I was not I initially interested at all in the Snyder Cut of Justice League but I ended up watching it anyway, over two nights. I’m glad I did.

I thought the theatrical release of Justice League was pretty bad, but not quite as bad as the professional movie review consensus was. I figured that the Snyder cut must be better, but I was surprised at how much better it is. Granted, it still isn’t good. It doesn’t fix its pacing problems. It still is not as brisk and pleasurable as the best of the Marvel movies. It doesn’t tell a cohesive story, but it also crams in too many story lines for a non-DC fan to keep track of. It still has some dumb script problems, such every single part of the nonsensical museum height/terrorist bombing blot in the opening Wonder Woman scene, that could have been solved by editing a few sentences of dialog. While not exactly good, it is a good bad movie now. Its reach often exceeds its grasp, but it offers a lot of interesting material to people who are already fans. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the kind of movie that would bring a lot new fans in.

It is now very clear to me that Zach Snyder’s vision was dark and wild and weird—definitely too much of all of those things to launch a successful franchise—but Joss Whedon’s contributions were just awful: tasteless, asinine, nonsensical, and insulting to the audience. Whedon’s dialog (notably Superman’s and The Flash’s) and the character moments he created, like the race between The Flash and Superman, are embarrassing to watch and make the characters seem stupid. Snyder’s cut simply had better dialog for them. Simply getting rid of the random people that Whedon put into that nuclear wasteland Russian city—the one that existed in the movie only to be destroyed in a bout of cinematic excess—made the climax bearable. Who needs to worry about a family who shouldn’t be living in a nuclear wasteland anyway when the entire world is already at stake? Whedon really did screw up that movie.

I think that the Snyder Cut works very well for fans of the comics, especially fans of the “what-if” versions of all the famous characters. Some fans, like me, believe that comic book characters are archetypes, and really can be anything, and no representation of them is truly canonical. The grim, dark version of the Justice League is an interesting thought experiment, one of many worth exploring. It is not something I ever felt hung up on as “not the real version” of Superman or whatever. The Snyder Cut isn’t the real version of the DC Universe to me, because nothing is. It’s all just ideas and entertainment anyway.