Review of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” – “Us United”

By Michael J. Petty

When Man of Steel first came out, I remember feeling conflicted. Initially I had such a strong negative reaction to the film that I decided to go back to the theater the next day and give it a second chance. I did, and I loved it, and it’s still one of my favorite films to this day.

Then came Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I remember being excited to finally see Batman and Superman on screen together in live action. Though Superman has been my favorite hero since middle school (if you couldn’t tell already), Batman was my childhood favorite. Seeing them together (with Wonder Woman too!) was a dream come true. I really enjoyed the theatrical version of the movie, and when the Ultimate Edition was released, well… I loved it even more.

I was sold on the DCEU. I thought, “this is the superhero franchise for me” since it covered a variety of intense themes, real-world problems such as the carnage left in the wake of superheroes and how the world would actually respond if someone like Superman were real and had incredible filmmakers and actors behind-the-scenes. Sure, Suicide Squad was a dud, but Wonder Woman was incredible, and with Aquaman and Justice League on the way…

Over three years after the release of Joss Whedon’s Justice League, it’s finally here. The film that we had begged Warner Brothers for with years of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaigns. The film that Zack Snyder seemed to pour his heart and soul into. It’s here.

And it’s a masterpiece.

With a four-hour runtime that feels more like two and a half and six chapter markers, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is, on the most basic level, the same film that came out in 2017. And yet, when watching the film, I was on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t believe that it felt like a completely different movie. The core team from the theatrical cut is the same, as is our main antagonist, yet they feel like (and in some cases even look like) completely different characters. They have more weight, more backstory, more heart and soul.

Now, unlike Whedon’s version of the film (which inaccurately still claimed Zack Snyder as its “director”), Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not a film that is at war with itself, unsure of what it is. Instead, it knows the story it’s telling and the characters that inhabit this world (as well as others). In short, it sticks to its guns, with plenty of bullets still left in the chamber.

This being said, I will say that I’m not a fan of the 4:3 ratio at all. It’s a very odd (and limiting) choice that I’ve found no real reason for other than Zack Snyder found it cool. After about a half hour, I kind of stopped noticing it, but then we get to shots like the group shot at the end of the film and it feels like the League barely fit within the frame.

The score, by Mad Max: Fury Road composer Thomas Holkenborg aka Junkie XL (who also collaborated with Hans Zimmer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), is a massive improvement on Danny Elfman’s from the theatrical cut of the film (which oddly includes his Batman Theme from Tim Burton’s Batman as well as John Williams’ iconic “Superman March”).

While the choir noise that is heard whenever Wonder Woman or the Amazons are on screen can be distracting, Holkenborg takes cues from Zimmer’s Man of Steel and revamps his Wonder Woman theme from Batman v Superman so that our heroes are properly represented whenever in battle. Overall, his take on Justice League is a significantly better one than Elfman’s, and fits Zack Snyder’s vision for the film like a glove.

But before going any further, I do want to issue a SPOILER WARNING. I know that Justice League has been out for years, and this film shares the same bones as Whedon’s cut, but there’s so much more in this film to talk about that to do so without issuing this warning would be a disservice to those who haven’t seen it. So please, if you haven’t watched the film just yet, take the time before we press on.

Now, since this is the Superman Homepage, let’s start with Superman…

Two characters clearly embody the heart of this film, and the first of which is Superman. The film opens with another angle on Superman’s heartbreaking demise from the end of Batman v Superman. His voice literally echoes around the world and is the reason the first Mother Box is awakened. The opener does a great job of setting the stage, and, like the theatrical cut, it’s centered around the Man of Steel. As Steppenwolf says later on, “No Lanterns, no Kryptonians…”. Superman’s death is the catalyst for the events of this film, something Whedon’s cut touches on but never actually explains. It’s made clear here, proving that “The Death of Superman” wasn’t simply for show. It was planned.

If there’s one critique I have when it comes to Superman in Zack Snyder’s Justice League (besides the fact that I prefer the red and blue), it’s that I wish we had spent more time with him.

