Back in November 2017, my friends and I watched the theatrical cut of Justice League in Shepherd’s Bush. After watching the Ultimate Edition of Dawn of Justice a few months prior, I had my hopes up for a good DCEU release.
What resulted was one of the worst viewing experiences ever. So much so that I had to distance myself from DC movies and TV shows. That tragic version of the Justice League also inspired me to write my first movie review on ScribersHive.
Zack Snyder’s interview with Vanity Fair last month gave us a better understanding of what unfolded behind the scenes that year.
Now that Josstice League is a distant memory, here is my review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
18 March marked the digital release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (ZSJL) on HBO Max and Sky Cinema.
The long-awaited Snyder Cut received bountiful praise from fans and critics alike in its opening week.
The story follows right after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Superman’s death reactivates the mother boxes, which gains the attention of an even greater threat to humanity – Steppenwolf, the former General of Apokolips.
Kal-El’s sacrifice also inspires Batman to recruit Earth’s mightiest heroes to prepare for the battle ahead.
Many (including myself) were surprised at how different the movie turned out compared to Joss Whedon’s theatrical release in 2017. Dubbed at the time as “one of the most expensive movies ever made”, the 2017 version was both a critical and financial flop.
Fans were upset at how shockingly terrible and unfinished Josstice League looked. But after years of campaigning for Warner Bros. to #ReleasetheSnyderCut, the company finally struck a deal with Zack Snyder to have his original film available on HBO Max.
With an almost 4-hr runtime presented in 4:3 aspect ratio, some may be put off by how unconventional this movie is compared to typical Superhero blockbusters.
However, I feel that this definitely does justice (pun intended) to Snyder’s vision as there is a better structure and more attention to detail in this cut.
Zack has often been criticised by others for the dark and gritty tone of his films as well as his use of slow motion. But I feel like that’s what makes his movies stand out. Tonal consistency was lacking in the 2017 version. It was a delight to see his style restored in 2021.
Like his previous movies, a lot of CGI has been used. For the best viewing experience, I recommend watching the movie on a smart TV instead of a computer or tablet (unless you have access to a private IMAX screen).
Perhaps the biggest improvement in this film was the amount of character development. In my original review, I said I hated Ezra Miller as The Flash. However, in ZSJL we finally see how cool he is as the beloved Scarlet Speedster, playing a big part in the film’s climax.
Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is the most important character of the movie and it’s a shame that his role was reduced significantly in the theatrical cut. He does an amazing job as Victor Stone, pulling at our heartstrings as he tries to accept who and what he has become.
Another character who has had a major upgrade is Steppenwolf. Instead of being a big CGI turd of a supervillain, we actually get to see a clear motive behind his actions.
A lot of fan service was delivered throughout the movie, including Superman’s Recovery Suit from Action Comics #689.
One of the things I’ve always admired in the DCEU is the original soundtrack. While Danny Elfman created an impressive score in 2017, I always associate these movies with Hans Zimmer and Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL).
Tom never fails to deliver. His insane shredding of the guitar added to the intensity of a lot of scenes.
WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff told Variety this week that the Snyderverse has concluded with the release of ZSJL.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is by far the best movie in the DCEU and it would be a shame if he doesn’t get the chance to complete his planned trilogy.
Like Superman’s emblem, many DC fans share a unified hope that further down the line, Warner Bros. and HBO max restore the Snyderverse.
Source of Image – HBO Max/Warner Bros.