Jumping right back into part two of this review!
Another scene has Steppenwolf and parademons fighting against the hero’s in Gotham, fine. The audience should remember this film was shot after Wonder Woman yet pre-dates Wonder Woman 84 technically. So where did Diana/Wonder Woman get a sword again? Of all the things better explained in this version, this never comes up. Yet, in this entire movie, she has a sword that can stand up to the paces of a demigod’s use and battling against parademons and Steppenwolf. She’s never been back to the Themyscria. Am I the only one who’s curious about this? Is my nerd showing too much? Moving on, the transition could have been smoother from this sequence to the next scene, but Snyder seemed to have little options. So, like a hangnail, you do what you need to do and move on.
The mother boxes are supposed to be these super-powerful objects that are science but appear like magic that communicate with one another somehow. That’s easy enough to believe, and I am grateful Steppenwolf no longer talks to them, calling them “mother” like a disturbingly devoted child. However, it’s difficult to accept the boxes can “decide” to tell/show Steppenwolf something. Or how they just know what a user wants out of them, period. How that is possible is never established and seems like it’s there just so Snyder can throw in more material. Snyder vaguely sets up the second plot within the storyline at just over the film’s halfway point. The plot within a plot he attempts to foreshadow is aggravating and bloats the film.
Snyder takes too long to develop the characters and establish the point of the movie. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman have already been established in previous films by this point, so why does it take so long to flesh out the other three? It shouldn’t. This obsessive need to put in every detail makes the movie’s pace, overall, slow and dull.
Eventually, the name Darkseid is uttered. Unfortunately, the writers of this film can’t come up with a better introduction to the whole point of plot 2 without Steppenwolf mansplaining to DeSaad about Darkseid. Yes, the audience gets told by default, which is the point, but it’s so far-reaching. The buildup to what happens with the boxes is established early in the film, and the audience is invested. To throw in everything after this is a lame attempt to cobble together what should be two films. Like the outcome of plot 1 could fuel plot 2 in another film. The pace would be better, at least.
Listening to what Steppenwolf says to DeSaad about Darkseid made me write it down. Why? The whole explanation is confusing, and I needed to break it down because I thought I heard it wrong. I didn’t. It is a bunch of illogical rubbish! Snyder does a shite job of setting up or explaining or alluding to any of what is said beforehand. If Snyder had bothered doing that, weaving these details or backstory into the film from the beginning, his plot within a plot wouldn’t seem like an afterthought. But, that takes talent, and that’s something I’ve felt the writers of the “Snyderverse” have always lacked.
After the movie’s soggy midsection is Cyborg, again. His transformation from Victor to Cyborg is further explained and reveals how the mother boxes work. This is important because this makes the team seem less spur of the moment and crazy for wanting to use it in the crashed Kryptonian ship than they appeared in the 2017 version.
There is this touching representation of humanity between Martha and Lois when they share their mutual grief with one another about Clark/Kal-El. Or that’s what I thought, but then Snyder goes in and dangles another add-on. Just randomly throws in something else that doesn’t even come up again until the absolute end of the movie. I’m sure he did it to make this fanbase happy, but I say it’s a giant waste of potential! Ultimately it’s a letdown that he should have just left out of the movie.
While the pet cemetery joke is gone in this version, Barry finds himself, with the others, digging up Clark’s body. What, you thought it magically got to the Kryptonian ship?
I still don’t agree with Arthur wearing Atlantian armor because he hates Atlantis. It makes zero sense. However, I’ve established what I think about Zack Snyder’s lack of professionalism towards the other directors involved with this ensemble.
The Kryptonian ship doesn’t like the mother box, big surprise. I do like the explanation for why the team can use it and how Victor’s father could use it on him without waking it. The devil is in the details, and this is an area where they were logically fleshed out.
In the 2017 Justice League, Lois is used as bait for a resurrected, powered alien with a temporary blank slate of a mind. How her character is utilized in this version is preferred. She takes these daily walks to the memorial near the ship (okay, this is a baby-sized spoiler), and it gives her a natural, believable reason to be there and “run into Clark.” It really highlights Clark and Lois’s bond and relationship as something real and substantial. Something the other version didn’t care about.
So, it’s in the trailers; Superman lives again! Yeah! In the process of making that happen, Victor is ‘shown/sees’ a possible future or alternate reality; by either the ship or mother box, which is unclear. It’s logical for Victor to see what Bruce has seen. However, accepting Batman’s “premonition” or “Knightmare” from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a stretch. It’s one of Snyder’s attempts at alluding to what’s to come, which only makes logical sense from Victor’s position, never Bruce’s. Yet, it’s from Bruces’ POV that is the springboard for more Snyder-bloatware.
