Zack Snyder’s definitive director’s cut of Justice League. Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions.
Redemption. If I had to best sum up the movie and the man behind the camera, Zack Snyder with one word, that would be it. This was a long and tiresome battle, that drained not only fans but Zack himself. Zack has been making movies for DC for almost a decade now, since 2013 and the release of Man of Steel. It seems ever since that moment it’s almost been an uphill battle for Zack over at Warner Brothers. His movies dividing fans and critics alike and not being the total box-office success that Warner Brothers was hoping for. Even with the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, people all over the world didn’t quite understand the magnitude of the situation at hand, because unless you follow these things closely, why would you? The events leading up to Justice League and the events that unfolded afterward will go down in Hollywood history. From the biblical-sized fan support and movement that honestly changed the way Hollywood could make movies going forward, to the backlash that the 2017 film endured and the fill-in director Joss Whedon faced. In March of 2017, one of Zack’s adopted daughters Autumn tragically took her own life and Zack like any parent didn’t know how to handle the situation. So when he decided he needed to step back from his work and focus on his family, his Justice League movie was on the brink of being complete. Warner Brothers decided that his vision and everything he had built for that studio since 2013 wasn’t their own ideas and beliefs anymore and wanted to alter, manipulate and downright destroy his beautiful movie. November 2017 rolls around and Justice League is released and to this day he hasn’t seen that product. Fans were unaware of just how mutilated his vision was and felt that “this wasn’t a Zack Snyder” movie and the birth of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement began. The next 3 and a half years had so many ups and downs for fans, trying and doing whatever they could to get the attention needed to bring about Zack’s cut of his own movie. Until finally on May 20th of last year, that was finally made a reality and now we can all say, we have seen the true vision, the true Justice League movie. When it comes to situations like these, I will always be on the side of the film-maker, and at the end of the day, no matter how you feel about the movie. One thing we can all agree upon is being happy for Zack Snyder and his family that his original vision has come to life and in the end, he got total redemption. This is a win not only for the fans but for him as well, erasing a black mark on his career, which wasn’t even his fault to begin with. The movie being released didn’t just redeem Synder but every single person involved, not only do our actors experience it, but their hero counterparts as well.
First things first, make sure you empty that bladder before you hit the play button! Now, those four hours just flew by didn’t they? Toss out everything you know about the 2017 version, in my eyes, it’s a parody. Except for the little bit of the original Snyder content left in, we can bury it, it’s dead. This is exactly the type of Justice League movie fans have wanted their whole lives. It’s immense, epic, mythological, and offers so much from every single one of our heroes. Each one gets their own moment to shine, in the grandest of ways, each making sacrifices and realizing that they can only save the world when they work together. All of this was missing 4 years ago, that’s because this new version gives our heroes time to breathe and get a feeling for one another. You understand their motives and why they might be a little coy on joining a team. No matter how big or how small your fandom is for DC Comics, this movie kind of has something for everyone. Each character fleshed out, making them feel more human, most notably Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. His character and Ezra Miller’s Flash are the two characters in my mind that get the biggest overall boost from this cut. Making you realize that they are vital and important members of the league. Everyone else also gets a boost and you see that these are Zack’s characters and aren’t muddled in nonsensical humor or completely defying everything that was built with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
As for the movie, I’ll be going into a little spoiler territory! Within the first scene, you know this is the continuation of BvS, that this is a Zack Snyder film. Watching Superman scream to the high heavens before he dies, and having the Amazons, the Atlanteans and even Cyborg hear those cries. It lets you know that his death means deep shit for planet Earth. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is still trying to find the light again and he is doing his best Danny Ocean while attempting to recruit some warriors. He’s building an alliance and when Jason Momoa’s Aquaman essentially tells him to kick rocks, he goes back to Alfred with his tail between his legs. It was so amazing seeing Affleck back as Batman, and the way he was intended to be seen. I forgot how much I loved him in this role and so much of his anger is gone and this is a Batman just ripped straight out of a Justice League comic. Soon enough the only members he’s able to convince to help him Diana (Gal Gadot) obviously, and they are giving us a little “are these two just going to hook up” vibes a few times. I want it, you want it, we all want to see that go down. Evetually, after stalking Barry Allen they manage to take the League from a dynamic duo to a threesome but it still isn’t enough. Once Cyborg and Aquaman join their ranks after a tough first encounter with Steppenwolf, the team is ready to lay down the law. Speaking of Steppenwolf……
