Hello everyone. I am back with a topic that truly must be discussed, the Snyder Cut. I have not seen a Snyder movie since Man of Steel and everything I’ve seen and heard about the other films are not great. So the idea that we were getting a 4 hour mastercut of his creative vision was something I was not at all interested in. Yet my roommate convinced me that I should watch it, so that I would know once and for all what Snyder would have done. He had the advantage of seeing the original cut so we made a unique team of viewers. One a film buff who’s seen all the other films, me and absolute comic nut who has largely chastised and ignored the franchise. I remember being unimpressed with everything I saw in the trailer for the first cut, and ignored all trailers for this one as I simply didn’t care. So that said, I have decided to go over each character, and how I feel they were written and how they performed within the context of the plot. Then I’ll move on from there. Naturally, I am going to go full spoiler here so Black Alert is active!
This is my first look at Ben Affleck as Batman, the defacto leader of the team. While the opening scene showed him with a massive fire arm, I was told that was from BvS. He didn’t wield any weapons after that, except for a heavily armored mech spider thing that was armed to the teeth with guns and missiles. That said, I felt he really embodied the brute strength of Batman pretty well. On the other side, he’s supposed to be the worlds greatest Detective and yet Diana and Alfred are putting in all the heavy lifting on the thinking side. There’s a line where he says his super power is that “I’m rich”, and that’s not remotely close to Batman’s greatest strength, this character really lacked any intellectual prowess I expect of Batman. All in all Batman was just kinda there. He didn’t do enough to stand out, but I didn’t hate him. I’d give Affleck and Batman a “C” grade. Not special, but it passes.
Diana is, as I expected, the heart of this entire film. Gal Gadot is excellent in the role, and I love her in both Wonder Woman films. She is strong and powerful, but also very passionate. Some of the absolute best action scenes have her in it. I was told the big scene was not in the original, and that makes a level of sense because it adds nothing to the plot, but it is one of the better scenes in the movie. Having been in the previous film, she’s on board with the team concept from the start that the rest are not, and that helps make the early “I work alone” stuff from the other characters palatable as she is as scene stealing as ever. I am a bit surprised that Snyder was capable of presenting her as well as she is in the movies, but that could also be very easily attributed to her absolute mastery of the role. Gadot and Wonder Woman get an absolute “A” they are just about perfect, and enjoyable in every scene.
I remember seeing the first Justice League trailer and thinking ‘they just made Flash Spider-Man’ and that is absolutely true. Ezra Miller is probably a better Spider-Man than some who have played him, but given how well Grant Gustin performs in the Flash show, it’s noticeable that this Flash has none of the qualities of Barry Allen. That I said, I can’t stand Barry. He’s the most boring Flash, and the interpretation of this Flash could have more closer aligned with Wally West or even Bart Allen. But Barry Allen this is not. He’s not particularly smart, he’s there for the comedy and it reminded me more of Quicksilver from Days of Future past and that’s sad, as Quicksilver is the lesser of the characters. There was some to be had with the character, and he provided comic relief well, but overall pretty disappointing. Miller and Flash get a “D” grade.
