Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★★

the interesting thing about snyder is that he always swings big: whether it results in a colossal whiff or a home run just depends on the particular project, amount of creative control, and audience reception. but he always puts his unique style into it, and for that reason i’ve really grown fond of his stuff. his involvement in the dceu has kept me interested, and i still have fun with both their best content or biggest flops. too often nowadays blockbusters, and especially franchise films, fall completely in the middleground and feel a bit too safe creatively, and the effect makes me feel empty and bored. the mcu is guilty of this, and the original cut of justice league suffers as well because of joss being brought in to finish it

comparing the original version to this is like day and night. some of the bones are still here, but the editing has completely changed the DNA: for instance, a heroically cheesy early scene featuring wonder woman and some bad guys has become grim and purposeful here, reminiscent of the dark knight’s thrilling opening sequence. and with the extra hours allotted there is plenty of time for world building both big and small. more backstories, mythology and villainry are packed in to be sure, but i especially loved that even the side characters get to experience their emotional moments of truth. my favorite aspect of this cut might be the league itself and how the dynamics have changed: the first version relies too heavily on humor and it feels forced, the connections never fully occur and it rings hollow. but here they take each other seriously and grow a camaraderie and respect, at first having trouble getting into the group mindset but eventually working together seamlessly. they look out for each other and work towards a common goal, and when the humor does come out between them it feels organic and earned.

to wrap it up i have to admit that i’m just happy it exists. this is the justice league i was hoping for before the original came out, and while it’s still far from perfect it successfully satisfied me and even left me wanting more. it drops the bright and glossy hollywood shine and in turn loses most of the resemblance to its former self, fully morphing into a desaturated snydery melodrama: and i’m fully on board. it also casts an overall spell in a way that these films usually can’t quite pull off, both grimly atmospheric and monumental, reminding me more of lord of the rings than any superhero movie i can recall. if you don’t like superhero stuff, the dceu or snyder i’d tread lightly, then again you might be surprised. but i love these characters and i’m glad they got this moment to shine. and personally speaking i think these four hours do a better job than the avengers did with four movies. and cinematically speaking it’s definitely the winner as well

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