The Snyder Cut plays like a kitchen sink assembly cut.
The Spence Cut plays closer to a proper theatrical cut.
Some elements of the Whedon version are lightly used here and there, but this is still 90% Snyder's interpretation of super-heroism, which I must admit I am not the biggest admirer. So for me, this does slightly affect my enjoyment level. But this is no fault of the editor, as Spence has expertly met his set editing goals.
For me, there are many great editing choices throughout this edit. The removal of Wonder Woman's terrorist battle is not missed in the slightest. Neither is Aquaman's ocean saving/bar drinking scene. And the trimmed back Cyborg origin is perfect. Also, thoroughly loved the repurposed images for Dr. Stone's epilogue voice over -- particularly for Aquaman and Wonder Woman. And thankfully, the non-sensical Anti-Life Equation subplot is gone.
Technically, a very strong edit. The colour matching of Whedon footage to fit with the Snyder narrative looked right to my untrained eye. On the very minor nitpicks side of things, I noticed one or two audio dips and for me (and this is subjective) the new opening, did not flow quite as smoothly or organically as it could have. Also, this edit employs alternating aspect ratio, which I must admit, I am not the biggest fan of even though I know many Hollywood blockbusters do it. I think I would preferred if the entire movie had been the fuller 1:85 as it just looks glorious filling the entire screen with no black bars.
All in all, a solid and entertaining alternate version of the Snyder Cut.
This edit does a lot of things right, but I think it needs a little bit more work.
The pacing is greatly improved, for one. The Snyder Cut was impressive but so SLOW, and I was impressed by how Spence's use of the Josstice League scenes allowed him to trim so many redundant scenes and bits.
A lot was trimmed, to be sure, but the narrative works well. The new main plot line is clear - Darkseid tried to conquer our planet but failed, so Steppenwolf is now trying it again to earn redemption, and Batman gathers a team to stop them.
The editing is generally wonderful, except for three issues:
(1) Noticeable audio transition after "Men won't, but SHE will" (21:30)
(2) Weird sequencing immediately after the above timestamp. While it's nice to see how the Amazons set the fire in the Parthenon, it is not necessary - Diana's scene at the Louvre is sufficient to convey that information in a more believable way. In the current edit, we have two scenes in which Steppenwolf begins searching for the other two boxes (Russia -> STAR Labs ), and then we stop that to see Diana's reaction to the fire.
My suggestion: Cut the scene where Queen Hippolyta shoots the Arrow, and instead show Diana's scene at the museum, followed by her scene with Bruce and the exposition dump. After the line "if he's here, where is he?" cut to the Chernobyl sequence, followed by STAR Labs. You can cut Stone's apartment and instead show the interrogation of the Atlanteans. And move Lois's scene to someplace later - it feels disjoint from everything else happening.
(3) Some more trimming is needed. For example, Steppenwolf explains (?) to the Parademons about the Unity for some reason, but then Diana's story about the Age of Heroes explains it again - in a better way. Another example: Cyborg's origin story is referenced multiple times in the film, and that - together with the Flash's introduction - slows down the film to a near halt.
All in all I enjoyed the edit, but I think a little more editing can make it a true candidate to be THE definitive cut.
Nice work, Spence. I really enjoyed your cut. And I liked a lot that you used the "IMAX-Format " on and off throughout your version. I enjoyed the Snyder Cut too, but you removed/ changed exactly the right things to make the movie a brilliant and much fuller experience. Thanks a lot, I guess this could be my favorite version.
My only complaint is that you didn't cut out Amber Heard......just kidding.....mostly.
In all seriousness, great work here Spence. I saw Justice League in theaters, and watched the Snyder Cut the day it came out, I have not watched this film any more than those 2 times until now. The only difference I noticed between your version and the other two is that I actually enjoyed this one. There were a few lines of awful dialogue that remain (The amazons yelling WE HAVE NO FEAR in response to King Leonidas saying SPARTANS, WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?....no wait) but that's not a HUGE deal for me. I enjoyed watching the film this time around, and after some reflecting and reading your cutlist, I remember the terrible bits that you removed or modified, and I say again that you did a great job. The crowning achievement of an editor is to fool the audience into believing it was original, and for me, you did that. All of the scenes that were cut were not even remembered, which is exactly the idea. Well done, sir.
(I gave a 9 for enjoyment because of those lines that made me roll my eyes, I'm sorry!)
This is a great way to watch the ZSJL cut. Spence has streamlined the film in a way that keeps you invested . Overly used slow motion action that Snyder prefers is trimmed way down.
The pacing is excellent and I never felt like I needed a scene to just get moving.
I will not address what is missing and what should have been added because this edit works. Too many of today's movies are bloated with unnecessary information. Which in my opinion is why fan edits have grown so much in popularity.
Thank you Spence for bringing out the potential for this Justice League as it appears we won't be seeing this group together again.