Do we really need a four-hour alternate version of a two-hour comic book movie, that, in my original estimation, was just okay? Well, we have one with ZACH SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE. Thanks to my dear brother Robert, I was able to view this elephantine mass of clickbait.
I'm not going to go into the background of how and why this film came about--there's plenty of articles on the internet where you can get that info. This Snyder version greatly expands on the theatrical JUSTICE LEAGUE, not necessarily better.
The Snyder version clears up a lot of loose plot points--for example, it provides a legitimate reason for the heroes to resurrect Superman. But the extra footage also accentuates the original movie's flaws. There's still too many characters, too many subplots...there's so much going on that it's hard to have any emotional connection with anything, or anyone.
How you feel about this version will really depend on how you feel about Zach Snyder's bombastic, music video-on-steroids directing style. Snyder constantly strains for the "big moment"--but he attempts so many of them here, that by the time the real big moments are supposed to happen, they don't have the expected impact. A little bit of Snyder goes a long way, and this is a long movie. (Snyder also loves slow motion the way Bugs Bunny loves carrots.)
The characterizations in this version haven't been improved, except for Ray Fisher's Cyborg, who winds up being the lead hero. The main villain, Steppenwolf, has been redesigned, but he still comes off as a minor league Thanos, and Darksied's cameo is rather underwhelming. Ezra Miller's Flash gets more chances at comic relief, but it also makes the character more silly.
This version has a prologue, six parts, and a epilogue, but I don't think that helped the story along any. The epilogue sets up a bizarre alternate storyline that some fanboys want Snyder to go out and make (I say no). It is also is presented in a 4:3 standard aspect ratio, which is quite unusual in this day and age. I'm sure there's plenty of young folks who have never spent four hours in their lives watching something in a non-widescreen format. (It also doesn't do much for the visuals.)
Is there anything I liked about this Snyder cut?? Well....Superman did have a sharp-looking alternate uniform.
ZACH SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE is certainly not the salvation of the DC cinematic universe (personally, I don't think there even is a DCCU). Like most alternate cuts or versions of films, it has a certain interest, but I don't think it's a great improvement over the theatrical JUSTICE LEAGUE. I also believe it's not worth spending money just to watch it on HBOMax. The truly great DC Comics movie, featuring the company's classic characters, has yet to be made.