Paulie’s Perspective: Zack Synder’s Justice Review

Hello again everyone and thank you for reading this week’s rant. I am Paulie Bernardo and today I would like to talk to you about the Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League. I will try not to make this too lengthy or too boring, but that might be impossible considering my limited writing skills. 

First thing you have to know – Zack Snyder was never fired from the movie, nor was he fighting with the studio every day and decided to walk away. Zack stepped away from Justice League because his daughter Autumn, 20,  committed suicide. 

Zack and his family were devastated and he was under no condition to work, so he stepped down and handed it to Joss Whedon. 

Now Joss is no stranger to these things – he directed the first Avengers film, and also directed Age of Ultron – so he know how things worked and he was successful at it. Problem is – he was brought in about halfway through and had to kind of make some changes and alterations to give Warner Bros what they wanted. He was a hired gun for this, after all. 

Joss made his own changes and cut out a lot of stuff Zack had shot, and inserted a lot of comedic moments that he had written and shot – since Warner Bros. gave him directions to “keep it light” 

So Joss is really in a no win situation here, trying to be truthful to Zack, and to Warner Bros, and to himself, coming in to a huge high profile project already half done. 

Joss cut out a lot of the villain stuff, with Steppenwolf, cutting out Darkseid altogether, and adding in comedic pieces to keep things light. He gave Batman cheesy one liners that fell flat and made him look dumb, they never explained the Mother Boxes. Joss never gave Cyborg his due, or Flash, or Batman or Superman. Well all that changed with this amazing 4 hour Zack Snyder cut. 

Batman is given brains again – he is after all, The World’s Greatest Detective. Batman no longer has those cheesy one liners, he is given credit for bringing the team together, and he actually creates a plan for the big third act.  Unlike before when Batman’s big plan was to lead the parademons away until hey kill him, Batman actually has a plan for everybody and it works out to be so much better. 

Flash is given an upgrade – given a love interest, given rules for his powers, becomes more involved with the team rather than just the kid who runs fast.

Aquaman is given more story with his people, and his decisions and his situations.

Superman is linked with the Mother Boxes, creating a history with them and explaining why they can bring him back to life.

The Mother Boxes themselves – are actually explained what they are and how they are used by Darkseid – something sorely lacking in the Joss Whedon version. 

Cyborg is the main focus here, since he too, is directly linked to the Mother Boxes, and their alien software. Cyborg is also given a backstory about his family, his Mom and the fatal car crash – all things missing from the original cut. 

The biggest character difference though – is the appearance of The Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz.  He is posing as General Swanwick and is played by Harry Lennix, who was also in The Matrix pt 2 and 3. J’onn plays a big role in getting Lois Lane back into believing in Superman and seems to be ready to play a big part in the Justice League. I think audiences would have cheered like crazy in seeing him appear in the movie. 

So much going on – so much backstory – so many characters given a huge chunk of airtime. Would it have ever been released? I think Warner Bros. would have compromised with Zack on a 3 hr movie – and that’s about it. If they were smart, they would have released this in two parts. That would have been the way to go, because there really is nothing to complain about here – oh. Wait a minute. Yes there is. 

So that weird “appearance” of Flash dressed in armor in the Batcave to Bruce Wayne makes sense in this cut. Zack gives us a a massive epilogue about our heroes in the future or in an alternate reality – both of which are very possible. Joss made this a dream, with Batman in the desert facing off an evil Superman. Zack made this a possible future. Flash saying the key is Lois Lane, which J’onn already knew – but the others don’t. 

We see death and destruction on our world and an evil Superman, with a dead Diana Prince, a dead Arthur Curry and a dead Robin. Darkseid promised to come back with a full armada of battleships – so maybe this was the result? We don’t know – but it’s an interesting cliffhanger to this movie. Now let’s get to the complaints.

The complaints all come in the epilogue, after I enjoyed the movie – so to me they are not a big deal – but I still hate them and I wish they would be corrected. The casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor still bothers me. This whiny kid is not someone who can build huge corporations and run expensive labs and develop armor suits and stoke fear into people’s hearts and wants to prove he is stronger than Superman. This is a whiny, squirmy kid who is annoying and seems to be no match for any mature adult. So that’s my one complaint. 

The other is Jared Leto and his take on Joker. A quiet, soft spoken guy with long green hair and who talks normal and does not cackle at all. Now in my mind every single Joker will be compared to either Heath Ledger or Mark Hamill. Those two created a very high standard. Jared Leto just does not give this Joker life, at all – he looks like he’s always about to take a nap and never has cute little jokes or gags or gadgets up his sleeve, ever. It is a huge disappointment that these two actors continue to play those roles – to me, they are the wrong kind of actors for these roles and ruin all that is fun and evil about the characters. 

4 hours long, yes. Broken up into 6 parts, this movie should be seen in breaks. It is a huge undertaking in setting up each individual hero, and the League in general with J’onn J’onnz. It’s not so much a movie but a springboard, like the first Avengers film was. Given the same amount of freedom and time, maybe Joss Whedon could have delivered something as good as this – but again, he was put in a position to finish someone else’s vision, with Warner Bros squeezing him into an even smaller box. A difficult undertaking to be sure – so I give him kudos for putting out a film as good as he did, under such a tough environment and circumstances. 

Bottom line – Zack came back – was given 4 hours to create his vision, and he did it a magnificent job. This film feels a lot like Watchmen, a good, slow, heavy hand with some nice visuals thrown in, and nothing left untied or hanging up in the air – unlike JJ Abrham’s films.