Obviously, the majority of the film is spent either dealing with Steppenwolf’s invasion or resurrecting Superman, and that’s incredibly necessary, but it’s hard for me to not want more.

What we do get though, is wonderful. Between Clark’s initial fight with the League (truly showcasing just how powerful he really is) to his heart-felt “so I guess that means ‘yes'” conversation with Lois in the cornfield (where he also reunites with Martha), there’s a lot to love. I especially enjoy Superman showing up to the final fight to face off against Steppenwolf. Where the other members of the League seem to barely hold their own against the New God, Superman overpowers him immediately.

The Snyder Cut goes even further than the theatrical, all-but-confirming that Lois Lane is in fact pregnant with Clark’s child. A welcomed addition to the film that hits home and raises the stakes in the final act. I love the brief “congratulations by the way” moment in the Epilogue where Bruce makes it clear to Clark that he knows the baby is coming.

Speaking of Lois, I couldn’t get enough of Amy Adams in this movie. I’m so glad that Whedon’s “thirsty” scene was removed and replaced with a more heartfelt scene, pushing Lois back into the working world of the Daily Planet. It’s clear that Lois, more than almost anyone, has lost the most because of Clark’s death. Still faithfully wearing her engagement ring, she is dealing with the grief by… Not dealing with it. It’s honest and human and completely understandable.

But Lois is the key. She is the one, the only one, who is able to bring Clark back out of his rage. It’s because of her that his memory returns, and it’s because of her that he has a future to fight for. Not just a future marriage, but a future family. While Lois does have less to do in Zack Snyder’s Justice League than either of the previous Snyder installments, she’s treated with more dignity and respect than Whedon gave her in his iteration.

But let me return to Superman for a moment…

There’s also this incredible moment where Clark enters the Kryptonian scout ship in Metropolis (can we please just call it the Fortress already?) and we hear the voices of his fathers, both Jonathan Kent and Jor-El, as he takes on his “final form” if you will. It’s a powerful scene that brings Clark’s arc among the three Snyder films full-circle, with Clark Kent embracing his Kal-El side, deciding once and for all that with this second chance at life, he will continue to protect the world as Superman. And I love it.

One thing this film (and my recent rewatches of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman) makes clear is how perfect Henry Cavill is in the role of Clark Kent/Superman. There is no one else I would want to play the character in the live action films right now than Cavill, and my hope is that, with the success of the Snyder Cut, he will return to the role in the future.

The other heart of Zack Snyder’s Justice League may surprise you, but it is in fact Ray Fisher’s Victor Stone aka Cyborg. Victor lives a hard and tragic life. A former football star at Gotham University, Victor and his mother were in a fatal car accident, taking her life and leaving him all-but-dead himself. Victor’s father, Dr. Silas Stone (played masterfully by Joe Morton, who is no stranger to cybernetic organisms), used a Mother Box to save his boy’s life. And it has taken a toll on Victor’s mind and soul.

Besides Darkseid himself, Cyborg benefits the most from Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Between the added backstory behind Victor’s incident to us finally understanding the full scope of his abilities, this version of the film provides Victor with not only enough screen time, but enough to do. He’s not just some depressed kid who’s forced into helping the League, he learns to help people in his own way before stepping out to help Batman and company.

While Victor has a hard time engaging with the team socially, he’s integral to their success. Without Cyborg, the unified Mother Boxes could not possibly be split, Superman would not be able to return, and the League may have never found the third Mother Box.

But what makes Victor the heart?

Victor is the heart of Zack Snyder’s Justice League because it’s one of the only body parts he has left. Between his strained relationship with his father to his heroic journey, Victor develops the most throughout the film. There are times where we can feel his hatred for what his father did to him so much that we think Vic may kill his father himself. But only when Silas is taken by Steppenwolf and Victor must choose to save him do we begin to see the man behind the machine. Victor’s hero’s journey culminates when he attempts to save his father near the end, and Silas dies to give his son the last piece of the puzzle, so that the League might have a chance at defeating this foreign enemy.

