I am not a fan of Zack Snyder.
That much should be obvious by now. I think he is a terrible director who steals from better filmmakers and pretty much has all of the wrong (in my own entirely subjective opinion) reactions and opinions about myths, philosophy, symbology, psychology, and most importantly, superheroes. With Snyder himself releasing this newish trailer, he once again affords me the opportunity for some cheap shots. Thanks, Zack.
Let’s start with the main artistic choice for this trailer. It’s presented in black and white. While I think that black and white photography is stunning when used well I’m not a fan of these conversions of modern films. Parasite, Logan, and Mad Max: Fury Road get away with it because there is more than just a fake stage set onscreen at any given moment. That’s the problem with this Justice League trailer: the black and white looks like shit because most of what is in shot are effects put there post-production, meaning it’s impossible for each image of action to feel distinct. This simply wasn’t rendered to look quite right in monochrome, and this trailer proves that.
Mainly, this trailer is just a repackaged narrative that feels like a cinematic attempt to Mandela effect the original movie. Leonard Cohen is back, all of the shots and scenes from the first trailer are unbearable to look at in black and white, and the “new footage” is just some more shots of Darksied and The Flash is the speed force, and Cyborg looking sadly out of a window. They’re not horrible, but they do little to convince me that this cut is going to save such a stinkingly dreadful movie.
Here, dear reader, is where I get off my high horse and finally talk about something good that could come from this movie. I’m not entirely sure whether the Snyder cut is truly standalone: it’s likely that if it does well financially that Warner Bros might pop it into the DCEU continuity, but I don’t want that. Of the three DC movies that Snyder has directed, Man of Steel is still the best. Why? Because it wasn’t weighed down by the very existence of its own universe. This is the opportunity that the Snyder Cut has. The one chance this project has to pull it off is that it treats itself as standalone. You can keep the continuity with Dawn of Justice, but the chance for this to be a complete trilogy, with no pressure to set up future movies, could give the Snyder Cut the focus that has been lacking in previous movies.
I still think it’s going to be a mess.
By Kevin Boyle
Header Image: Slash Film