Can we all just take a moment and truly appreciate all the villains. Steppenwolf was a winey Momma’s boy in 2017 and became arguably the best villain in the DCEU. He’s mean, he’s lean and he kicks all sorts of ass. Amazons, dead, Atlanteans, dead, humans, dead. Steppenwolf’s design is just infinitely better this time around and it makes him look menacing and actually a formidable foe. We get a backstory for him this time, so we actually know what his motives are! We realize that he’s been kicked out of the house by dear old Dad, also known as Darkseid (Ray Porter). Everything is just so much more cohesive with the story actually being built. We understand why Steppenwolf has come to Earth and why rightfully so, he’s a little pissed off. As for Darkseid, who is DC’s Thanos, he’s terrifying, the dude straight up steps on Steppenwolf’s head after it’s been cut off like it didn’t even phase him. I wanted him to go to Earth and throw down against the league but we will save that for next time. However, we did get to see him and his little Omega Beams in action. In the Knightmare timeline, he totally alienates and kills Aquaman! They didn’t even bother putting DC’s biggest baddie in the 2017 version, like what on Earth were they thinking? I loved Steppenwolf and Darkseid looked terrific, we need to see more of him and the New Gods. We actually got to see him in action during the history lesson sequence. It was great to see the foreshadowing of the old gods coming together and being able to defeat him, each of them portraying one of our new heroes. One thing is for sure, we need more Darkseid and when we saw him take control of Superman after Lois Lane’s death, I can’t even imagine how much havoc he causes.
It takes almost 2 hours but Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) comes back. You didn’t think Zack would forget about his crown jewel. He’s resurrected once again, but this time they make it a little clearer about how they will do it and why it might be a terrible idea. When Superman returns he also gets his time to shine. He dons the epic Black Suit and all that was missing was his mullet. The action really ramps up once he is back on screen and for a 4-hour movie, the action is nicely spread out and isn’t overstuffed with unnecessary action sequences. The 3rd act of this film is mind-blowing and the team finally comes together and takes the fight to Steppenwolf. When the biggest moment of the film occurs that involves Barry running back through time to save everyone, that caught me off guard. I didn’t see that coming and it was the most powerful moment in the movie. His time to shine and in the biggest way possible.
Now for those last 20 minutes…….
Anyone else just want an entire movie set in the Knightmare timeline? Talk about the weirdest party anyone could ever attend. Batman, Joker, Deathstroke, Flash, Cyborg, and Mera all working together, well trying to work together to “make everything right”. Finally, we got some actual dialogue between Ben Affleck’s Batman and Jared Leto’s Joker and boy did it not disappoint. Some of the best dialogue between those two iconic characters ever put to screen. I think it totally redeems Leto’s Joker another character and actor to achieve redemption status. Then the ultimate party pooper shows up and we are left wondering how the hell our heroes got out of that one. Bruce wakes up and thinks Superman is coming to visit only to be visited by none other than Martian Manhunter himself! Bruce went from hating Superman and wanting to kill him to not giving a shit than an alien is flying towards him after waking his ass out of bed, now that’s character development baby! He lets Bruce know that “There’s a war coming” and Darkseid isn’t done with Earth. Bruce says he’ll see him around and that’s it. Until we get the most heartwarming moment of the film when “For Autumn” appears on the screen…..
This is a smorgasbord for DC fans and the accumulation of almost ten years from Zack Snyder. It’s one of the strongest and best comic-book movies I’ve ever seen and definitely cements it in the DC lure forever. Emotional beats, impactful character moments, with glorious and beautiful action set pieces. It met my expectations and rendered everything from 2017 obsolete. Whatever happens in the future regarding Zack Snyder and potential Justice League sequels remains unclear. One thing is clear, the world wants it, but I just don’t know if it will happen. That’s not important, what is important is a man got to undo something and maybe can sleep a little better at night.
This is and will always be about Zack Snyder and he just gave us one of the best comic book movies ever.
So, thank you, Zack.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League = 94/100