Rafael "Parker!!" Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
…that’s how long it takes for you to know you are watching an entire (and much better) picture. Whatever the heck was that Spiderman: Homecoming opening is far gone and what we got is a pretty heart-wrenching, but much importantly, a moment of true suspense and tension. You know some s**t is happening – and not only because you’ve more likely seen the first theatrical cut.
Chapter 1: Our Sonic Savior
Another thing that doesn’t take long for you to realize is how music and sound mixing can really make and break a movie. Take for example the Arthur intro scene, that scene in the Whedon version is nice but you feel there’s so much missing and it ends and Is cut somewhat abruptly, here we get a much better sequence and in large part for me it had a lot to do with the song and little additions in the ambient. The Wonder Woman intro as well is exponentially better because the score, like, I am still baffled on Danny’s decision to add that circus music – like WTF man? Here it gets fixed and becomes much epic thanks to the new music playing on the background. That’s not to say, though, there are times when some songs within the same scene may feel so out of place (the Louis scene at the beginning at the memorial felt very random) or even overbearing and overdone.
Chapter 2: A Double Edge Sword
As to be expected, with this movie being almost an entire new movie long, its obvious there’s plenty of material that plays both as a double edge sword of sorts. On one hand, it extends certain sequences we’ve seen from the original, again, in a way where they are allowed to breath and it doesn’t feel like its in a rush to move on, adding up much to the storyline. If you enjoy the whole Themyscira section with Steppenwolf, then you will have a large dose of action and story that in many ways also helps raising the stakes. We get to spend more time at the lab where the whole thing with the janitor is edited differently, also makes that entire part of the movie actually have some sense not only to the entire movie, but also gives Cyborg and his dad a meaning to exist in this film. The final battle also is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY much better and exciting.
However, I gotta say, I sliiiiightly like a bit better a few things from the theatrical cut like most of Louis’ scenes here feel like insert and I cared less for her and the underground battle sequence ran a bit too long. There are plenty of moments and elements in here that that doesn’t adds up and only does drags the film.
Chapter 3: The Age of Heroes
Now talking about expansion, one of the greatest positives of this is that we get to spend more time with our heroes and villains, which helps developing these characters in so many levels. Like many pointed out, Affleck as Batman/Bruce feels a lot like the actual leader of the group, no longer he feels like a whinny man just anxiously waiting for Superman save his ass.
Diana/Wonder Woman doesn’t feel like eye-candy and she does comes as a badass, though Gadot’s performance does has her rough moments like that delivery when Clark returns, that was just… woof.
Arthur/Aquaman is not as awesome on his own solo movie, but Momoa still oozes with such coolness that’s just a blast to watch him have fun in this movie and his quips with Flash were all pretty funny. Definitely looking forward to his solo movie, if that ever happens.
Speaking of which, Ezra “the choker” Miller as Barry Allen was a vast improvement to the theatrical cut both as Flash the hero but also, being a great comic relief.
We also get more Cyborg, and while I still enjoy him the most on the wacky Doom Patrol, Ray Fisher was still good and he delivered many of the emotional task he was handled. I might have to rewatch or someone would have to explain how he was such a vital character for this feature.
Steppenwolf actually feels like a thread thanks to his action, design and tweak to his voice (which towards the end made him sound like Optimus Prime) as well the little background he is give on why he wants to get this mother boxes and what not, you know, without giving too much away, its kind of sad and while may feel a bit generic for some, the reasoning is strong enough for you to actually care. It doesn’t have the same “philosophical depth” that Thanos had, but at least you have something to grasp on and gives him a meaning.
Cavill as Superman still doesn’t show up til the very end and while he gets to do much in terms of saving the day, but still felt very underused in my opinion.
Chapter 5: Daddy is back
Snyder’s direction is exponentially better to Joss, for example the robbery sequence with Wonder Woman was much exciting, and I am not talking about the new footage but the one we see in the theatrical cut is edited and put together in a way where you get a real kick (no pun intended), though just like it did I believe on Man of Steel (though the whole car crash accident with Barry or the football flashback got close), the whole speeding thing still looks kinda goofy. Some of the slow mo and cool shots he likes to do also didn’t work for me, at times they felt almost like a parody. There are also some great visuals, but nothing that reaches the same level as Man of Steel or Batman v Superman.
In fact, while many of the CGI holds really great, I still got some of the same issue as I did with the first cut where there's a lot that doesn't hold up, with even scenes that are shot in real location look like they were done in front of a green screen.
Another example of unfortunate poor direction has to be big Joker cameo. I will just say the way it was shot not only had some terrible CGI work but the whole camera work with the closeups and use of focal point was pretty bad.
All in all, while it suffers from some uneven pacing around the second half and its not a movie I see everyone who hated the theatrical cut suddenly falling in love with this one, this sees the DCEU moving forward on the right direction and as a fan of their comics and this movies, I am pretty psyched for what the future holds.