Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A goosebump-inducing epic worth the long wait
“Is it my job to make some pop-culture piece of candy that you eat and forget about the next day? Nah. I would rather **** you up in a movie than make it nice and pretty for everybody.” So said Zack Snyder in a recent interview with the New York Times, adjusting expectations for anyone who believed Justice League’s cut could be as broadly accessible as The Avengers’, a feat Joss Whedon tried (and failed) with his widely maligned 2017 version.
Thankfully, the visionary filmmaker sticks to his guns and goes all out with the stylistic and narrative bombast. Unafraid to engage his audience in long dialogue-free stretches, including the goosebump-inducing intro, Snyder lets his rich images speak for themselves. The painterly visual opulence is refreshing for a blockbuster and so is the deliberate pacing. Some may call it self-indulgent but it’s a vision worth indulging.
Clocking in at four hours – though it might have been half an hour shorter if it wasn’t for his addiction to slow motion that inflates the lenghty running time – the epic #snydercut dedicates time to its gallery of iconic characters as they band together to save the planet from a reawakened extraterrestrial threat following the events of Batman vs Superman.
Even with its sprawling focus, it is organised and coherent, split into a number of chapters to track and merge the disparate journeys. There is admittedly some bloat but the multiple hours of added footage highlight just how much context for the story and characters was removed by Snyder’s replacement – and just how artless Whedon was at handling spectacular sequences. Furthermore, even though the director never saw the bastardised issue of his film, he knew that Danny Elfman wouldn’t be an adequate replacement for Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL following their great work on BvS. Mercifully, the Dutch composer returns and reaffirms the strength of his collaboration with Snyder, scoring the new picture with powerful music centered on healing and lamentation as the Justice League rebuilds itself, accompanied by poignant recorded songs such as Nick Cave’s Distant Sky and Rose Betts’s cover of The Mortal Coil’s Song to the Siren.
The fates of Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and Superman are aligned with that of their monstrous enemies Steppenwolf, Darkseid, DeSaad and Granny Goodness. Fans will be pleased that this royally expanded edition doesn’t skimp on the lore, furnishing amazing moments that delve into the Age of Heroes history, and it’s especially a treat to see the villains cosmetically re-adjusted to look as menacing as their comic counterparts compared to the half-assed CGI work in the Joss-tice League.
The Snyder cut is completely worth the wait – serving as the director’s best contribution (by far) to the DC Extended Universe – as well as the #releasethesnydercut tweets and the extra $70m Warner Bros spent to redeem themselves. In fact, the one truly disappointing aspect surrounding the film is that British audiences will still have to wait a few months before watching this glorious picture in its intended IMAX form.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is released on Sky and Now on 18th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League here