Let me say, right off the bat, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is superior to Joss Whedon’s version. With more time to develop characters, better special effects (no more Superman CGI face!) and deliver better action scenes, the “Snyder Cut” pretty much supplants the 2017 theatrical version hands down.
You can simply delete the Joss Whedon Justice League from your memory. But you might want to keep the Blu-Ray version because you never know if Warner Bros. will try to do a George Lucas and attempt to erase its very existence from the world! That crappy version just might be this generation’s version of the Star Wars Holiday Special!
But I digress. As good as “The Snyder Cut” is, there are a few things the Joss Whedon version did better. But there aren’t a whole lot of them. Whenever I make these kinds of lists, I usually could name five things off the top of my head. For this list, I couldn’t only really think of three of them; that’s how much better I think Zack Snyder’s version is. Still, I have to give credit where credit is due so here are three times Joss Whedon’s Justice League worked better than Zack Snyder’s.
Oh, and since I will be needing to talk about some specific things from both Justice League films, I’m putting up the obligatory SPOILER WARNING now. With that out of the way, let’s go through the list, shall we?
Lex Luthor’s “A League of Our Own”
I do find some of the reshoots Joss Whedon set up to be rather weird. These reshoots didn’t really change the overall plot of the film but I guess he wanted to put his own personal stamp on the film. Most of them, though, are pretty irksome. The Flash falling face first into Wonder Woman’s bosom. Bruce Wayne antagonizing Aquaman by asking him if he can really talk to fish. Batman joking that he’s bleeding internally. The list goes on.
However, there is one change that I actually liked better. I’ll even be honest and say I just didn’t like it more; I think Zack Snyder’s version kinda sucked! It’s the epilogue scene between Lex Luthor and Deathstroke.
In Zack Snyder’s version, Deathstroke converses with Lex Luthor. Lex hints that Deathstroke wants revenge on Batman so he offers up The Caped Crusader’s secret identity to the assassin and the two celebrate. Joss Whedon’s version is different as, in the 2017 film, Lex Luthor muses that the heroes have created a group and, to even things up, he suggests to Deathstroke that they set up “a league of their own,” hinting at a potential Legion of Doom formation in the future!
Now, this might just be my personal bias from watching Super Friends growing up, but the very idea we might see DC’s greatest heroes clash with all of their archvillains in one movie, well, that just sounds awesome! Yes, I know Darkseid might sound exciting but imagine seeing a cavalcade of superheroes and supervillains getting together in one movie! That just sounds loads better to me!
Also, I honestly don’t get why Lex Luthor is trying to sic Deathstroke onto Batman. Isn’t Lex supposed to be Superman’s nemesis and not Batman’s? I get Batman’s the guy who put him behind bars and essentially foiled his plan in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But it just seems wrong for Lex Luthor to even be concerned about The Dark Knight when he should be more concerned about figuring out how to take out The Man of Steel. I dunno, that’s just me.
No Martian Manhunter useless cameo
I don’t envy Joss Whedon. He was brought in to helm Justice League after Zack Snyder had to step away from the movie. What he was left with was a movie that was going to be around three to four hours long… and then Warner Bros. ordered him to cobble together a movie with a runtime of only two hours! You can’t just do that so I totally get why Joss Whedon had to do some reshoots just to make the film as coherent as it was.
That doesn’t mean he had to cut out some essential moments, like the introduction of Barry Allen AKA The Flash, the montage of Cyborg learning to use his abilities and, most egregious of them all, totally cutting out Darkseid as the one Steppenwolf was working for! I mean, who cares about Steppenwolf? It’s Darkseid DC fans want to see!
However, there was one cut that did make sense and that would be Joss Whedon not including any scenes of the Martian Manhunter.
I mean, honestly, did the Martian Manhunter add anything to Zack Snyder’s Justice League? You might try to defend his inclusion as he was the one to get Lois Lane out of her funk while disguised as Martha Kent. But, if you really think about it, the scene would still work if it was the real Martha Kent talking to Lois! In fact, it makes more sense for her to help out Lois because it would show Martha still cares for Superman’s fiancee despite Clark’s death!
I get the Martian Manhunter does this to make it seem he’s working behind the scenes because, for some unfathomable reason, he can see into the future and he knows that Batman and the others will resurrect Superman then The Man of Steel will look at Cyborg as a threat and then try to kill them! Oh, and he apparently also knows Superman, after being brought back to life, will head straight to Heroes Plaza instead of the Kent Farm or some other location. Because he’s the Martian Manhunter and seeing into the future is one of his powers?
On a side note and this is already something I asked in an earlier post, where was the Martian Manhunter during the final battle with Steppenwolf? The coward!
Silas Stone survives
Zack Snyder’s Justice League does Cyborg’s character justice (pun intended). Not only do we get a whole lot of backstory for Victor Stone, we also get a better idea about his powers and abilities. Oh, they do make him a little too powerful for my liking in this digital age. But it does make him much more awesome than the lame duck we got from Joss Whedon’s Justice League.
Probably the most important thing added in “the Snyder Cut” is they actually flesh out Cyborg’s relationship with his father, Silas Stone. You get a better understanding as to why Victor resents him for being an absentee father and turning him into somewhat of a metallic freak. Unfortunately, Zack Snyder’s Justice League never really earns Silas’ sacrifice.
There is a reason for his death, though. Silas uses the laser to mark the Mother Box so his son and his new friends can track its location anywhere on the planet by checking on heat signatures. Okay, that’s smart… but I just think it’s still rather useless because it would be so easy to write in a way to track down where the Mother Boxes are gathered because, you know, it’s generating enough energy to destroy Earth!
Besides, I do like that, in Joss Whedon’s cut of the film, you see Silas and Victor working together so see what else Cyborg can do. There’s actually a happy ending for Cyborg as he finally gets to be with his father, which is what he always wanted. It kind of a feel good moment after all the resentment Victor had with his father. But that’s never going to happen in “the Snyder Cut” because Silas died kinda stupidly.
BONUS: Actually using a 16:9 aspect ratio
I get it, Snyder. You wanna be all artsy and stuff. But at the expense of the home viewership?
Sorry but I hope that, if they release Zack Snyder’s Justice League on Blu-Ray, Warner Bros. does, at the very least, give us the option to watch it on full screen. And while they’re at it, why not release in on VHS? I mean, that format uses the same aspect ratio!
Are there any other things Joss Whedon’s version did better than Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let me know in the comments section below!