Justice League director’s cut is an improved, but still flawed, film

Zack Snyder's cut focuses on incorporating more background information on characters and includes previously deleted scenes.

Image by Wikimedia Commons

Zack Snyder’s cut focuses on incorporating more background information on characters and includes previously deleted scenes.

By Sam Tobiczyk, Baldwin High School - PA

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a successful recut of the 2017 addition to the DC extended film universe. The original Justice League movie, which received mixed reviews, focused on the DC Comics characters of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and Superman going up against the supervillain Steppenwolf. 

The 2017 movie follows Batman’s attempt to bring a team of superheroes together to stop Steppenwolf from collecting three powerful objects known as the mother boxes. The new director’s cut of the movie has largely the same plot, but has crucial changes that make it a better film.

The Zack Snyder cut of the movie was made after his vision of the first movie was changed by director Joss Whedon. Snyder had stepped down as director for personal reasons, leaving Whedon to finish the movie as he saw fit. Many fans were upset with the direction of the original movie, but have been satisfied with the new one. 

It makes more sense as a cohesive movie, explaining many aspects of the first movie that seemed out of place or confusing.”

One aspect that was a major improvement in the original film was the characterization of the newly introduced characters of Flash and Cyborg. In the previous theatrical cut, Cyborg feels out of place, and Flash serves the story as only comic relief, in a tonally inconsistent story already filled with too much comedy. 

In Snyder’s true vision of the movie, Cyborg gets important characterization and an actual character arc. The audience gets to understand his feelings towards his father and his late mother, and his feelings about his current state. By the end of the movie, he accepts the hand he was dealt in life, coming around to his dad and his state as a cyborg. 

Additionally, Flash gets a lot more characterization as a hero and a person. Viewers see more of his relationship with his father, and his character arc is more developed. He goes from a job-searching kid to a full-blown hero, a beat that was undercut by Superman in the original movie.

Also, this movie has important scenes that were cut from the first version of the film. It makes more sense as a cohesive movie, explaining many aspects of the first movie that seemed out of place or confusing.

While there are major improvements to the 2017 film, the movie still suffers from some noticeable flaws. 

One issue is that the movie itself just isn’t that fun. The colors of the movie are dark and dreary and the comedy is few and far between, Snyder having removed too much of the comedy from the first movie. The action scenes also seem like they purely serve the plot rather than the entertainment of the audience. 

In addition, the character of Superman is utilized in a negative way. The plot has a focus on his sacrifice, but he is later brought back to life. And when he is brought back to life, he is a swift end to the conflict the heroes face. 

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an improvement over the mediocre 2017 installment, giving more depth to the characters and plot. However, it still has issues with the tone and the utilization of Superman. Overall, the movie is a decent addition to the DC extended universe.

This story was originally published on Purbalite on March 22, 2021.