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Justice League: “The Snyder Cut”

May 14, 2021

Sometimes, you really can get things right the second time.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a 2021 direct-to-streaming DC movie, is one of the longest movies I have ever seen, clocking in at 4 hours and 2 minutes including the credits. What really makes this stand out, however, is that it is sometimes called “the Snyder Cut” and is a huge improvement from the original 2017 Justice League.

The Snyder Cut is a full two hours longer than the original movie, something which allows Snyder time to fix the problems of the original, such as how two of the Justice League members are given actual character arcs instead of just bursting on the scene and then being underused as they were in the original movie.

The plot remains the same as the original cut of the movie. Billionaire playboy and caped crusader Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) assembles a team of special individuals to stop Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a member of the evil Darkside’s elite, as he tries to retrieve the Mother Boxes, three boxes that when put together, will end the world. The team gets assembled slowly over time, with some being easily persuaded to join, and others taking more convincing. Once the team is mostly assembled, a mysterious caped hero comes back to help them.

The core cast from the original movie reprises all of their roles, including Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Mamoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as my favorite character, Barry Allen/The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, who I believe is the most interesting character in this version.

While stiff and boring in the original movie, Cyborg, a teenager who was almost dead after an accident, but got revived by his father, has now been given an actual motivation that is relevant to the plot for this movie.

Another character that is used more than the original is the Flash, a 23-year-old who got struck by lightning, giving him his superspeed. Flash gets to use his powers and ends up saving the world, but I can’t explain how without going into spoiler territory. However, we see how the Flash’s powers work, and I believe that what we learn in the Snyder Cut will be put to use in 2022’s The Flash Movie.

I’ve been going on about how this movie is better than the original, but how? Well for one, the acting is a lot better. The cast were able to do reshoots of scenes, so if there was a scene that wasn’t acted that well, they could improve on that.

Another way that the movie is better is the action feels much greater. The action in the original movie doesn’t feel like it has that much at stake, but in this version it does, because we actually get to relate to these characters rather than not knowing a thing about them.

Then there is the improved characterization. With the additional two hours of run time, the movie gets a chance to explore these characters’ back stories and go into motivations. I now feel sympathy for Cyborg because we, the audience, get to see him go through the struggles. We see how he goes from hating himself because of what he is, to becoming content and even starting to like his new body over the course of the movie.

I honestly had no problems with the movie, with my only real gripes being that this wasn’t the original release. Sometimes it was a little hard to follow with the plot, because there were some cuts to visions that members of the team had, so it was a little hard to know if that was reality or not.

However, the quality of the story with the added emotional connections to Cyborg and the Flash supersede the cons. Overall, I’d say this is a 9.9/10, the .1 deduction is only because of the plot being a little hard to follow.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Matthew Gresham
Matthew Gresham, Journalist

Matthew is in 12th grade. This is his fourth year in Journalism. He does Debate and is an Eagle Scout. He is looking at dual majoring in film production...

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