Over the long Easter break I had ample time to schedule up a moment to watch the four hour long Zack Snyder’s Justice League in all its six parts.
It is commonly referred to as Snyder’s Cut… but really they should have just called it Snyder’s Extension… because with a runtime of four hours and two minutes.. its uncut.
The road to Justice League
It would be unfair to review this extended monstrosity of a motion picture without first briefly looking at its back story. Zack Snyder is a director with a flair for epic and dark productions and the powers that be at Warner Brothers felt that his vision of the DC Extended Universe led them down a dark and unprofitable path.
Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel, Batman VS Superman and was on course to have a Justice League Trilogy. Following what was regarded as an epic flop in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (even though it grossed about 870 million) Warner Brothers re-evaluated its thematic choice and wanted something with a lighter tone, colourful, peppered with humourous quips and most importantly a reasonable runtime.
Shorter runtime means more daily screenings and of course more box office earnings.
For the production of the original DC Justice league, Warner Brothers brought in Joss Whedon (who directed the Marvel Cinematic Universe films The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron ) to reign in director Zack Snyder on the guise of assisting him. A personal tragedy struck Zack, his daughter died and he eventually stepped down from the production. Joss Whedon was left in full control of the production and he Whedonised it to keep it at the 2 hour run time dictated by the pipers.
In a tell-all interview on Vanity Fair, Screen Writer Chris Terrio finally broke the silence on how he was super pissed off at what happened to the films he had worked on with Zack Snyder. He spoke on how corporate meddlers made tone-deaf decisions that prioritised expensive visual effects over coherent story-telling.
The result was a Frankenstein production from directors with vastly different visions even though Zack Snyder retained director’s credit. After the flop that was the Whedonised Justice League theatrical release a campaign started with fans clamouring to see the director’s cut
Five years later circumstance came together to bring about a situation where it was possible for the Director’s cut to be realesed, with the pandemic shutting down movie theaters and the consequent uptake of home streaming services…. This behemoth of a production would be right at home.
I have already gone 400 words and I haven’t even reviewed the actual movie which is was what this article is supposed to be about…
First impressions were that something was wrong with my screen as it showed in a 4:3 screen aspect ratio. Turns out the director had a penchant for filming using the square frame, ideal aspect ratio for Imax, though I got lost in following up how it is ideal in a world where screens have gone wide
Although its not recommended, I zoomed it up to stretch and cover the screen because those black bars on the sides were distracting me.
No new scenes were shot for this production and Snyder used none of Whedons’s reshots, its impressive to see all the footage that got cut for the theatrical release, while the general plot remains the same there’s a bit more backstory to the Justice League members, even the villain.
I bet some one with a lot of time on their hands has a frame by frame analysis of the two movies highlighting the differences.
Characters got more screentime and we got to have feel for what was happening to them individually although some scenes were totally unnecessary and please in the future could they dial down the slow-motion scenes and the lingering fade ins and outs. As a director I think I could shave off 30 minutes and still maintain the integrity and vision of the movie.
Notably, Cyborg got more coverage, if this film had come out as it were, Ray Fisher would have gotten acclaim as a lead black super hero; remember, this was before Chadwick Boseman‘s Black Panther debut. Instead in the theatrical release the character is so sidelined it should be criminal. I too would stand with Ray in being super pissed.
To sum up Snyder’s Cut it is a bold and ambitious undertaking like a work of art which doesn’t have to make sense and that is what it is cinematic art.
Would I watch again? Hmmm probably not but might rewatch a few scenes and chapters. Do I recommend it, yep, at least once.
Suggestions: should have made it a 6 part miniseries, its already split into 6 parts anyway.
While Warner Brothers had shelved the idea of a Justice League Trilogy a new hashtag is trending #RestoreTheSnyderCutVerse as fans want to see the dystopian universe Zack Snyder had in mind, who knows maybe it might happen… So far there is no official comment
Have you watched this flick or would you watch it… what are your thoughts?
PS did they really have to play that Wonder Woman epic music every single time she so much as breathed on screen?