Fans of the theatrical cut (do those even exist?) will note that Silas Stone doesn’t die in the Whedon version of Justice League, but his death in the Snyder Cut carries so much weight, body-slamming Victor into the final fight, with enough force to help him separate the Mother Boxes from the inside. And boy is that scene powerful.

Silas Stone’s narration guides us, and Victor, through the Epilogue, inspiring us forward and giving us hope for the future. Without Cyborg’s arc, this film loses its focus and becomes a jumbled mess (see: Joss Whedon’s Justice League).

Everyone else contributes to the film in meaningful ways too. Bruce Wayne/Batman is the one with the vision to unite our heroes together in the first place (which serves him well seeing as how whenever he is around the rest of the League, it’s obvious how under-powered he is in comparison), Diana Prince/Wonder Woman helps him on this quest, but she’s much more than that. Diana is integral to Bruce’s intelligence. Without her, the Amazon’s invasion beacon wouldn’t have meant anything in the world of men, and no one would have known a thing about Darkseid, or his initial invasion on Earth. And forget about the Anti-Life Equation…

Diana is one of the best parts of the movie. As the League’s powerhouse, Aquaman barely rivals her strength (Superman is a whole different story, as mentioned above) she wastes no time in taking Steppenwolf on and her powers are really showcased here. Diana is also integral to both Victor joining the team and keeping Bruce in check. Bruce and Diana are very clearly co-chairs of the Justice League.

Barry Allen/The Flash and Arthur Curry/Aquaman make their impact as well.

Barry, the jokester (Ezra Miller seeming to channel more Wally West than Barry Allen) with a heart of gold, is given real depth in the film. We understand why he cares about saving the world (not just because Batman recruited him and that’s “cool”). Barry has a deep sense of justice because of what’s happened to his father, who is facing a life sentence in prison for allegedly killing his wife and Barry’s mother. This forces Barry to do everything he can to break into the criminal justice system to fight for his father. He also spends time saving Iris West before Batman even confronts him in Central City, again proving his deep sense of empathy for humanity.

The Flash’s powers are also more enhanced in this version than in the theatrical, with Barry actually turning back time near the end when he fails to help Cyborg disrupt the Unity. It’s alluded to earlier in the film, and we see time reverse when he helps bring Superman back from the grave, but when Barry is using the full extent of his powers later on, we see that there is much more to the Scarlett Speedster than initially met the eye.

Arthur is a little different. He does what Barry does too, helping those who can’t help themselves, but he does so more discretely. He doesn’t want the attention, he doesn’t want anybody finding him, especially the Atlanteans. Having seen Aquaman (which takes place a year after Justice League), we know that eventually Arthur overcomes some of this and takes his place as King Arthur of Atlantis, but right now he’s the mysterious “Aquaman” who, much like Clark in Man of Steel, kind of just wanders and saves aimlessly.

His arc, though smaller than Victor’s, and even Barry’s, is just as meaningful as Arthur develops into the hero he was literally born to be. Superman seems to have inspired him too, even though he attempts to deny it. He is a man who is very much lost (again, lots of Man of Steel vibes from Arthur in this movie) but feels the call of destiny in the wind. Or, at least in the current.

I kind of skipped over Batman’s arc in the film because… Well, out of all the lead characters, he’s the only one who doesn’t really have one, but the odd thing is, it works. His guilt about failing Superman in life is what fuels him, to the point of almost going on a suicide mission, but it doesn’t change anything when Clark returns from the grave. Bruce still helps reverse the foreclosure of the Kent Farm at the end, and one could argue it’s from a place of newfound friendship, but I would argue that there’s still a hint of guilt in there.

