Zack Snyder’s Justice League
** Spoilers Below: Please be warned! **
When I saw Justice League in 2017, I wasn’t very impressed. The film felt so uneven with its forced comedy and shifting tone and it was just an unimpressive mess. The characters of Cyborg and Flash were not fleshed out and tey (especially Cyborg) just felt like they were thrown in there. Different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the sense that pretty much all The Avengers had substantial backstory and in cases their own film before their collective film. Justice League felt like it damaged any future that the DC Extended Universe had hopes for. This had a lot to do with Zack Snyder having to leave because of the death of his daughter, and studios bringing in Joss Whedon to finish the film. Warner Bros also didn’t want Justice League to exceed two hours which was bizarre. Its safe to say the end product was disappointing.
Things then started to shift. A movement occurred and fans of Zack Synder believed there to be a Snyder cut, which he later confirmed and now released. Putting things together, and getting effects, and re-shots done, the film finally released this week. Coming in at a whopping four hours the film is a daunting task because of its length. I’ll tell you I can sit for a long film that’s 3 hours in length, but I had to take breaks with this one. Its also broken into chapters, which shows the film was meant to be a miniseries or something of the sort. I do like it was released as one film in the length no matter the length. Why? Because this film was good. As a matter of fact it was miles better than what we got a few years back. The story is essentially the same deal. Bruce Wayne puts together a team of superheroes to battle Steppenwolf, who is trying to gather three powerful cubes to essentially destroy the Earth. Here is where things change though, Snyder’s cut introduces which is the first time we get to se this antagonist on film.
There is just much more to Steppenwolf and Darkseid with this film. More of the mythology of the ancient warriors uniting to defeat Darkseid (and even a nice Green Lantern surprise). The best parts of this is how there is more character backstory for Cyborg and Flash, particularly Victor Stone/Cyborg. His character and the support you can throw behind him improves tenfold. There is just all around better characterization and humanity this time around. Even though the plot and a good amount of scenes are the same, there is so much depth added and Snyder’s vision does much better fan service. Even though the film is super long, it somehow never feels boring which is a real feat especially for someone like Snyder who has polarized viewers in the past.
The final battle is better, the weird comedic lines are taken out but yet the film isn’t dark and dreary as Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. This feels like a whole new film that leaves the Justice League of 2017 feeling like a distant memory of the past. You get the best and worst of Snyder’s world here. The battle are drawn out with super slow motion, that feels largely unnecessary. Special effects don’t always look good, especially with Steppenwolf. However, things that were really bad in JL 2017 have been removed, like that weird arc with the unnecessary Russian family. Snyder doesn’t use anything Whedon did and makes it his and it really is a really impressive feat in a universe like the DCEU.
The film just sets things up beautifully for the future and I really hope is canon. For the first time you feel hope that they can make a sequel and build this Universe. There is the introduction of Martian Manhunter for the first time in film, and its pretty darn cool. Snyder even brought back Jared Leto’s Joker, in a bizarre but good sequence. This film is what should have came out years ago. Despite the length this would have been the satisfying theater experience. Overall, i was a critic of this directors cut and very weary of its ability to deliver but it absolutely does.