Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Directed by Zack Snyder
Streaming on Crave
Let’s get this out of the way first – the new cut of Justice League is better than the theatre release of Justice League. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it a good movie. It’s bigger and noisier and is just More in every way possible than the theatre release. But it’s still a bad movie made from a bad script full of bad dialogue and bad decisions.
Yes, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is more over the top and bloodier and has more cussing and is bigger in every way than the theatre release. But it isn’t any fun at all. Any fun that could be found in the theatre version has been ripped out of Zack Snyder’s vision of the movie. This new version of Justice League is even duller, even more like watching paint dry than the 2017 one. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is where fun goes to die. Anything resembling fun has been stripped out and now we have a four-hour film that is floor-to-ceiling grim.
Justice League looks grim with that Synder thing that Snyder does where every frame looks like it was dipped in mud. It sounds grim with a grim score and grim music choices and is full of grim-faced actors saying grim dialogue. This is a film that equates grim with Important. And this film wants everyone to know that it is Important, from the first frame to the last. This is no kids’ superhero movie, don’t make that mistake. This is an Important superhero film for Important minded adults to ponder while never being embarrassed by anything silly or fun.
How un-fun is Zack Snyder’s Justice League? It completely ruins Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. In the 2017 version, the character is all laid back surfer having a blast. Now, he is grim and dark and miserable and when he returns to the sea it is to the sound of Norwegian girls singing a capella for what feels like 15 minutes.
The closest we get to anything fun is a couple of moments with Barry Allen, the Flash. Ezra Miller plays him with a high-strung nervous energy, and it starts to teeter towards fun but then that is killed quickly by a creepy face caress as he saves a woman from a car accident. Even before the creepy face caress, the accident scene is almost undone by being scored to a cover of Tim Buckley’s Song to the Siren, a song about unrequited love that references sirens calling to sailors. An odd song choice for a scene that doesn’t have Aquaman in it.
So, yeah. I’m trying hard to find anything positive to say about this movie and I’m hitting a wall. I’ve enjoyed Junkie XL’s work on Mad Max: Fury Road and Deadpool and other places, but his work on this version of Justice League is kind of embarrassing. It just doesn’t come close to his other work. Sometimes it even works against the scene it’s in. I’ve enjoyed each of the cast in other projects, in other films and TV work and such. But as bored as they look in the footage shot for the 2017 version, they look even more bored in the reshoots.
And it’s not like I’m some kind of Zack Snyder hating guy with an axe to grind. I like Dawn of the Dead and 300 and most of Man of Steel and the opening 20 minutes of Watchmen is one of the great openings of, well, Ever. But Jesus on a waffle, I did not find anything enjoyable in Justice League.
What else can I say about this four-hour long festival of Grim?
Even at this bloated, it still feels disjointed, like scenes are missing. Motivations make little sense at times. Sitting through 25 minutes of our heroes planning and then it is all forgotten in the next scene. Aquaman seems to have an endless supply of t-shirts and sweaters to take off before he jumps back in the sea. Amber Heard’s Mera has a British accent in this version of Justice League, an accent she didn’t have in the 2017 version or in Aquaman. There is so, so, so much broken in this movie.
One last thing. Doing reshoots is quite common, but they aren’t usually done four or five years after a film has wrapped. None of the actors involved in the Justice Leagues have the same physique they did in 2016 or 2017. It’s worse than Henry Cavill’s CGI’d top lip in the 2017 version. Jawlines, hairlines, shoulders, biceps, backs, everything changes shape between cuts. Putting Ben Affleck in a black t-shirt isn’t going to hide the fact that he is about half the size now than he was when he played Batman.
So, yeah. I didn’t find anything entertaining in Justice League. Didn’t enjoy it at all. And don’t get me started on the 4:3 aspect ratio.