Zack Snyder’s definitive director’s cut of Justice League. Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.
One of the most talked about movies of the year so far is a director’s cut of a much maligned superhero film from a few years ago, which probably sums up where we are in the world at the moment! Zack Snyder had started the movie but it was finished by Joss Whedon after the death of his daughter, leaving a finished product that was as muddled as you’d expect from a movie cobbled together from two directors with contrasting styles. ‘Justice League’ did well at the box office on release but it was slated critically, and my view at the time was that it was boring, predictable and lacking in an engaging plot. This version, released on HBO Max, attempts to tell the story of ‘Justice League’ as Snyder originally intended, undoing the perceived (and actual wrongdoings) of Joss Whedon’s work.
The best thing you can say about ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ is that it’s a significant step up from the original release – this version actually makes a bit of sense, it allows time to develop its characters and the villain gets more screentime than the five minutes he appears to have been afforded in the 2017 theatrical release. Some of the better elements of the original movie have been fleshed out and the stronger aspects such as the casting are allowed time to breath, and if there’s one major takeaway I’ll have from this, it’s that it’s a shame Ben Affleck’s take on Batman never really got an opportunity to be in a genuinely good movie. However, the original film was not good, and there’s only so much polishing that could be done on something that wasn’t great to begin with, and I think this cut, whilst an improvement, still leaves a lot to be desired. The runtime is hard to ignore, clocking in at four hours long (a TV miniseries was on the cards initially), and it feels like a good hour of that comes solely from the slo-mo effects that Snyder seems to be addicted too. On one hand, it does provide time for the characters to breathe and get more backstory; on the other hand, it’s still way too long and means the film has several moments where the momentum sags completely.
This is destined to be one of the most talked about movies of the year and we’ve already seen people lining up to declare it a masterpiece salvaged from the wreckage of the original, which feels like a hell of a stretch. It isn’t bad though, definitely an improvement, and it may breathe some life yet into the flagging DC movie universe.
Directed By: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, Amber Heard, Billy Crudup and Ciaran Hinds