After 3 long years of waiting, the fans finally got the movie that director Zack Snyder intended to make back in 2017. Then, he left production after a family tragedy and his place was filled by Joss Whedon, director of the first two Avengers’ movies. That led to a different version of Justice League, which ended up being far from perfect.
This year, the long lost footage was put together and released on March 18th on HBO Max. And even though it isn’t flawless, it is definitely better than the 2017 version. Over 4 hours long, the movie explores each character, giving them a much needed depth and backstory, which lacked in the first version. The tone is a lot darker and more serious, matching with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, former projects of Snyder. Here’s the trailer:
How it’s different
Whedon’s version of the picture was very theatrical, with bad jokes and unnecessary scenes. The movie doesn’t take the public very seriously, using Ezra Miller’s character Flash only as comedic relief. Snyder, on the other hand, now uses the kid’s innocence and funny personality without even trying. He explores Flash’s powers really well, giving him the time and attention he deserved in the first place, without messing up with the flow of the movie.
The picture is split in 6 parts and an epilogue, but it doesn’t feel that long! There are very few useless scenes – definitely not the same feeling with Whedon’s version, that has half that length. Snyder’s cut doesn’t show all the protagonists equally, but we get to understand everyone’s backstory, their motivations, where they are mentally and emotionally, giving us the audience something to root for (instead of throwing random people with superpowers to fight together, lol)
Besides Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, if we ignore the 2017 Justice League, we know nothing about the characters of the story. The 2021 film illustrates closely their background and feelings: Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, for an example, is finally given depth and soul, something that the fans missed in the previous movie. We get to meet him, understand his losses and powers in a complex and interesting way. He is the heart of the team – not a shallow, boring person, as previously introduced.
Aquaman is also shown a lot more: his anger, rebellion and distance to the people of Atlantis, a universe that is shortly presented in this movie. Along with Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller’s character’s also much better overall. He is crucial in the end of the plot, which just shows how powerful he really is, while still being the comic relief. In a darker tone, Superman wears the black suit, as seen in the comics, when he comes back to life, which adjusts perfectly with the feature’s ambiance and tone. Apart from that, the team is very well balanced, without any surprises from Ben Affleck’s Batman, or Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
Now, the villain is one who got a real improvement. Stepennwolf has a whole new face, now a lot scarier, bigger, and uglier. Even his armor got better! He has more screen time, so we can relate to his motives and understand that he is not the all around villain, he is just another pawn in Darkseid’s game.
Overall, the movie is great. It’s not perfect though: it could have been cut to 210 minutes, if it wasn’t for the lot of slow motions scenes. But it has great dialogues, fight scenes and a good plot. The characters unite, give us something to cheer for and the story has a better and more satisfactory ending. It’s what the fans wanted from the first version. It’s everything that it could and should have been. And even though the movie is long, my advice would be: ditch the 2017 version and stick with this one. Trust me.
The article above was edited by Giulia Gianolla
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