Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League ★★★★

It's still just about a cardboard alien bad-guy who invades the Earth for a fetch quest to find three boxes, but it's about those three boxes in a similar way that Lord of the Rings is just about a ring. Alright, maybe that's a little trite (the Mother Boxes don't possess the same psychological weight and power to corrupt that the One Ring has), but all the same, but that franchise and this new cut are genuine artefacts of what can happen when a director with a passion is able to show you some crazy unfettered spectacle at whatever speed they goddamn well like. Like Jackson before him, Snyder has fully leant into the intimacy and emotion of a massive story, and while he's way too broad a writer to really make you cry, he also cares about superheroes beyond their powers. So many massive moments throughout (and, weirdly, the finale) are tied to the psychology and vulnerability of these moody supes in ways that the butchered theatrical version didn't even dream of, and because of that, I felt myself more often than not very invested on an emotional level where I've never been before in this entire (now 12 film!!!) saga. Snyder's also taken a few notes from Watchmen, employing the same huge, unwieldy structure that Moore wrote and Snyder copied-and-pasted, but here, it works! Cyborg's introduction certainly works as a Dr Manhattan-lite tale of tragedy and frightening power, and other sequences along the way feel carefully structured in big-enough chunks to actually recall the pace and build of a moving comic book. And for me, that's enough to comfortably put this above the dismal theatrical and into something almost...profound? As a trilogy capper for the Superman saga, it feels right, becoming less cluttered and complex than either of the others and genuinely epic where the others felt just a bit loud. Snyder rose from the ashes and cobbled together his insane vision that I would've killed to see in theatres, and I think he made his best film out of it. Will certainly be rewatching, despite the completely pretentious length.

Simon liked these reviews