In February 2020, Warner Bros. announced that they had given $70 million to Zack Snyder for completing his version of the Justice League film and that it would release on HBO Max. It was a shock for many media outlets. This was because a Snyder Cut of Justice League was very unlikely. It was well-received by fans and cast members who petitioned for the Snyder Cut since 2017.
After a lot of build-up and anticipation, Zack Snyder’s Justice League released on March 18. It received a positive response from fans and critics as an improvement of the original film. But now since Snyder Cut got its chance to shine, it is time to accept that despite being termed as an improvement, the film still has major problems. There are a lot of small issues, like how Snyder decided to cut meaningful moments from the original version in to add his own scenes.
Here, we will be looking at the 10 biggest problems with Zack Snyder’s Justice League. These are related to plot holes, characters, directorial decisions, and comparisons to the original film.
1. A lot of scenes added to tease potential sequels and spin-off films
Promotional trailers of the Snyder Cut had many scenes shot mainly for the new film. But since the film has been released, it looks like many of them were acting as bait for DC fans. This was to create more hype for Snyder Cut. The Knightmare dream sequence, Martian Manhunter, and Superman’s black suit, combined with hints at another Justice League film, Flash film, and Ben Affleck Batman film are elements that try to jangle the key in front of fans and get them excited for more potential movies coming from DCEU.
2. Atlanteans and Amazons not helping in the fight against Steppenwolf
The film failed to address why Atlanteans and Amazons do not offer help to fight against Steppenwolf. Both the civilizations are aware that the Mother Boxes are dangerous relics that can lead to the end of the world. But when they lose them, they decide not to send the armies after them. The responsibility is instead handed over to Aquaman and Wonder Woman. It is confusing why none of the civilizations tries to contact humanity and warn them about the potential threat.
3. Flash reverses time with no consequences
In the final battle against Steppenwolf, Flash enters the speed force, rewinds time, and gets to Cyborg from preventing The Unity from happening. This breaks the movie and The Flash as a character. Flash says that he has a rule against entering the Speed Force but does not explain what it is.
It was thought that it might be because doing that can have serious consequences on the timeline or on The Flash himself. But he enters the speed force without any consequences. It means that he can access a power that destroys all tensions and stakes in the film. If this issue is not tackled in the upcoming Flash film, it will fail to address another major hole in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
4. Cyborg lets his father die
The 2017 version showed that Cyborg’s powers allow him to be connected to all machinery around the world. But this raises a serious issue about Silas’ sacrifice. When the reanimation of Superman leads the Mother Box to land near Silas, he takes it to the lab. He prepares to fire a laser capable of reaching temperatures of 3.5 million Kelvin at the Mother Box in an attempt to destroy it. Cyborg then arrives outside the room and can only watch and scream in horror as the laser kills Silas and leaves the Mother Box unharmed.
The problem with the scene is that since Cyborg is connected to the machinery, he does not turn the laser off and save his father. The worse thing is that his scream gives away the fact that he knows what a machine can do and still does nothing for preventing it. Maybe he was too panicked or emotional to react but the fact here is that he had the power to do more and did nothing.
5. Lots of slow motion and extended scenes
According to IGN, Snyder Cut has 10% of the film’s running time in slow motion. This is around 24 minutes. There are also many unnecessary extended scenes. This includes multiple interrogation scenes, Steppenwolf’s conversations with Desaad and Darkseid, the strange yodeling from the fish town people, and the after-credits scene where Lex breaks out of prison and unveils the identity of Batman to Deathstroke. These can be considered as examples of Snyder prioritizing precious time and resources for creating impressive imagery in his unique style instead of adding anything of meaningful substance to the story or the characters.
6. Cyborg’s auto-defense system leads to a fight with Superman
After reviving Superman, everyone except Batman follows him to the Superman shrine. But before they could speak with him, Cyborg’s auto-defense identifies Superman as a danger and fires a rocket at Superman. This starts a fight between them. The problem here is that none of the League members try to stop Cyborg. It looks like the purpose of this scene was to have Superman and the League fight with each other.
But the original version had scenes that introduced Cyborg’s auto-defense as a thing prior to Superman’s revival. The scenes have been removed in the Snyder Cut. This means that the auto-defense comes out of nowhere and is not bought up again.
7. Darkseid forgot where Earth was
The worst issue of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is that Darkseid forgot where Earth was. While explaining to Batman about where the Mother Boxes came from and where they are, Wonder Woman tells him about the time of Darkseid when he came to Earth and was defeated by those defending the Mother Boxes. The same thing is also mentioned in a conversation between Steppenwolf and Desaad.
But what’s more shocking here is that Darkseid and his forces forgot what planet they took place on. The fact that this happened to what is supposed to be the DC equal of Thanos just makes Darkseid’s first major film appearance a complete embarrassment and a waste of an incredible comic book villain.
8. Cyborg is way too overpowered
For viewers, Cyborg benefitted a lot from the Snyder Cut and got more screen time. But if we look closely, this creates more issues for the character and his involvement in the story. In a tape recording of Silas, we get to know that Cyborg is connected to all machinery around the world and they would bend without effort to his will. This raises a lot of ethical and moral questions about his powers but the film doesn’t explore this problem.
He makes very little use of his powers. In the final battle, Cyborg focuses on plugging into the Mother Boxes rather than using his powers to aid the team against Steppenwolf. It was like calling in a missile strike or signaling to the military that they could use some support.
9. Mother Boxes are awakened because of Superman’s death
In comparison to the original version, Snyder Cut reveals that there is a different reason why the Mother Boxes are awakened. It is shown that Superman dies at the hands of Doomsday. He lets out a scream that travels around the world and awakens the Mother Boxes. The Justice League concluded that the Mother Boxes might have feared Superman and saw his death as a good chance to call Steppenwolf for conquering Earth.
This raises questions about how Mother Boxes knew that a Kryptonian on Earth would be a problem against Steppenwolf, how they were aware that Superman was on Earth in the first place, and how they knew he was dead. It also raises questions about why Steppenwolf was never called out in the centuries prior to Superman’s arrival on Earth.
10. Martian Manhunter does nothing for three films
Towards the end of the Snyder Cut, it is unveiled that the Secretary of Defence for the US Government, Calvin Swanwick is the Martian Manhunter. He contacts Bruce Wayne after defeating Steppenwolf. He says he is inspired by what Justice League did and now he will be more involved in defending Earth. Calvin Swanwick was first introduced in Man of Steel and later also appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Calvin could have helped defend Earth from various apocalyptic events, but he did not. He decided to protect his identity and let the members of the Justice League fight by themselves. This makes him look like a coward and this also goes against the theme of the film.