Why? As soon as I finished Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the very first thought that popped into my mind was: why? How on earth could anyone watch what Snyder had planned and decide that what Whedon did was better?
As soon as that thought had passed, my attention turned to how I would approach this review (which has taken me more than a week to write meaning I missed Falcon and The Winter Soldier which I had wanted to review weekly – so, I will review episode 3 next week instead). And, one of the perks of running a blog for the past six years, is being able to go back and read all the reviews I wrote. So, I did.
I have tried something different with this review, so I would really appreciate it if you followed the blog. As I started to write, I found I couldn’t stop and thought it somewhat poetic that just as Snyder’s masterpiece was completed, my review would echo his movie.
Whilst originally I didn’t want to go ‘over-board’, I embraced it and decided to split the review into chapters. I am well aware that nobody enjoys reading a massive block of text so I have split the chapters up into three parts.
CHAPTER 1: CONTEXT IS KEY
So…. some context is needed for those of you who don’t know. Of course there is context needed on how the ‘Snyder Cut’ came to be – which I will spare you off. But, context on my thoughts of the DCEU or the Worlds of DC is needed. I, do not want to come out in this post and be a hyproctie, so I will explain how I felt.
You can go back and read this reviews (although I implore you to keep in mind I was sixteen at the age of writing, and hope that will allow you to give me some leeway for the poor quality of work), but I did not like Batman vs Superman. Which I will showcase as I lift fragments of these reviews for you to read throughout this review.
Although I didn’t like BvS, I, was in some way looking forward to seeing how the scenes teased would play out, like “Lois being the answer”, and it must be said; knowing what I know now, I feel like I never appreciated the themes that Snyder was attempting to seed in order to carry out throughout his universe, like the theme of redemption and self-sacrifice.
Whilst I had some resentment for Batman Vs Superman, I felt a feeling I had never before, I felt nothingness for Justice League, it was just a film that was. Even within the review, I was too unbothered about it to really share my anger about the sudden change of storyline and how it completely ignored my favourite parts of Batman vs Superman. Justice League was a bad film, and I, for the first time… just didn’t care.
CHAPTER 2: FOUR HOURS IS NOTHING COMPARED TO FOUR YEARS
Moving onto Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the first question everyone will ask is about the four hour film time (a whole hour of which is most likely comprised off that Wonder Woman theme, but hey, “I ain’t complaining” – I nodded my head everytime I heard it – issa bop).
And, it must be said from a business perspective, a four hour movie wasn’t attainable for theatrical release. In all honesty, whilst yes, Snyder needs longer scenes to fully capture his vision, which is showcased many times as this cut features identical scenes that made it into the original Justice League, except for them being five or ten minutes longer – and so much better, it doesn’t need to be four hours long.
Snyder includes so many amazingly awesome action pieces that would have had to be cut, which would have (honestly) been impossible to choose from. This is a movie that could have been three and a half hours or so, but, the four hour run-time never feels like it drags. Interestingly enough, this cut feels like a opportunity to capitalise upon for other companies (*cough* Disney), as they can now release longer movies on their streaming service.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is honestly amazing, and I appreciate his vision so much more now. As, he is able to present what he wants to the audience, whilst also simultantesly showing what could be. The reason I gave context on my feelings is because I don’t want to get carried away. But, once again, I find myself sitting here, writing this review – insisting I remain level-headed, and force myself to ask how a movie that lasted four hours couldn’t possibly contain a well-rounded story that builds every character and delivers each character a complete story?
CHAPTER 3: GOING BACK TO SIMPLER TIMES
In my mind, I have to ask that if this film had been released in 2017, would it have gotten this much love? Well… it would most likely have had to be split into two films, and that would have been a problem, as the first half is very much just assembling the team and has no real natural ending. Of course, I’m sure this would have changed, but coming of the very negative BvS, could a Justice League Part 1 that followed that blueprint have turned the tide of the negativity ship that was there since 2013 from Man of Steel?
Furthermore, assuming this film was released in 2017, I can still see it getting a reception akin to BvS (especially Part 1). The very thing many are praising Snyder for, is the very thing many, myself included (and – like I said, I am not a hypocrite) criticised in Batman Vs Superman (although, it is worth pointing out, I believe the actual story is the downfall of that film)
Still a very dark and gritty take on these characters like Superman and a dark tone, that arguably wouldn’t be so appreciated by the ‘average movie-goer’. But, and to be fair, that level of ‘darkness’ is perfectly balanced by Snyder and almost as if he – himself, took on board the heavy critism from many. Either that or, that 2017 monstroty broke the formular.
As, almost ironically, had it not been for the complete polar opposite Whedon attempted in 2017, we may never have appreciated his work to this level, or at least I would never have. It’s almost like taking a shower, and complain it’s too hot, and so you switch the hot water off – get a wave of cold water and instantly regret it as you rush to get any heat onto your body.
The first half of the film is good but I would say the weakest part of the film is where it has to follow on from BvS – maybe because I have already seen it in the original Justice League – but the film definitely finds its groove when it gets to showcase its storytelling; when I get to see more of the unknown, like Cyborg and Barry but also, when I get to see improved scenes – like the Wonder Woman fight, and Flash actually doing something instead of saving random family.
The assembling of the team is done so much better, because we are actually given something for Barry and Victor, both of whom are done outstandingly in the film. Barry gets such an amazing scene with Iris, that I question how on earth anyone could cut it? Hell, cut the scene with his father instead!!
CHAPTER 4: READY… SET… ACTION… REVIEW
Cyborg, really is the MVP of the film, and just shows that more of him must be shown! And, the action scenes are done so much better! The scene with the Amazonians was already pretty good, but seeing it in its full glory just makes it so much better. And, then there are so many other scenes that are included, the flashback scene showing the first time Darkseid is beaten – is so much better!
But. it’s much more than just the action scenes, the visuals are amazing and Snyder always does amazing in making these scenes look like they have just jumped off a comic book, but also the balancing of the characters is done much better. Batman actually does some fighting this time around! I’ll get into this later as I dive into the characters.
So, moving onto the second half of the film, it reminds me of something I said in my original Justice League review that resonates even more with me now, especially after enjoying the Snyder Cut way more than I thought I would.
I never thought I would be saying this after BvS, but I have invested so much time in Snyder’s vision – just let me complete it. Yeah, sure I will complain about it afterwards (probably), but you owe it to me and him to let him finish his story.
Although I do implore you to read my original Justice League review, I will leave this passage of the review in now, that sums up how I felt about the original Justice League. And, yes, I have included a quote from another review in this quote. But, honestly, if you want to see what is so great about this Zack Snyder movie, go and read that review and you will see everything I was asking for is delivered in this movie.
My problem is the (dare I say it!!) lack of Snyder. Below is my paragraph from my BvS review:
The next thing I liked, was the teasing of the baddie in Justice League, I said it in one of my lists, the reason this film is rated so highly because trust me I’ve thought about giving it a 4 or a 5 is because of the continuity that will become clear in 4 or 5 years, yes this film has to take the L, but I think this film is bad so the other films can be great in the future.
That is lifted straight from my BvS review. Where was Darksied? Where was the Flash scene?