Oh, What Could Have Been: Zack Snyder’s Justice League Review

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally makes its way to fans via HBO Max, four years after the release of Justice League in 2017.

Should you skip it or watch it? Read on this review to find out.

A Tragedy

After two successful outings with Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Warner Brothers Studios locked writer/director Zack Snyder back in for another film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) franchise. This time, for the much bigger, much grander, Justice League.

Things went well and the film was scheduled for its 2017 release until a family tragedy befell the Snyders. Zack and Deborah’s daughter, Autumn, passed. Zack Snyder had to step down from his role during post-production to properly deal with the loss of his daughter.

In a bid to stay on schedule, Warner Bros. hired Avengers director Joss Whedon to complete the film. All seemed fine up to that point. After all, Whedon has long been known for numerous critically acclaimed movies and TV series. All was fine until the actual release of the film in theaters.

It turns out Whedon re-wrote almost 90% of the script and re-shot most of the scenes basically turning it into his own movie. Well, we all know how that film turned out. It was not the greatest, but it was not the worst either. One thing is for sure though, it was not the film Zack Snyder wanted to make.

4 Hours Long

Despite Joss Whedon’s massive role in the outcome of the film, he was only ever credited for its screenplay. All the directorial credits still went to Zack Snyder. But us fans knew; this was never the case. And so, a massive online appeal started to get traction, demanding Warner Bros. to let Snyder complete his version of Justice League. The #SnyderCut trended all over social media for years until finally the studio had to give in.

Finally, in 2021, in coordination with HBO Max, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been released. This version of the DC heroes’ epic clocks in at an unbelievable 4 hours and 2 minutes.

So, now the question is, is it worth spending another 4 hours for this version of Justice League when we all know how the 2017 version played out?

Answer: Hell, Yeah!

What Could Have Been

Sure, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is one lengthy film. In fact, it is twice as long as the 2017 version. But it also means, there is twice more footage that we have not seen before. And trust me when I say, the length of the film pays out big time. With twice more length, Snyder has more than enough time to turn his vision into reality.

In this version, Cyborg, The Flash, and Aquaman (whose stand-alone movie is still in the works in 2017), get their much-needed and much-clearer backstories instead of just casual mentions of their origins.

Zack Snyder not only masterfully completes each of the Justice League heroes’ story arcs, but he also set the foundation for their characters to build up on. There was just too much of Snyder’s vision that were cut in the theatrical version. Ezra Miller’s Flash was great in the 2017 version but in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, he was just too awesome. So much so that I believe he should have had his own stand-alone movie already. Seriously, Miller’s Flash was just a standout.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the Justice League we deserved in 2017. OK. Maybe not the 4-hour version but you get it.

The DCEU would have been on a completely different and way better position than it is now, if only Warner Bros. had more faith in Zack Snyder’s vision.

Skip or Watch?

It’s all thanks to the millions of fans for getting the #SnyderCut trending. Now, four years after the divisive Justice League (2017), we finally got to see the Zack Snyder’s original vision of the Justice League movie. And it’s exactly the one that should have been released.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, however lengthy, shows the filmmaker’s genuine love for the craft and the DCEU franchise in general.

Whether or not you are one of the millions behind the #SnyderCut, this film is definitely a must-watch.


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