The fabled Snyder Cut of Justice League is finally upon us. All four hours of it. Turns out it’s pretty good. It’s not the masterpiece that some of his more crazed fans will try and tell you but it’s solid. The story makes more sense, Cyborg has a character arc now, the action scenes are better and there’s way more slow motion. The four hours doesn’t drag either, could it have been trimmed down to three hours, absolutely but it moves at a nice pace. The films biggest strength is also it’s greatest weakness. Zack Snyder himself.
Zack Snyder has always been a director that is far more style than substance. Even his biggest detractors will gladly admit that he is probably one of the greatest directors on the planet at making movies with incredible looking frames. His greatest asset to filmmaking is giving audiences really cool shots to look at. As much as I love MCU films and think most of them are better than this, none of them look as good as Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He’s also incredible at directing action scenes. To put it simply, no matter what problems Justice League has, all of the action absolutely slaps. But that’s all the movie is, that’s all what most Snyder movies are. Really cool action movies with amazing visuals. Justice League is a live action cartoon. It is not cinematic art.
The biggest problem with Snyder and many of his fanbase is that they think he is somehow equivalent to a Kubrick or Coppola. That’s ludicrous. He’s amazing at visuals but he’s not good at visual storytelling. Snyder is a director who values the coolest looking shot above all and makes his symbolism so obvious that Ray Charles could see it. That’s not necessarily bad, we all love cool action movies that don’t have any real depth to them but no one is gonna say that Bad Boys 2 is a cinematic masterpiece like some Snyder fans will claim of his work.
There’s nothing wrong with movies like Bad Boys 2. Is it a good film, not really but it knows what it is and it’s a very entertaining dumb action movie. That’s the problem with Snyder movies. They are ridiculous action movies like Bad Boys 2 (although I will admit none of them are as dumb) but they present themselves like 2001: A Space Odyssey. It does a disservice to the movies and Snyder himself. He’s opening him up for unflattering comparisons. His cut of Justice League is mostly good but there’s so many parts that are infuriating because they come off as so self-serious despite the fact that they’re in a movie where five superpowered beings team up with Batman to fight a middle manager in an alien invasion.
Zack Snyder needs to stop pretending he makes deep artistic movies and embrace where his real talent lies. Making really awesome, ridiculous action films that look amazing, have a distinct directorial style and way too much slow motion. He is the American John Woo.