Mauler Vs. Snyder

I have absolutely no interest in the Snyder cut of Justice League and I never did.

Honestly, the man who made Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, the guy who openly sneered at fans of Superman who expected a hopeful, upbeat hero and arrogantly likened experiencing his ‘mature’ and ‘gritty’ version to losing one’s virginity (while displaying an absurdly childish understanding of human behavior, storytelling, and consequences throughout), and we’re supposed to be excited that he gets carte-blanche and an unlimited runtime?

When I first heard about this and started seeing trailers, I figured it would be completely different from the original cut: a different story, with a lot more things going on. Then I started seeing summaries and reviews and I thought, “Wait, so this is the exact same Steppenwolf / Mother Boxes story, only told over four hours? That plot was thin over a two-hour film: you stretched it out to four?” Similar to how I’ve heard there’s a six-hour cut of Black Panther: a film where well over half the theatrical screentime is pure filler. I have to wonder just what they heck these filmmakers are wasting time and money on.

Enter the legendary Mauler (legendary as in I was legitimately uncertain whether he still existed as a reviewer, as it’s been eight months since his last video), who seems to have hated the Snyder cut and the praise it’s been getting so much that he did a rush job to tear it apart.

It isn’t his best work (he jumps around a lot in this one, a consequence of the rushed production it seems), but as usual he bring clear, logical arguments and side-by-side footage to illustrate just how bad this version is and to make the case that, believe it or not, Joss Whedon actually did all he could to save the damn thing.

(Learned that most of the few moments I actually liked from the original cut, e.g. Superman showing up with a corny line about justice, Supes and Flash saving civilians, Flash commenting on how digging up Clark with super-speed felt disrespectful – literally the one moment I actually liked the Flash in that movie – were original to Whedon’s cut).

(And seriously, Flash can time travel at will? Cyborg can control all machines on earth? What the heck is this?)

Mauler does a great job of breaking scenes and character arcs down logically, illustrating why they do or do not make sense and what they bring to the story or take away from it.

I particularly liked his summation of why Snyder doesn’t deserve any slack:

“How many directors get to shit out a horrendously written movie destroying established, beloved characters with a multi-million dollar backing and an all-star cast? Three times?”

Language warning, by the way: he’s no Razorfist, but he doesn’t mince words.

“Four ***ing hours and the characters are almost as thin, if not thinner, than a two-hour cut? How the **** does that happen?”

(By the way, can we please stop with the boom reverb on alien / demonic bad guys? They do it in every film these days and it’s really old, making them all sound exactly the same. Again, like a child’s idea of how a meany villain ought to sound. I’d like to point out that Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, Powers Boothe, Ron Perlman, Kevin Michael Richardson, Corey Burton, Mark Hamill, David Warner, Michael Ansara, and so on didn’t need it for voicing far more intimidating and memorable versions of the DC villains).

4 thoughts on “Mauler Vs. Snyder

  1. I disagree with Mauler and submit that the longer Justice League was, in fact, a good movie. It aims high and it strikes–mostly–home. I liked it far better than the theatrical cut–which itself wasn’t too bad.

    The EFAP crew have their points…but at this point they’re “the crew who tear down movies” and don’t seem to have any place for the concept of “willing suspension of disbelief.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Won’t argue on the shortcomings of the EFAP crew. On the one hand, they often do a great job of pointing out writing flaws and absurdities in genuinely terrible films, as well as (less often) writing triumphs in genuinely good ones. But they’re also often way too harsh for films they don’t like or just aren’t invested in, get hung up on unnecessary stylistic details, and I find they often tend toward ‘common wisdom’ writing ideas like ‘villain has to think himself the hero’ and such. I like Mauler’s content primarily for the effort he puts in to citing concrete examples and laying out his arguments, and his emphasis on objectivity in criticism.

      As for which of the two cuts being better or worse, well, I’m not in a position to make that argument, given that I haven’t seen and don’t intend to see the Synder cut. I’ll only say that, frankly, I *loathe* his vision of these characters and this world and I think he’s a pretty awful writer / filmmaker in general, so I’d be very surprised if I found the longer version was in fact better overall, let alone anything I could call a good movie. I present the above review for whatever value viewers might find in it, and again because I appreciate the style and approach.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes re Mauler: he at least generally has sound reasons for the criticisms he launches.

        As far as the Snyder-DC heroes, I’m a little curious as to what is loathsome about them? Now: I’ll freely say that I could not stomach any part of Man of Steel, and BatvsSupes was terrible in almost every single respect, and that I only have vague memories of Watchmen.

        But: he doesn’t seem to be malicious towards the characters at all, and the strength of the casting really shines through.

        In fact! I’ll see your Mauler and raise you a Ya Boi Zack. ( is, I think, the one where Zack discusses the finale of the movie. His theory is that Snyder started out with sub-par, underwhelming heroes so he could deliberately build them up as he went along.

        And…that works for me? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hooo boy…you’ve summoned the Snyder-rage! I’m going to have to address that in a full post, I think.

        Ah, Ya-Boi is a good commentator on the superhero / comics scene, and he’s very entertaining and likable, but I’ve never found him a very reliable movie critic. He’s the kind of the guy who seems to get caught up in the hype or the flow of common opinion a lot (e.g. he was very positive of ‘Black Panther’ when it came out). Certainly his commentary doesn’t remotely address Mauler’s criticisms. And his ‘Snyder needed more time to make the multiple endings work’ position is frankly ridiculous when Snyder had three bloated films, at least two of which (to give his JL the benefit of the doubt) were incredibly awful, and he was allowed to work on this one for four years and have it run for four hours!

        Reasons why the ‘he had a grand vision and was building to it’ doesn’t work in the upcoming post.


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