In 2017, in the midst of finishing the much anticipated DC film Justice League, director Zack Snyder tragically lost his 17 year old daughter to suicide and desperately needed to take time to deal with his family’s loss.
2017’s Justice League was largely panned by critics and fans alike and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 40%.
After Snyder’s fans created the “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut” movement, which proved successful, we are now about to be gifted with Zack Snyder’s vision in it’s 4 hour entirety on HBO Max on March 18, 2020.
Over 100 critics have screened and reviewed Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it’s currently holding at 75% fresh on the Tomatometer, and here’s what they are saying:
Nick Schager of The Daily Beast declares, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a prototypical Snyder movie in every respect. A wantonly dour and doom-filled affair, it’s excessive, indulgent, and self-serious, striving for grandeur throughout the course of its gargantuan 242-minute runtime via endless slow-motion, CGI sound and fury, and operatic melodrama. Yet it’s those precise elements that also serve it well, infusing it with a scale—and sense of import—that make it everything the Snyder faithful hoped it would be, and a vast improvement over its 2017 theatrical iteration. “I have a second chance, Lo. I am not going to waste it,” Superman (Henry Cavill) tells Lois Lane (Amy Adams), and Snyder approaches his film likewise, holding nothing back in bringing his outsized do-over back from the dead.”
Mark Cassidy from ComicBookMovie.com says, “Is Zack Snyder’s Justice League better than the version that hit theaters back in 2017? Unequivocally, yes.
It’s difficult to imagine even the most ardent Snyder detractor failing to admit that this 4-hour cut improves on the original film in pretty much every way. The story flows much more cohesively, the characters are better defined and developed, it’s far more tonally consistent, and just makes a lot more sense in general.”
John DeFore from The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t as thrilled with the movie stating, “But the movie’s soul, such as it is, remains unimproved, and at 242 minutes, very few of them offering much pleasure, it’s nearly unendurable as a single-sitting experience.”
“If it were watched in parts — title cards identify six chapters and an epilogue, and some rumors suggested it would be released as a series — those segments would fail to deliver the shapely balance of energies and pacing that one expects these days from even a merely competent TV show. This expanded version may be exactly the product desired by the legion of Snyder fans who cried to the heavens for its release. But nonmembers of that cult will find it just as unenjoyable as the original.”
Scott Mendelson of Forbes was slightly more positive, “That I appreciated the Cyborg-centric footage and the improved action climax doesn’t mean that this 243-minute movie couldn’t have existed as a 2.5-3 hour Justice League movie. That, along with how much the theatrical cut did include from what came before, implies to me that Snyder was on the right track and that WB could have just gone with what they had. It’s great that there’s now a mega-budget Justice League miniseries with a decent finale focused on a Black superhero. Moreover, the $70 million spent on this project helped keep post-production houses in business after Covid brought everything to a stand-still. But like New Line’s It movies compared to ABC’s superior 1990 television miniseries, twice as long doesn’t always equal twice as good.”
Philip De Semlyen from Time Out however, didn’t seem to enjoy it as much, “As expected, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is moodier, more violent and more faithful to the comic books. But is it better? Not really. Given the opportunity afforded by two extra hours’ runtime, most filmmakers worth their salt could patch up a few narrative holes and beef up a sprawling ensemble of characters. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t sacrifice energy and zip, and both are seriously lacking in Snyder’s elephantine assembly of Mother Boxes, alien superbads, slo-mo-heavy VFX battles, yakky bits, and subsea shots of octopuses going about their business.”
Richard Lawson from Vanity Fair really seemed to like Zack Snyder’s vision stating, “Watching Snyder’s intermittently rewarding epic—if nothing else a spectacle of completed vision—stirred up surprising emotions. Not about what happens to the people (and aliens) in the film, but about what happened to its maker, and to the course of human events while Justice League 2.0 wrestled its way into being. There is a bittersweet suggestion made by this turgid, solemnly weighted film. Toward the end of my screening odyssey—one sixth of a whole day on Earth!—I found myself thinking about all the ways of the old world that I have mourned over the last year, about all the petty hopes and plans I had for my life that were washed away by pandemic and quarantine.”
Hannah Woodhead from Little White Lies was not a fan. She said, ” If returning to this project and finishing it the way he intended has helped Snyder to process the loss of his daughter, more power to him. In interviews, he has spoken candidly about his experiences and comes across as a nice enough guy with a good sense of humour. But it’s ultimately a shame that this personality isn’t reflected in this relentlessly ugly slog. His Justice League is overlong, miserable and signifies nothing other than the potential of fandom to influence top-level creative decision-making.”
Karen Han from Slate apparently thinks highly of the movie and states, “Snyder proves, a movie with a clear director’s touch is more compelling than a movie that’s been made by committee. Snyder’s Justice League is more, more, more in a way that most films wouldn’t dare, and, after a year of no theaters at all, a movie that makes me long to return to a multiplex—to see more movies that commit so completely to a vision that it’s impossible not to be swept away.”
Alex Abad-Santos from Vox also seemed to enjoy the film. He declares, “Pre-established Justice League and Snyder fans, especially those who have waited four years for this version, will love it. I also think the circumstances we’re in — one year into a pandemic, waiting for vaccines, wanting things to look forward to — will work in the movie’s favor. It’s easy to forgive some of its sins when many of us would be just as likely to spend the same four hours mindlessly scrolling on our phones or watching something worse.
And again, what Snyder built is a much better movie, so much that I wanted to go back to my review of the original cut and dock it a few more points.”
Director Zack Snyder finally gets to share his original vision with Zack Snyder’s Justice League, starring Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and many more and will be available to stream on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.