Zack Snyder's Justice League will please fans and non-fans on the DC Cinematic Universe
After months of anticipation and an aggressive marketing campaign by the man himself, Zack Snyder's Justice League finally arrives. A triple collaboration between HBO Max, Warner Bros. Pictures, and DC, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a testament to fans' determination and a passionate director. Just in case you didn't see the 2017 cut of Justice League that Joss Wheldon practically reshot, here's a quick recap of the plot. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain. Their mission is to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.
The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face their past demons. To transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Once united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) have a monumental task. And that is to save the planet from the dreadful intentions of Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and Darkside.
One of the first things I want to point out is I didn't think that Joss Whedon’s cut of Justice League was that bad of a movie. Yes, the film had issues, but as a quick matinee, it was ok. Before viewing Zack Snyder's Justice League, I decided to pull the Joss Wheldon cut out of my Blu Ray collection. Immediately I remembered the opening scene of Superman (Henry Cavill) and the terrible CGI of Superman's face. Cavill was shooting Mission Impossible 7 and couldn't shave off the mustache he had grown for the part. As my family and I sat down to view the Snyder cut and saw the changes in the first five minutes, I knew I was in for a good ride.
As you may already know, Zack Snyder's Justice League has a run time of four hours. I want to ensure you the run time feels like 2 ½ hours. HBO MAX and Snyder worked together to break the film into six parts and an epilogue, so novice fans don't need to watch the movie in one sitting. However, you may become so enthralled in the story that you want to finish it one viewing.
For the most part, Zack Snyder's Justice League follows the same story structure as Joss Wheldon's. While watching the Snyder cut, there are scenes that you will remember. The strength of Chris Terrio's script is the fleshing out of the characters, most notably Ray Fisher as Cyborg. I found myself the most invested in Cyborg's arc, and I hope that either HBO MAX or Warner Bros. decides to find a way to give us a Cyborg solo film in some capacity. I was also fond of Jason Momoa as Arthur, who will later become Aquaman. The script sets up an excellent arc for him that carried over nicely to 2018's James Wan's Aquaman.
While Ray Fisher's Cyborg is the heart of the film and had the best story, all of the heroes get their time to shine. Regarding the villains, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf is better here, and his design looks great. Substantial supporting work arrives from Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and Joe Morton as Silas Stone.
I wanted to keep my review spoiler-free as possible, so I won't mention all of the surprises that are in the Snyder cut, but I will say that comic fans will be pleased. While I'm not a die-hard fan, there were enough Easter eggs that I got where I either cracked a smile or clapped my hands. I also enjoyed Junkie XL'S score throughout the film.
Zack Snyder's Justice League is a gratifying experience that I highly recommended for fans and non-fans of DC Comics. If I can offer one piece of advice, go with an open mindset that lets go of the 2017 version. Zack Snyder's Justice League is a different film that deserves an audience from the pacing to the minute details. My only real gripe with the film is that some of the great ideas that Zack Snyder showcases here for future films may never see the light of day.
Final Grade: B+
Zack Snyder's Justice League will be available to stream on HBO MAX Thursday, March 18th.