I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I watched Justice League again; the original was an eyesore and a blunder of a story. I also can’t believe it’s four hours long now (It’s not every day I have to use the bathroom more than once while watching a movie.)! But out of all of the things I can’t believe, I can’t believe how good this is, and I am so glad I gave Zack Snyder’s cut of this movie a chance!
The tale behind the making of this version of the Justice League movie is one that has been well documented across the nerdy spectrum of the Internet, and if you were wondering why this director’s cut is so special, I highly encourage you to investigate. It’s heartbreaking, and the road leading up to this finished product is full of bumpy roads and winding paths. However, this is definitely a great and satisfying ending to that tale, and I have to congratulate director Zack Snyder and the hundreds of people that worked on this massive blockbuster on a job well done.
I have not been well pleased with DC Comics’ big screen stories as of late. Though I will admit the more recent Aquaman and Shazam! movies were fun, colorful adventures, there hasn’t been anything that has topped Wonder Woman in my opinion. However, this movie has restored my faith in DC’s storytelling abilities, more so in Zack Snyder admittedly. Within the four-hour runtime, Snyder managed to take the characters that felt awkward, silly, and uninteresting in the original version of this film and craft them into something that better resembles their iconic comic book counterparts. You see, the Justice League and its members are characters that have gone through many developments in their decades of publication, and so, they’ve become quite complex and intriguing heroes. They are treated as such here. We get to see their fears, their hurts, and their desires that they wrestle with inside of them. In what would be an otherwise by the numbers comic book special effects extravaganza, we get to witness humanity within these gods. The final fight is more than just a booming smackdown; it’s a moment of triumph for the heroes’ personal journeys. The grand spectacles are meant to emphasize the emotional depth at play here, and with Snyder and crew seemingly able to put their artistry at the forefront with no limitations, there are some truly amazing moments on display, both visually and emotionally. Despite the intricate and crazy amounts of stories intertwining, the movie manages to pull it all off, which was greatly mishandled in its previous incarnation.
And this couldn’t have been possible without the incredible cast. After the original version of this movie came out, it took a solo movie for Jason Momoa to prove to the world he was the right choice for the role. For Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher, they were still questionable choices. This isn’t their fault; they were given a bad script and bad direction. However, I no longer feel like we need to see a Flash or a Cybrog movie to see these actors nail these characters, because they get moments in the spotlight, and they take full advantage of these moments to show the world why they were chosen for these roles. Even those with brief appearances still linger in the back of my mind and make me ponder what Zack Snyder’s full vision for these characters–even the background characters–could have been. It’s so satisfying to see so many of these characters I read about as a kid get treated with the utmost respect from the cast and crew, and it’s so exciting to see where they go…unless Snyder doesn’t get to make a sequel to this, which would be a darn shame.
Snyder’s films have always been known for their visual flair. Say what you will about his storytelling abilities, his movies never fail visually, and this movie is no different. In fact, it’s surprising how this cut of the movie–despite it going directly to streaming–looks so much better than its theatrical counterpart. A couple of noteworthy examples include the redesign of the main antagonist Steppenwolfe and newly added scenes. The recreated Steppenwolfe is a much more intimidating menace this time around, and his new, shiny armor actually looks good despite reflecting light all around it. One would think the original design would hold up better due to its simplicity, but nope, this update is very well done and surprisingly blends better into the scenes. And speaking of scenes, there are several new ones, and some of them feature stellar visual effects. One scene in particular probably confounded the artists and animators on how it could be pulled off, yet they managed to do it with quite the impressive result. Though some may be put off from the dark and dreary tone and coloring, it’s hard to say hardly any negative comments towards the overall visual fidelity. It’s purely a matter of subjective taste whether people admire or disdain the look of the movie. No fake upper lips here!
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a movie that will stick with me. Not just because its existence is an anomaly, but because of how it reignited my childhood love for this universe and the characters that inhabit it. It’s a confident movie that takes its risks as a personal challenge and overcomes them with stride, and with a strong team–both offscreen and on–to back up this production, it makes me excited for future endeavors by directors who, too, wish to see their art brought to life in glorious fashion.