Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League fixed a lot of issues, but Batman was the biggest winner thanks partly to an incredible Batmobile sequence.
The question of how Zack Snyder’s Justice League compares to other DC movies is a complex one, but in its use of the Batmobile, it outdoes every Batman movie. The sequence in question, which sees Batman lead the assault on Steppenwolf’s stronghold, is not only an exceptional action sequence, but it says everything about Batman’s part in the Justice League. And Snyder’s cut rescued it from being almost laughable in the theatrical version.
Ben Affleck’s Batman was one of the biggest winners out of the revival of Snyder’s cut: his characterization is denser, he gets more impressive action moments and he feels more like the League’s leader. He’s far from the only one to get a serious upgrade from Joss Whedon’s theatrical cut, but he represents a specific issue and required specific focus. Because Batman is a man fighting alongside gods and Whedon’s cut never quite justified his presence or his leadership. That much changed dramatically in the Snyder Cut and his resourcefulness (as well as his resources) shines a lot brighter in his use of vehicles in particular.
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Alongside the Knightcrawler, the fleetingly seen Bat-tank from the finale, and the physics-defying personnel carrier, Batman also boasts a Batmobile that combines the practicality of Nolan’s Tumbler with the theatricality of Burton and Schumacher’s more showy vehicles. And beyond an impactful aesthetic, the assault on Steppenwolf’s stronghold showcased the vehicle in a way no other Batman movie has quite managed. Combining the logic behind Ben Affleck’s Batman with an all-action, high-speed functionality that was almost Fast & Furious like, Snyder’s sequence was a true celebration of a vehicle too often used as an exhibition piece.
Nolan’s Batmobile came close, but the very fact that it was called the Tumbler confirms the issue there: it was in a too-grounded universe that never quite understood the mythology of the vehicle. Burton and – to a lesser extent – Schumacher understood that but limited the functionality of the vehicle in the belief that only impact mattered. Snyder’s version is balanced: a brutal attack vehicle that is an extension of Bruce Wayne’s muscular heroism as well as a justification for him leading the charge. It allows Wayne to put himself in danger as a distraction while also giving him the firepower to actually carve a hole in the stronghold’s defenses.
Most impressively, the moment that sees Aquaman side-carring on the hood of the Batmobile also feels significantly less corny than in the theatrical cut because of the change of tone. Removing the gags elsewhere and charging up the conflict between Arthur and the other heroes means Aquaman’s enjoyment of the high-octane moment feels considerably more authentic. And on top of that, the fact that the Batmobile actually feels under threat throughout Batman’s assault and Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne appears concerned for his fate despite pushing onwards is a vulnerability rarely seen in other Batman movies. While bringing a small tank to a battle of gods could have been a cop-out, it all ends up being one of the best Justice League moments of all.
Next: Every Canceled DCEU Movie Set Up In Zack Snyder’s Justice League
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