Zak Snyder’s Justice League: Released the Snyder Cut – HBO Max Review

We finally get to see what the fans have been begging for.

SUMMARY (Spoilers)

Thousands of years ago, an army of men, Atlanteans, Amazons, gods, and even a Green Lantern helped repel an invasion of “New Gods” led by the evil god Darkseid (Ray Porter). Following the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) in Batman v. Superman, ancient artifacts known as the Mother Boxes, which were used by Darkseid, have been awakened. Darkseid’s lieutenant, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), is sent to retrieve them and use them to destroy the Earth. Batman (Ben Affleck), knowing an attack is coming, tries to recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa), who initially refuses, and then successfully recruits the Flash (Ezra Miller) while Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruits Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Steppenwolf manages to find two of the Mother Boxes, but Batman, realizing that they are outmatched, uses the third one to revive Superman. Superman attacks the rest of the team until Batman reveals Lois Lane (Amy Adams), leading him to leave. Meanwhile, Steppenwolf gets the third Mother Box and takes them to his base where he will use them to destroy Earth.

Batman almost gets killed a bunch in the fight.

The team assaults the base and manages to get inside, but they cannot defeat Steppenwolf until Superman shows up and reminds everyone that he can go full HAM. They manage to stop the boxes from unifying (thanks to Barry Allen messing with time) and kill Steppenwolf. Darkseid indicates that his conquest of Earth will not stop there. The team separates again, with Batman proposing a headquarters in his childhood home. Lex Luthor (Jesse “Dear God Why” Eisenberg) breaks out of jail and meets with mercenary Slade Wilson (Joe Mangianello). 

This would have taken 2 seconds if Superman had been there. And that’s the problem.


I realize now that I never actually finished writing my review of the original cut of this film. I started this blog just after the film came out, but I was caught up doing television episodes at that point and decided against reviewing it at the time. Fortunately, my summary that I wrote for that version mostly works for this one. If I had reviewed that one, it would probably have begun with the phrase “this was a giant waste of time and money.” I did not care for the theatrical Justice League film, but, in fairness, I hadn’t liked Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, or Suicide Squad, so the DCEU was not exactly blowing my skirt up at that point, Wonder Woman aside. 

Cyborg was completely wasted in the original cut.

My biggest complaints about the original Justice League were that it had weak or no characterization, the plot was inane, and that the tone was wildly inconsistent. The good news is that this version does, for the most part, fix those problems. This is a fairly well-done story which, admittedly, relies on a lot of visual storytelling for a film that is often needlessly dark or saturated. In this, the characters are expanded upon sufficiently that we can understand their motivations and, even though they might take us to the same plot points as the original, the movements no longer feel random or stupid. I imagine this will be similar to how people will feel about the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire vs. the last season of Game of Thrones when George R.R. Martin finally finishes it. Yes, it’ll probably end up hitting most of the same points, but the journey will feel more full and natural if it isn’t rushed.

Both will have a Night King, though.

This isn’t to say that this is a perfect movie. For one thing, it’s four hours long and even the good parts feel pretty slow when you’ve sat through this much stuff. I’d recommend watching it as a mini-series if possible, because trying to do it in one sitting was tough. And, for another, it’s still not a great movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty good and some of the action sequences, particularly the ones involving the Flash, are excellent, but overall, it’s still not a great movie. It still has a lot of very awkward lines, a lot of scenes that seem to be based more around setting up further properties than progressing the story, and, mostly, it doesn’t have a ton of scenes that really stand out as memorable. I mean, this is supposed to be our first meeting of the live-action Justice League and there just doesn’t feel like enough spectacle was put into it, despite being mostly visually well-done. I dunno how to explain that seeming contradiction, but I feel like it’s the truth. I just watched this movie, and there are only a handful of shots that stick out in my mind. Meanwhile, I can remember tons from Tim Burton’s Batman or the Christopher Reeve Superman

It doesn’t help that this Superman always seems about 10 seconds from going Brightburn.

