Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder is the only blockbuster director around that genuinely cares about myth-making. Even I don't usually care about myth-making! But he makes it work through sheer sincerity and commitment to storytelling. His sensibilities really are the polar opposite to Whedon in that regard, a man who only views stories as vehicles for quips and the most loose definition of wit, so it was little surprise when, in 2017, Joss Whedon's Justice League came out as a tonally confused zero-stakes frankenstein mess of a film with no respect for any individual moment except for how it moves the plot along from A to B.

Snyder, on the other hand cares sooo much about crafting moments in this. A line where a little girl asks Wonder Woman if she could grow up to be her would come off as a lame and inauthentic attempt at twitter screenshot pandering girlboss feminism in any other blockbuster, but Snyder truly believes it with every inch of his soul... and it becomes a hugely emotional and heart-touching moment as a result, especially considering his track record and tragic history of wanting to make empowering films for his daughters. This thing is aching with emotion, it has a living, beating heart.

It has actual heroism. Actual sacrifice. Actual honour. And I realise now just how utterly absent that is from most mainstream comic book movies today. Something as simple as Cyborg putting money in a woman's bank account can bring me to the verge of tears here, because for once this is a universe where these actions HAVE proper weight and consequence. Cyborg's arc, completely absent from Whedon's version, here comprises this film's very soul. It is so beautifully earnest that anyone making fun of Snyder for taking his stories seriously can go fuck themselves to hell and back.

It helps that he's in peak mythologizing form here. His craft is on point. This is almost like an arthouse adaptation of an old greek legend. It's a completely new breed of superhero movie, a completely novel approach that nevertheless makes perfect sense considering the genre's roots. His style has never looked so good. The colour grade is nothing short of fantastic (especially noticeable when compared to Joss' grade, which is nothing short of dogshit)

Of course, that's not to say this doesn't have problems - I maintain my belief that no movie needs to be 4 hours long, but what it lacks in easy rewatch value it makes up for by feeling like the most cohesive and formalist Snyder film yet, a style that fits his classicist sensibilities like a glove. It's perhaps the closest Snyder has ever gotten to the platonic ideal of his style, the ultimate modern renaissance tapestry. While, like Batman V Superman, the set-up is a lot more interesting than the third act payoff, to call the Joker scene payoff in its own right is a fucking understatement... It's the most batshit hype thing I've seen in years. Please, dear god, let the man go through with it.

In summary, this is a very imperfect film, but exactly the film we needed right now. Thank you for being the coolest guy in the world, Zack. You finally fucking won.

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