So, this is awkward. Almost four years ago, I reviewed Justice League (2017). and enjoyed it for the Frankenstein it was. I was never a fan of Zack Snyder’s work and didn’t care to see his vision for the DC Universe continue. However, his Justice League changed everything.
This is a weird review to write because it’s technically a movie you’ve already seen. The premise is straightforward. Like I said in 2017: “There’s an alien threat coming to take over the world. Batman
assembles a team of heroes to try and stop them. It’s simple and straight to the point.” However, the biggest difference is the way Snyder treats his characters.
We actually spend time with Cyborg (Ray Fisher), The Flash (Ezra Miller) while also establishing Steppenwolf’s (Ciarán Hinds) motives and overall goals. Even though I feel Steppenwolf is still pretty boring, I can at least see there’s an attempt at making him interesting. Giving moments with these characters make it more satisfying when you see their growth later on.
One of my many gripes with Snyder as a storyteller is that he chooses spectacle over character-building. An example from his previous film BvS, Superman kills terrorists to save Lois but wants to stop Batman from killing thugs in Gotham. It feels like the action scenes need to be cool even if they contradict the character’s motives. This is still present in Justice League, but it’s severely toned down. Honestly, the highlight of the film sees these characters work together and become a team.
Ben Affleck delivers a performance that feels like Batman has evolved. He’s more hopeful and finally feels like the character I’ve known my entire life. Henry Cavill plays a Superman who finally makes his own choices and becomes the symbol of hope Snyder always claimed he was. Then, of course, Gal Gadot plays the Wonder Woman we’ve come to love over the years.
My only real negative is that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is just too bloated. There are moments when we follow a character for no reason whatsoever. The first two hours feel like three, and we get an appearance from [SPOILER], which makes things needlessly complicated. This movie should have been cut into episodes because scenes drag on for a little too long. Especially the Epilogue. The movie starts to feel like it should’ve ended a half-hour earlier. However, Snyder was kind enough to break it up into parts, so it’s easy to stop and start.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is by far my favorite of his films. It has heart. humor, and that amazing action we’ve come to love. Seeing DC’s Champions finally get to ride off into the sunset is something fans have longed for, and Snyder delivered.
After four long years, the Snyder Cut will be released on March 18th, 2021.