Zack Snyder's Justice League Movie Review

For those disenchanted with Joss Whedon's DC interpretation, Zack Snyder's Justice League was like a beam of light through dark and gloomy clouds.

Zack Snyder's Justice League
Zack Snyder's Justice League

It was a family tragedy that forced Synder to abandon the director's chair on the sets of Justice League. Enter Joss Whedon, trying to do the only thing he could: rebuild the movie according to his own vision. This led to the illegitimate creative offspring that was the 2017 Justice League. Whedon tried to pull off an Avengers-style team-up movie that fell flat on its face - the story felt rushed, the humor was forced and the trademark dark tone of DC was missing.

Everyone who's into DC would have heard the rallying fan cry "release the Snyder cut!" which gained critical mass recently, forcing Warner Brothers to give the fans what they want. The Snyder cut was the original vision of Zack Snyder for the Justice League which never saw the light of day. The DC epic was released on March 18th HBO Max with 2.2 million viewers watching it in the first week of release (although a fraction of that number saw the full movie).


The Plot


The basic plot of the movie is still the same as the 2017 version, with our heroes going up against the big bad Steppenwolf. He plans to claim Earth for Darkseid using the Mother boxes. While the fundamental outline is the same, the structure of the movie is a Synder special, being split into several chapters. Tarantino used a similar format for Kill Bill 1 and 2.


Every character gets more backstory in the Synder cut with Cyborg and the Flash gaining the most from this. Cyborg's complex origin story and his path forward are shown in great detail here along with the Flash's love interest making a meaningful cameo.

Zack Snyder's Justice League
Steppenwolf with his steel armour

Steppenwolf's motivations behind the conquest of Earth are made clear in this version, with an appearance from Darkseid and his minions.

Zack Snyder's Justice League
Darkseid and his homies

You also finally get to see Superman rocking a black Kryptonian super suit. The plot here is basically like a compressed collapsible straw being pulled out to its maximum length. You begin to feel this after the first hour.

Snyder Cut
...But now I see - a black super suit

It is interesting to note that Zack Synder reshot only for three days for a few minutes of material. Add to this some additional computer-generated imagery (CGI), and the movie was good to go.


The Visuals


The visuals are the best part of Zack Snyder's Justice League with the whole movie set in sepia tones.

Snyder cut
The Sepia tones, they're beautiful!

All the fight and action sequences are thought out and well-executed. The Cyborg dream sequence and Flash's rescue of Iris are some of the best action sequences apart from the final battle. The fall of the Amazon stronghold for the mother box is a particularly interesting sequence - slow and melancholic towards the end. The CGI is used as an aid to the exposition and not as exposition itself which is a major difference in this version.


The Characters


All the major members of the Justice League show up in the Snyder cut from Batman and Aquaman to Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and eventually Superman. There is also another interesting cameo from Martian Manhunter that Bruce Wayne treats as casually as a Domino's pizza guy.


The Road Ahead for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU)


Independent of the Whedon-Snyder struggle, the DCEU has been gradually gaining steam through its release of other origin stories. "The Joker" was a commercial and critical success with Joaquin Phoenix honoring the memory of Heath Ledger with a great performance. Robert Pattinson's portrayal of Batman in the trailer seems impressive as well, where Batman is all rage and vengeance. If DC strikes gold with Pattinson, the future of the DCEU looks bright indeed.

DC needs to spend a few more years developing its characters through movies like "The Joker." Only after fleshing out their characters through such expositional movies, can they expect to mimic the success of the MCU.


Should You Watch it? - Yes!


The movie in itself makes more sense with Synder being given Carte Blanche with the creative direction of the movie. Whether you make it through the entire 4-hour movie in one sitting or view it in chapters, it is definitely worth a watch.


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