Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★

It’s better than WW84. But that’s a low bar.

I’ve never seen Joss Whedon’s Justice League, so I won’t be able to compare and contrast the differences between the two versions. I admit that I spent half of the movie asking my brother “was this scene in the original”, and bless his patience because if I were him I would’ve slapped me on the 3rd question.

I will say that I appreciate Snyder’s vision in this story. It felt like a long, dark, and solemn odyssey, into which he imbued with all the hallmarks of Snyderism. And his complete embrace and utter devotion to this vision is worth commending, regardless of how much of it he landed.

All that doesn’t change the fact that, no matter how much stylistic glamor you put on top, if the underlying story lacks substance and structure, you’ll always be putting lipstick on a pig. And while the runtime was necessary to fill in most of the details and backstories of the supporting cast, it just felt overwrought. There’s also just some elements of this movie that feel extra as hell. Like, why was the movie in 4:3 aspect ratio? Is there any reason? What’s with all the unnecessary slo-mo? If you speed up all the slo-mo scenes to normal speed, the movie could probably shed thirty minutes. I feel like most of Snyderism is what an eighth grader would consider edgy and cool. Which, 95% of the time, it’s really not.

The writing and story both felt contrived and overtly fan service-y. There are interesting plot lines to be sure, but it wasn’t really clear what purpose some of these stories and characters added besides attempts to make more sequels off the film. (Like excuse me? What the heck was the point of most of the epilogue besides being fan service?)

I did like many parts of the movie. Snyder’s take on action scenes and his use of slow motion might bother some, but I would argue that his films are the closest adaptions we have to the comic-reading experience. I loved Snyder’s take on Watchmen, mostly because it was a panel-by-panel reshoot of the comic itself, and Snyder’s use of slow motion can really make you appreciate the composition of the scenes. Unlike Watchmen, however, and going back to my previous point, there is just a fundamental lack of good writing and story telling in the Justice League script. And Snyder definitely went overboard with some of that slo-mo juice (e.g. that sesame).

Also, the key plot point of the final act is a clear attempt to plagiarize the plot of Jay Chou’s 2008 masterpiece, Kung Fu Dunk.

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