Wow. What can I say? Well, I never thought I would be writing a review for Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the first place. But here I am. Here WE are! This film represents the culmination of Zack’s true vision and what we, the fans, deserve. There will never be doubt of “what was really supposed to happen here“. And because of our victory, Zack was able to deliver a film that feels vastly different but at the same time, familiar.
Watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League felt like a personal victory as well. I was able to watch it with my daughter, Avery, as usual, when watching a new film for the first time. Only this time, she understood the complexities surrounding the situation. She watches Batman v Superman every night whilst doing homework but she hadn’t watched Justice League since the time in theaters back in November of 2017. This was the first time, in a LONG TIME, she got on the edge of her seat at many different times of the film.
While I won’t dive too deep about the nuance of every scene in ZSJL, I will tell you what I felt. After it was finished, I felt the same way I did after watching Watchmen & Man Of Steel. Allow me to explain. After Watchmen, what I witnessed I wasn’t ready for. It was a lot to take in and allowed me to appreciate the grandiose storytelling that Zack was going for. Man Of Steel made me realize how action can be presented as well. I couldn’t believe there was MORE action after the World Engine stopped. But again, both films made an impact prior to Batman v Superman changing how I viewed film.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is HEAVY. In the best possible way. The Epilogue, A Father Twice Over, felt like it had about 5 different endings. And all left you wanting to see how things continue. The fighting in each sequence was enough that you never grew tired of what was taking place. Each individual character gets their time to shine, both alter ego and superhero, in big ways. It definitely is a lighter film, in tone, compared to its predecessor, but with a different aesthetic. Fabian Wagner proves that he deserves to be up there with the greats of cinematography.
So what do I mean when I say the film weighs a lot? I mean, there’s just so much that happens in it. And the interesting thing is, there’s nothing TRULY controversial to warrant such drastic change the studio ordered back in 2016. Because of how the story is structured, you get to spend time with characters and understand what drives them. Not just with the heroes either. You fully understand who Darkseid is in this film and know that Steppenwolf is just a pawn.
There’s a certain bravado within the film that clearly highlights who the real threat is, yet doesn’t undermine the main villain. This is the first Superhero film I’ve watched that had two villains in it, but you only see one actively engage. It’s also easy to see just how much Zack and Chris Terrio, the writer, fit into this film. You never feel like you’re watching a meaningless scene or just filler. Everything that happens is shown for a purpose and even then, you realize the daunting task unfolding in scale.
Yes, I’m allowed to criticize. But it’s something I think people will appreciate. The film felt about 15-20 minutes short, which is an odd thing to say about a 4-hour film. But there were several times that I felt the editing was obvious. It was NEVER like the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman; by that, I mean no key-plot points removed for time. But it definitely was noticeable by me. Even the first time watching it, I remember questioning why they would have one scene and then the next scene felt like time had gone by without explanation or reason. And the CGI was noticeable in several scenes, but that may be due to just how amazing Zack’s visuals look when given enough time to develop and the right budget.
My biggest criticism is the film still felt hollow of how The World was impacted by Superman’s loss. We never get time outside of the heroes with everyday people like in Man Of Steel or Batman v Superman. There’s no political angle or press highlighting anything in the current state of affairs. And without going into spoilers, there’s a scene that feels randomly thrown in without any context near the end. Usually, like with most of Zack’s films, there’s a payoff of sorts. But with this one scene, I needed to see HOW we even got to that part, to begin with. They could’ve at least had it mentioned in some type of dialogue or news. But it doesn’t take away from the overall story.
Where do we go from here? Well, I for one, am ready to start the charge for #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. How ATT and HBOMax can look at the countless opportunities of continuing this story as an exclusive on their platform and not see dollar signs is beyond me. It feels like this Universe is barely beginning and has so much more story to tell. And whether that’s a series or a film, to have Zack at the helm is key. I personally believe a Series of 9 episodes for two seasons to finish his story would suffice, but I digress.
Does Zack even want to continue? Are the actors even available for a longer shoot and are willing to come back? Will Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, allow a $500 Million budget for one season if he gets a Justice League Series? These questions are key to continuing Zack’s world. The fans can campaign all they want, but there are bigger questions that need answers before we get what we want. There’s no question that this film delivers, it certainly does. It was everything I wanted to see and more. Everything I thought it could have, it did. The best part of this whole thing is, this is truly a Justice League film for everyone.
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