HOLLYWOOD—I cannot believe I am about to say this, I thoroughly enjoyed Zack Snyder’s director’s cut of “Justice League.” For those not in the know, “Justice League” is the little brother of the Marvel titan “The Avengers.” I’m not about to do a back and forth on a comparison scale between Marvel and DC because we’d be talking about things for hours people and I mean hours. Never in a million years did I think I could sit thru a 4 hour long movie without getting bored.
Trust me I tried watching “The Godfather II” which clocks in at a hefty time frame and I couldn’t get thru that movie without getting bored. However, Snyder’s version of the film I found thoroughly entertaining, visually stunning and the story just seemed so layered and planned out I didn’t want to take my eyes off the TV screen until the very end. When I watched the original “Justice League” back in 2017, I did not feel that way, so what gives between the 2017 version and this 2021 version?
One word: clarity. There was an amount of depth, personal touch with our heroes and the pacing was staggered in a sense where there were not moments in the movie where things felt like they dragged or lingered. One of the biggest is additional backstory for Cyborg (Ray Fisher). We learn a bit about his life before that accident that forever changed his world and his father’s role in ensuring his survival. That fleshing out of the story adds another layer to the narrative and humanizes the character that much more in my personal opinion.
This actually happens a bit with a vast majority of our key characters including Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) aka the Flash, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa). As for Batman aka Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Superman aka Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) not that much of range is shown than the previous flick, however, we get nice little slices of moments that add a dimension to the character and the story itself. Important note for those looking for Superman, you’ll be disappointed because his presence is not really felt until the third act of the movie.
Yes there are a few expletives dropped in this version that were censored in the original version and there is a bit more action/violence if you want to call it that that enhances the visual spectacle of this all-star version of comic book and superhero icons. It is important to note the flick is broken up into six parts, each chronicling a different chapter and in modern sense highlighting key plot points in the story and our characters. You could take a break and resume the film if 4 hours and 2 minutes is too long for your liking.
Snyder’s take is distinct because there are those unique touches of long camera shots, distinct close-ups, pauses before climatic action scenes his presence is all over this movie and I loved every minute of what I was watching. Could it be the fact that the predecessor sliced so much from the original cut that it took away from the impact that Snyder initially intended for his film to deliver to the audience? Very likely.
The previous version just seemed to be have a ton of gaps. Things you wanted to know the answer to that you didn’t and Snyder fills those gaps with precision and ease for the viewer that just deliver a more compelling story for the spectator. The villain Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) has a meatier presence and seems like a bigger threat than his appearance in the 2017 film. The audience also received more teases about the Uber villain Darkseid (Ray Porter), who will ultimately be the biggest challenge for our superheroes. A backstory about a film’s villain and his or her intentions adds another dimension to the story America. Take note writers.
I will admit one disappoint for me was the lack of presence of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). I thought Superman’s nemesis would have more of a presence in the movie, but he was more of a side note, until the very end where he drops some information on Batman to Slade Wilson and his actual persona that is game changing. The gives a tease of what to come which is fun, even though I think Jared Leto’s take on The Joker will never live up to the chaos and performance that Heath Ledger delivered in “The Dark Knight.” What I can say, I am intrigued to see what is next for DC comics which has appeared very quiet as of late.