Film review: “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”

Despite its four-hour length, film is worth your time

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Lloyd Sage, Film Critic

For those of you who don’t know, Zack Snyder was the original director of 2017’s “Justice League” before he had to drop out due to the death of his daughter. Joss Whedon, the director of “The Avengers” (2012) and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), was brought on to replace him. The film underwent massive reshoots to align with Whedon’s vision for the film.

Eventually Warner Bros. had enough with the project and released it in November 2017. The film was panned by both critics and fans and it was obvious the competing visions of two directors caused the film to be an incoherent disaster. In 2018 “Aquaman” actor Jason Mamoa stated that he had seen a rough cut of Zack Snyder’s version of the film and since then a massive fan campaign has petitioned Warner Bros. to release the what is now referred to as the “Snyder Cut.” In 2020 it was announced that they would do just that and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” was released March 18 on HBO Max.

If you disliked the theatrical version of the film, you’re sure to enjoy this. While both movies have the same basic premise, the addition of character development and a different overarching enemy as well as much better CGI makes the Snyder version a completely different film than the original.

The biggest difference from the theatrical version involves the character development. The characters of Cyborg and The Flash seem thrust into the original movie with very little background knowledge provided, and they don’t receive a lot of screen time. But in the Snyder cut, both characters play a significant role in aiding the group of heroes to achieve their goal.

The movie may be much better than the original, but it comes at a cost. It has a runtime of four hours, a daunting task for anyone to undertake. Four hours may seem like a lot, and the first hour is kind of slow, but the rest of the film flies by so that by the time you finish it feels like it hasn’t actually been that long.

Overall, the film is fairly solid. It is a much darker film that doesn’t possess any of the humor that makes a typical Marvel movie successful. The fight scenes are well choreographed and the ending battle is much better than in the original cut. Although Warner Bros. has officially cancelled the Justice League sequel, the ending sets up exactly what Zack Snyder envisioned for future films as well as cameos a new character who will join the team for future altercations.

If you are bored on spring break, or your bracket is already busted (sorry, Ohio State fans) and you need a break from basketball, I would definitely recommend dedicating an afternoon to watching what could have been a great starting point for the future of DC Comics movies.