Off and on, it took me about 8 hours to finish Zack Snyder’s Justice League. I know some people look to Brothascomics for comics and comic book movie opinions so I am going to jump right in.
First, if you know me, you know I am a Marvel Hack and host a Podcast that proudly boasts this. I didn’t grow up reading DC comics but have always been a fan of their animated stuff from Super Friends, to Batman The Animated Series, to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, to Harley Quinn. In animation, DC is far superior to Marvel/Disney and it’s not even close. Yet somehow with these iconic heroes and characters, their modern movies do not seem to resonate with me.
Zack Snyder was charged with rebooting their universe with Man of Steel. I saw this movie in the theater with my son who was 9 at the time and a huge fan of Superman. I was not a huge fan of the movie but totally could understand why people liked it; although they killing of Pa Kent took me out. Plus, this broody Superman was not doing it for me but…. Hey let’s try something new.
Then DC panicked in a big way after Marvel released Avengers. They saw the money and adulation Marvel/Disney was receiving with their super team and pressed the accelerator on their DC extended universe and rushed out Batman v Superman to get them closer to making a Justice League movie. BvS is an awful movie and is truly indefensible and the DC Powers that Be should’ve been concerned that they turned over their universe to Zack Snyder.
The train that was to soon be a train wreck called Justice League came out in 2017 and, even with all my apprehension, I still showed up to this movie at midnight with my kids who were now 10 and 12. The movie is terrible. We now know the backstory where Snyder was getting shit from the studio to make essentially a “happier” movie and then tragedy struck when Snyder’s daughter died by suicide and he and his producer wife, Deborah, had to drop out and could not complete the movie. DC studio heads brought in Joss Whedon to finish the movie which required several reshoots and the infamous fun lip Superman.
The Whedon cut was/is a mess of a movie and essentially killed the DC extended universe for a period. Almost immediately, Zack Snyder fans began calling for the #SnyderCut; the true version of Justice League that Snyder had intended. And 4 plus years later, here we are as the WB and HBO Max greenlit an additional 25-35 million dollars to make this 4-hour true version of the film.
And after that long intro, I guess I should review the movie. I went back to see if I wrote a review of the movie in 2017. I didn’t, we reviewed it on the podcast. To summarize, I didn’t like it and to push forward with Justice League 2021, my opinion has not changed. Honestly it’s the same movie without editing for the first half. I mean there are some deleted scenes but for the most part, it’s just playing scenes out that would’ve or should’ve been cut anyway. Additionally, throughout the entire movie now, is this slow-mo, cinematic and opera music that plays during scenes; especially ones with Wonder Woman. It often comes off like a Hype Williams music video and adds nothing to the actual movie. Plus we get to see Cyborg’s origin story played out fully and honestly, he comes off best in this reboot/remake.
Steppenwolf is still our villain but with spikes on his suit as he looks to gather the Mother Boxes to allow Dakseid to come to earth. The 2nd half of the movie is where you begin to see some new footage in the scene after Superman resurrection. A much more drawn out and better action sequences as the Justice League (w/o Superman) take on Steppenwolf and the Parademons. Once Superman shows up, we do get a full Darkseid reveal; although our heroes save the day and we don’t get to see Darkseid do anything other than look on menacingly as the battle rages in front of him.
As I have been saying since 2015, there was no reason to rush the Justice League movie other than money and jealously of Marvel/Disney and this movie rushes all it can into this one off so Zack Snyder can complete his version of fan fiction (Thanks Tito) onto the screen. The last 20 minutes of the movie is just a fever dream of a director filming stuff that is not going to lead to anything. Batman’s Nightmare World from Injustice is literally just that…. A dream and a reason to drop the Joker into a movie he has no business being in. The teaser from the 2017 version with Lex Luthor and Slade Wilson does not lead to anything. It’s just a longer version of that scene and, now without making a Deathstroke movie, what is the point. Then, the last part is a Martian Manhunter appearance that makes no sense because there is not going to be another movie based on the era or characters in this movie. Cavill is out as Superman, Affleck is out as Batman. Yes, Momoa and Gadot are back for their roles but when are those movies coming out? Exactly.
Snyder makes visually amazing looking movies but cannot put a film together to have it make coherent sense and giving him free reign to make a movie- essentially with no editing- not a great idea from the jump and it shows in Justice League (2021)
I know people reading this will think I just hate DC and that is not true. My kids loved DC growing up and I watched more DC shows and read more DC comics with them than I ever did as a kid. When I heard, they were making movies to compete with Disney, I was happy for my kids and for fans because both companies putting out quality content makes all fans winners. But that ship has sailed, I think. DC is doing unrelated solo movies now with Black Adam getting a movie soon and maybe Shazam will show up (honestly who knows). There is a new Batman working in a world that is unrelated to any of the movies before it. DC movie universe is a jumbled mess… just like Justice League: The Snyder Cut.
So, if you like that sort of thing, this is the thing you will sort of like. I was hoping for the best but honestly just got the same movie with some B-side remixes. Enjoy it. Don’t try to take it in all at once!