TV Party Tonight! #106

TV Party Tonight! #106

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Zach Snyder’s
The Justice League
[4K/Blu-Ray combo]

Marvel at the very existence of the Snyder Cut of Justice League. I mean, the sheer fact that it exists and that it does in this form is absolutely astounding. Just look at this monster…

To give some backstory, when Justice League was originally being made, it was supposed to be some sort of climax for what Zach Snyder had been building for the DC Universe. It was all supposed to lead us to this. Unfortunately, due the death of one of his children, Snyder had to leave production and focus on healing and his family. This is absolutely understandable to any human being. Warner Brothers then brought in Joss Whedon, a nerd power player, to finish the job. Wheden didn’t like what he saw and ended up rewriting and reshooting about 90% of the movie. The movie did not do well by comic book standards, meaning it turned a big profit, but didn’t completely annihilate at the box office. So, it was considered a failure. DC fans, unable to accept that maybe this whole concept was flawed from the get-go, instead argued, loudly as a matter of fact, that Justice League failed because it wasn’t Snyder’s vision: that there was a Snyder cut of this movie that should supplant the Whedon version. They were so loud, and Warner Brothers so embraced anything DC on their HBO Max platform, that they actually went ahead and gave Zach Snyder a ton of money to make his cut of the movie. This is what we have here: a man, uninhibited, swinging for the fences.

How does Snyder swing for the fences? By cutting a 4 hour movie, literally doing almost no editing, and reshooting an ending that is supposed to set things off for a fictional sequel that he knew would never get made. I saw the Whedon cut and thought it was fine. Pretty forgettable. The Snyder cut is also just fine, but more memorable. Mostly, because it has this backstory to go with it. But, storywise, how are the two different? Well, for one, Cyborg has a lot more to do here. Unfortunately, he’s still a boring and pointless character. Also, we get more Steppenwolf and Darkseid. That part actually works, and even though Steppenwolf’s armor has been redesigned (not arguably for the better), I will say he’s an intriguing villain, pretty complex, and beautifully voiced by Ciaran Hinds. Every time he came on screen, I was compelled to watch. The Snyder cut doesn’t really explain the mother boxes concept any better, but the troika of Steppenwolf, Darkseid, and Desaad make for a more believable antagonist that would require something like the Justice League as contenders. Then, there’s the ending, with Batman’s dream sequence of an apocalyptic future where Superman has gone bad and Batman’s teamed up with the Joker and Deathstroke. Also, Snyder’s cut is darker, both literally (fewer colors) and figuratively (no more jokes), and displayed in 4:3 for no good reason.

All the problems of the Whedon cut still plague the Snyder cut: the plot makes no sense, the casting fails on many fronts, lots of these already-clunky lines are poorly delivered, the characters are all one-dimensional, we never care for these characters alone or in the group. No one wants to be here.

There’s a lot in the Snyder cut, but one has to also understand that Zach Snyder is a person with very little vision, just mashing “wouldn’t it be cool?” ideas together into a non-sensical movie. Very little of the Justice League flows, or makes sense. And, it’s clear that what does make it on screen, is a what a guy with no taste finds cool. All style, no substance. Snyder threw it all into this movie because he could, and it would be his last chance. And why wouldn’t he? Who would pass up that opportunity? So, the Justice League is still hollow, even though there’s so much of it, and sadly, still a failure.

And yet, there’s a lot to appreciate here. The Snyder Cut is an anomaly of a movie, completely unexpected and outrageous. It’s a perfect example of how we expect more from our heroes than we should. How, sadly, some will never achieve greatness, even when there’s nothing holding them back. There’s a lesson to be learned here. The Snyder Cut is, undeniably, one hell of a movie.

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