Lena Frances’s review published on Letterboxd:
Just about the loneliest superhero epic you could possibly imagine.
Of course Warner Bros. couldn't let such a psychologically withdrawn film represent that catalyst of its superhero universe. One of the big anomalies of Whedon's version is how miniscule & inconsequential it felt. None of the huddled masses of 'Man of Steel' or 'Batman v Superman' are present, but this doesn't feel remotely small or lacking for scope. It feels like a crisp, isolating view of a world that's retreated indoors to grieve & process. And this may be the story Zack always intended to tell, but even if he had brought his version "intact" to the big screen, I doubt he'd have been able to double down on that tone as completely as he does here.
And it's a sad, portentous & ominous experience. As we race to stop one annihilation, we know another, just as insurmountable, annihilation rests behind it. And if we're already so exhausted after this fight, what hope do we have in the next? None, it seems is this film's answer. And frankly, I'm grateful for that. I'm glad for a grandiose action epic whose lasting note is "we found peace, but all is still lost." You can fix the breach & become comfortable with the damage, but a strong enough storm comes around, you will still sink.
So yeah, I loved this damaged wreck. I really didn't expect the time-stopping climax to move me to tears. I don't expect many others to have the same vulnerable experience I did, let alone to bother watching it at all. Not your thing; not your obligation. Just cause it was a powerful 4 hours for me, doesn't mean I'd passionately recommend it for anyone else.
I'm also pleasantly surprised how few of the worst lines in Whedon's version came from the original script. Bruce still buys the bank, but at least they don't lean desperately into it like Joss did. Like fuck, this really exposes how desperate & eager Whedon's version was.