By Jackson Troxler
Justice League released in 2017 to less than stellar reviews, with many fans and critics alike leaving theaters with a sour taste in their mouths. People blame the film’s poor quality for its troublesome production. Originally directed by Zach Snyder, the director behind Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman, the film had a somewhat tricky development cycle. Conflict between Snyder and executives, as well as personal family issues, caused the director to leave the project. Joss Whedon replaced him.
Hearing about this, some of Snyder’s fans became upset. They demanded to see a version more accurate to Snyder’s original vision for the film (dubbed the “Snyder Cut”). Fans campaigned for the film to be released publicly, and they finally got their wish when HBOMax released the movie on March 18th.
The conflict of the film centers around three motherboxes: powerful pieces of alien technology that hold the power to end the world as we know it. After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), the motherboxes reactivate. This garners the attention of Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a disgraced lieutenant of an alien regime who seeks to redeem himself in the eyes of his former master. Steppenwolf begins to gather the motherboxes with the intent of terraforming the earth to make it more similar to his homeworld. He steals the motherbox from Themyscria, the home of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and the people there inform Diana of what has occurred. She speaks to Bruce Wayne (Ben Afflek), and the pair seek out powerful individuals to help them stop this threat. They find Arthur Curry (Jason Mamoa), a man with unnaturally high strength and an affinity to water, Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), a person with the ability to move with incredible speed, and Victor Stone (Ray Fisher), a man with cybernetic enhancements thanks to a motherbox. Together, these individuals take it upon themselves to stop Steppenwolf’s plans of terraforming the earth and to prevent the destruction of humanity.
I found the film to be good. I am not terribly emphatic about it, and I certainly would not have campaigned as vigorously as many others did for it to be released, but it was a decent film. The action and special effects were well done, and the acting was okay.
The film is very long--4 hours and 2 minutes--but has enough to keep you interested for the full duration.
One of the main problems I personally have with the film is apparent in many DCEU films: it is very melodramatic. Many of the characters can be rather dull and dreary, with little to get me invested in them. They did not have much personality and failed to provide much levity or joy to any of the scenes they were a part of. I often enjoy action films as an escape from the monotony of my own life, so to see that dullness present in an action film can be disheartening.
I did enjoy Ezra Miller’s Flash, however, as he was the character who broke this trend the most and, appropriately, seemed to be the character with the most energy in the film. I also enjoyed the scenes with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. We get to learn a lot about Cyborg in this film and, without getting into too much detail, I really empathize with him because of the numerous hardships he has endured at such a young age.
The Snyder Cut of Justice League was an enjoyable film. It had its problems in my opinion, but it still had many positive aspects which keep you invested throughout the whole runtime. I’d definitely recommend it to anybody who has enjoyed the latest DC films, and I am glad that Zack Snyder finally got to share his vision of Justice League with the world.