Superman/Kal-El/Clark is not enjoying his resurrection party that makes its way outside the ship. Points I’d like to point out as dumb. 1. You’re a cop or soldier, and you see a flying man with Superman’s face; why shoot at him? Can’t you tell it’s him without the suit on? 2. Batman and Lois saying “Clark” within earshot of said cops and soldiers…just stupid.
Bruce tells Diana about his dream/premonition, not because it’s of any relevance to this movie or logical again in any way. If there was a snowball’s chance in hell of Snyder getting to do another film, this would be relevant, but it’s not gonna happen. He knew that and left it in any way. The film could be so much shorter without him trying to get the audience to believe Bruce has premonitions. Much of this movie could have been done without or in smaller doses, and the runtime would be tolerable.
At this point, there is an hour left in the film.
Evident from the trailers, Superman dons a black suit. Many people didn’t like this, and it’s hard to blame them. Nowhere in the film is a reason for the choice, though it would have taken ten seconds or less for Superman to respond to any of the team or Lois asking about it. Not that Henry Cavill looks worse in all black, it’s Henry Cavill. Still, the precedence for it is based on the comics. Only the most devout comic nerds would know that.
So near the end of the film, the team works together to deal with Steppenwolf and the mother boxes. Darkseid lurks nearby while all the action is happening, like some bigger foe the team didn’t see coming and must deal with. Snyder’s second plot. If you’re a fan of the comics and think that Snyder will give you an epic showdown with him, nope.
Both of the trailers for this film are misleading cockteases. The tone of the film is not the same as the trailers, nor is the pace. Alluding that Darkseid has a substantial role in this film is false. His character is in the movie, but I feel it’s fair to warn you Alfred (Irons) gets better screen time.
There’s so much more I could talk about in this part of the movie, but it’s difficult to do without giving stuff away. So I won’t. Just understand that the film could have ended here, and it would be a runtime of 3 hours 34 minutes. At this length, all of the Lord of the Ring and Hobbit films had better storytelling, tone, pace, and character development than “the Snyder cut.”
With twenty-eight minutes left, ten of those are spent on short bits that the audience will appreciate. Tying up loose ends is an excellent way to describe it. While the movie could have ended already, it definitely needed to end here. It didn’t.
All I could think of was what the fook, just end the movie already! So there are ten more minutes of Zack Snyder’s inability to let go and move on. What is shown has nothing to do with the actual movie. It’s like a movie trailer tacked on at the end. The super-secret clip shown only to the attendees at Comic-Con or something. It’s literally a scene he made to go into another movie. Catnip dangled out for all his fans to salivate, obsess over, and probably bully the studio for years to make. It’s pathetic.
Don’t worry. The last eight minutes are the credits and just the credits.
Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio should never have been given the reins of this franchise.
Yes, I’m a fan of Marvel comics and the MCU, but here is a fact, a person can be a fan of both Marvel and DC! Millions of people are. The two take incredibly different approaches to their storytelling. Understood. What Snyder did was make films based on an obscure and darker take on Superman and Batman. Those who are not devout comic book fans have a hard time accepting that take on these iconic characters’ first cinematic outing together. That’s fair; I even agree with it.
I could have been on board with the death of Superman storyline with a twist to it. If they merged that with another storyline where the characters come together. Cyborg and Aquaman wouldn’t be in that, but Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter would be. A better writer and director could have made something truly epic and wonderful. Something to build upon. A franchise with continuity that supports the standalone films as well as the larger ensemble ones. Those are just attributes of good storytelling when you have so much material to work with as one does with comics and superheroes.
Zack Snyder was given another chance to tell a story. A story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. He failed at that. He chose to create a four-hour-long 4.3 aspect ratio example of why more isn’t always better.
If you never saw the 2017 Justice League spare your butt the nap it will get watching this. Unless you’re bedridden and bored out of your mind, it’s not worth the time. If you did see the other version of this film, there is little satisfaction to be found. Sure, there are many changes, but unless Cyborg is your favorite character, he’s the one with the most significant differences. Don’t bother.
I love the Justice League and the actors that portray the characters; they all did a fantastic job with the given material. No-fault can be found there. Still, this movie isn’t worth putting on your watchlist; no film that feels this long should be. The Justice League may one day be shown justice on the big screen, but not today.