Director Zack Snyder’s epic vision of the Justice League delivers the hopes, dreams, and expectations of the dedicated fans who demanded it. The Snyder Cut washes away the crushing disappointment in the abysmal original. Each character is explored with a depth and nuance that redefines the entire majestic plot. This is especially true for Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and the greatly improved villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). The film shines with breathtaking action scenes and a much darker, angular tone. The whopping two hundred and forty-three minute runtime has some filler, but it’s never boring and keeps your attention tense all the time.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is told in six chapters, followed by an epilogue. It begins tragically with the brave death of Superman (Henry Cavill) by Doomsday. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) knows he is facing a greater threat. He had an apocalyptic vision of the end of the world. Batman must rally the planet’s meta-humans to fight an enemy he hasn’t encountered.
Meanwhile in Themyscira, an ancient artifact from a long-forgotten war, comes to life. The mother chest protected by the Amazons has called its true master. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and her warriors are the first to face Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. She sends a desperate message to Diana (Gal Gadot). Who, in turn, informs Bruce Wayne about the three mother boxes and their real purpose. Together they go to the Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen and Victor Stone, a former soccer player who was transformed after a terrible accident. They quickly realize that their immense skills are still not enough to face Steppenwolf. The mother boxes slept for a reason. Although the greatest protector of the earth has fallen, he is the only hope of victory.
The Snyder Cut bears little resemblance to the 2017 one Justice League. Everything that was obviously flawed is corrected and improved. The biggest difference is Steppenwolf. He has a fiendish makeover with shimmering metal armor that moves in waves to repel attacks. He kills mercilessly with a wild, bloody purpose. What used to be a CGI disaster is becoming a legitimate ass. His attacks on Themyscira and Atlantis are intense and vivid. Steppenwolf also sets the stage for the introduction of DeSaad (Peter Guiness) and the biggest villain, Darkseid (Ray Porter).
The plot of the Snyder Cut is complicated, multi-layered and leads to serious dramatic tension with the secondary characters. Part Three – Beloved Mother, Beloved Son, goes deep into the backstories of Flash and Cyborg. Part four – Change Machine, focuses on the desperation and loneliness of Lois Lane and Martha Kent (Diane Lane). The second act of the film has a weight that lifts the plot. The lack of credible feelings was a serious flaw in the original release. This flaw is addressed here and is causing a significant emotional toll.
There are surprises and setups that DC fans will love. Zack Snyder lays the foundation for that Justice League Universe that started in Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We saw references to new characters and the Joker (Jared Leto) in the released footage, but there weren’t any leaks that revealed the actual plot. Raise your expectations because it’s a sucker. I sincerely hope Warner Media continues this story The Lightning and beyond. In this case, the DC Universe can finally compete with the MCU.
What did I not like? Zack Snyder sticks to his film style ad nauseam. Its use of slow motion adds 30 minutes to the four hour run time. He’s going overboard in that regard. Many action scenes are spectacular in stylized slow motion. But there is a lot of filler that is not needed. I also had problems with his music and the choice of scores at key moments. Several dramatic scenes are accompanied by plaintive singing. It distracts first and then builds up into real anger. A scene with Aquaman is a prime example and has mystified me.
The tidal wave of fan support for Zack Snyder marks a new chapter in studio engagement. A passionate base built momentum and got the movie they fought for. I’m not sure if future circumstances will produce the same quality result, but it definitely worked in this situation. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a magnum opus to admire and enjoy. It is also a lasting tribute to his beloved daughter, who unfortunately took her own life. The film is a production by Warner Bros., DC Films, The Stone Quarry, and Atlas Entertainment. It will be released worldwide on HBO Max on March 18.
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