His dynamic with Alfred continues to entertain, and there is more Gotham world-building as we’re introduced to Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (J.K. Simmons), but that’s about it. Bruce is the guy who brings the team together and leads them into battle, that’s his entire function in the film. And it works! We don’t need anymore; his main redemption arc is finished. It seems that Zack Snyder had more plans for Batman in the future (with the Knightmare future and his rivalry with both the Joker and Deathstroke), but it seems those projects are dead in the water. Hopefully, Warner Brothers (and Ben Affleck) will come to their senses and do a Batman vs Deathstroke HBO Max series or an adaptation of “A Death in the Family” or something…

As the final fight comes to a close (after Cyborg and Superman separate the Unity, which is so cool), Aquaman, Superman, and Wonder Woman send Steppenwolf (and his head) back through a Boom Tube to Darkseid’s feet. As the League stands united, Darkseid seems to retreat, only to tell Desaad to gather the troops as they’re going “back to the old ways”. Zack Snyder’s Justice League makes it clear that this is a story that is meant to continue.

It’s so clear, in fact, that the revelation that General Swanwick from Man of Steel was the Martian Manhunter the whole time feels like it’s pointing towards something more. J’onn J’onzz (though, he’s not called that on screen) appears twice in the film, first when taking the guise of Martha Kent to help Lois step back into the world and secondly at the end where he introduces himself to Bruce, forming a new alliance and almost repenting for not having been a part of the fight, promising to be in touch.

It’s exciting to see Martian Manhunter as a part of this film, and after seeing not one, but two Green Lanterns throughout this movie it gives me hope that we might see Hal Jordan or John Stewart done right in live action someday.

Lastly, the Knightmare sequence. The Knightmare sequence in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one of my favorite parts of the movie (though I admit it feels out of place and seems unnecessary in BvS), and I was happy to see that continued here. Seeing not only Knightmare Batman, but Cyborg, Flash, Deathstroke, Mera, and the Joker himself was a welcomed addition to this post-apocalyptic DC Universe. Of course, it ends with evil Superman arriving, eyes glowing read, and Bruce waking from the dream, but it’s cool set up while it lasts.

Unfortunately, the Knightmare set-up feels less like a tease for the next installment and more like a reminder that this is the last we’ll see of it. We might not ever find out what happened or how it’s resolved (at least, not on screen) unless a Justice League – Part 2 happened to be released. And I know that we’re all sick of seeing evil “Injustice Superman” (believe me, so am I), but I do believe that there’s more to it than that, and I would like to know what it is. Sadly, we may never get the chance.

While the Snyder Cut is amazing, and I’m so grateful that us Associate Producers were able to help get it made, I can’t help but be sad that this is the end. Not the end of some of the toxic fandom (which should’ve ended long ago), but the end of a director’s clear vision for a complete story with some of my all-time favorite fictional heroes. Say what you will about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Avengers: Endgame gave me everything I could have asked for and more from nearly a decade of buildup, and I really wish Zack Snyder would get that same chance to bring us the same satisfaction for his DC Extended Universe.

For those who loathed Justice League when it was first released in 2017 and are still on the fence, get off. Zack Snyder’s Justice League feels like a completely different movie. The characters are real, with real motivations and arcs. The plot, though long, is not all that complicated and doesn’t take away from our heroes. The Snyder Cut builds upon the foundations that Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Wonder Woman laid and brings the DCEU into its “fully furbished form”.

After all the fanfare and drama surrounding its production, Joss Whedon’s Justice League saw the team divided, but Zack Snyder has done an amazing job at bringing everyone together again.

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Michael John Petty

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March 21, 2021 3:36 am

Because I now have HBOMax and had some time, I watched the theatrical version. While I’d still give the Snyder Cut a slight edge, it was a little more fun than I recall. And it was still *mostly* Snyder footage, just really trimmed down.

March 21, 2021 5:59 am
Reply to  afriend

As far as I understand it, the theatrical cut is about 50% Whedon. It feels as if there’s more Snyder in it because the scenes that DO stick in your mind as being good (Superman’s fight with the JL after his resurrection, Wonder Woman’s bank rescue – which is twice as good in the Snyder cut, even though the scenario is basically the same) are all Snyder’s. I watched the Joss Whedon ‘Justice League’ once on the big screen and was so disappointed I never wanted to watch it again. I’ve watched Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ – all four hours of… Read more »

March 21, 2021 6:16 am
Reply to  LarGand

Reportedly, Snyder’s footage in the theatrical release was about 40%. It’s hard to tell when you’re watching the movie, especially since reshoots are spliced in with Snyder’s material. The action scenes are a bit of both (more Snyder, but not without Whedon), then you have other scenes (like every Aquaman scene) that aren’t action, but operate the same way and then you have the quiet “talking” scenes, most of which are Whedon.

