Review of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2021)

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It took two days for me to work my way through the two-disc set of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). I saw the 2017 version and wasn’t incredibly impressed. I was hoping for more in the “Snyder Cut.”

Given the breadth of this film, I’m commenting on things in no particular order and this review will not be comprehensive.

At slightly over four hours of run time, there’s plenty of room for character development, origin stories, and “mood,” but I think it could have been a shorter, tighter movie.

I liked that there were “parts” or “chapters”. It helped explain the sort of episodic or disjointed feeling I got from all the different sections of the story. It was also a lot like the comic books I read as a kid where you’d have to read six, eight, or ten issues to get through an entire story.

I’m glad the Boom Tubes actually made a “BOOM!” sound.

I couldn’t understand why the Amazons would try to defend their mother box with nothing but swords, shields, and arrows until I saw the “Age of Heroes” sequence when that actually worked against the denizens of Apokolips. But that’s when Atlanteans, Amazons, and humans were united in battle.

I did like the brief appearance of a Green Lantern in that part of the movie but felt the character was too easily killed. Cutting off his hand is such an obvious ploy, the GL should have had a defense.

I liked the addition of the Martian Manhunter (Harry Lennix) who apparently is also the military general we saw in Man of Steel (2013). Given that move, Snyder had plenty of room to include a GL in the main sequence. I’m thinking Abin Sur, our space sector’s GL before Hal Jordan. He could have been critically wounded in the final battle, crashed on another part of the Earth, met Jordan, and set everything up for Jordan to become the next Lantern.

gl

Showcase issue 22, 1959

After all, the armies of Apokolips are only afraid of superpowered Kryptonians and Lanterns.

kiss

From Superman: Son of Kal-El #5

I didn’t miss the home pregnancy test in Lois’ (Amy Adams) nightstand, meaning before Clark (Henry Cavill) died, he left something behind.

Of course, that brings to mind the current “Superman” in DC Comics Jon Kent who, given recent events, I tend to think of as “Superman lite.” No, I’m not being anti-LGBTQ+ or “homophobic,” but DC is actually planning on killing the Clark Superman and replacing him with his son. At least Superman isn’t being retconned relative to his sexuality, but even given the 21st century, there isn’t a replacement for the original. There must always be THE Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman trinity.

But I digress.

The death of Superman was more directly tied to the attack of Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his buggy minions, or more to the point, the waking up of the mother box guarded by the Amazons. It also made more sense for the rest of the JL (not JLA because people are offended by the “A” part today).

Cyborg’s (Ray Fisher) powers were vast but inconsistent. His Dad Silas Stone (Joe Morton) described him as having the ability to hack into any digital systems, but when the team were trying to find the kidnap victims who were being kept under Gotham Harbor, they had to go back to Batman’s (Ben Affleck) lair to use his computer systems when Victor should have been able to do it on the fly.

Speaking of obvious errors, the big energy field over the nuclear disaster site in Russia not that far from Moscow should have been visible to dozens of satellites but Stone had to die to mark the third mother box so the team could find it. Really?

The resurrection of Superman wasn’t really changed that much and there really needed to be a whole movie just about the return of the Man of Steel. I still think DC missed it’s big opportunity in not making a trilogy out of the 1990s comic book “Death of Superman,” “World Without Superman/Reign of the Supermen,” “Return of Superman story line. That story was much more balanced.

The movie did give more room to the world’s grief over the loss of the Last Son of Krypton. I felt better about that than I did about how Clark was treated in “Man of Steel” and Dawn of Justice (2016) when Superman = “aliens are bad.” Finally, finally Superman was appreciated as the classic hero he’s always been in the comic books and in just about every movie and TV show before the current DCU.

ww

Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot continues to “kill it” as Diana/Wonder Woman. Her performances are always a joy to watch. Same with Jason Momoa as “The Aquaman.”

I try to like Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, and I know his character is supposed to be young and immature, but he’s so socially inept and juvenile that I find him less than heroic. Okay, apart from his traveling faster than light to time travel to save Cyborg and separate the three mother boxes.

J.K. Simmons was a pleasant surprise as Commissioner Gordon. I’d like to see more of that.

The epilogue sequence was more of a let down than anything else and should have been much shorter. The “Bruce Wayne dream” could have been cut altogether. No value added.

black suit

From the 1990s Superman comic books

I watched the “Snyder Cut” just because it was supposed to be so much better than the original. I don’t regret it but it’s not a movie I’ll watch more than once. It tried to be epic, and it certainly had the scope, but it had a little too much scope.

As far as I know, everything this movie set up is going to be thrown away. I was actually surprised to see that Affleck’s Batman was appearing in the coming The Flash (2022) film, because it was my understanding that Superman and Batman were ultimately being replaced by Supergirl and Batgirl (2022) (DC not being able to abide those old, white, cisgender males of yesteryear). Of course Michael Keaton is in both “The Flash” and “Batgirl” as an older Bruce Wayne, so there is that.

Lots of other fun bits in the film but too many to mention here. I feel like this movie tried to make up for DC’s lack of success and playing catch up to the Marvel movies. At this point the invasion by Steppenwolf and the buggies was a lot like Loki and the Chitauri attacking New York in The Avengers (2012). Plus Darkseid and Thanos are pretty much the same beings.

Oh, I liked the black costume Superman wore. Mirrored the comic book “return.”

6 thoughts on “Review of Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” (2021)

    • Even with all of the additional footage, it still depended on the editing. Really, the whole thing should have been reshot. As I said in the review, DC should have trashed their other movies and filmed the 1990s Death, Reign, Return of Superman trilogy.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting review, there was a time when I would have loved to see superheros like the Justice League on the big screen, nowadays not so much.
    I felt that DC decision to have Doomsday kill Superman was a bad choice; DC has come to that conclusion as they’ve brought him back to live numerous times. They just should have introduced a new generation Superman. Which they finally did, Jon Kent, but did a dis-service to the Superman franchise by making him gay. If they wanted a gay hero, then they should have created an original character, no one will look at Superman in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Technically, Jon Kent, Clark and Lois’s son, is an original character who happens to be bi, so he hasn’t been “retconned” as gay the way that formerly straight characters such as Tim Drake/Robin or Bobby Drake/Iceman have been. I do agree though that there’s something especially iconic about the Superman symbol and I can’t see anyone but Clark Kent as the Man of Steel.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Depending on my interest level, I’ll watch what I hear is bad. Sometimes, it’s not horrible but does have flaws. I didn’t review Star Trek Picard because I thought it was good, but because I’ve been a life long Star Trek fan and wanted to see for myself. I’ve been reading Superman and Batman comicbooks since the 1960s. Not now, but they’re part of my nostalgia. it’s also why I wait until I can get them for free from the library.

      Liked by 1 person

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