Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I do not think it fundamentally improves on the theatrical cut. It just adds to it, piling on the filmmaker's particular obsessions and idiosyncrasies such that it becomes its own strange, hulking creature, built on slow motion and desaturation and light bleed. Even with the added two hours, the characters that the movie introduces are still written thinly. Take Aquaman, whose arc in the first two hours is still relegated to just three or four scenes, before simply becoming the jock who says 'English' when Cyborg tries to explain something scientific. The Flash gets an extra intro sequence that's kind of cool, but doesn't really add a whole lot to the character. And Cyborg, the lynchpin of this whole endeavor, still doesn't feel like the lynchpin of this whole endeavor.

It all still boils down to the same thing: an elaborate world destroying plot that somehow never feels immediate or urgent, carried out by a nondescript heavy who spends a lot of his down time teleconferencing with his home world. The lesson espoused in the earlier sections is that heroes need to work together to defeat a greater threat, but mostly it still seems like the main thing that needed to happen was for them to cooperate for a little bit so that they could bring back Superman. And even this doesn't really pan out in a satisfying way, because this version of Superman always has to be kind of a jerk first and then maybe a hero later.

It's all very grand, and all very solemn. But it still doesn't feel like a consequential story, because it keeps hinting that the real consequential stories are yet to come; even though by all accounts right now, that isn't what's happening. It's all a big tease to yet another story where it turns out that Superman is just one bad day away from becoming the worst thing to happen to everybody. Double daddy voiceovers remind us that he was raised by good men who saw the good in him, but that doesn't really matter in the end. Also, award-winning journalist Lois Lane seems to exist solely to keep the big guy in check. Sigh.

I'll give it credit for being unique, and for taking really big swings. But it's probably easier to take big swings when you're given an extra 70 million dollars, and are under no real obligation to follow through on whatever craziness you set up.