March 21, 2021 6:30 am
Reply to  LarGand

There was probably more than I’m remembering, if you go minute-by-minute… but it really felt like out of all four hours, only about 15 minutes of footage from this was in Whedon’s cut. Whedon mostly used Zack’s far-superior material as a springboard into his own goofy nonsense. I did not hate Whedon’s cut – I did see it in theaters a few times, bought the Blu-ray and watched it several times including when it came on TV, just because it was on, so I’ve probably watched it way more times than most people ever bothered to – and aside from… Read more »

March 21, 2021 12:50 pm
Reply to  LarGand

Having watched them “side by side”, I’d actually call it 60-75% Snyder in the theatrical cut. It’s “all Whedon” in the editing and tone, no argument there, but unless Snyder was forced to use a bunch of Whedon footage ala the Donner Cut of Superman II, there’s more overlap than we’d been led to believe. It’s just that Whedon uses a fraction of what Snyder used; the theatrical version manages to tell the same information in the opening credits that it takes Snyder an hour to do. Aside from the lip, the noticeable new stuff are the Lois and Martha’s… Read more »

March 21, 2021 10:15 pm
Reply to  afriend

There are a few things in Whedon’s Cut that I actually like. The Batman/Flash “save one” scene you mentioned is at the top of my list. The only other big thing is that I prefer to see Superman in his red and blue suit (especially at the end), but that’s about it for me. Also, according to Variety and The New York Times, Whedon rewrote 80% of Justice League (hence his writing credit on the film, only awarded to someone if they rewrite 30% of a script, according to the WGA). Cinematographer Fabian Wagner also said that Whedon threw out… Read more »

March 21, 2021 5:36 am

I’m not going to lie, the Martian Manhunter scenes fell completely flat for me. The first one undermines a beautiful scene between mother and adopted daughter and the second one was clearly hastily written and hastily animated. Also, I get why from a story standpoint J’onn would show up on Bruce’s doorstep, but it doesn’t quite vibe with me, when he has an established and more important relationship with Superman and they’re both refugees from another planet. Also also, ending the movie on what feels like a post-credits sequence and then cutting to Hallelujah is a bit jarring. These new… Read more »

March 21, 2021 6:42 am
Reply to  NeoRanger

Jeremy Irons as Alfred is one of my favorite things about these movies. I thought nobody would top Michael Caine but I really, really love Irons as Alfred. I love that he’s more involved, I love how sarcastic he is… just all of it. And I love his chemistry with Affleck, on both sides. “This is Alfred… I work for HIM.” Terrific. The end scene with Martian Manhunter definitely sort of shows how it was originally conceived to be Green Lantern and not J’onn. I’m fine with it, it’s creative, and I’m glad J’onn finally gets to be in these… Read more »

March 21, 2021 8:01 am
Reply to  NeoRanger

Let’s be honest, that entire ‘Epilogue’ of the movie was basically half and hour of pure fan service. But I was on board for that … Knowing now that Zack had been hoping for that final conversation to be between Bruce and John Stewart, but the studio blocked that idea, I think I would’ve preferred that, but I’m still glad Harry Lennix got a little extra screen time. It’s definitely just icing on the cake, though. The choice of ‘Hallelujah’ over the end credits – and specifically that version by Allison Crowe – was made because that’s a song that… Read more »

