Zack Snyder's Justice League Is Very Different, But Also More of the Same -

Zack Snyder’s Justice League Is Very Different, But Also More of the Same

 Zack Snyder's Justice League Is Very Different, But Also More of the Same

The long and winding road to Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally reached its destination. Colloquially known as “The Snyder Cut,” the fan-demanded, four-hour epic has finally debuts on HBO Max, marking the conclusion of one of Hollywood’s wildest stories. But after all that fuss, GQ can report Snyder’s vision of Justice League is . . . more or less the same? The movie’s overall beats are similar to the Joss Whedon version released in 2017. However, with two extra hours of running time, Snyder has the space and grace to play with concepts and characters previously left on the cutting room floor.

The story unfolds across seven parts — six dedicated chapters and an epilogue — and feels like the director’s final statement on the DCEU. He goes for broke, incorporating final boss Darkseid, decidedly nerdy elements like the Anti-Life Equation, and a few showstopping setpieces. Whatever Snyder had left to say about these characters, it feels like he’s definitively accomplished it here.

For those who watched the original already, don’t have time to commit to a four-hour movie, or are just looking to know what changed, what follows is a breakdown of the eight most important changes Snyder made to his version of Justice League. Here’s what you need to know. And obviously: spoilers!

The film opens with Superman’s Death Cry

Historically speaking, Snyder has a pretty excellent track record when it comes to starting films — his opening Watchmen credits are the best part of the adaptation — and he’s pulled off a similar magic trick here. As the credits roll, we see a slowed-down, diorama-esque version of Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday. The echoes of his death cry ring out and reverberate through the universe, activating the Mother Boxes (the DCEU’s version of the Infinity Stones) and letting villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) know Earth is ready for an invasion. It works as a friendly reminder of Superman’s role as the protector of the planet and sets the seeds for the importance of his revival later in the movie. It’s a quieter, more somber introduction that sets the film’s stakes without a cover-set montage of cringe-worthy newspaper headlines.

Steppenwolf is bigger, badder and has a backstory

Steppenwolf’s motivation as an antagonist in the original Justice League is exceptionally thin. We hardly know anything about him outside of the fact he’s just the film’s bad guy. He’s smug and powerful — but that’s about it.

Snyder’s version paints the character in a radically different light. Cast out of Apokolips, the evil hellscape where DC’s darkest foes dwell, Steppenwolf has been forced to destroy worlds to get back into the good graces of the Darkseid. Hinds and Snyder position Steppenwolf as almost a mid-level enforcer who is desperate to please his pissed-off boss. The added running time also allows Snyder to introduce Darkseid, who takes on a more prominent role in two regards: First, he’s swapped in as the primary attacker in the film’s ancient flashback instead of Steppenwolf. Second, after it’s discovered that the Anti-Life Equation — a power that lets Darkseid dominate the human race — lingers on Earth, he preps to invade, only to witness the League taking on and defeating Steppenwolf in the movie’s finale.

This is all nerdy stuff that DC fans will love to finally see come to life while also providing more context on why Steppenwolf is so desperate to take over Earth.

Batman and Wonder Woman’s solo journeys are extended

The overall arcs of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), remain essentially unchanged but are given greater depth. In both versions, Diana is introduced as she thwarts a terrorist attack in London but is given a chance to interact with a small girl in the Snyder version. Additionally, Diana learns about the Mother Boxes’ function after seeing the fire in the Amazon Temple. In the Whedon version, her knowledge about the boxes comes out of nowhere, whereas here, we see her learning about them before she details it all to Bruce.

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