The movie starts close up, looking at a shot of glowing green rock. As the camera zooms out and up, pulling out of frame, the full shot shows the moment Superman was impaled with the kryptonite staff, killing both him and the revived version of General Zod, a scene from “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” However, there’s a clear difference in this newly edited scene as we watch Superman’s dying scream create massive sound waves that travel the Earth, awakening the three mother boxes that launch the plot of “Justice League.”
In case you are a bit confused as to why I’m writing about “Justice League” when it came out in 2017, here’s a little background. Zach Snyder was the original director of the movie until he had to step away after a family tragedy. Joss Whedon, director of the first two Avengers movies and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” was previously hired to help rewrite the script with Snyder as Warner Brothers did not approve of Snyder’s version. Whedon fully took over the movie when Snyder stepped away. The version that came out March 18, 2021 on HBO Max is Snyder’s cut and the movie that he originally wanted to produce.
Although I found this cut of the movie still chaotic, I think it was so much better than the original from 2017. There were so many extra details that made the whole plot of the movie much easier to follow and understand. The CGI, pacing of the movie, and the score were all also so much better. It was also less humorous, but I appreciated that because several of the humorous scenes from the Whedon’s cut were at the expense of painting Wonder Woman as a female sex object.
My favorite addition to the movie was the added character development. Everyone got more development individually and you get to see them work together and bond as a team, but the Flash, Cyborg, Stephen Wolf, and Darkseid had major character upgrades. They had more screen time and were much more involved in the story, actually becoming the vital characters for the plot to move forward.
Another highlight was that we got the highly anticipated black Superman suit that fans thought they were going to get back in 2017. Viewers were also treated to an extra long epilogue showing in-depth what all the characters went on to do as well as a new apocalypse scene that was filmed during the pandemic specifically for the Snyder cut.
I think I need to rewatch the movie a few more times to fully absorb all the information that was thrown at the audience, but I am really pleased with the fleshed out storyline and the overall better quality and thought put into the movie. I would suggest if you are a fan of DC, superheroes, or movies in general then you should give this movie a shot. My only disappointment would be that the Snyder cut sets up a future for the DCEU that I would really love to see but has a small chance of happening as the studio has moved on from Snyder’s vision of the universe.