Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Better if you saw that other, worse version of it
I spent four hours of my life watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League… I watched the original, theatrical release of Justice League in 2017 and to say I was disappointed was a huge understatement. I was one of the rare people who actually kind of enjoyed Batman V Superman so when I heard Zack Snyder would be able to release his vision of Justice League I was excited.
You don’t have to tell me twice that the 2021 re-release of Justice League is a Zack Snyder film. From the overuse of slow motion and overly dramatic dialogue, the movie speaks Zack Snyder’s language. Thematically speaking, the film is very consistent, it feels much more true to a writer’s original vision. The 2017 version of the film tried to employ Marvel’s comedic style whilst also being super gritty, and it just doesn’t work. The 2021 film is pretty much all dark and gritty (aside from the Flash). That’s not a bad thing, some people just like it more than others.
I liked this film compared to its original release, but to be honest, it’s still just…whatever. I don’t buy that Batman and Superman are friends after fighting one monster together at the end of Batman V Superman. Wonder Woman seems really different from her solo films. I haven’t seen Aquaman’s solo film, however, when I compare his personality in this film from the original theatrical film, they are very different. I don’t know which one I’m supposed to believe. The one character who really impressed me in this new version is Cyborg. I knew nothing about him in the other one, and considering this is his first appearance in the films, it’s needed. Now I know his powers and motivation. The Flash doesn’t get a lot of time in either films, but considering he is much more well known to a general audience, and doesn’t necessarily need as much development.
The action in this film is decent, but nothing to rewind and watch again. Batman is useless. I get that he’s the leader, but in the final battle, it really looked like the super powered heroes were babysitting him. He could hardly fight one of the expendable CGI goons! Maybe that’s more authentic to the story, but it’s not really what I’m paying to watch. When Superman returns to fight Steppenwolf, that’s when the action kicked off. Usually Zack Snyder kills it on the action, this film left me wanting more badass and memorable moments.
Side note: Aquaman, King of the Ocean…litters into the ocean in this movie. Take from that what you will.
Overall, if this film was contained to two hours rather than four, I’m still not sure it would be much better than a 3/5. The film is consistent thematically, but lacks personality. It doesn’t allow itself to be very likable to a wider audience, and generally it’s kind of boring. Would I watch it again? Honestly….no, it’s four hours! Those hours rack up. Should you watch it? If you watched the original film and can afford to watch it, go ahead. It’s an interesting study to see different director’s edits. In general, I’m not sure we should get accustomed to films being re-released to fix it because of box office blunders.