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Movie of the Month: “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”

After four long years in the making, Zack Snyder’s original vision for 2017’s “Justice League” finally released on HBO Max this month. The 2017 version was so utterly disappointing, and a lot of it can be traced back to the turmoil that happened behind the scenes on the production.

Zack Snyder has confessed to not seeing the 2017 version, but according to the people who worked on both productions, they only used about an hour of his footage. That means that about half of the film, to our knowledge, was what he originally intended. It was a mixed bag of forced humor, clunky CGI and a story that was clearly trimmed down and rushed. Now, the director of “300” gets to share his version of the film.

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” follows Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), as he tries to recruit a team to combat earth’s biggest foe yet: Steppenwolf. The events of the film take place after
2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” so the world
is still without a Superman heading into this film.

One of the biggest things 2017’s “Justice League” wasted was a stacked cast. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is able to redeem Ray Fisher’s Cyborg and Ezra Miller’s Flash. Those are two characters that got pushed off to the side in the 2017 counterpart in favor of heavy-hitters Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman.

That being said, it’s very much still Ben Affleck’s film for the most part. Batman is the leader of the group, and it’s him that assembles and leads the team into battle.

Does a superhero film really need to be longer than “The Godfather Part 2,” “Seven Samurai,” or “The Irishman?” In short, no, but don’t be intimidated by the four-hour runtime. The story moves at a swift pace for the most part, and the film is also split into six chapters, making it much more digestible as a miniseries if desired.

Ray Fisher and Ezra Miller got their dues in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” but another character that gets redemption is the villain, Steppenwolf. The 2017 “Justice League” film featured a watered down and overly simplified version of the character. The CGI of the character in the 2017 film lacked any sort of emotion and looked straight out of a PS3 video game.

Zack Snyder’s film rejuvenates the character aesthetically and story-wise, making him a much more formidable foe to go against the Justice League. He also gets a backstory, so the
audience understands his motives to an extent. The 2021 version of the villain is much closer to Thanos from the Avengers films than Malekith from “Thor: The Dark World.”

Whether you liked 2017’s “Justice League” or absolutely hated it, it’s hard to argue that “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” isn’t an improvement in some way. The story still has the bones of the original, but this feels like an entirely different film as the stories are fully fleshed out in the four-hour runtime.

Where the 2017 film fumbled, the 2021 version picks it up and runs it into the end zone. Sadly, it ends with cliffhangers that may never be paid off, but it also offers one last glance at Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill sharing the screen as Batman and Superman. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is an anomaly in film history where the stars are perfectly aligned, and it will continue to be looked at for years to come.

Source: MovieWeb

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