The infamous Snyder Cut comes to physical media this week from Warner Brothers and it is an event. After the disastrous theatrical release that saw the film taken over by Joss Whedon when director Zack Snyder had to step away for personal reasons, fans around the world lobbied Warner to release Snyder’s version of the film.
And he delivered, a sprawling four hour epic that serves justice (intended) to characters, scenes and beats that were treated horribly on the critical and fan bomb, Justice League is both a powerful (if occasionally over dark) rendering of DC’s iconic comic and heroes as well as a self-serving exercise in hubris.
I’ve never been the biggest Snyder fan, his interpretation of some characters is a little too dark for who they are (and represent), but the man knows how to create an arresting image.
Split over two discs, the 4K is undeniably beautiful, once you get used to the unusual framing, with a gorgeous picture and sound.
The film takes its time with its storytelling and while some of it is recognisable from the previous cut, this is a whole new event, with updated, and reimagined visuals as Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Flash (Ezra Miller) unite to protect the world from an invading alien force; and if they can find a way, they can perhaps bring Superman (Henry Cavill) back into the picture as well.
This cut not only looks better, but also improves on the character arcs of Flash, Cyborg and Wonder Woman, and while I still have some issues with how some of the characters have been interpreted, most specifically Superman, who has arguably suffered the most at the hands of Snyder’s DC movies, I really enjoyed the fact that the demand was large enough to allow Snyder to deliver his vision of the story, and the fact that it is as epic-sized as it is.
Is it a perfect film? No. I have problems with Snyder as a storyteller, but his visuals are always top drawer, and they are on display here fantastically; comic book covers and panels brought to life vibrantly, and beautifully. And its new epilogue, gives us a hint of what may have come in the Zack Snyder DC Extended Universe, and a tease is perhaps all it should ever be.
Still, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an important film in superhero movies in terms of its history; what and how the DCEU got to the screen, the power of fans (good or not), and how these films serve as the new modern myth, updating the pantheon of old classical gods with super-powered beings.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available today on 4K from Warner Brothers!