Title – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Director – Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead)
Cast – Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
Plot – With the Earth under threat from alien invaders, a collection of our world’s most powerful minds and superheros must unite if we are any chance of surviving the battle ahead.
“I don’t care how many demons he’s fought in how many hell’s. He’s never fought us. Not us united.”
Review by Eddie on 16/04/2021
That Zack Snyder’s Justice League exists is amazing enough; that it justifies its long and arduous journey to peoples screens around the world is even more amazing, with the sour aftertaste of the 2017 Joss Whedon overseen cut now a long distant memory we can now all erase.
After years of fan outcries and much industry speculation, Snyder finally was able to secure the budget and distribution he needed to get back into the editing suite (and even shoot two additional scenes, including a great Joker addition) to finish off his original vision for a film he was forced to abandon due to personal circumstances and it proves to us all that while in no way, shape or form is this Justice League a cinematic masterpiece, it does showcase a grand and far more well-rounded vision than what we originally saw with the hacked up 2 hour Whedon theatrical cut.
Clocking in at a bum-numbing 4 hours (a quarter of which seems to be in Snyder slow-motion), League is a long in the tooth tail that doesn’t necessarily fully justify its excessive runtime and Snyder could’ve done well to be harsher in the editing room with his films opening 90 or so minutes in particular but it also feels like the film the initial version only slightly threatened to be, with the whole ensemble (particularly The Flash and Cyborg) getting their time to shine this time around and the characters they portrayed finally feeling like fully formed and worthy incarnations of their beloved comic-book selves.
Separated into titled chapters and filmed in the old-school 4:3 aspect ratio just like Snyder had initially intended the film to be seen in, the rushed and uninteresting narrative of what we saw in 2017 has given way here too a more in-depth and involving story, that while still dealing with the typical alien invading forces that litter these type of films, is now a more character orientated tale that feels as though it works even when its not throwing CGI fights at us on frequent occasions.
Key to the success of this is the fleshing out of the performances of all the cast and while Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman still feel underwhelming here, the charm of Gal Gadot, the comedic smarts of Ezra Miller, the brooding presence of Henry Cavill and the far more memorable role of Ray Fisher ensure that while not on Avenger’s level of ensemble goodness, Justice League finally feels like a family of hero’s we can care about and get around, making their quest to save the world far more enjoyable this time around.
As is to be expected from any movie overseen by Snyder, the action sequences in this iteration of Justice League also feel far more fleshed out and eye-catching than Whedon’s Russian family in distress moments and while some CGI work has aged fairly poorly here, there’s little denying that Snyder remains one of the best action directors in the business and perfectly captures the various epic moments that these such characters can find themselves in when fighting alien baddies hellbent on uncovering some magical Rubik’s Cubes.
Proof of what can be achieved when studios take a back-seat and original vision enacted upon, this Justice League is a movie treat we never really knew we needed and perhaps a door being opened for the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad….on second thought maybe not such a good idea.
Final Say –
Righting the wrongs of the previous cut of the film, Zack Snyder’s Justice League may not be a cinematic marvel or an out and out classic but its an enjoyable and old-school like epic filled with lots of goodness, one that shows the world a good Justice League movie is well and truly achievable.
3 1/2 Hot Dogs out of 5