March 21, 2021 1:27 pm
Reply to  LarGand

Oh I know why they chose Hallelujah, it was also Autumn’s favorite song according to Zack. I’m on board with this, absolutely. That’s my point actually; you have this beautiful scene, father talking to his child, capping off the story in an emotionally resonant manner and transitioning to Hallelujah, with its connotations, would’ve been pitch-perfect. Instead, the film takes this detour into the dystopian future and the CGI alien triumphantly flying away… it’s just a bit jarring, I find it undercuts the emotion a little. It’s not a deal-breaker or anything, I just think he should’ve moved Lex and all… Read more »

March 21, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  NeoRanger

I totally agree. I really love the Knightmare sequence at the end, with Martain Manhunter introducing himself to Batman… I just wish it had been after the credits (with maybe the Lex/Deathstroke scene appearing mid-way through the credits).

Ending the film with Silas Stone’s monologue would have been much more powerful.

March 21, 2021 5:43 am

Since the film is fairing pretty well and getting good critiques and ratings, it’s a good game going on right now. One can really hope that the vision Mr. Snyder has brought would conclude in which he directs the final installment(s) of what he created. If the option stands of JL 2&3 are crammed into one film that’s just as long as SC, I’ll be happy. In all honesty the longest films I saw back then with and almost a 4 hour runtime was Once Upon A Time In America and Lord Of The Ring extended editions

March 21, 2021 10:06 pm
Reply to  Kal-Ed

I’d be really okay with us getting Justice League – Part 2 and Part 3 as two separate four-hour films… But if we can only get one sequel and he crams it all into one more four-hour movie, I’m totally fine with that too!

March 21, 2021 6:04 am

This was a really great review, and captures much of my own feelings. Not just about this movie, but Zack’s DC “trilogy” in general. I was very conflicted when I first saw “Man of Steel” in theaters as well. To get in a “Superman Mood” before it came out, I did what was probably a rather dumb thing in retrospect and watched all the previous films along with a bunch of the various cartoons. When I sat down in the theater, Chris Reeve and Brandon Routh weighed heavily in my mind, and I confess that I spent a good chunk… Read more »

March 21, 2021 10:02 pm
Reply to 

Hey, thanks for your reply (and the kind words)! It’s cool to see that other people had the same experience that I did with Man of Steel. I remember being nervous at times to tell some Superman fans that I liked it because I’d get “Superman doesn’t kill!” shoved down my throat. “Have you even read a Superman comic?” I fully agree with you that it feels like a true sequel to Batman V Superman (though I might argue a little about Man of Steel…), and I like that a lot, though again, it really leaves us with this feeling… Read more »

March 22, 2021 12:50 pm
Reply to  MIKE-EL

Ohhh, “The Zod Thing”. Sigh. If I had a nickel. My go-to for that is, “If you can’t even kill Space Hitler, when that’s the only way to save billions of people… then you can’t call yourself a ‘hero’.” Like yeah, it was based loosely off of things that happened in the comics, so that makes me fine with it as well. But plenty of people who’ve watched MoS with me who never read ANY Superman comics – yet are very much aware that “Superman Doesn’t Kill” – were perfectly fine with that scene. Because it’s not like he pulped… Read more »

March 21, 2021 8:02 pm

I just finished watching The Snyder Cut and I am not on the bandwagon. The only thing 4 hrs long that gives me such a headache is a trip to the dentist’s office. I took notes while watching this and there were plenty of things that made me angry instead of happy.  Don’t get me wrong Snyder made a good movie, just not a great one. I hated the 4 hr long runtime, the plethora of scenes that did not need to be added as well as all the great things that Joss Whedon did that were phenomenal ended up… Read more »

March 21, 2021 10:05 pm
Reply to  victor4782

Hey, thanks for responding! Few quick things…

  1. Snyder wasn’t fired. He stepped down after his daughter Autumn committed suicide (this film is dedicated to her).
  2. What is it that you liked so much about Whedon’s version? It constantly felt disjointed and unsure of itself when I watched it.
  3. I agree about the aspect ratio… Super weird, I wish it had been widescreen, but you can’t win them all… I really got used to it by the end, but I’m still not the biggest fan.
March 21, 2021 11:48 pm
Reply to  MIKE-EL

