Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★

A modest improvement over the Whedon cut. Its interminable running time allows more room  for character work that really should have been done in other movies that were never made. And the atonal mish-mash of Snyder’s apocalyptic imagery and Whedon’s insouciant humor from the previous cut are gone, in favor of a more cohesive whole. For better or worse, this is very much Snyder’s vision, not just uncut but also uninhibited.

Snyder has a real talent for embellishing every corner of the screen. There are countless beautiful images throughout the movie, but rarely do they add up to beautiful frames. Snyder’s technical prowess is let down by an almost pathological inability to know when to stop. The beauty he generates is just stuffed into each frame, overloading the picture, and he rarely bothers to make sense of the whole. 

It’s good taste, really, that Snyder lacks, an instinct for when not to say something, when not to show something, when not to cut to a close-up or when not to switch to slow motion. (You could halve the running time here if you just played all of the many, many slow motion sequences at normal speed.) Poor taste is just another way of saying “tacky,” of course, and this movie is relentlessly tacky in its ostentatious fetishism for violence, pyrotechnics and fury. I kept thinking, “It’s amazing that there’s really a grown man out there who thinks this dreck is artful.”

I also kept wondering who this movie is for? It’s a purposeful perversion of beloved modern myths and it’s also conspicuously contemptuous of younger audiences—age groups who have embraced these characters for generations. Not only does its use of foul language and grotesque imagery exclude children from watching, but Snyder repeatedly returns to his fantasies of power as fascism, ostensibly to critique power, but really to indulge in fascistic imagery, and it’s disgusting. The script does him no favors, either; it’s plodding and obvious and lacking tact or cleverness at every turn, though in fairness the script is perfectly matched by a terrible score.

Khoi liked this review