Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Pt. 2

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. 

Still of ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ via Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures/HBO Max

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. 

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/HBO Max ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ via

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? 

Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/HBO via Entertainment Weekly

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. 

Amy Adams as Lois Lane in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures via

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. 


Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures via

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. 

Henry Cavill as Superman in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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. 

Henry Cavill as Superman in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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’s Justice League’ promo image via Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures ?

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. 

—a penlady

Film Critic, Movie Blog, Movie Reviews

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Pt.1

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

Directed by: Zack Snyder  Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures  Runtime: 4hrs. 2 mins.   

Screenplay by: Chris Terrio   Story by: Zack Snyder & Chris Terrio and Will Beall

Cast: Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher,  

          Amber Heard, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons  Rated: R  

**This movie is LONG! Unpacking it is a chore, so I am breaking my review/commentary on it into two parts. Look for the second half on Monday. Thanks everyone!**

Zack Snyder’s cut of the Justice League movie was born from the efforts of a devoted fanbase. That is why this movie exists, pure and simple. They are all proud of this, and I might applaud their efforts if most of them weren’t so toxic. That is a conversational beast that doesn’t belong here. My review isn’t for them. They need no convincing to see this film one way or the other. 

Once a bell is rung, it cannot be un-rung. In the same way, I cannot un-see a movie already watched. The memory is there, that crucial first impression ingrained. My goal is to review just ‘the Snyder Cut’ without comparing it too much to the 2017 Justice League.  

‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Official Trailer via ING, YouTube.

That said, the first scene in Zack Snyder’s Justice League shows the audience the end of the fight scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Except that it’s not. This scene is clearly meant to imply this sequence happened, but it didn’t. Basically, Snyder added it to this film in a show of ego of how he could improve something he didn’t have the foresight to do the first time around. This intro sequence certainly would have improved upon Lex Luthor’s (Jessie Eisenberg) lines said at the end of Dawn of Justice. Cementing the seriousness of what was to come in ‘Justice League.’ That aggravating clarification aside, Snyder does get points for including information in this introduction in a concise, straightforward way that explains how Lex knew certain things in the first place.

Kal-El’s (Cavill) cries are like a supersonic whistle that only three guarded boxes can hear. Pushing aside the 2017 Justice League movie, assuming you, the reader, haven’t seen that film, this introduction works:

  1. It connects this film better to the previous one.
  2. It sets the tone.
  3. It sets up the plot.

All in the first five minutes without one spoken line. Not bad. 

Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via

This film’s premise is that Bruce Wayne/Batman (Affleck) has been warned of a force coming to destroy the Earth in the wake of Superman’s death. With a fresh resolve to make up for his previous notions of Superman before his death, Bruce seeks out metahumans, with Diana/Wonder Woman’s (Gadot) help to protect Earth. Snyder presents this task and journey in the film into seven parts.

Sectioning off the film into parts doesn’t come across as chapters in a narrative as smoothly as they could have been. If anything, they serve to avoid jagged scene transitions. Personally, I find that lazy. Let’s review the film by these parts, not because I’m lazy but because it will act as headers and make it easier to read. 


In the 2017 film, I didn’t know who to blame for giving Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Momoa) ice-blue eyes, Whedon or Snyder. They both knew a stand-alone Aquaman film was in the works, so why not consult about the character? In the 2017 film, his eyes were better looking than in ‘the Snyder cut’ because there is more color and brightness. Snyder has this depressing, overcast, muted tone thing going on in this movie. It loses the effectiveness of the choice to have his eyes this color the first place. Since then, the Aquaman movie came out and Zack Snyder’s choice to not change Arthur’s eye color to match is ridiculous. When establishing a movie franchise universe with different directors and visions, SOME consulting should be a given! A professional courtesy. 

Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via

You’re probably thinking I’m just ranting and not reviewing, but I am. This lack of acknowledgment is repeated frequently in this film. When a director and studio allow this to happen, it can damage what is trying to be built. It also can confuse the audience. I’m giving my thoughts without giving anything away. Or trying to, at least. 

The introduction and general use of Lois Lane (Adams) are better here. It connects her relationship to Clark, and the loss, in a way that is relatable for anyone who’s lost someone important. She’s not just a last resort plot mechanism.

There is a sequence in a bank where Wonder Woman busts out some unbelievable moves. Diana has impressive reflexes, true, but she’s not faster than the Flash. She’s not faster than (modern-day) speeding bullets either. It’s an example of speeding up a character beyond their established capabilities. It also made me question if children in Europe actually go on field trips to banks? We don’t in America, so it seems like a comic cliche add-on. 

