Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★½

Clocking in at a massive 4 hour and 2 minute runtime, Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) plays the part of both directorial recut and extended edition as it attempts to retool Joss Whedon’s universally hated box-office bomb Justice League (2017) into the film DC Comic fans wanted. 

Is this superhero team-up better than the original? Without a single doubt, yes. At the cost of an additional $80 million on top of the $300 million spent on its predecessor, Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) delivers significantly more world-building, backstory, and mythos. The heroes are more than just poorly utilized action props and the villains’ motivations are actually sensical. Interesting things happened, I wanted to know more, and, like a good film, it obliged. 

But not so fast people who think I only have nice things to say! Did Zach Snyder sabotage what could have been a much better film with pretentious artistic choices? You already know the answer is yes. For starters, it feels like an hour or two of this film is slow-motion. I thought we had all agreed to not let this happen again after Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) but alas. The picture is in a 4:3 aspect ratio because it was shot for IMAX even though practically no one will see it that way. The darkened color palette from Snyder’s prequels Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) is back and darker than ever so you have to squint if your TV’s black levels aren’t exceptional. And to top all of that off, Snyder throws in tons of weird shot angles and unfocused shots for fun. 

I’ve seen way too many people claim that Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) is an entirely different movie and I’m here to tell you that is wholly untrue. The plot is virtually the identical to the original film. Sure it adds a few new characters to the mix, but they are there provide new context instead of new narrative paths. There’s no notable improvement to acting performances or dialogue and the occasionally suspect CGI still rears its ugly head in all the same, mostly Cyborg, ways. 

Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) is good, but by no means great. Without a terrible version to rag on, it’s now elated fanbase would have far less to talk about.

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