Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★★

Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the moment his fans have been waiting for since the 2017 release, is finally here...and it's absolutely outstanding. I am really fucking surprised!

Over the next few weeks, the internet will tell you this is either the best thing to ever be released, or it’ll tell you that this is the worst thing to ever be released. I shall tell you neither, but it is the best movie the DCEU has had, and my god is it better than I ever expected! Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a miracle of a movie when you take into account how we got here, the reason why he left in 2017 and was replaced by Joss is heart-breaking and quite frankly, from what I've heard, disappointing from a studio many look up to. I never campaigned for its release and I side with no one, but that’s what makes his cut all the more pleasing and surprising in just how great the final product is.

"I don't care how many demons he's fought in how many hells. He's never fought us. Not us united."  

Zack Snyder’s time in the DC Universe has starkly reflected the strengths and blemishes surrounding his trademark style. Many hate his work for being too gritty and dark with the action putting off many, which in all fairness is reasonable, yet it’s a style I’ve become fonder of over the last week. Unlike the 2017 Justice League, the Snyder’s cut allows for a great sense of flow and coherency that was sorely missing. The huge length allows introductions for new characters like The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg while still tying up narrative loose ends from previous DC films that muddled many fans. Compared to Justice League, Zack Snyder’s Justice League develops every aspect I had previously complained about. Steppenwolf is heavily improved, allowing for a villain that's actually daunting rather than being a stale end of a joke, and the characters that inhabit the film are finally done justice with Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman improving heavily, Ezra Miller's Flash and Jason Momoa's Aquaman working better, and Ray Fisher's Cyborg finally being done justice.

However, Zack Snyder's Justice League still operated under a rather faulty foundation. Many will complain about the runtime and Leto’s return, whilst not bad at all, offers very little to think about given he's given nothing to do. Similarly, in this case, the return to the 'Nightmare World' is handled in a way that sets up a sequel (that honestly, I hope we get now), and while this works in its own way, many fans will find it jolting if they don't know anything about the comics. Of course, the film still holds a myriad of other problems. There are still some scenes that feel stale and the humour from The Flash doesn't always land properly but my enjoyment from this film and general awe at what Snyder was able to accomplish can't be understated. I absolutely loved this and given how unexpectedly good this is, I am truly and wholeheartedly pleased for him.

If you would have told me a week ago that I would be this hyped for a film and overall love it this much, I would have told you that you were lying. Sure, it was one of my most anticipated of the year, it even made my top 10 list, but that was purely because I was happy Snyder was finally getting it released and was intrigued to see how it turned out. I didn’t actually think it would be good. But over the past week, rewatching Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, my anticipation level had gone through the roof, and after watching the hell that is Justice League 2017, I had hope that this would be at least a little better. Thankfully, it is so much better. While you can clearly see scenes from the original Justice League (luckily not the awful ones!), I began to understand more and more why it didn’t work as time went on. Whole narratives were cut, characters underdeveloped and pieces that just didn’t fit together, thrown in to make what turned out to be a messy film. That’s exactly what Zack Snyder’s Justice League does right. During its 242 minutes narrative it showcases why this film needed to be so long, it shows just how much the 2017 version was missing and it’s these two added hours that truly turns what could have been a rather mediocre film into one that’s truly revolutionary. 

-Flash “What are your superpowers again?”
-Batman “I’m rich.”

Don’t get me wrong, there is no way the 2017 one would have been this good even if Snyder had stayed. The two-hour studio mandated runtime would never have worked but, nevertheless, I don’t think anyone expected this cut to be this good. It’s a four-hour epic with dazzling visuals, a grand score, more consistent character development and a tone that fits rather well. Junkie XL’s score is great, incorporating some old themes and adding some new ones to make a powerful sound. Just listening to it was enough to hook me, its raw, its powerful and it’s completely extraordinary, eliciting emotions in me I would have never expected. It’s one of the best comic book movie scores ever released and it’s easily the DCEU’s best film to date, with an epic scope that truly made the runtime fly by. Snyder’s vision transforms the film into a bold, stunning blockbuster with heart with Ray Fisher shining alongside Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa. Ray Porter makes for a formidable Darkside in the scenes he’s in (hopefully setting up something bigger and better!) and the scenes with Harry Lennix’s character, which I won’t spoil for you, proves to be a great cameo addition to the film. It’s not often I’m stunned by a DCEU film. The Detective Comics Extended Universe hasn’t been one I’ve often been kind to, but this, this is epic on a grand scale. 242 minutes of pure brilliance from a man that truly deserved it. No matter the fanbase that surrounds the film, this film is for Zack Snyder, not the toxic people on both sides, he deserves all the praise he can get.
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