Zack Synder’s Justice League proves that DC doesn’t have to copy Marvel to become awesome. Ever since the release of Man of Steel last 2013, Zack Snyder had a creative vision for an epic cinematic universe that has never been done before.
It took me a month before I wrote this review because I’m trying not to think of it. When Justice League went to cinemas in 2017, we all wished that it would be everything we hoped for—but it didn’t. It wasn’t that bad, but it was not what we thought it would be. It was a different version—a different view. Fans worldwide started the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement—and I feel bad that I didn’t join that cause. I thought it was hopeless—until last year when HBO Max announced that they would release the director’s cut.
Snyder’s original version is surreal. It is amazing. The movie stands out on its own despite being an assembly movie of DC superheroes. It has the same plot as the theatrical cut but with a bigger narrative, more explored character backgrounds—and a consistent tone. The film is 4 hours long, which I think would also take me for explaining my point here—the cinematography, framing, the miniseries approach—and definitely—the soundtrack. They are all remarkable.
Zack was heading in a different direction than where Marvel is. The film has a deep and dark tone—like how he started the cinematic universe —but it’s not all sad and depressed faces. It has some laughs and gags as well. Snyder understands his heroes, and he let them play out in the film. He knew what he was doing, and he connected the dots from his universe. One of the things I like about this is Superman’s resurrection. Ever since Man of Steel, there was a part of me that I didn’t like Superman—because he’s too dark and different from Christopher Reeve. But this is all part of the journey— and the unusual approach that Zack did. It was heavy to see him die on Batman v Superman; however, I appreciate it when I watched Zack’s cut. Superman’s story became complex. You cannot expect him to be perfect right away. He’s not from Earth, even though he grew up on Earth—he still needs to adapt and take the responsibility of being the Man of Steel. With that being said, it solidifies his resurrection—and showed us how he became an essential part of the Justice League.
Characters contribute to almost everything in the movie, and most importantly, they play out the narrative. There is a clear consistency in the director’s cut with the characters’ tone—because the film is much longer than the theatrical version. All of them stood out with their backstories and subplots. However, I did appreciate where Whedon was. He added more character interaction, which is essential when building a team, notably in his ending. He made Superman interact more with the rest of the group.
The film runs for 4 hours, stretching all subplots that are supposed to be told in 2017. It had caused the issue because they decided to cut the movie short when planned initially to be hours long. It was where all the dominoes fell, and it took down many aspects of the film—making it inconsistent.
With an opportunity to restore his version, Zack played out his original vision in his 4-hour film. We finally got to meet new characters. We ultimately saw a glimpse of Darkseid, more additional scenes from the confusing Knightmare scene in Batman v Superman. Most importantly—Tom Holkenborg or Junkie XL returned to finish the score! He has been delivering an incredible soundtrack. I hope he will continue to give us more of his masterpiece in future DC films.
The movie doesn’t feel like a 4-hour film for me, but for some—it is exhausting. It is still not for everyone because part of it—Marvel set the tone from the first place. We cannot deny the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the past decade, and people are used to their theme and the storytelling. It is well-done, and kudos to the people behind it. They made a superhero film perfect for all—which is what it is supposed to be. However, when Snyder entered the picture from Man of Steel up until his Justice League cut, he delivered a different version of storytelling than what Marvel is offering. His narrative is more complicated, especially to young audiences. He added a different taste in the formula that has been done perfectly by the former.
This film is genuinely dedicated to all DC fans and to those who supported the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement. It has cohesive storytelling and different from what has been done before—which for me makes it unique. What Snyder did could change or influence the cinematic storytelling approach like what Nolan did in his Batman films.
Again, like what I mentioned initially, I’m trying not to think of this movie because it is impressive. Sadly, we wouldn’t have the chance to see the following chapters on his creative vision—but we never know. All I can say now is… #RestoretheSnyderVerse.
With the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it makes Man of Steel and Batman v Superman exceptional.
5 of 5 stars
How about you? What do you think of the Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let me know your thoughts down the comment section.