Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★★½

You've seen reviews for it all day, you've been hearing rumblings about it for a few years, all building up this large hype into what has been proclaimed as the "Snyder Cut", potentially and probably the most ambitious directors cut of a movie ever in film history (no, self-proclaimed "cinephiles" who act high and mighty and give this film a 1/5, I do not care that a 1937 Russian film about pain and suffering had a more ambitious directors cut according to you). You don't need me to explain much more to you, this content has been circulating everywhere and I'm excited to say, as you can tell by my rating, that "Zack Snyder's Justice League" lives up to all the hype and more the film has been receiving. The cut we desired, the action sequences we desired, the characters we desired are all present and wonderful to see on our home screens.

You probably know the plot by now but just for a quick little recap: Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince need to formulate a team to protect earth as Bruce realize's unity is what the Earth needs to protect itself not division of these powers. Simultaneously, Steppenwolf (completely redesigned and looks a million times better) and his army of parademons have come down to earth, looking for the mother boxes which wields nearly unlimited power and destruction.

The story line is pretty much along the same stepping stones as Josstice League but imagine the 2 hours of pure crap you got from Whedon and co. and replace it with the tonally balanced and exciting Snyder cut. The opening scene as the credits are rolling and Superman is yelling is already amazing, I was hooked from the intro onward. I'm not even a fan of Snyder's DCEU work, if you've followed my letterboxd or happened to stumble upon those reviews you know I don't love BvS or MoS, I think BvS was a clear step up from MoS but too many plot holes and my inability to connect with Snyder's Superman made me lose interest in my favorite DC Hero. You can't even claim I'm just being a Snyder Cultist, I simply just appreciate everything this film not only gave to us, but represents. This was for Autumn Snyder (RIP, I can't even imagine how Zack Snyder must feel about all of this) and for suicide prevention and I'm really amazed at how much money this film's base managed to create for suicide prevention charity's it's wonderful and at it's core, a story about unity and not being broken was exactly perfect for this film.

Diving into the film itself, this was a perfect representation of so many characters that everyone wanted to see in theaters in 2017. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne is what you got in BvS (Him and Wonder Woman are the highlights of BvS for sure), he's brooding and jacked af but now with this new sense of re-found hope, what Superman managed to instill in him. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is exactly what you hope you get from her, powerful and majestic. Henry Cavill FINALLY gets some of his most hope driven and human moments as Superman and I was so happy to finally see true genuine Superman moments. Jason Mamoa's Aquaman is done justice with setting up his 2018 solo film and his intense reluctance to take the throne of Atlantis is introduced and enforced here. Ezra Miller as the Flash has gotten a lot of criticism even in the Snyder Cut, but I was a fan of his backstory with trying to save his father and even if he has the occasional missed joke, the sequences we get to see him be apart of are some of the best in the movie. Now, the man who steals the show, Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Holy shit he was easily my favorite part of this movie. HOW DID THEY CUT THIS FUCKING BACKSTORY OUT IN THE WHEDON CUT. Fisher get's so many incredible scenes about his past, his fathers work and Cyborg's heart. Too many wonderful scenes including one at the end (no spoilers) and one of my favorite's in the entire movie, the one where he helps a random lady who's struggling to pay her bills by hacking the ATM machine and giving her money, proving Cyborg's desire to help people and being a nice showing of some powers that are yet to come. Much like the film itself, the characters contain so much heart they lead the way in making this film great.

The 4 hour run time has been getting some complaints but in all honesty, I didn't care at all. I didn't expect to watch this all in one sitting but, once you get going you won't want to stop. Each scene builds, whether it's Batfleck asking Miller's Flash to join the Justice League or Steppenwolf gaining the motherboxes, each scene has you hooked desiring for more content, more battles, more action, more true to character moments that are being displayed. Some people say to cut some pieces out but Snyder here isn't cutting out anything and I don't blame him, I think every plot line is seen to fruition and there's nothing I would want to cut off either.

Strong villains have been a problem in the DCEU but.... Steppenwolf and those few scenes of Darkseid were one of if not the strongest the DCEU has ever seen. Steppenwolf is completely redesigned, looking actually menacing instead of whatever the hell Joss Whedon was throwing on screen. Steppenwolf also has clear motivations beyond wanting the motherboxes, he also desires to gain back his power and earn his way back to the throne alongside Darkseid that he lost. I won't act like it's the deepest most original motivation but it's stronger than what we can get out of a DCEU film and when you combine that with Steppenwolf's great action sequences, it mixes pretty well. Also, that Darkseid sequence where he fights Amazonian's, Atlantian's and gods (including a Green Lantern!) was fantastic. Of course it's just CGI battling CGI but it still was what I desired and it was pretty damn cool.

Each chapter has a fitting title (usually a line spoken aloud) and Chapter 6 or the 3rd act climax is on another level. Remember how weird that 3rd act in the Whedon cut felt? Well that's been replaced with emotional stakes (nothing specific in terms of spoilers but something involving Cyborg and his father), and a completely new and grand finale. Batman is beating alien's asses, using the Batmobile and alien weapons and it's awesome. That team up shot you saw where all the hero's are on the side of the Batmobile as they round a corner? Yeah that shot might be my favorite in the film. The way the Flash's role changes so much in this fight is my favorite part, we were ROBBED of the Flash and Cyborg film we need because that chemistry between Ezra and Ray Fisher is definitely there for a light hearted buddy film. The only real complaint I could even have for this movie is on multiple occasions the green screen and CGI isn't the best and is oddly noticeable, plus that "Kal-El NOOOO" line is still in there of course but those are minuscule in the grand scheme of a 4 hour long epic (We can call this an epic correct?).

Now onto something everyone's been talking about, the Knightmare scenes. The Knightmare scene in BvS is pretty cool, it's a solid representation of an unhinged Superman and a regretful Batman but holy shit the Knightmare sequence in this movie is on another level. If you want to steer completely away from this little section as I write about the Knightmare sequence, that's ok, skip down to the next paragraph but if you've seen the film and want to read here we go..... Jared Leto got to redeem himself as the Joker. No face tattoos, just the traditional makeup and holy shit is that Batman and Joker back and forth the perfect example of what we needed on screen. (No "We live in a society" tho lol) It raises so many questions just to see that team together anyway. Deathstroke, Cyborg, Mera, Flash, Batman and Joker in a waist land with the return of an unhinged Superman. I desire to get more backstory and scenes relating to this premonition/dream. Aquaman gets killed? Does Wonder Woman too? Harley is dead as well? How did this team get together? So many questions raised and yet because of Warner Brothers we most likely will never get to see anymore of these sequences. The final scene is not as big of a cliff hanger as originally suggested but after that 4 hour insane film, you still desire for more scenes with these characters that Snyder has perfected here. He's in control and he perfects it.

Before I finish this up, I just want to give Snyder more praise. To be able to finish this and make it such a great film (Best in the DCEU and Snyder's best movie in general) after everything he's been through can't be easy yet for the fans and most importantly for Autumn, he completed this film. For just DC fans in general, it's everything we could have asked for and yet so much more. I had insanely high expectations and they were somehow exceeded. RIP Autumn Snyder. #RestoreTheSnyderVerse #ZackSnyder'sJusticeLeague

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