Zack Snyder’s Justice League that was recently released on HBO Max has been a major upgrade from the theatrical release. It makes some critical upgrades to the film’s characters, including a couple of huge fixes for Ray Fisher’s Cyborg.
Joss Whedon’s Justice League essentially managed to turn Cyborg into an angsty teenager with a robotic gear. It diminished the whole character arc and in a way completely changed Cyborg’s part in the story. After Snyder left the project Cyborg’s character walked a long ways from the central role he was intended to play.
Snyder Cut Fixed Cyborg:
Luckily, that underlying vision for Cyborg has been restored in the Snyder Cut. Through a vast shift in narrative, new and improved scenes and some much needed modified dialogues; Victor Stone was changed into a completely new, and genuinely convincing character. With so many new changes, although people have at times talked about the lengthy runtime; most though would say that it has been worth it!
The Snyder Cut, thankfully, re-establishes Cyborg’s full origin story; showing his life before the accident, during, as well as its fallout in incredible details. So when Victor at long last begins to grow into his powers, the audience can feel the changes with him. Cyborg’s story is tied with bouts of self-doubt. However, that wasn’t portrayed in the Whedon version, leaving us with not a lot to go on. Synder’s Justice League successfully shows the beginning of Victor’s story; which sets the path for the next plotline.
The Father – Son Relationship:
In the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League, Cyborg’s whole origin story is told in a couple of lines. The crowd is informed of a tragedy that had befallen the character, and that Victor’s mother died in that same accident. Victor too was assumed dead; but as we saw that was a ruse created by his father to keep his son safe. A character whose whole arc is built upon their origin story; this felt grossly underwhelming from the DCEU banner.
Like Victor, his father Silas Stone is scarcely present in the theatrical cut of Justice League. Which is why it fails to show how and why his relationship with Victor to is so burned out. While it is shown that Victor hates his dad for transforming him into Cyborg; it fails to focus on the rest of their story. The Snyder Cut makes Silas a significantly more noticeable character with Joe Morton doing an excellent job at it. Silas consistently focused on his work as a scientist at the STAR LABS over prioritizing his family, especially Victor; which led to resentment on Victor’s part and remorse on Silas’ after the accident.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League also manages to gives the father son relationship some salvation. Silas penances himself in the Snyder Cut to help the Justice League find Steppenwolf’s base. Through his sacrifice, Silas in a way redeems himself in the eyes of his son; and that in turn gives Cyborg the inspiration he needs to become the hero he’s intended to be. Cyborg’s story in the Snyder Cut is about family, yet that angle was sadly lost in the theatrical cut.
The Infinite Possibilities:
Even the origin story of the Mother Boxes are more clearly stated in the Justice League Snyder Cut. Cyborg’s powers likewise feel more grounded, because we know how he was initially created, and what the boxes are capable of. Since the Mother Boxes are shown to be unbelievably powerful, and since Cyborg was shown to be utilizing their energy; the audience is made more aware of his potential. Victor ends up being the way n for the League in thwarting Steppenwolf’s plans; since he’s the one who can speak with and consequently desynchronize the Unity a story line that was greatly brushed over in the theatrical cut.
Cyborg is one of the DCEU’s most prominent characters; yet that scarcely appeared in the Justice League theatrical cut. The changes made to character make Victor out to be nothing more than an angsty teenager. But his powers are developed substantially and more successfully in the Snyder Cut. The montage of Victor taking advantage of different surveillance cameras and rerouting cash to those in need is an extraordinary method to show both what he’s able to do and what his motivations are.
Since Victor’s powers are so much more clearly shown in Zack Snyder’s Justice League; he works all the more successfully at the center of the story. A job Snyder himself has said Cyborg was intended to play all along. Justice League is an anecdote about deciding what is right and what I wrong; about good vs evil. And the character of Cyborg encapsulates that subject impeccably, especially given his endless potential. At the point where he settles on that choice – between whether he should or should not help the League; it feels all the more prominent.
How Snyder Fixed Justice League:
Ultimately, yet above all, Zack Snyder’s Justice League gives Cyborg a complete character arc. The guy who had the base minimum part I the theatrical cut; become the hero of the story in this. But it’s not just Cyborg who gains more footing, this happens with almost every other character. The team goes from a bunch of rag tags to a strong unit who to trust in one another. Furthermore, Cyborg goes from the very bottom to absolute top after he decides to trust in himself.
By showing each phase of his life – from before the tragedy, to his change and then the realization of his powers; the Snyder Cut forms a sincerely captivating character arc for Cyborg. All that self discovery leads up to a last fight against Steppenwolf; where Cyborg is the one in particular who can desynchronize the Unity and save the world.
The ultimate peak of the Snyder Cut isn’t Superman’s return, or Steppenwolf’s loss, or even the destruction of the Mother Boxes. The climax is the point at which the Unity allows Victor to surrender – a visage to his past, instead of things to come – and he decides to dismiss it; proclaiming that he is by and large who and where he’s intended to be. It’s an incredibly powerful moment from an equally incredible character; and it’s the sort of scene that reiterates why the 2021 HBO version is so much better than the 2017 theatrical release.
Justice is Gray:
Although the Snyder Cut has gotten a lot higher acclaim from fans and pundits than the 2017 theatrical release; some have also moaned about its four-hour long runtime. But after watching, most would agree that the longer runtime is a pro and not a con. With The Snyder Cut already doing so well, HBO has also release a black and white version that you can now watch – titles Justice League: Justice is Gray.