Men are being blamed for the toxic re-cut of the 2017 movie. For reasons.
It’s hard to overstate just how giddy many geeks are about the long-awaited HBO Max release of the once-mythical Snyder Cut.
It’s true that fans have spent four years demanding that director Zack Snyder’s vision of the 2017 DC Extended Universe film Justice League see the light of day. But as the film itself became available to the public, so, too, did breathless over-the-top accolades.
“A lifetime’s worth of iconography. Operatic, synesthesia intensity a to z,” director and actor Jay Baruchel declared.
“This four-hour cut is the kind of brazen auteurist vision that Martin Scorsese was calling for when he complained (rightly) that most modern superhero movies don’t resemble cinema as he’s always understood and valued it,” wrote critic Matthew Zoller Seitz in his review of the film, referring to Scorsese’s inadvertent feud with the Marvel fan base.
“Snyder’s Justice League is more, more, more in a way that most films wouldn’t dare,” wrote Slate’s Karen Han of the film’s epic scope. “It’s impossible not to be swept away.”
Setting aside the argument that the Snyder Cut is mostly just pretty good — as Vox critic Alex Abad-Santos sagely notes, “improving on something as horrendous as the original Justice League isn’t difficult” — it’s important to understand what’s on the other side of so much of the film’s praise. Namely, four years of toxic harassment and a parade of troubling online behavior from male fans that has far more in common with abusive right-wing campaigns like Gamergate than with most of mainstream geek culture in 2021.
The new film has undeniably brought joy to a lot of people. But the entire process by which the Snyder Cut came to exist also reveals how distorted a major cultural narrative can be.