Mike is a film enthusiast who as amassed a large collection over the years and likes to thing of himself as the average viewer.
"Spoiler Free Recap"
First let me start off by saying I have never written a film review before. I am an average viewer with a large collection who especially enjoys the "Comic Book" genre, if there is such a thing. I enjoy a good story and, of course, lots of action. Some witty quips thrown in for good measure is always nice but when it is forced it can be in bad taste. That being said, I DESPISED the original Justice League. So much of that movie felt forced on the viewer with the one-liners, to the CGI packed action. It felt like a reimagined MCU film, which I am a huge fan of those line of films, don't get me wrong.
I don't blame Joss Whedon for this either. I think he tried to do what the studio asked of him. I am more than confident when he went into that film he was asked to duplicate the magic that Marvel experienced. I mean, who wouldn't want the superlative form of film making brought to their studio right?! But in the end, DC and Marvel are too different. They have always been different even when you examine the actual comic book lines. DC tends to air more on the dark side, and Marvel stays towards the lighter and airy side. There is nothing wrong with either, I am a huge Batman fan and at the same time have always loved the Marvel lineage. What Zack Snyder did with Justice League though, was embrace those differences rather than try to replicate the other studio, and it works.
Justice League clocks in at 4 hours and it is the first 4 hour film I can honestly say I wish was longer. The ending scenes are amazing and make you hungry for a continuation of the story to see what else Zack and his team can cook up. They have captured the magic of Marvel but from a different perspective. They captured the cameo aspect, they captured a successful delivery of a few jokes, they captured a deep and enriching story, and they captured a way to spell out the disaster that the team of heroes are facing. I will not speak much on cameos to avoid spoilers but even in the trailers they show Jared Leto's Joker and he does not disappoint. Keep in mind that I am saying that being an enormous fan of the Joker and what he brings to Batman's universe and I was extremely irritated with his take in Suicide Squad (another film I feel the studio's heart was in the right place but their meddling caused a catastrophic film to be made).
What amazed me about this film is that rather than try and capture the exact magic of Marvel through and through, all the things that made Marvel what it is today, Zack went the complete opposite direction, and it is genius. Marvel likes fast action? Zack slowed it down. Marvel likes bright colors? Zack goes the darker route. Marvel likes comedic timing? Zack slips in minimal comedy for a 4 hour film to stay focused on the story. Marvel likes to establish the characters prior to doing an ensemble piece? Zack introduces characters in the ensemble piece. He also still finds time to squeeze in the backstory for most which was great to say the least.
So does this mean he topped Marvel in my book? No. Because comparing Zack's Justice League to an Avengers film is like comparing a t-shirt to a pair of pants, there is no correlation between the two except that they are articles of clothing. There is no correlation between the two movies except the fact they are both super hero films. I think to develop his own vision and to do things the way he wanted to do them, it was done in a witty, beautiful, and artistic way.
One of the major changes between this and the original take on Justice League is the fact that the story is much more cohesive. They explain all of the gaps from the first film ("Hey, I know we literally just formed a superhero team so let's go wake up the dead guy that's stronger than all of us combined because Batman said so!") They even give the backstory on the motherboxes which in itself was worth it to see. The first film made the explanation behind them seem convoluted and confusing. This film does a much better job of spelling out exactly what is going on and why they are doing what they are doing. Sure, there are still some parts of this movie that definitely seem drawn out, but that's the beauty of it at the same time isn't it? The whole point of watching a movie is to be submersed in a world that takes away the pains of our daily lives. Rough day at work? A good comedy always helps. Something happen that made you angry today? How about a little John Wick revenge film of a guy kicking ass for two hours to make you feel better? The point is with the drawn out sequences and the extended slow motion action, Zack is bringing you further into his world and forcing you to let go of yours. It's what Peter Jackson did with the LOTR films, it's what Joss Whedon did with the original Avengers films, or even what Scorsese did with Goodfellas. They bring you into their world and I think Zack did it in a creative way by making these action sequences slower and more detailed and the dialogue between characters deeper and richer.
In the end, I feel it redeemed the DC Universe. Not that it righted all of the wrongs of BVS, Man of Steel, Suicide Squad or any of the other linked films. Unfortunately the studio, I feel, did their damage with them. I just hope this film is evidence that when you let someone establish their vision the way it was originally intended, people will appreciate it for the fact that the story is told the way it should be told. When an artist's vision is impaired from outside sources, it can cause a lack of artwork and an abundance of atrocious bloated filmmaking. Thank you for letting Zack make this film. I am sorry he couldn't complete his vision in the first place. Obviously for the right reasons he couldn't finish, tragedy never comes at a good time. But I think it helped to inspire him to complete this journey for the fans and for himself. He followed a dream and made it come true, and the best part is that dream is on film for all of us to see now.
© 2021 Mike V Stevens