Zach Snyder's Justice League - Game Infinite Review
In fiction, a time machine is a powerful device, I think we have all secretly wished we could access. It would be amazing to travel across time and see other periods, but a device that I have always wanted more would allow for traveling the...multiverse. If you think about it, it would have none of the dangers or drawbacks of time machines, but would be really cool to use. Imagine just some of the harmless things you could do with it. You could play games that were cancelled in our universe, or watch alternative versions of movies? Hate The Last Jedi or the ending of Game of Thrones? You could watch the version of Game of Thrones that didn’t end in abysmal failure. You could watch a blue milk free Last Jedi. You could watch a George Lucas lead sequel trilogy of Star Wars. You could watch Firefly seasons 2-7. You could do literally anything.
The Justice League Snyder Cut…doesn’t feel like an extended edition or a traditional “directors cut”. This movie feels like you used a machine to peer into an alternate universe and grab a very different movie. At 4 hours, I honestly expected it to be more similar, just longer. I guess I expected an extended addition similar to the extended edition of Batman V Superman. Extended Editions typically tell largely the same events, similar scenes, same story, but with adding in deleted scenes. Director’s cuts don’t usually change a movie to this extent. This is the most deviated version of a film I have ever seen, and closer resembles a "spiritual reboot" in games.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League has as much missing from the original as it added to the films length. I was blown away at how many scenes were just different, instead of just extended. Conversations in key scenes were different. Characters were in different places. I didn’t expect so many scenes and moments I remember to be missing. This is due to the real world reason that Joss Whedon didn’t just finish the film, he did a lot of reshoots and changes.
This version of the film tells a largely similar story, but while very different in many ways, more subtly different in others. In many ways it reminds me of a second play through of a quality RPG video game where you make different choices and dialogue. Zoomed out it is still largely the same game, but the specific experiences vary.
The biggest thing that the movies show us are so many epic things that astonish me Joss Whedon came along and said, “nah change that”, including in no small way the absolutely amazing way Flash affects the ending. The epic “flash scene” in the final act is just phenomenal. The whole final act of the film is what sees the biggest changes and also the most improvement. How the Justice League goes about defeating Steppenwolf is vastly different. But more importantly from a story change, the CGI in the final battle is vastly improved, and the awful out of place “red sky” is gone.
Superman’s resurrection and subsequent confusion just seems to work better. There’s also more scenes on helping Superman get up to speed. It explains how he knew where to go and what the threat was because we now see Alfred get him up to speed. When Superman shows up in the original final battle he feels so much like a unsatisfactory deus ex machica, where in Snyder’s Cut, he still is amazing, but the stakes still have weight. It is made more important that Cyborg and Flash were there because Superman alone wasn’t enough. Lastly, and mostly, Superman's #mustachegate is gone! No longer is the infamously bad CGI lip present in the film.
I also love how Wonder Woman is treated in this film. She is the fierce warrior we know her to be, not a den mother, not a woman fearing leadership, not a awkward landing pad for flash. She is powerful. I can't stress enough how much more and better a Wonder Woman we get. She incredibly intricate now to the plot of having context and backstory to Steppenwolf and Darkseid. Her combat and her overall strength is improved. She also seems to have come to terms with her loss of Steve Trevor and integrating into the world in the Snyder Cut.
Gosh, I loved Ben Afflec as Batman before but he done so much better in this version. Joss Whedon tried to make him funny, quippy, and while I didn’t realize until now how much better Snyder’s version of batman was. I only hope that this film is a success enough to encourage a sequel with Afflec to come back to the DCEU.
Flash and Cyborg:
These two characters just get so much more story! We actually get mini origin/backstories for them. They feel so much more important to the plot of the film. In Snyder’s cut, it is Cyborg’s dad who even makes it possible for them to final the location of the final battle. Without Flash, they would have failed to stop them.
Somehow Snyder made a interesting, decent villain, with a motive and actual plot, and not to mention cool design, and Joss Whedon came along and somehow made him a power hungry Grandpa. The voice and armor of Snyder’s Steppenwolf is better, but not perfect. I still had some uncanny valley from his face. I couldn’t shake how weirdly ...puppy-like his eyes were? Somehow his face was weirdly unthreatening. That being said his armor and non-grandpa appearance is such an upgrade.
Finally, we actually have a Big Bad in that Steppenwolf always felt like a lieutenant, all to easily defeated by the Justice League. The original felt missing, and that’s because Darkseid was actually missing. While Darkseid never actually fights the Justice League, he is set up. He is shown to be ominus. It sets up a massive clash that sadly we may never get to see from the cancelled Justice League 2 and 3.
In Conclusion, the Snyder Cut is not perfect, and perhaps not everything is necessary. However, it is an amazing experience, a vastly improved version of the Theatrical release. The only thing I can hope is that it is good enough and successful enough to convince Warner Bros to bring Zack, Afflec, and Cavill to restore the DCEU characters and continue the story.