Determined to ensure Superman’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne aligns forces with Diana Prince with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher
Bottom line: I don’t see how it’s possible to put this version of the project next to the 2017 version and not recognize that it’s superior in every way. This four-hour cut is the kind of brazen auteurist vision that Martin Scorsese was calling for when he complained (rightly) that most modern superhero movies don’t resemble cinema as he’s always understood and valued it.
The recut—it feels more correct to call it a “restoration”—contains zero Whedon footage. It’s broken into seven chapters with titles, each of which has a serene self-contained quality, reminiscent of issues of a monthly comic.
Let’s take a moment and talk about the look of the movie, because it’s key to what makes the project feel unified. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is framed in the squarish, roughly 4×3 “academy” ratio, rather than the narrow-and-wide format preferred by most epics. The result has the subtle psychological effect of making this new-ish work feel somehow “old.” When Junkie XL’s score is blasting and the members of the Justice League are doing heroic things and not blabbing amongst themselves, suddenly we’re watching the superhero version of a symphonic silent epic in the vein of “Intolerance,” “Sunrise,” or “Metropolis”—just scene after scene of impeccably composed panoramas, like those mammoth oil paintings that depict tiny figures in the foreground dwarfed by mountains and sky. Except in this case, it’s the heroes and villains who are dwarfed by landscapes and/or the cosmos, or mortals looking up in awe at superheroes looming overhead (silhouetted against sunlight, clouds, fire, or atmospheric haze).
This masterpiece is everything and more. This is not Marvel (far from it) and that’s a good thing.
In the end on thing remains. Restore the Snyderverse.
Verdict: Super Worth the Popcorn