[Hi, Aine here! I wrote a lot of this right after the Snyder Cut came out. …Crap.]
Is it over? …..Oh Gods, finally!
So, The original Justice League was notably my highest ranking of the bad DCEU films, mostly on the grounds that it had heroes talking with each other and not trying to kill one another (mostly) and the fact that I will eat up anything where Wonder Woman and the Amazons have a decent chunk of screentime (though the fact that she was in BVS doesn’t make that piece of shit any better, sorry). I still had a lot of problems with the way most people were portrayed which I went into more detail about in the original ranking, which you can find here, but to summarize:
Aquaman was better in his own movie. Flash would have been marginally better if they had just said “Fuck you Geoff Johns” and made him Wally West instead (though it probably wouldn’t have helped the annoyance factor it would just made a bit more sense). Bruce shouldn’t have been making that many jokes since he isn’t Dick fucking Grayson. Superman was retconned into having always been regular Superman instead of “Clark ‘Superbat’ Wayne” (I’m not complaining it’s just jarring and I’m not talking about the CGI lip). Cyborg had no fucking business being there and had no character whatsoever. Diana, Alfred, and Gordon were the only good characters (Hung up on Chris Pine not withstanding) and why the fuck was Steppenwolf the bad guy?! He’s just Darkseid’s uncle! Come on!
Having sat through this four hour long recut and reshoot of Snyder’s original work (which, in all fairness, congrats on him for finally getting the chance to do this. I may not have been part of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, but even I have to admit the poor guy got screwed out of his film by the studio taking advantage of him leaving due to the DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER and I hope he and his family are doing better than they were at that point in their lives. That was just terrible.) I will admit that this version makes more sense than the theatrical cut did, but I still have problems with it and only one of those is the length. So, let’s go over them and see where it ranks on my list and if it’s possible it moves over to the good list. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t)
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR BOTH CUTS OF JUSTICE LEAGUE
The new CGI looks cool, but I’m still confused as to why the bad guy HAD to be Steppenwolf instead of….anyone else from Apokolips. Again, he’s JUST Darkseid’s uncle. The only reason I can find for why Darkseid even keeps him around is he’s related to him and doesn’t try to kill him like Orion does. Why wasn’t Granny Goodness the villain? She makes a lot more sense for this kind of destruction! Now, in fairness, they did their best to make him sympathetic, gave him an actual motive beside “mother”, and tried to wrench a good villain out of there, I’m just not sure it’s Steppenwolf they needed. Maybe they just needed someone Darkseid would find disposable?
Speaking of Darkseid, hell yes! For what little we see of him, Desaad, and Apokolips (even a non speaking cameo by Granny Goodness, holy shit!), it is accurate and the fact that he can distill fear in Badass Amazon Diana from just a cave painting of him speaks for how much of a bigger threat he is. Though this ultimately means nothing because we will never see him again. Sorry.
More Diana and the Amazons. Yes. Fantastic. I will never say no to more of them. Call it pointless if you want, I don’t care. I loved the scenes on Themyscira. At least they were actually putting up a decent fight and not being completely slaughtered. Also, less Wonder Woman sexism. Yes. This makes me happy. No Flash landing on her boobs. Good job. And she straight up killed a guy in front of tons of kids. Like, vapourized him. On the one hand, that was cool. On the other hand, JESUS TAPDANCING CHRIST!!
The Aquaman stuff was marginally better, but I still think everyone was better introduced in his own movie. It all just seems like unneeded set up. That scene of Mera fighting Steppenwolf was awesome though. Creative use of her powers. Good job. Also, what’s with the choir singing and the lady smelling his shirt? That was weird.
The Flash stuff, also marginally better, but also more creepy. This might just be a product of my dislike of Barry’s actor (I don’t know why, I just hate his face. I have the same problem with Adam Driver.), but he seems kinda stalkery around Iris (Also, pointless). The stuff with his dad was sweet, but was better done on the Arrowverse show. Also, about 90% of Flash’s scenes were left in from the original and thus he is the ultimate source of comic relief for the film. This is an improvement over the out of place Batman jokes, but I still say this is more Wally than Barry.
Cyborg was the one who was really helped by this version of the film. In the original, Cyborg had no purpose. He was nothing. Less than a character. Here, he is the emotional core of the film. He’s the one with the arc, the one who changes over the course of the film. From his purpose, to his relationship to his father, how he sees himself, it’s all changed by the end. This firmly establishes who Cyborg is, an intelligent jock with a heart of gold who is clearly disheartened by the lack of support his football aspirations get from his distant scientist father, and shows us his tragic backstory through flashbacks. So much better. Still don’t get the whole “Cyborg needs to be connected to the mother boxes and Darkseid ” crap from the new 52, but whatever. Just, he’s a cyborg. His dad’s a scientist. Just make him a normal cyborg.
Seeing Martian Manhunter was nice and so was seeing that he was a character from a previous movie, but it ultimately doesn’t mean anything.
Sidebar: Where the fuck were you, J’onn!? Were you distracted by Oreos?! Is that why you’re in only two scenes and never bothered to help out?!
What was the point of having a Green Lantern in your flashback if you’re not gonna HAVE a Green Lantern!? Like, why not have J’onn on the team and have the guy at the end be a Lantern like, I don’t know, John Stewart? Or even Hal Jordan if Goeff Johns makes enough of a fuss? Also, apparently that was supposed to be John but Warner Bros wanted him for something else. Guess that means he’ll eventually be in the Green Lantern film when/if they make it.
The lighting makes more sense than the original, but I’m confused by the new screen ratio. Like, why was that needed? I understand the grayscale version even less. If it’s not filmed in monochrome, it shouldn’t BE in monochrome. Colours look different in black and white. A lot more things look black instead of shades of gray than you’d think.
Why the new Knightmare scene when you’re not getting another movie!? Was it just to show you can do better with Leto? No one wanted that!
Why is there set up for movies you know you’re not gonna get them at all? I get the Aquaman stuff because Aquaman was already filming by the time Justice League was being made, but why the rest?
Lois and Martha were pretty much nothing characters for the most part. Hell, Martha wasn’t even really there.
The Black suit is a nice call back to the end of The Death of Superman arc, but, like every reference to that story in this franchise, ultimately means nothing. Also, seriously, how many suits did Jor-El pack him?
Final Thoughts: This does not go on the good list. This is still a bad movie and, for as much of a hot mess as the film is, I still think Wonder Woman 1984 is better. HOWEVER, it is a better movie than the original film. In its full length, I’d put it below the original, but as a mini series split into episodes (which is what Snyder wanted for this anyway), I would put it above it. This is now my favourite of the bad DCEU films, Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I just typed that.
I need a shower.