I might as well get this out of the way now, I really enjoyed the Aquaman movie. I felt that Jason Momoa was overall excellent as Arthur Curry. That same charm did not come through in this movie. He was brooding and lost, and just lacked any of the things I enjoyed about him in his own movie. Which is strange because Mera was way more likeable in this version. Similar to Flash, I pretty much thought that they tried to portray him as a combo Thor/Wolverine in the movie, and that wasn’t entirely accurate. While he was certainly broody he was disconnected from his society to the point that I’m not sure what his motivations were. He wasn’t there to protect Atlantis, but he only showed up at this random village every so often. There wasn’t any grounding here. The initial confrontation with he and Bruce is flat and that about sums up Momoa and Aquaman this film. He didn’t get enough time to be anything but flat, and since I’ve seen him shine in his own film it was even more disappointing. Momoa and Aquaman get a “D”
Ray Fisher was billed by both he and Snyder as the “Heart and Soul” of the Snyder cut. Apparently most of his scenes were cut out of the original film, and that has led to some backlash. I am not going to mince words. Cyborg is the absolute worst part of this film. He is angsty beyond recognition and they set up his powers to the point where he has access the the worlds entire nuclear arsenal then told “the challenge will be not to use them” then why set him up that way at all? We began calling in the Chekhov’s Nuke worrying that it might actually come into play at the end. Fortunately it didn’t. The Cyborg design was clunky and he was just too damn mean and angry to be any form of enjoyable. All the things Cyborg did in this film could have been done with John Stewart in 20 minutes, plus you’d have the much flashier Green Lantern in the final battle than the ultimate computer or whatever Cyborg is in this. Ray Fisher and Cyborg get an unflinching “F”
The final member of the group as Snyder decided he needed to kill him off in the previous movie that saw a sequel to a Superman movie combine one of the most iconic (and in my opinion, awful, Batman books) with one of the most iconic (and also awful) Superman books. Because you needed to have Superman and Batman fight and have Doomsday in the same movie. Superman is Snyder’s greatest failure, he didn’t know how to use him. The entire movie everyone is like “Superman was my hero” since when? This man was deemed a terrorist and testified in front of congress. We never see him be Superman. It’s a shame because I have really grown to like Henry Cavill, but he just isn’t allowed to do any Superman things in this. Snyder simply doesn’t understand Superman, the appeal, and how he fits into his ultimate vision. Fun fact, Superman is absent for the first 3 hours of this movie. He comes back, fights the League, then leaves, then comes back ‘better’? I guess? Again Snyder has no handle on the character, and he’s brought in because it’s pretty clear they need him to stop Steppenwolfe and the invasion. He’s the Deus Ex Machina, and that’s it. For Cavill’s part I give him and Superman a “D”.
So that’s the core cast, they largely met my expectations and preconceptions of them, which were low. That said there was some success in the bigger team-up moments. Just, not a ton. Part of the problem, is knowing wat Snyder got to play with. Snyder introduced two of the heaviest DC hitters. They introduced J’onn J’onzz who’s just, around? He eventually meets up with Bruce at the post credit scene, but he’s irrelevant to the larger plot. On the other hand they introduce a Lantern in an earlier flashback scene. So we know that these two could have been involved and I’m disappointed they weren’t.
Speaking of Lantern, there is a singular scene that stands out as the best in the film. The previous fight between Darkseid and Earth. Atlantians, Humans, and Amazons teaming up to fight off Darkseid. The Amazons armed with several Gods in their Pantheon. It’s in this scene that an unnamed Lantern is fighting with the forces. He dies during the combat, and his ring zips off somewhere else. The entire scene is epic and awesome. Made more cool by the Lantern fan service.
The movie itself is four hours. It’s bloated, there are multiple useless scenes that don’t really do anything at all. Some in the original cut some not. There is a real sense that Snyder wanted to do this. I came to the realization that in a lot of instances, he really tried to do right by these characters. All the Easter eggs and other name drops are great. Snyder wanted to make the best Justice League movie. Aside from not understanding Superman from the word go, he seems to have tried with everyone else. He just doesn’t know what he’s doing. He was the wrong person to do any of this. He might be incredibly passionate about these characters, and this movie heavily seems to indicate that. He just doesn’t know how to put the pieces together. I have not seen the original version, so I don’t know how this compares, but I intend to check out which version.
This movie is a slog and basically took up one of my days off. I won’t watch it again, it didn’t make me regret not watching the previous movies. It doesn’t make me sad that he’s done. DC needs to move past Snyder, because he had no real idea what he was doing. Even his four hour mastercut stumbles and loses itself. Something I expect wouldn’t be there. There are still plot holes and inconsistencies and just downright baffling decisions. That said there were things I enjoyed about this movie. Which I genuinely did not expect. That said it’s not for me. The characters are misfires, and I really struggled to liken them to any semblance of the comic book characters I love. So I’ll give it a 4. There are some good parts, but it’s just too long, inconsistent, and ultimately disappointing. But hey, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.