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“Didn’t we already see Justice League?”, I hear you ask. Well, yes and no. Here’s the abridged version of how we’ve gotten to this version: Director Zack Snyder had to leave the production due to a family tragedy. Warner Bros brought Joss Whedon in on board to finish the film, and turn it into the version that we got in 2017. Some time after, Snyder announced that he still had all the original footage that he shot and wanted to finish the film. The movement, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut gathered stream and was supported by the stars of the film. In the end, Warner Bros gave Snyder the money and the means to finish the film in the way he originally intended.
Free from the constraints of the studio, and knowing the film was going straight to streaming, Snyder assembled this, a four hour version of Justice League which shares some similarities with the version we got, but at the same time feels like a brand new film. Side characters get much more play especially Cyborg, and the whole thing feels a lot bigger and more epic in scope. In addition, some of the elements that didn’t really pay off in the first version work much better in this film, such as The Flash’s contribution to the climactic battle.
While the near four hour runtime can be daunting, Snyder has split the film into chapters, each with its own title card, which almost makes it feel as though you’re binge watching a TV show than watching a film movie. Yes, it’s a long film but by the same token there isn’t much that I would think to cut out of it. Each scene serves a purpose, be it introducing new characters, or explaining character motivations, or just showing some straight up action scenes that are among the best ever put to screen in any superhero film.. As far as the story goes, we find Bruce Wayne attempting to put together as group of individuals with extraordinary abilities in order to fight the invasion he predicts isn’t to far away. This includes The Flash, a reclusive Cyborg, a distant Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. There’s also the small issue of a dead Superman, but you’ll get to that in due course.
The overriding feeling I got while watching this was a sense of fun that was missing with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Even though I enjoy those films, they’re tough going on places. All that work though pays off wonderfully in this film and the characters are given a lot more freedom to develop, which is helped greatly by the running time. As well as all this, Snyder had adjusted the colour pallette of the film to match the tone of his other DC movies, and a totally new score has been composed which brings back some of the more familiar themes from the other movies in the DC slate of films.
So yes, while you think you might have seen Justice League, it’s only when you watch this version you’ll realise that in the version that came out in 2017, you only saw the tip of the iceberg. This is a massive sprawling epic film that feels as much like a TV show like Game of Thrones than it does a superhero film, and it’s great that we got to see it. It’s got great action, the performances from all the heroes are very strong, and the story is simple to follow but has plenty of layers to keep your interest.
...Just be warned, this one isn’t for kids!
These are the marvelous animated thoughts and words of our man Kevin Dillon.
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