Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally been released, and for the past week fans and critics have been sharing their reactions online. Many have praised the film, or at the very least agree that it’s better than the widely condemned 2017 theatrical release by Joss Whedon. Now, video essayist Thomas Flight has put together an almost 30-minute video essay detailing some of the stark differences between the two films.
When Justice League was first released back in 2017, it was met with terrible reviews and distaste from its fanbase. Snyder left the film after a family tragedy and Avengers director Joss Whedon was brought in to finish, reconstructing the film to Warner Bros.’ liking. Many fans felt the studio had betrayed Snyder’s vision, attempting to make it more like a Marvel film despite half the movie already being complete before Whedon took over. Now that Snyder’s four-our version of Justice League has been released, fans have been pointing out the differences between the two films, and how Whedon’s version truly mangled the original intent. In the video essay, Flight breaks down just how stark those differences are.
Flight is a YouTube-based video essayist who covers a variety of film-related topics on his channel. Recently, he’s done videos about the impressive sound design in the Oscar-nominated film Sound of Metal and the editing in films such as First Cow and Disney’s live-action Mulan. In the video, Flight points to one of the most obvious differences between the two films: the tone. The new version of Justice League has Snyder’s trademark dark and moody tone, relying heavily on deep shadows and a desaturated look. Whedon’s version, on the other hand, has striking colors and brighter, more flat lighting. Whether or not you like Snyder’s tone, it’s wild to see the two side by side and makes Whedon’s version straight up look like an H&M commercial at times.
While Flight does agree with most fans and critics that the Snyder Cut is indeed better than the theatrical, he is not uncritical of Justice League. He points to the excessive runtime and the tacked-on ‘Knightmare’ epilogue, which he believes doesn’t serve much purpose. Furthermore, Flight gets to the heart of why the theatrical edition just didn’t work. He points out that the studio and Whedon clearly tried to retroactively turn Justice League into a lighter, more ‘fun’ movie. The problem is that most of the film was already complete before Snyder stepped away, so the result is a disjointed, tonally inconsistent mess. It seems like the studio did this to make the superhero film more like a Marvel film, but Flight also points out that the reason people like Marvel movies isn’t simply because they have a lighter tone, but because audiences like the MCU characters and the stories.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if Warner Bros. learns anything from the strange journey of this movie. The studio seems to be giving directors more creative freedom to their future projects, such as the upcoming film The Suicide Squad by James Gunn. However, the release of that film has sparked another fan lead movement to #ReleaseTheAyerCut, with fans believing that there is a better version of David Ayers’ much-maligned 2016 Suicide Squad movie, which was also heavily altered leading up to its release.
While it seems unlikely that Warner Bros. will pursue more projects with Snyder, the hashtag #RestoreTheSnyderVerse has been trending on Twitter for the past few days with over 1-million tweets. So, who knows, stranger things have happened.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is streaming on HBO Max now.
Source: Thomas Flight | YouTube