- Hamish Hart
Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
DC fans were less than pleased following the release of 2017's Justice League. One of the most highly-anticipated superhero films of all time floundered both critically and financially due to countless reshoots and a sudden change of directors from Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon, causing the film's tone and structure to be incoherent and messy.
Now, after years of fan-campaigning, Warner Bros have allowed Snyder to release his original vision for Justice League - and needless to say that the tone and structure makes a lot more sense now.
Following the events of 2016's Batman v Superman, where Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) sacrificed himself to ensure humanity's survival, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) decides he must form a group of beings with superhuman abilities, including Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) and Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), in order to protect Earth from an impending threat known as Darkseid.
One of the major problems with the original version of Justice League was its inconsistent writing and tone. The film set itself up to be a gritty, serious take on DC's superheroes. However, throughout what seemed like majority of the film, jokes began being spewed from every character's mouths, despite the cataclysmic circumstances they faced. And yes, while the Snyder Cut does feature jokes, the humour feels more natural as The Flash is the only comic relief in the group as appose to everyone, and when others do start cracking jokes, it feels earnt as it is when they begin to work together as a team of friends fighting for a common cause.
Another, and perhaps the biggest problem the original had, was its character writing. Newly-introduced characters such as The Flash and Cyborg got little to no backstory in the original, but in the Snyder Cut, a large chunk of the movie is focused on the two young heroes and their familial reasons for joining the League, with Cyborg actually being a deep and engaging character, rapidly going from my least favourite in 2017 to my favourite character in 2021.
While many aspects have been improved from the original, they just can't make up for the elongated runtime of over 240 minutes. Multiple scenes could have been trimmed down or removed entirely to take the film down to a passable three hours, but if you watch the movie in multiple sittings like I did, you can overlook the lengthy runtime and enjoy The Snyder Cut's other great qualities.
Zack Snyder's Justice League may shun some away due to its needlessly-long length and overuse of slow-motion (more than 10% of the film to be exact), but if you were unsatisfied with the 2017 film and want more from the divisive director, this 4-hour love letter to fans of DC and films in general will justify your four year wait for a beautifully-directed superhero film.