MOVIE REVIEW: Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ redeems DC Universe

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The newly released “Justice League” can be streamed on HBO Max. (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. | Wikimedia Commons)
By Tyrese Blue

Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” premiered on streaming platform HBO Max on March 18, including two hours of footage not included in the film’s theatrical release.

The extra scenes enhance the movie’s quality and make it a must-see version of the original. 

 After watching and analyzing both films, I can say that the Snyder cut has surely brought about a more interesting approach, adding more depth to the characters’ story arcs. The audience now has a better understanding of the origins and motives of both the protagonists and  antagonists.

Throughout the Synder cut, you’ll notice both different designs and appearances of the characters and the introduction of new ones, since many of their scenes were cut from the original theatrical release.

There is an immediate difference between the films at the start of the intro.

The Snyder cut opens with Superman dying while screaming in agony. His scream echoes throughout the DC Universe, which triggers the “mother boxes” to send signals to the aliens that Earth is vulnerable with Superman dead, and they can retrieve the three mother boxes. 

For reference, the original release opens with Batman catching a burglar while already aware that the Earth will be attacked by aliens, which is more anti-climatic in comparison. 

The original rating for the film was PG-13, but the Synder cut was changed to an R-rating since it has a darker undertone and contains more mature content such as blood, death and strong language. In other words, more thrills for the audience.

In terms of the characters that weren’t included in the original, you’ll notice: Iris West, the love interest of the Flash and whose appearance also sets up some background for the standalone Flash movie coming in 2022.

You’ll also notice Martian Man Hunter, an alien shape-shifter from Mars, a scientist by the name of Adam who also becomes a superhero version of himself as Captain Atom. You will see the Joker, who actually had scenes added to the film instead of being excluded like in the original.

Finally, you will also get the villain Darkseid in this film.

In the theatrical version, it seemed the plan to kill all life on Earth via the three mother boxes was all Steppenwolf’s idea. However, with the introduction of Darkseid, Steppenwolf seems to be actually on a mission and serving him.

Steppenwolf’s new design is one of my personal favorite differences because he actually looks threatening with his razor sharp armor and a significantly larger suit, and has a deeper voice. 

Zack Synder’s departure from the creation of the film was initially due to the loss of his adoptive daughter, who died by suicide in March of 2017. However, Warner Bros. Studios, who had already brought in director-producer Joss Whedon to help move the project into a less serious light, gave Whedon the OK to complete the film entirely, which led to a practically distorted version of Synder’s vision.

Due to these events, the film was considered to be a failure after ultimately taking a loss of over $60 million in revenue. 

Overall, the Synder cut has certainly redeemed the original film and will give the DC franchise the credit it deserves. It seems that  Marvel has consistently overshadowed the DC Universe at the box office ever since Disney bought the rights to the franchise, but the anticipation over this cut shows there is still something to be excited for in this fandom.

Although the Synder cut goes just over four hours in running time, the quality of this film makes it worthwhile to watch in its entirety.

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