Zack Snyder’s Justice League Review

Following the hashtag movement from DC fans, #ReleasetheSnyderCut, Warner Bros Studios finally released Justice League movie. The movie is based on Zack Snyder’s take, the original director of the movie, before tragic family event made him unable to complete the movie.

It’s released through HBO Max streaming service since 18 March 2021. With most of cinemas are closed due to global pandemic, the studios had no choice but to distribute it through alternative medium.

But perhaps, that what makes this move appear so fresh.

I’m not lying if said I forget most of the scenes in the Cinema version. It feels like a brand new movie. Although it’s essentially a same movie with same story line and characters.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Zack Snyder directs Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot for Justice League

Even the main villain now is different. Steppenwolf, who held the role as main enemy at cinema version, was demoted to merely as lead soldier of Dark Seid, who didn’t even appear in cinema. Although in this move, he becomes badder and nastier too.

The different appearance of Steppenwolf in the Cinema Cut (left), compared to Zack Snyder Cut (right)

The running hours is now expanded to 4 hours, instead of 2. The popularity of streaming service in the wake of cinema close-out due pandemic offers blessing in disguise. Gone is the concern of limited cinema run time for 2-3 hours. Zack Snyder has more room to unleash his creative minds.

So he is able to cast stories about the characters. Unlike Marvel’s Avengers, DC didn’t invest enough introducing their heroes through their individual film. “Man of Steel” was probably the only proper movie to introduce Superman. Batman was kind of rushed to appear in “Batman v Superman”. Ok, Wonder Woman had one good movie, but that seems to be disconnected with Justice League story line. Unlike Avengers, where each individual movie built up leading to the culmination.

Cyborg, who is actually central to the story of this movie, was criminally cut out from cinema version. So the audience, including myself, was left unimpressed with him. There were no development of character whatsoever. And no previous individual movie doesn’t help.

Flash and Cyborg – the two characters, whose life stories were told in greater details in this movie. Oh and that’s Dark Seid in the middle.

Thankfully Zack Snyder made amends in this movie. Now we know more about Cyborg’s background. Learn his story. Understand his life frustration. But also be aware of his ability. As result, the whole movie ticks. It all makes sense.

The 4 hours duration also enable Zack to showcase more dramatic and cinematic footages. His trade mark slow motion actions are everywhere in this movie. The cinematic shots, while was not fully supported by excellent CGI, are still great sights to behold. At times, it’s like reading a graphic novel.

Speaking about graphic novel, I’m happy to see Zack bring back DC to stick with their true-to-comic style. A bit dark, serious, with minimal humor. The cinema version of this movie was a lame attempt to mimic extremely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe’s lighter style. That doesn’t fit DC, especially Batman (he is Dark Knight, right?). It may not be for everyone. But it definitely pleases most DC fans.

So, in overall, the Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a massive improvement from the cinema version. In my view, it’s not only a better movie, but it actually makes the previous movies that prelude this, “Man in Steel” and “Batman v Superman”, become better too. The three movies now have more coherent story line. Stronger characters. And similar visual experience.

So should we now start the hashtag movement #RestoretheSnyderUniverse ? Count me in!

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