I honestly didn’t expect to much like Zach Snyder’s Justice League because I’ve seen enough of his filmography (with the exception of Sucker Punch (2011), which was for me unwatchable) to not expect much from him.
His version of Justice League was no different. Bloated, narratively broken and way, way, WAY too long at just over four hours.
The length would be problematic at the best of times though considering that it only intermittently shows signs of having a pulse – in fact, till the last third of the movie/mini-series, whatever this thing is – it’s very difficult to watch.
And sure, his version of Steppenwolf is visually more interesting than Joss Whedon’s (though to be fair Whedon’s is more accurate to the comics) but that’s hardly enough of either a reason or a foundation for Zach Snyder’s Justice League to exist in and of itself.
The problem goes deeper than the design of any particularly character: a symptom of a larger problem, namely no matter what Zach Snyder says publicly, he doesn’t get superheroes.
In fact, I’m not entirely sure that he even likes superheroes – at least those he chooses to make movies about, which I suspect is a problem.
Though it’s not as if this is – or should be – any sort of mystery. After all, how else do you explain his tendency to drastically change characters more in line with his own vision than the way they’ve been treated for literally decades?
And that’s what I feel is at the heart of Snyder’s failure (for the most part) to successfully adapt DC superheroes to film: He doesn’t like them as they are. He instead prefers his own interpretation of them (which would be fine if he actually cared about them beyond a very surface-like fashion).
And I hate what Warner Bros. executives did to him (from where I sit it feels like they used the death of his daughter to remove him from Justice League though there’s no way that they could/would have released his version – it shouldn’t need to be said that there was no ‘Snyder cut’. There were some scenes shot, no doubt, but nothing remotely close to a feature-length film) though I think the likelihood is high that if his vision were allowed to go forward it would have likely received the same response as most of Zach Snyder’s DC-based movies, which is for the most part negative.
Zach Snyder’s Justice League certainly looks better than Whedon’s version, which makes sense because he came in after the fact and essentially lightened and color corrected Snyder’s work even though that’s not how it was meant to be depicted.
And let’s be honest, Joss Whedon’s Justice League is bit of a clusterfuck, though considering what development of the movie has gone though I’m not entirely sure how it could have been anything else.
What is a bit of a surprise though is that despite the studio interference problem not being present, Zach Snyder was still unable to create an engaging version of the movie (though to be fair it occasionally was interesting, though for a four-hour movie? Not nearly as much as it should have been).
As I imply, the movie picked up in the third act, but by then it’s too late to make a significant difference.