Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder's Justice League

By Owen Gleiberman

It takes an extraordinarily diverse skill set to direct a great comic-book movie. You’ve got to be a visual-effects wizard; a maestro of story and pace; a popcorn humanist who can find the relatable dimension of a bunch of freaks in capes and breastplates and spandex; and enough of an artist to tie the whole thing together into an indelible Big Vision. It’s no wonder that in the years since Hollywood got eaten alive by comic-book culture, the superhero movies that have achieved a genuine sweeping transcendence can just about be counted on one hand: “The Dark Knight,” “Spider-Man 2,” “Black Panther,” a few others.

To that hallowed list I would now add “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” the thrillingly restored four-hour-long director’s-cut version of the 2017 DC Comics extravaganza. The new movie — and make no mistake, it really is a new movie — is more than a vindication of Snyder’s original vision. It’s a grand, nimble, and immersive entertainment, a team-of-heroes origin story that, at heart, is classically conventional, yet it’s now told with such an intoxicating childlike sincerity and ominous fairy-tale wonder that it takes you back to what comic books, at their best, have always sought to do: make you feel like you’re seeing gods at play on Earth.

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