Hopefully the idea to post this review over three parts has worked! And you have come here after reading the first part of the review. Like I said in Part 1, I had intended to write a small review for this movie, but as I started to write, I found myself going on and on.
I knew I had to include it all, and I found in an almost some poetic way to the film, I could name the review in chapters and release it that way. Anyway, with that being said; here is Chapter 5
CHAPTER 5: TWO FILMMAKERS BUT ONLY ONE VISION
It’s also very interesting to see the differences between Whedon and Snyder as filmmakers. It turns out, everything I enjoyed from the original Justice League originated from Snyder. Except all of the best stuff was done so much better by Snyder, a great example is the scene where Batman meets Aquaman, why on earth was it reshoot to be the exact same scene except with a convenient mural that explained everything?
One of my favourite scenes was the Superman fight, and it turns out it was Snyder’s all along, and he added more depth in the fight through the additions he made, and the removal of Whedon humour that felt so out of place in the film. But, whilst I can count on one hand the number of scenes I liked in Justice League. there are honestly maybe ten or eleven as amazing scenes in this movie!
There is only one scene cut from the original Justice League that I must confess I liked (even though I know many didn’t), and that was Aquaman showing he cared with the Lasso of Truth around him. But, it is balanced out by the addition of Snyder’s scene between Aquaman and the Flash. Where Aquaman worries over Cyborg, only for Barry to say I thought you didn’t care, to which Aquaman responds I never said that. And, this just highlights the difference in filmmakers, Whedon was comedic, whilst Snyder’s was more subtle. But, as a result more impactful and powerful.
CHAPTER 6: SOMETIMES ‘MOTHER’ IS ACTUALLY [WARNER] BROTHERS
It is very hard to review this film, there is so much to digest that it is extremely hard to review Zack Snyder’s Justice League in a vacuum. I, genuinely believe there will be video essays in the future on how not to handle a franchise and this movie will be referred to, and it is mindboggling how in some way a film that grossed over $650 million, and a franchise that has grossed over $5.6 billion will forever be tainted not by what was seen on screen but rather the train wreck that occurred off it.
Joss Whedon is a big problem for sure (which I won’t get into, but I do ask you to research a little about Ray Fisher and Joss Whedon), but I don’t think he can be 100% blamed for the way the original tuned out. Why hire a director that is the complete opposite of the director that has shaped the story-telling for the past five years, and then be shocked when he creates something so out of place and would become so hated?
Whilst it is extremely hard, I want to find some way to diagnose the problem with the original Justice League. How could anyone see the script and decide to go against it, and again, understanding the vision now, it’s completely understandable why the actors were so passionate about the original cut and why they signed on to begin with.
Sure, the backlash faced regarding the darker storytelling and tone within Batman Vs Superman which I eluded to Chapter 3, influenced the way Warner Bros went about their decisions. But, why was the pay-offs Snyder delivered cut in order to deliver a tacky ‘hope’ storyline that seemed rushed and put too much emphasis on one character in a team movie?
Darkseid’s disappearance is extremely confusing, or even the incredible Flash scene at the end, that would explain (at the very least) a little more about Flash, and how he would come to visit Batman in Batman vs Superman. As well as, (you know!) setting up Flashpoint, something Warner Brothers have struggled to get going for a while now?
Diminishing Steppenwolf’s motivation as only wanting to please ‘Mother’, when really it was Warner Brothers who were the real villain as they tried their hardest to please everyone and ended up pleasing no-one! And ultimately, Warner Bros decision to change direction will have caused more problems moving forward as you have those that want to see more light-hearted stories, and those that want to continue to see the darker tone.
CHAPTER 7: THE DEPTH LEFT ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
So, we’ve learnt Snyder is amazing at action scenes and that his vision was exceptional, but he also manages to incredibly share this focus of the movie to all the characters. All the heroes excel, and it is the final action piece that just showcases the love and care for the characters.
Each character is important, and like I said, this can be seen in the action scenes; Cyborg has something to do, The Flash is fundamental, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are ‘holding it down’, Batman is doing the small dirty work to make sure everything runs smoothly and I will get onto Superman later.
All the characters get their own arc and what I will say is just as I felt when I watched BvS, Batman is the hero that is vital to Snyder, and he is the centre of his vision. Superman has less screen time but his character development is still showcased progressively – something ‘Josstice League’ couldn’t do even though Superman had more screen-time.
And, this film is able to do this by the inclusion of Lois Lane, who may not be vital to the film but is to the over-arching story, and her appearance allows by association Superman’s presence to not be missed so much.
What I will say, is this film also finds it hard to maintain the same level of power for all the characters, as Superman is further cemented throughout the movie as the most powerful being there is. And, so when he appears, whilst it brings happiness in an exciting scene, it makes the Steppenwolf fight redundant.
The easiest way to explain this, is that ‘Josstice League’ felt like Superman and Friends. Whilst this film feels like “the Justice League”, everyone is important. And, most incredibly (arguably) the one hero that doesn’t do the most – action wise – is the one that is most important to the overall arc; Batman.
Wonder Woman gets an amazing action scene as we get an extended look at how she saves the school children in London, and I enjoy how she seems to be one of the few that has that Steppenwolf has a hatred too, as he teases her about the other Amazonians. And, how she is a link the link between the ‘old-ways’ and the new ones. However, maybe because Snyder knew there would be another Wonder Woman film, the story isn’t centred around her too much, it is still very much Batman and Superman.
All of the actors bring their very best, Ben Affleck once again shines, honestly making me think about what could have been, Ezra Miller pulls of an amazing performance, which I think reminds people what he is capable off. Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill also shine, and Jason Mamoa (in what technically was his first appearance) showcases what he will go onto bring in the solo movie. But, the heart of this movie is Ray Fisher as Cyborg, as he carries the emotional weight of the film, and the story, as he is the only other member that sees what is coming.