There has always been some controversy concerning Zack Snyder being let go. Yes, his daughter’s suicide had Snyder admit that he stopped fighting and allowed WB to continue without him. But why was he even fighting at all? I believe he was let go because the events of Batman v. Superman and the glorious turnout for Marvel’s Civil War convinced WB that Disney’s formula was better than theirs. It’s been said that David Ayer made changes for Suicide Squad but Snyder was so committed to his vision for the DCEU WB decided to get rid of him but they were… Read more »

March 22, 2021 12:45 am
Reply to  victor4782

Thanks for the response! I don’t think there is really much controversy as to why Snyder stepped down… In fact, it’s been really clear from the get-go. We all knew WB wanted Snyder to make JL into a Marvel movie (hence, why they brought Whedon in after Snyder left), but if they flat-out fired him, there’s no chance in hell they’d bring him back to finish his vision, no matter the fan outcry. From everything Snyder has said, and everything the cast and crew have both said and implied, it seems he was telling the truth when he said he… Read more »

March 22, 2021 1:12 pm
Reply to  MIKE-EL

When people are “fired”, they generally do not stay on a project for several months while still collecting a paycheck, doing work that’s eventually going to be thrown out. That is not how these things work. Enough has come out about the entire timeline of events – especially recently – where I feel we can put the conspiracy theory of “Zack was fired and they used his daughter’s death as a cover story” – to bed. For one thing, it’s vulgar, and for another, it isn’t the truth. Yes, WB started hassling him to make JL into a Marvel movie,… Read more »

March 21, 2021 9:33 pm

Thanks, Michael! I am also a big fan of Snyder’s three films. Sure, they’re not perfect or the definitive take on Superman or even for everyone, but they’ve resonated with me. I appreciate Superman doing what it takes to save the day despite all the distrust he’s given early on. I really enjoy Clark and Lois and would love to see more of their story. I can’t say enough good things about Hans Zimmer’s musical themes. I love the images Snyder shoots and the sheer presence Superman is. For me, this is a Superman who has doubts and wrestles with… Read more »

March 21, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  bhof

Hey, thanks for replying, glad you liked the review. I fully agree. I love Snyder’s interpretation of Superman (which is by no means “definitive”). I love that he’s a flawed character and a flawed hero. I saw a tweet earlier today where someone was describing how, when fans watch a DC film and there’s carnage and death, people get upset and angry with said-interpretation of that hero (in Man of Steel, that’s Superman), but when Marvel does the same thing, the fans don’t say a word. Just the other day, I watched the first episode of The Falcon and the… Read more »

March 22, 2021 1:28 pm
Reply to  MIKE-EL

One thing people constantly tell me, is that writers need to stop trying to give Superman the “hard choice”, that giving him “No-Win Situations” undermines and “perverts” the character. I don’t understand that. I mean, that’s the pathos of Superman: He can’t be everywhere at once and his whole life is a situation of making the best of those “No-Win Situations”. Let’s be honest, if we wanna get down to brass tacks he technically “shouldn’t” even give himself any down time as Clark, because every time he sits down to have a tender moment with Lois some people are drowning… Read more »

March 22, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to 

I’ve thrown this idea out before, but there seems to be a religiosity surrounding Superman; like he has to be infallible or his mistakes have to be so insignificant, they don’t matter. He can’t struggle, he can’t be sad, he has to exist only to inspire us.

It also hurts the character in the long-term. The people who say that Superman is boring are wrong, but there is a reason they think that.

March 22, 2021 2:09 pm
Reply to  NeoRanger

NeoRanger hit it right on the head…

This is the take I’ve been waiting to hear.

March 22, 2021 2:17 pm
Reply to  NeoRanger

I think that’s an easy dismissal of what people who don’t enjoy Snyders vision are talking about.

