they go about interacting with each other feels way more satisfying and natural. In the beginning the characters are seen to be skeptical of each other and their abilities against Steppenwolf and the reality behind it. But, as the story progresses, the team are able to form a masterful synergy that helps them progress towards their goal with lesser effort. Of course, just as the film before, the team is only able to solidify their victory once they revive and enlist Superman into their team. Instead of the film ending as it did before in 2017 rendition, this new version instead ends with an epilogue detailing the aftermath of the film and introducing remastered characters, whether they be new or just reimagined, it really brought a satisfying conclusion to the film. These characters in retrospective being that of Martian Manhunter, Joker and Deathstroke which all brought a compelling performance, despite their little screen time. 

But, this new film doesn’t come without its flaws. Even though there are only two of them, they are recurring and may draw the audience out of the immersion. These two flaws are that of the redundant use of the same audio cue and theme of the character of Wonder Woman and the moments where CGI just could make a scene look as it was attended. These factors are quite small upon further thinking, but when they first became apparent may have come off as either corny or comical.

Collecting all that I had witnessed throughout my viewing of the film, I have decided to give Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” a solid 4/5. It was an enjoyable and exciting experience to say the least and when comparing it to the successful Avengers films that Marvel have released, it is safe to say that it is on par (or maybe better) than the first two Avengers films, but not as good as the latest two Avengers films.