Zach Snyder’s Justice League: The DCEU Masterpiece

Luke Doherty, Entertainment Journalist

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out on HBO MAX and it’s absolutely breathtaking. The original Justice League was reviled by the DC community and many such as myself even forgot it even existed. Joss Wheaton took over reign of the film after Zack Snyder’s unfortunate family tragedy. Justice League (2017) was criticized by audiences for being too much like Marvel, with the humor and the light tone of the movie it did feel like a ripoff of The Avengers (2012), which Joss Wheadon also directed. After the movie was universally hated Zack Snyder said he had a four hour cut of the movie where virtually everything was different. Four years later, it’s here and it’s absolutely stirring.

Now, the actual film. It’s a four hour epic in the vein of The Avengers (2012), but with major differences. It’s darker in tone with less jokes and, in my opinion, ultimately better. I had always had a more attachment today to DC than Marvel, but Marvel simply had better movies and I was never a big “comic book guy.” The main problem with the last one is that they treated their characters the same as Marvel’s and they tried the “Marvel formula,” which in my opinion has already been perfected by them. In this movie they treat their characters as gods, which most of them are so powerful they deserve that title with the exception of Flash and Cyborg. They treat them with some godly presence, especially Superman, and it brings another element to the movie that I love: cinematography. The shots are beautiful and make you feel like you are in their universe. The CGI is sometimes a little noticeable, but I can excuse it because they are just too many good things to nitpick the bad. Overall, this is a cinematic movie and really pulls you into the story and characters.

Speaking of the characters, they are beautifully written, especially Cyborg, who steals the movie as he is the most developed character with multiple flashbacks dedicated to him. He is, to quote Zack Snyder “the heart of the film.” His emotional backstory carries the film and makes it much more enjoyable. This backstory was nowhere to be found in the original, in fact all of it was cut, being a particularly flat character in it, but this movie more than makes up for it. The Flash is still the comic relief, but he also has gained a complete new backstory to his character, which is definitely a welcome addition. He also gets, in my opinion, the best scene in the entire movie and has a strong emotional core. Both of these characters, who were flat characters in the original, are now the best characters in the entire film and I can’t wait to see their solo films. The other characters are good, too: Wonder Woman has a good dynamic with Aquaman and Batman and I actually don’t mind Ben Affleck either. Superman isn’t in the movie a proportional amount of time to the other characters, but still seems to leave a great impact on it, especially during the end of the second act.

I have gone through this whole review without spoiling anything in the movie, but now I am, so you have been warned. My thoughts on the movie are very positive as you would’ve guessed by the title. After watching the movie three times I do, however, have some thoughts. The mother boxes and Darkseid were explained well and I like how Darkseid is actually in the movie. His presence makes it seem there is more at stake since he is the most powerful being in the DCEU. The battle scenes were fantastic, though as I said the CGI was a little choppy at times. Flash’s scene of traveling through time was the best scene, but only half as emotional as Victor’s (Cyborg) story. The epilogue was actually really well done and if the SnyderVerse gets rebooted I will be very excited about what happens next. I like how the League feels like an actual team and spends the time actually saving people, instead of making jokes while people die. Now, the negatives: There is way too much exposition with Steppenwolf and I also think his character is mediocre at best. The first hour and a half was a little slow and at points was very boring. Some music cues were overused (Wonder Woman’s theme) and I will never get over some of the miss casts in this universe, Jesse Eisenburg as Lex Luther, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Jared Leto as The Joker, though I did like him in the epilogue overall.

This movie stands as a reminder that every director should have his/her vision realized because it might be better than the studio or other directors want. This is, with all of its flaws, my favorite Superhero movie ever. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves comic book movies or anyone who just loves really good camerawork and beautiful shots.