By Dave B.
If you’re reading a review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League you likely already know enough of the film’s history and premise, so I won’t go deeply into them. In short, it’s a superhero team-up featuring DC comics stalwarts Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman. They square off against the villain Steppenwolf and his master, Darkseid with the fate of the Earth in the balance.
I prefer to judge a film on its own merits, so I’m going to do my best not to compare this with the previously released version of Justice League. That said, claims that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is some sort of masterpiece are exaggerations in my view. It’s a decent movie. It’s tonally consistent (meaning nearly unrelentingly dark and foreboding). The action sequences are good, and help prevent a four-hour long movie from feeling excessively long (unlike, let’s say, “The Irishman”). And frankly, Zack Snyder’s Justice League likely would have been a good foundation for the future of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) because it does a good job of setting up future threats in a way that makes one want to see the future of this fictional world.
However, in no way, shape, or form is Zack Snyder’s Justice League a great movie. While it’s runtime doesn’t feel oppressive, it still does feel a bit bloated. A great movie attempts to balance complete storytelling, a compelling narrative, and concision. The film fails at the third of those. Furthermore, the performances in this movie mostly range from “decent” to “annoying” to “wooden”. It’s hard to feel an emotional connection to the movie because too many of the actors don’t seem to feel one.
Fans of Zack Snyder and his previous DC movies should definitely see this version of Justice League. It’s a true interpretation of the director’s original vision for the film and the fact that it’s available to audiences at all is a minor miracle. That said, if I had paid to go see this film in a theater, I’d probably be a bit pissed. It’s not good enough to justify sitting in public for four hours, and nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise. The fact that it’s on HBOMax is the only reason that I can recommend this film (even if somewhat tepidly) to viewers beyond diehard fans. If you aren’t a fan of comic book inspired movies in general, or the DCEU in particular however, you can safely give this movie a pass.
Runtime: 242 Minutes
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.