Steppenwolf in 2017 ‘Justice League’ on LEFT & ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ on RIGHT. Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via ScreenCrush

A favorite DC setting is brought back, the island of Themyscira. Here we get a look at another aspect of Amazonian responsibility. This is where Steppenwolf, the antagonist of the movie, is introduced. Previously, in the 2017 version, he looked more organic. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, he resembles the shiniest, chrome-plated Decepticon ever seen. An expansion of what happens on the island in this version shows what goes down is more than just a short keep-away game. In that, and this is in the trailer, so it’s not a spoiler, think what it would take to destroy part of an island created by a god. 


Steppenwolf’s goals and place in the universe are made more evident in this film. The audience gets a sense of it when DeSaad materializes to converse with Steppenwolf about his progress towards redeeming himself to Darkseid. The being Steppenwolf answers to. However, Snyder struggles to effectively elude to his ultimate plot within a plot.

Snyder does give a more intimate, personal introduction to Victor Stone/Cyborg’s (Fisher) storyline than he previously received. Ray Fisher does a wonderful job of portraying Cyborg, which I discuss in my review of the 2017 film.

Ray Fisher as Cyborg in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via The Hollywood Reporter

The scenario where a woman jumps, climbs, or runs in high heels is a personal gripe I have every time it happens on TV or cinema. It’s a great example of men writing women characters poorly. Diana, who’s always in heels, jumps in hers and lands with them intact. Doesn’t break her shoes or ankles. She really is a Wonder Woman.

There are two moments where I question the musical choice for scenes. Like, what kind of mood are you trying to create from the one I was just in. The tone change doesn’t transition well. One is with Aquaman, the other is later with the Flash. Music is a fantastic tool in cinema, and this film’s musical scores did nothing for me. Both ‘Everybody Knows’ by Sigrid and ‘Come Together’ by Gary Clark Jr. & Junkie XL from the 2017 film are removed in the Snyder Cut. The removal of ‘Come Together’ is understandable; its tempo is too energetic for Snyder. Sigrid’s song is great, but there is no place for it in this movie, even one four hours long.

After almost an hour, Vulko (William Dafoe) finally refers to the three boxes as ‘Mother Boxes.’ I still don’t like how the boxes were adapted from how they are utilized in the comics. This scene could have benefited from Aquaman director James Wan and Snyder swapping notes since it messes with what ends up being part of Arthurs origin story. 

Darkseid in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via

In part two, Diana explains to Bruce who/what Darkseid is. She recounts the story of when he came to Earth before, and the wording is ambiguous. It’s frustrating because the script is so vague here. The writers hope the audience isn’t paying too close attention to details because they are not concise in their storytelling. They simply lack the imagination to connect this part of the storyline to a future plot point. I could sum it up, but that would involve spoilers. It creates questions for me about Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s original stories. Snyder blows some of that away without a care to the directors who gave fans notable films and storytelling. It’s so professionally fucking rude! 

Who needs continuity in a franchise or any story? Right?


The Flash’s intro. In the 2017 version, Barry Allen/The Flash (Miller) was the best part of the movie for me. He was a mix of vulnerable, funny, and honest, appreciating and in awe for what he was joining. His reactions were tremendously different from everyone else. He’s what a young Flash should be, too bright for his own good, quick with quips and occasionally putting his foot in his mouth, but in an enduring way. Zack Snyder got rid of that. Pity. In his version, Barry/Flash starts off as an excuse-ridden idiot with attention issues. 

His intro sequence involves the introduction to Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. She’ll be in the stand-alone Flash movie for relevance. That said, she’s only in one scene, and frankly, it could have been shortened or cut altogether. The entire sequence does nothing for Barry’s character overall. There is an Easter egg here. This is the other scene when the musical choice makes me feel like I’ve been transported momentarily into a different film.

Ezra Miller as The Flash in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Image: Warner Bros. Pictures via Screen Rant

Victor Stone’s story is fleshed out more and elaborates better on how he became Cyborg. Every time his character’s backstory comes up, the audience sees a well-rounded character in development that you want to follow along with. 

Barry meets Bruce, and that’s the same. There wasn’t anything wrong with that whole setup. What is tweaked is how Diana and Victor meet for the first time, but she is still patient and empathetic towards him, and that matters. 

Steppenwolf goes to Atlantis, and I think Mera (Heard) is fleshed out a bit more, but not much. As is King Orm, who is only mentioned but gives the audience an idea of who he is before the Aquaman movie. I do wish Mera’s magic was utilized more; it’s an underused attribute of her character. A significant example in this section of the movie contradicts Mera’s character in this film against the Aquaman stand-alone. It’s like Zack Snyder has never bothered to see James Wan’s Aquaman! If you see this movie, can you pick up on it? 

**Come back for the second half of this review!**

–a pen lady