Zack Snyder's Justice League: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Friday, March 19, 2021

Zack Snyder's Justice League: Movie Review

The perfect comparison we can make about "Zack Snyder's Justice League" against 2017's Joss Whedon altered "Justice League" would be the film's antagonist Steppenwolf. The character's elaborate and intricate transformation in the Snydercut exemplifies the nuanced, long-formed, and ultimately, love it received from its original visionary. It is no exaggeration then that you can literally feel the care that Zack Snyder provided this version coming off from the screen. But there's also no denying that at the end of the day, the broader narrative for "Justice League" is still the same. And if you hated the first rendition of the film (or any of Snyder's films before it), then you'll probably have little love for this version too.      

During Superman's (Henry Cavill) death, his roars accidentally activates the three Mother Boxes - one guarded by the Amazons, one by the Atlanteans, and one kept by Dr. Silas Stone. These Mother Boxes have the power to manipulate and change matter within a planet when combined and was brought to Earth by Darkseid and accidentally left when his attempt to conquer Earth thousands of years ago failed. The activation leads Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) to Earth on his mission to conquer worlds to please his Darkseid. As fate would have it, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), with the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), is trying to find and recruit a team of metahumans to protect Earth from forces that may threaten it in the future - especially now that Superman is dead. 
A labor of love. This is the best lesson "Zack Snyder's Justice League" can give its audiences. We rarely get to clearly say that a body of work exudes and exemplifies its creator's handiwork but not in this case because in this "Justice League", we can cohesively and clearly see what Zack Snyder's vision was and the narrative threads are finally unveiled. The four hour running time may seem daunting but rarely did it bog down. In the 2017 version,while we felt that the film was well-balanced given its two hour running time, certain superheroes were left out like Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. But this time, each character had equal footing and Cyborg in particular became the heart of the film. No superhero felt like they were there for jokes alone or as filler material to sort of complete a team.
 
Without spoiling much, we are given the chance to understand the full and real purpose of "Justice League" in the DC Extended Universe and how it accentuates the story threads that happened before it and the potential threads after the film. We now know how important this film was and how it was canned by the Whedon version. That hurts as it completely derailed the franchise. As for the action, it was intense, gory and no-holds-barred. Every scene felt like they had a purpose - to tease, to explain, to awe - and it was ultimately a well-connected narrative by the time the credits rolled. What really surprised us was how similar this actually felt to the 2017 film. The bigger narrative will mostly use the same framework but with so much more detail and nuance. There are stark differences but the beats will be similar. So again, if you hated the first version, you'll find this better but probably hate this version still. And if you hate CG-filled setpieces, then this again will not float your boat. But at the end of the day, this was a labor of love and we can easily say that this is the best version of "Justice League" - now here, tangible, and real.    
Rating: 4 and a half reels




Why you should watch it:
- literally the definitive edition for the "Justice League" film
- the four hour runtime feels justified 

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- if you didn't like the first film, you might find this slightly better but not outstandingly different
- presents a narrative backbone for future films that will mosyt likely never come to fruition


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