Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a triumph that is a vast improvement over its 2017 version and a great step forward for the DC universe.
Inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even more significant threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy.
It would be an understatement to say that this film has had a controversial road to audiences. Fueled by Batman v Superman’s bad reception and a family tragedy, Warner Bros. infamously replaced director Zack Snyder with Avengers helmer Joss Whedon, and the result was an embarrassing and shockingly lousy product. Now, we finally have Snyder’s vision at HBO Max. Is it any good?
I struggled before I began watching this movie. As someone who has not particularly been fond of Snyder’s past work (despite often admiring it), I was really afraid I would feel similarly with this film, especially with what seemed like e bloated 4-hour runtime. Well, I am glad to say that this is easily Snyder’s best film to date. It’s a truly great superhero movie, which makes the Whedon version an even bigger tragedy.
Snyder injects his signature visuals and action sequences into a film with a big heart. This is largely thanks to a surprisingly deep Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher. He is excellent and brings even more depth to an incredibly well-developed character. His story arc is a highlight and adds a lot to the overall experience of the film. Other highlights are Ezra Miller’s Flash, who is much better than in the 2017 film, and Ben Affleck’s Batman, who is a joy to see back in action.
The long runtime might seem daunting to many, but ironically, its pacing is one of its strongest qualities. Snyder structures the film by chapters, making it feel much more brisk and even exciting than any other movie that comes close to four hours. The added runtime also allows Snyder to truly let all the characters and scenes breathe without any studio interference, which ultimately makes the difference, making me wonder how many of his projects have suffered for the same reasons. It’s also one of his most thematically consistent movies, carrying surprisingly powerful films throughout the film with different characters, which eventually lead to a really meaningful conclusion.
In the end, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a surprisingly well-paced and sophisticated superhero film that succeeds thanks in large part to an impressive array of characters and an engaging story, making it the director’s finest work. It’s worth watching for not just fans but anyone interested in good storytelling.