Last edited 1 year ago by MattComics
March 22, 2021 5:13 pm
Reply to  MattComics

Not really, no. This goes beyond Snyder. These are attitudes that have persisted throughout the years any time there is a deviation from the established norm. We’ve seen these conversations surrounding the New 52, Smallville, Superman Returns and for those of us who are old enough to remember, John Byrne’s Superman. People sharing the most surface level “adorkable” Superman clips and pretending that’s in any way character or personality. People hinging on Superman’s most superficial traits ( most recently the Fleischer suit opening of Superman & Lois) to claim a deeper understanding of a layered character with massive history behind… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by NeoRanger
March 23, 2021 12:00 am
Reply to  NeoRanger

Dude, you’re good at this, LoL. I feel very much the same. Now, to be fair, I don’t think that’s the WHOLE reason some people dislike Zack and Cavill’s portrayal. But it is absolutely a factor. But some of the things people cling to as sacrosanct and “pure” with the character simply make no sense. For example… some people will rage about Clark (pre-Superman, mind you, still “Just Clark”) trashing that truck driver’s rig in “Man of Steel”. But they LOVE it in “Superman II” when Clark lets that guy break his hand on his stomach and trashes the diner.… Read more »

March 23, 2021 12:20 am
Reply to 

I forgot to mention, as for the idea that “He exists only to inspire us”… frankly, the only version of Superman (or rather, Clark) that I feel NO inspiration from is the one portrayed by Tom Welling on “Smallville”. He always came off, to me, like a whiner and a quitter, two things “Superman” should never, ever be. And the “Crisis” cross-over just nailed that point home, as that version was apparently only “Superman” for a very short time before he gave it all up to live a powerless “normal” life on the farm. I know he’s some people’s favorite.… Read more »

March 23, 2021 5:01 am
Reply to 

On a side note, I’ll do something I almost never do and I’ll defend Welling’s Clark here. I *hated* him for the longest time, throughout most of that show’s run and I expressed that hatred consistently, week after week in this very website and its forum (Rest in Peace forum, you are missed). But here’s the thing, after a somewhat recent rewatch; Welling’s Clark is a marathon, not a sprint. The first seven seasons are pretty miserable, but once the original showrunners leave the show, Clark starts become Superman in all but name and outfit– so much so, his character… Read more »

March 23, 2021 12:18 am
Reply to  MIKE-EL

” I saw a tweet earlier today where someone was describing how, when fans watch a DC film and there’s carnage and death, people get upset and angry with said-interpretation of that hero (in Man of Steel, that’s Superman), but when Marvel does the same thing, the fans don’t say a word.” I’m going to give a little pushback on that notion; especially in regards to Superman and how Zack Snyder has chosen to portray him. The better Marvel films (and better DC films as well, arguably the prime example is the Battle of Metropolis in Superman II) don’t avoid… Read more »

March 23, 2021 12:42 am
Reply to  afriend

These aren’t bad points. A couple of mitigating factors for me are: Aside from a couple of points, very much of the destruction during the Battle of Smallville in MoS was at least in part from the army getting in the way (and DEFINITELY in the Metropolis Battle; their missiles may even have done more damage than either Zod OR Superman did in and of themselves). The more I watch MoS, the more I notice that if maybe they’d just stayed out of it, things wouldn’t have gotten so bad. *Maybe*. But the fact is, in the beginning every single… Read more »

March 23, 2021 5:17 am
Reply to  afriend

I’ll counter this with the idea that this isn’t a Superman issue, it’s a film-making issue. Superman doesn’t do anything wrong in Man of Steel, he doesn’t address the collateral damage, but at the same time he’s at war, alone against an army. Any second he’s standing and saving people (and he does save people) is a second he’s putting himself between the bad guys and humanity’s total extinction. I mean, the one scene where Superman feels actually flippant about collateral damage is that bit where he floats over the truck in his battle with Zod. Not a great bit,… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by NeoRanger
March 22, 2021 6:33 pm

I will simply write here what I wrote as a comment for the other review:

This movie was absolutely amazing! 🙂

I had fun and enjoyed the theatrical version of Justice League. I absolutely love Zack Snyder’s Justice League! Absolutely amazing! 🙂