Title: Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Director: Zack Snyder.
Story: Zack Snyder, Chris Terrio & Will Beall.
Screenplay: Chris Terrio.
Release Date: 2021.
Runtime: 242 min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and many more!
Extra Budget to complete: $70 million.
My Overall Rating:
Thoughts on the theatrical cut:
Justice League (2017).
In the midst of production, the 2017 movie of Justice League saw its director Zack Snyder stepping down from his role following the tragic loss of his daughter. This led Warner Bros. Pictures to hire director Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) to be brought in as an uncredited director to complete the movie, severely altering the original director’s vision and its length to abide by Warner Bros. Pictures demands. Upon becoming a major box-office failure, it forced the heads at Warner Bros. Pictures to change the future of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), but determined fans around the world petitioned through social media for a #SnyderCut that would allow Zack Snyder’s intended vision of his Justice League to become public. It was only in May 2020 that HBO Max and Warner Bros. officially announced that the #SnyderCut will see the light of day in 2021.
What is Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) about? Following Superman’s ultimate sacrifice for mankind, Bruce Wayne seeks out powerful metahumans spread across the world to join forces against an imminent alien war. With a dreadful premonition that the end of the world is near, his hopes of giving the world a chance to survive now resides in Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Barry Allen (The Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Victor Stone (Cyborg). While his ability to recruit these special beings remains riddled with obstacles beyond his control, a terrifying servant of Darkseid known as Steppenwolf answers to the call of hidden Mother Boxes’ on Earth in an attempt to form the Unity, a catastrophic event that would enslave the inhabitants of Earth and replicate their hellish world of Apokolips.
Having myself enjoyed the theatrical cut for its accessible and entertaining nature, I will not deny that director Joss Whedon’s alterations could easily be observed by its unprofessional attempt to simulate Marvel’s much more humourous, vibrant, and family-friendly qualities. My thirst for the #SnyderCut was exponentially amplified with each viewing, wishing that we’d someday see what the man behind Watchmen and 300 would have wanted for these legendary DC superheroes. Having now seen the full extent of his cinematographic vision of the Justice League, I can confidently proclaim that it is a far superior oeuvre than what was originally released in theaters that severely harmed the reputation of DC movies for the general audience.
Does that mean that the #SnyderCut is a masterpiece? No. Those who found the theatrical cut flawed, riddled with narrative issues, and sloppy in its editing will likely note similar issues in this latest version, notwithstanding its ludicrous length that will have some digging their nails into their skins. However, even those who disliked the theatrical cut will have to admit and bear witness to a completely different movie that offers a much more fleshed out cast—giving Batman, The Flash, and Cyborg a chance to embrace their original characterization with actual motivations and traits—and a cohesive story that captures far more logic and raison d’être than its predecessor.
If that wasn’t enough, the added complexity to Steppenwolf’s character, on top of his visual redesign, and the introduction of the legendary intergalactic supervillain Darkseid—originally excluded in his entirety—makes this a movie worth every second of your time, especially for fans of the vast and formidable DC mythology and lore. While a lot of sequences are slow-motion shots, they add to the movie an epic and poetic tone that reminds us that Zack Snyder’s vision of the Justice League is that of a world where Gods walk among men. He also sprinkles the movie with countless additional scenes, mostly through CGI, that offers fans the chance to witness exciting DC characters that could’ve played crucial roles in a sequel.
Beyond the extensive CGI intervention, the #SnyderCut also greatly benefited from composer Tom Holkenborg’s (also known as Junkie XL) score. Strategically utilized during key action sequences, his music adds an extra layer of mythological resonance to these heroes’ plight. Mix in the extra slow-motion sequences and you have Zack Snyder’s recipe of cinematic poetry to accentuate his divine conception of these DC heroes. The slightly more muted and far-less colour-corrected cinematography also successfully reminds the viewer of the bleakness of this world and the catastrophe that they face. A special note should also go to the 4:3 aspect ratio utilized for this movie, allowing it to fully respect Zack Snyder’s cinematic vision for the Justice League.
While there are no plans to #RestoretheSnyderVerse for the time being, the tiny optimist within me would like to believe that Warner Bros. might try to give fans the originally-planned sequel to complete the Justice League story-arc. Unfortunately, fans will have to place all their bets in the upcoming The Flash movie to give the DCEU the much needed rebirth for the future of these DC live-action superheroes. While DC’s cinematic slate is still filled with blockbuster sequels, some currently unrelated to the DCEU, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to assume that Warner Bros. might have learned from their past mistakes and will continue to support creative ideas within the DC Comics franchise that will keep fans delighted.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) is an epic cinematic redemption presenting a superhero tale of resilience, determination, and unity.