Released on March 18, 2021, the Snyder Cut is causing a stir. A true phenomenon, it has aroused a lot of enthusiasm, as much among DC fans as among moviegoers, to the point that some do not hesitate to claim that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the best superhero movie. But is this really the case? And what does this formulation really imply?
Warning: this article is not intended to criticize the Snyder Cut. While some critical elements will be present, his real goal is to analyze the relationship fans have with the Snyder Cut.
Let’s puncture the abscess
Let’s start by puncturing the abscess first. The author of these lines is not particularly a fan of Zack Snyder’s cinema. This did not prevent him from enjoying some of his films a lot, such as Army of the Dead and Batman v. Superman. However, if we must recognize immense qualities in his cinema, certain characteristics can be, for some film lovers, deeply exasperating (his use of CGIs, his use of slow motion, his way of depoliticizing the works he adapts).
Despite this, we had a lot of fun watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Although this is a Zack Snyder film squared, and therefore the characteristics mentioned above are exacerbated, the film is a particularly interesting object to analyze. For the film itself, already, but also for what it means to those who enjoyed it. And it is more particularly on this second point that we would like to come back to today.
Because since its release, networks are inundated with messages, explaining how many Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the best superhero movie, how urgent it is for the Warner to hand over the keys to the DCEU to Zack Snyder, how important it is for the Hollywood major to produce the Snyderverse. We all saw these hashtags #RestoreTheSnyderverse.
The best superhero movie?
For many fans, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the best superhero movie ever to be released. If of course these assertions are perhaps written in haste, they nevertheless deserve to be questioned. After all, Zack Snyder’s Justice League isn’t the only superhero movie that could earn the top podium spot : we are thinking in particular of The Dark Knight de Christopher Nolan.
How come some fans come to this conclusion so quickly? Let’s put aside, for now at least, the circumstances under which the film was produced: if it is true that the comparison between the cinema version and the Snyder Cut could have worked in its favor, it would be dishonest to explain the success of the film only by this prism.. The film has immense qualities, it is undeniable.
However, it is possible that part of the film’s immense success lies in the many metadisegetic messages that Zack Snyder has distilled into his work.. And there, a few words of explanation. Several elements of the film indeed emerge from a more or less supported authorism. : the 4/3 format, the chapters, the project to release a B&W version (like Parasite of Bong Joon-ho et Mad Max : Fury Road by George Miller).
These elements of authorism are entirely part of Zack Snyder’s strategy. Since the announcement of the Snyder Cut, the filmmaker, with the consent of the Warner studio, has woven an extremely polished narrative: that of the confrontation between a director-author and a studio. While we do not deny that this confrontation could have taken place, let us recognize that once the initial reluctance has passed, Warner rather played the game in the communication of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, to the point of making amends, and make the film a key element in the promotion of its HBO Max platform.
As soon as the film begins, the viewer is conditioned, as much by the communication of the studio and the filmmaker as by the 4/3 format, to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League not just as a superhero movie, but as an auteur film. Even though Zack Snyder does nothing with his chapters, even though the promise of a black and white version is, in truth, only of value to aficionados, all these elements allow the film to go beyond its own condition.
Now we need to get ahead of a criticism you might make against us. Yes, we make a distinction between entertainment cinema (which includes superhero films) and auteur cinema. In doing so, we do not devalue entertainment cinema in any way, and we are aware that the border that exists between the two types of cinema can sometimes be very fine, as evidenced by the film Joker by Todd Philipps. Otherwise, Zack Snyder urges us to make this distinction. On the one hand, there is entertainment cinema, which fits the studio mold (like the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Justice League Joss Whedon version, the cinema version of Suicide Squad); on the other, auteur cinema.
Then a problem arises: the director and the studio push us to appreciate an author’s film (or intended as such) as an entertainment film. This necessarily results in a certain superiority of the film compared to the usual entertainment films, which, for the most part, have no authorist ambition. If the question “The Snyder Cut is it a good superhero movie?“deserves an answer, it should not make us forget another question, just as important: “Zack Snyder‘s Is Justice League a good auteur film? ” Now to the spectators decide whether the film is more of an entertainment film than an auteur film, or whether the director has found a fair way between the two.. Which is perhaps the most deserving question to be asked.
The SnyderVerse, victim of its communication?
If we do not intend, in this article, to answer this question (the debate is open in the comments), we are not going to do anything with it. Because’it seems to us that this question is the key to understanding the conflict between Warner Studio and the fans over the SnyderVerse. As we said above, Many fans are fervently asking Warner studio to formalize the release of the SnyderVerse, and received a dismissal from the boss of the major, who had very strong words towards the spectators, qualifying some fans of “toxic“.
How to analyze the relentless refusal of the Warner to officially launch the Snyderverse? It seems to us that Warner Bros. appreciates the fallout from the Zack Snyder’s Justice League on the perception that fans have of the studio. If it took, for a while, to accept Zack Snyder’s communication regarding HIS film, the major does not want to see one of its flagship licenses, the DC Extented Universe, escape her.
By claiming to be able to make auteur cinema with the DC Extented Universe, Zack Snyder has succeeded in bringing together spectators tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe formula and fans disappointed with the failures of the DCEU, positioning himself de facto as the master craftsman of the DC license. Which is not at all suitable for Warner, who wishes to have the credit for the successes of the DCEU, like the Disney studio, which is credited with that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since the release of Joker by Todd Philipps, Warner drew a very clear dividing line between the DCEU, which is the work of a studio, and other films that would tend more towards auteur cinema, such as Joker and The Batman de Matt Reeves.
Accused (rightly, no doubt) of having been too intrusive in the creation of Justice League (which is, in itself, the usual workings of all Hollywood majors in such ventures), Warner sees its own legitimacy threatened in the public eye. In a way, we can say that the SnyderVerse has been doomed by the communication around Zack Snyder’s Justice League and its success.
Source: Hitek : actualité geek et tests high tech by hitek.fr.
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