Zach Snyder's Justice League Film Review
After four years, Zack Snyder's original vision for the Justice League finally arrives and it does not disappoint.
Despite its overly long runtime, the Snyder cut feels like a more cohesive film compared to the original cut. It takes the time to provide the much-needed back story on characters we are unfamiliar with. It completely overhauled the original plot all while utilizing a majority of the scenes from the original cut and raising the stakes by introducing an even stronger villain.
The original plot for Steppenwolf to find the Mother Boxes still exists but a second subplot was created to entice Darkseid to make an appearance and put Earth on his radar, and this was the discovery of the anti-life equation. This new information helped to deepen the plot and add another layer to the simple race around the world to find the three Mother Boxes.
Steppenwolf seemed to have the most drastic changes in the film in both appearance and motivation. This version of Steppenwolf is not only more menacing but has an added level of conviction because he is now portrayed as damaged and seeking redemption for his past failures.
After already being introduced to Batman & Wonder Woman, The original cut had a lot of ground to cover as it introduced us to three new heroes, Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash. Cyborg's story is integral to the overall plot as he and his father are directly connected to the human Mother Box, but the original cut just did not have the time to focus on his character growth, the same could be said about Aquaman and The Flash. A ton of new scenes are added to examine the backstory and shine a light on the development of both Cyborg and The Flash and allow us to connect with them on a deeper level. The Aquaman movie coming out in 2018, one year after the original Justice League cut, allows the Snyder cut to cheat a bit because we learned a lot about Aquaman in his two-hour movie, which I felt helped a great deal to the character development, much like all of the solo character movies before the Avengers.
The Snyder cut will go down as the biggest director's cut in history. Examining both films, side by side is truly beautiful and it shows how important editing is to a film. The third act produces a more engaging and emotionally impactful film compared to the original, even though it is made up of a majority of the same scenes, and this highlights the importance that editing has on the film.
Although I understand and appreciate the need to focus and develop characters, the lengthy runtime makes it a difficult film to watch often. The film would have benefitted greatly from a longer thought-out development process, which the MCU seemed to master. The only other negative takeaway I have is towards Zack Snyders's overuse of slow-mo sequences. Normally this wouldn't be an issue if used effectively, but there was an overabundance of it in the film, and after the halfway point, I became very aware of these sequences, and they became increasingly annoying.
Zach Snyder's Justice League is available on HBO Max today!
Editing and Effects: 9/10
Overall: 4/5 Stars
Review Contributor: Stefano Bove
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