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Review Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021): Judgement solely on the film itself without any comparison.

genre: comic book adaptation, super hero, action, fantasy








Most reviews will compare to the original whether that was intended or not. And not going to lie I was and am going to do that as well. Only not in this review. I want some time to pass and then I will task myself doing a comparison between the original and this Zack Snyder cut. Why? Well, for the sake of fairness and I really don't think that it's that important to do it now. So how am I going to do this? Well, I am going to judge it on my viewing experience and the impact the film has had on me. 

When the film had been uploaded I immediately made arrangements for me to watch it. However since I do work during a week and I do have other activities to tend to I think 4 hours watching a film would be a little much too ask. I decided to do it in two parts, that way I could do all the other things I had to do and still have time for one of my favourite hobbies. Watching the first part went well up until the 90 minute mark. Because of heavy exhaustion I fell asleep. I don't particularly blame the film. It just had been a long day and I simply couldn't keep watching. Although I do want to add that real thrilling films often do give me adrenaline enough to invigorate me to keep watching. Again I am not blaming the film merely an element that should be taken into account. I think the biggest problem I had with the way the story unfolds is that I I never felt that invested. I know and am very aware that I should be but I never was. Just telling us that doom is upon us is not enough. If I am not mistaken all of the villains (let's just call them that) only attack the heroes. Sure there is a lot of collateral damage but the heroes could be blamed for that as well. In this part the villains don't outright attack the normal citizens. Apart from some high level scientists who have ties with the military. Ok yes. The bank robbery scene is one example where one could say that harmless innocents were being targeted. Still would that guy not have done so had Steppenwolf and co not been involved? He seemed like a simple terrorist looking for purpose. I think he would have found an another one quite quickly. In any case to me it didn't feel like there was that much at stake. This could have been accomplished had they shown large groups of people dying or shown destruction to the extent we never have seen before.

Meeting our heroes also didn't have the impact I at least expected. Super hero films of today remind me a lot of those old school war films of yesteryear. When they introduced characters they often had that one of two characteristics to them that made them stand out. With just one or two actions on their part you knew what they were about. In this film they were trying real hard to create origin stories within a film about all of them combined. Even with the 4 hour duration that is a difficult task since proper origin stories deserve much more time. It's not enough to do the heroes justice. Yet it feels like it takes forever for these little subplots to get anywhere. And you still don't really get to know what these characters are about. Except for The Flash. It is very clear what he wants. Basically it takes them almost 2,5 hours for the Justice League (assembled) to get into action. In my opinion that is far too long. Mind you if the pay off had been bigger and more satisfying the slow pace would not have been an issue for me. 

However the pay off is problematic. Things more or less end in a way you would expect in a super hero film except it's obvious that Zack Snyder wanted to tie in to the entity named Dark Seid which makes sense. However the way it's presented doesn't make it seem like something huge is going on. Apart from the glimpses of the future we are shown. Don't worry not going to spoil but they could and should had bigger impact. I simply didn't care. Why? Because this version of Justice League is 80 percent exposition and 20 percent narration. The way events are built up lack proper motivation and reason. They just happen because they need to not because there are consequences to actions by any of the characters in the film. Why does Batman feel the need to form the Justice League? In the comic books it's a natural and logical process. It's unavoidable. Here it's clearly only happening because DC tries real hard to catch up to Marvel. This is fact people. 

Another problem is Zack Snyder himself. He is out of touch what people really want. Just because a large group of fans have cried murder for this cut doesn't mean that they actually know what they are talking about? Snyder's love for the 4:3 aspect ratio made sense for the release in theaters. Naturally the IMAX format would be spectacular. But now in the middle of the Corona pandemic? Does it make sense in a world where most people have wide screen televisions now to have an old school aspect ratio? Come on now, this exactly points out the disconnect between Zack Snyder and huge film fans like me. They are out of touch with reality.

Look, overall I was entertained. There is enough action present to make things compelling. Only I rarely felt that there was something at stake. Two hours extra footage simply wasn't enough to make pure epicness happen. It took Marvel years to build up Thanos. You can't just introduce a character and then expect me to be impressed. It takes a lot more to make that happen!






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