Since the MCU has exploded we have wanted to see the Justice League done justice like the Avengers had been. Things like the Dark Knight trilogy and Arrowverse kept hinting at DC making some massive strides but when we finally got to see the DCU team up happen it was rough.
So the saga from BvS to the Justice League began. After Snyder had to leave the movie near the end and Joss Whedon came in to finish the job in post production, we got a messy movie which began a wave of fan requests to release the ‘Snyder Cut’. Now we have Zack Snyder’s Justice League with 80 million dollars of extra work and scenes to try to recover the massive team up we have been waiting for.
The result? It’s pretty good. This surely isn’t the ‘Snyder Cut’ people were asking for because four years and 80 extra million dollars no doubt has meant a lot of changes from hindsight and feedback. After all, the Snyder cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was what we got and that was rough. But despite that, the best way to take on this new version of Justice League is to treat it like its own movie, so that’s how I went into it.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a four hour marathon of a film. In it we get introduced to Cyborg and Flash with slices of their back stories but they get rushed into the team by Batman who enlists Aquaman who has already had a bad movie of his own at this point. This is an issue the movie has constantly, things like Flash pushing his limits don’t have the impact that Avengers do in their movies because we haven’t had a movie where we saw Flash testing his limits. This removes a lot of the impact of scenes throughout the movie.
This is key because I remember thinking Gal Gadot in BvS was overrated. Then I saw and adored Wonder Woman and now in BvS she is awesome. The solo flick allowed me to connect with the character and so in the team up her scenes are reinforced by the movies we have already built up. It would be a different story if we have a lot of characters we know and new ones are introduced a la Spidey and Black Panther in Civil War, but a third of the team is too much to introduce like this.
An interesting thing the movie has done is being broken up into parts with a title card with a name for each chunk of the movie. This was a clever way to reset the flow in a way that felt more natural than it jumping around changing pace.
An uninteresting thing is Cyborg’s design which bugged me throughout the whole flick. The overly CGI’s pointy, shiny design looked super daft. It constantly reminded me of some of the worst scenes in the Transformers flicks. A smoother design, more like a grey Iron Man, would have looked so much better. Still it seems like Snyder was going through a phase because the big, bad Steppenwolf’s armor reminded me of it too.
The gist of the plot here is that many years ago Darkseid used his powerful mother boxes to terraform planets and turn all their inhabitants into Parademons to fight for him. The Amazon’s, humans, Atlantians and others all worked together to defeat him and take away the mother boxes which they then hid around earth. One of the boxes awakens and so Stepenwolf heads to earth with his parademons to try to claim the boxes for Darkseid. Batman forms his team and we are given a big old battle to save earth.
There is so much to like about this version of the movie, but in this four hour cut the movie still manages to waffle at times. We get an awesome new scene where Flash saves a beautiful woman he sees from a crash, but it hangs on him in slow motion for way too long which turns a funny and cute scene into an uncomfortably long one. This happens a lot with Flash’s slow mo scenes where they take too bloody long to get to the new bits.
I won’t dig too much into all the pros and cons of the movie, because that could take longer than the four hour run time itself, but I feel like that is a pretty good example of what you are in for. Some good stuff, some meh stuff, and Cyborg’s design.
At the end of the day, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a decent movie. I wouldn’t have gone back and rewatched the original Justice League cut, but I will rewatch this one. It’s a bit of a mess, it’s chaotic, Aquaman is still meh, but at the end of the day it was entertaining.
Hopefully Batlfeck can come back for a solo movie now.