Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” debuted on HBO Max on Thursday. While the “Snyder Cut” has received massive amounts of hype since the original “Justice League” bombed in 2017, nothing could prepare you for Snyder’s four hour superhero epic. So, here are three things you must know if you’re on the fence about watching the new and improved “Snyder Cut.”
Warning: this post contains minor spoilers. Proceed with caution.
3. The Aspect Ratio
The biggest shocker was the opening title card explaining that the film will be presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio to preserve Snyder’s artistic vision. The director originally shot the film in this aspect ratio so it will look better in IMAX theaters. 4:3 aspect ratio gives an image more vertical height resulting in a full screen image. Since nearly everyone has a widescreen TV, this means we’ll be watching the film with black bars on the left and right side of the screen. Essentially, Snyder’s magnum opus will be presented in the same way as a re-run of “Cheers.”
If Snyder wanted more vertical height in his images he surely could’ve shot in a widescreen aspect ratio and reframed the shots. However, this project was all about Snyder’s vision finally coming to fruition so I respect the choice.
2. The Joker
One of the biggest reveals during the marketing of this film was that The Joker would make an appearance. Jared Leto had given up the clown makeup years ago but Snyder somehow convinced him to reprise the role. Reshoots were done under Covid-19 protocols and The Joker’s scene was really the only new thing shot for the “Snyder Cut.”
With that being said, Leto’s scene is a massive deciding factor for those who are on the fence about the film. If you’re planning on watching Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” for Leto, strap in for a long one. His iconic Joker doesn’t appear until the film’s epilogue. That’s right. You’re going to have to wait over three and half hours before the much anticipated scene.
1. The Differences
The most important thing to know about the new version of “Justice League” is the differences. If we’re going to watch a four hour re-release of a movie, there better be a thing or two that’s different. Luckily, Snyder made significant changes. One of the pitfalls of the 2017 version was how rushed it was. The original tried to introduce too many heroes, a world destroying villain, the rebirth of Superman and a climatic fight sequence within two hours. There was no way that was ever going to work. Thankfully, Snyder has given more depth to the backstory of Cyborg and the Flash.
Cyborg must’ve doubled his screen time in the “Snyder Cut” allowing for a much more well rounded and motivated character. Meanwhile, the Flash’s introductory scene is entirely new. It allows us to understand the heart of the character before we are thrust into the jail scene between the Flash and his father.
Additionally, much of the 2017 film’s attempt at humor was absent in the 2021 film. Snyder chose to keep a grittier tone as opposed to the mixed messages the original film sent. Many scenes throughout the film are entirely new or completely re-edited. For instance, there is a new opening title sequence and Batman and Aquaman’s first interaction follows different emotional beats.
Overall, there are a ton differences to check out in the “Snyder Cut” however, proceed with caution. If you REALLY hated the 2017 version, this new edition isn’t going to make you fall in love with the Justice League. But, if you saw the potential that the original film had to offer, the “Snyder Cut” is a significant improvement that’s worth a watch.