Zack Snyder's Justice League
After a long four years of pushing to release Zack Snyder's version of the horrendous Justice League, fan's finally got to see what the visionary director had planned all along. I'm just going to say it right off the bat. Not only is Zack Snyder's Justice League better than the 2017 version, but it also makes the predecessor non-existent. This is the Justice League. There is no other.
A little history before we get too far in. If you don't know already, Snyder created Man of Steel (2013) and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) before filming Justice League in 2017. Though he had wrapped much of the filming of Justice League, Snyder decided to step away from the project after his daughter, Autumn, died of suicide. He felt as though he had too much on his plate during a time when he needed to be with family.
Though, after stepping down as director, Warner Brothers chose Joss Whedon to step in and finish the film. This seemed like a smart move as he is responsible for directing the Avengers, which is also about a group of superheroes coming together to save Earth. A deal was made that all Whedon had to do was basically see that the film was released. There was not supposed to be any extra filming. He was supposed to act as a substitute teacher. Don't change anything Snyder did, don't change the tone, keep directing to a minimum- just see Snyder's vision through. However, Whedon rewrote scenes so much that he ended up with a co-writing credit on the film. He re-shot a lot of the film over a several-month span. He even racked up an additional $25 million spending. Needless to say that Snyder's original vision was lost in Whedon wanting to take over the film.
Eventually, everybody took to social media with the hashtag, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Even the actors apart of Justice League were taking part. Snyder pushed to see his vision through after the Justice League film was released. Not only did they want to see what Snyder had in mind, but they wanted justice for a filmmaker who got the boot.
It's easy to see why the actors wanted their end of justice. Hell, Flash and Cyborg are barely in Whedon's Justice League. And whenever Flash does show up he is an immature jokester that nobody wants to see.
The power of the internet won this battle because Snyder finally got to see his film through. Though he was not supposed to film new material (he did anyway) and just piece together what he already had filmed. And thank God that we got this film because it is incredible. This is what you get when a director is able to stick to his guns and finish a film the way he envisions it to be made.
Snyder has had a rough road within the DCEU. Some do not understand the path that Snyder was taking these characters. And most just did not like his version of Clark Kent/Superman. To me, Snyder is a visionary director. His films are beautifully shot, and most of the shots from his stint in the DCEU could come straight out of a comic book. But look, I get it, his style and tone are not for everybody. In my opinion, it works for the darker storyline that he sets up all the way to Man of Steel.
Here's my takeaway from this whole ordeal, let directors see their vision through. Snyder had an unfortunate occurrence that nobody should have to go through. However, the studio decided to finish the film without him rather than putting it on the backburner for him to finish it down the road. Whatever. It's their choice.
Studio interference is nothing new. Look at another superhero movie that had the potential to be good but failed miserably due to studio interference: Fantastic Four (2015). Even Josh Trank, the director, took to Twitter to voice his opinion on the film:
What could've been a dark, gritty take on the Fantastic Four turned into a film with two different ideas and tones meshed into one film, making for a hot piece of garbage. Studios would rather play it safe than take a risk. They don't have the backbone to let filmmakers have control and put their vision to film. They shoot for a more bright, happy, lighter version of what could be dark and gritty.
This is exactly what happened to Justice League (2017). The film is all over the place with its tone. It's dark one minute and the next it is a light-hearted comedy. You're mixing Snyder and Whedon who have way different tones within their works.
Though, we are not here to talk all about Justice League (2017).
Obviously, I loved everything about Zack Snyder's Justice League. It does not wrap up Snyder's original storyline that he created in Man of Steel, but it does continue with it. It was apparent in Batman V Superman that Snyder was setting up a potential "Endgame" scenario with his Nightmare sequence. We get another look at that nightmare and we get to see his vision and ideas come to life.
I never thought I would say this back in 2017, but my favorite part about Zack Snyder's Justice League was Flash and Cyborg. Can you believe it? They are actually three-dimensional characters with a lot to give to the story. The Flash doesn't just push a family in a truck away from the battle during the fight with Steppenwolf. He is actually there to help and has a huge role in doing so. And Cyborg is the heart and soul of this team. He doesn't act like a brooding baby through this version. He actually has an arc and a backstory for us to follow so we can root for him by the end of the film.
Now let's talk about Steppenwolf, shall we? He is freaking awesome! Yes, he is still a CGI monster of a villain, but this time he has two things going for him. The CGI is good and he has a backstory behind his actions. Do we root for him? No. But we understand why he is trying to gather the mother boxes. While doing so, his facial expressions that were absent in 2017 make us almost feel empathetic towards him. Having a good bad guy is very important in a superhero film, Whedon!
I could go on all day long about this film. It is perfection. There might have been a few things that I didn't like, but the good outweighs the bad by far. It makes the bad things in the film a blip. They don't even matter because you are so invested in the story and action. It is mind-boggling that Whedon reshot so much. He had all the material that Snyder shot to create a good film. All of the action that is present in Snyder's Justice League was chopped down to a brief occurrence.
The final thing I will say is that it is a four-hour-long film. I'll admit that I was a little nervous about this at first. I was still optimistic that it is four hours long for a reason. After watching the film twice, I can say that the four-hour runtime is not a matter of worry. If you have the time, it is completely worth it. I understand that not everybody can sit down and watch a four-hour-long film straight through. The film is split into chapters so you can stop it and pick it back up at any time. But the film is so good that it never gets boring and the four hours flies by.
Zack Snyder's Justice League is a film that needs to be experienced. It is proof that when a director is passionate enough, he will deliver on all levels. I have always loved Snyder's style in directing and what he has done within the DCEU. This film is just incredible.
Thank you, fans. For everybody that never gave up. For everybody that believed in Snyder during a time where everything seemed so uncertain for him. The fact that we got to see this film come to life says everything about the amount of support that Snyder has in his corner.
Autumn would be proud, Mr. Snyder.