Overall, it’s not that this is bad, it’s just not what it needed to be. I do hope that DC recognizes that it does have some good things and uses future movies, like Flashpoint, to get rid of what doesn’t work and focus on what does.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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Mini-Review: Crisis on Infinite Earths – DC Tries to Answer Endgame

DC combines all of its current television shows, most of its prior ones, and many of its movies into one giant crossover that… was pretty awesome.


It’s literally impossible to summarize this in a reasonable amount of time. Let’s just say there are a lot of Earths (probably not an actual infinite number) which are being destroyed. All of the headlining heroes from the shows join forces to come up with a convoluted scheme to stop the destruction of the multiverse. The series features Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), Martian Manhunter (David Harewood), Green Arrow (Stephen “Dem Abs” Amell), Superman (Tyler Hoechlin and Brandon Routh), The Atom (Osric Chau and Brandon Routh), Batwoman (Ruby Rose), The Flash (Grant Gustin, John Wesley Shipp, and Ezra Miller), John Constantine (Matt Ryan), Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), and so many more I’m really going to get lost. This is without getting into all of the cameos from actors who have been in old media, like Burt Ward, Tom Welling, and Kevin Conroy. Many of the actors play multiple roles.

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So. Many. Characters.


The original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book was one of the most influential events in the industry. The multiverse had been DC Comics mechanism for explaining away bad or inconsistent writing or characters for a long time, but relying on it had gotten too difficult, since it meant that there was basically no official continuity for anything. When the Crisis happened, DC not only killed off the multiverse, but hundreds of characters, ranging from minor characters like Huntress to major characters like Supergirl and the Flash. It was one of the most successful comic book series ever released at the time and is used as a benchmark when discussing comic book continuity. It’s kind of a big deal, is what I’m saying.

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This image has been copied so many times by other people.

The reason why the comic Crisis on Infinite Earths worked is because all of the characters were well-established. No time was really needed to give backstory to Superman or The Flash because everyone knew who they were so well that we already had emotional investment in them. The reason the Justice League movie didn’t work was for the exact opposite reason: Nobody really knew or had any connections to any of the characters since only three of them had been in anything prior and only one of those movies was memorable in a good way. Also, Superman was dead for most of the movie, so that emotional connection was essentially cut. Now, you can replace emotional connections with spectacle, like Commando or The Expendables, but it’s better to have both. That’s what Avengers: Endgame did so well, spending the first two acts on emotional scenes and character moments, then spending the last act giving us the spectacle that we finally wanted. 

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Couldn’t even get seven members, the number that almost always forms the JLA.

This crossover actually mostly did it right.

First, almost all of the characters were well established. Yes, you might not have liked all of the series equally, but, by mixing-and-matching team-ups, almost every scene had something in it that you had a history with. Even more than that, by referencing all of the older shows and films that they’ve made, mostly just to have the characters we remember from them die tragically, the series was able to raise the stakes of the entire event while cashing in on nostalgia.

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Not that Robert Wuhl’s character in Batman was beloved, but it was a nice touch.


Second, the plot, while it does have a lot of fetch quests and convoluted elements in it, is pretty straightforward: Stop the bad guy. The thing is that the Anti-Monitor, the villain, doesn’t just have one plan to thwart, he has a ton of other plots that also have to be dealt with. The Anti-Monitor is also just too powerful and too above-it-all to really be punched to death by Superman, unlike certain other DC crossover villains, instead requiring actual sacrifices to gain the power to deal with him.

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Yes, not everyone lives through this.

Third, LEX. FREAKING. LUTHOR. My god, did they make a great decision in giving Jon Cryer this role and my god did they write him correctly. Lex is the single smartest character in existence but, rather than trying to save it, can’t resist using his power to try and kill Superman. Much as how Thanos is the one with the actual character arc in Avengers: Infinity War, Lex is the one with the biggest character arc and the series is all the better for it. 

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This was freaking amazing. You are a treasure, sir.

Are there problems with the series? Oh yeah, it’s still a mess trying to get this many characters to all have their “moments,” but I was genuinely impressed at how well they pulled it off. Since the nature of the entire TV multiverse is changed by the end of it, I’m looking forward to seeing how DC will handle their new continuity.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (, follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.