Zack Snyder verses Joss Whedon: Justice League’s Snyder Cut has been released after three long years of waiting and there is an obvious winner.
After the death of his daughter, Zack Snyder stepped down from his role as Director of the Justice League film, along with wife and producer Deborah Snyder. Warner Bros hired Joss Whedon as Snyder’s replacement after his experience directing Marvel films.
Joss Whedon rewrote and reshot Justice League when the studios decided they wanted a lighter film with more humour. And following its release, fans and critics completely rejected the film. The film was shrouded in poor character arcs, a messy and unfinished plot, a weak villain, and horrible CGI. Millions were spent trying to cover up Henry Cavil’s moustache and in the end it just looked creepy. Overall, the 2017 Justice League received a 40 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes which came as no surprise.
DC fans criticised Snyder for the final film, but it was later released that only 30-45 minutes of original footage was used. The hashtag #releasethesnydercut began trending on Twitter. The global trend gained enough traction to entice the studio to have a do-over. HBO Max gave a reported $70 million to allow Zack Snyder to piece together his original footage.
Why the Snyder Cut is a Success
Whedon had a habit of overshadowing the characters’ emotion with poorly written comedic lines. Especially the attempt of an epic entrance with “is this guy still bothering you?” as Superman saves the day. Even Snyder shared his disinterest for the script on his website when he stated the Snyder cut involves the “removal of cheap humor and excessive quippy one-liners.”
With the film finishing at almost four hours, the Snyder Cut is undoubtedly a more in-depth exploration of the characters and plot. In the 2017 version, every detail was skimmed over so quickly it felt unfinished. Snyder resolved this feeling of being unsatisfied and even gave a sneak peak for what is to come for the franchise. Including Superman’s dark side and The Joker.
The cinematography was beautiful and well planned. However some shots carried no significance to the storyline. Which unnecessarily dragged out the films length.
A major downfall to the original was the lack of threat presented in the film. Despite the end of the world ploy, Steppenwolf acted like a spoiled child. Snyder transformed this attitude to a true villain seeking redemption from his master.
Character Development Comparison
In the 2017 version, Wonder Woman was portrayed as a grieving woman. Even despite losing her lover Steve Trevor more than 35 years ago. The strength and charisma of Diana Prince is completely overshadowed. The Snyder Cut acknowledges her past but redeems her character as intelligent, powerful and caring, while even displaying more brutality in her fighting. Her presence appeared to have an influence over Batman, as he became more hopeful throughout the film.
Cyborg is a complex character with a difficult relationship with his father. But the original Justice League washed it all away with a bleak context. The Snyder Cut allowed audiences to see his past, the motives behind his father’s work and the true extent of his abilities. Cyborg became the heart of Snyder’s plot and integral to saving the world. Similar to Whedon’s version, Cyborg and Aquaman maintain their rivalry. It is clear that Aquaman doesn’t trust what he doesn’t know. Yet Snyder allowed Aquaman’s humanity to peak through as he respects Cyborgs resilience.
Snyder’s ability to show the progression of storyline and character development rather than tell is the primary influence in the film’s success. Rather than making every character an opportunity for humour, the Flash remains his bubbly self that the audience loved. As the DC franchise continues, is it clear that Zack Snyder’s creative talents are the driving force behind its success.
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