‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Brings True Cinematic Justice to DC Heroes

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Published March 24, 2021
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"Zack Snyder's Justice League" was released on HBO Max on March 18. Photo courtesy of HBO Max

DC fans got a taste of “Justice League” with a new vision after “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” became available to stream on March 18 on HBO Max.

Due to unfortunate circumstances that were beyond anyone’s control in film director Zack Snyder’s family life, he was not able to properly direct the 2017 “Justice League” film. However, Warner Bros granted him a chance to redeem the tragic mistakes that replacement director, Joss Whedon, made in the previous film. Fortunately, Snyder has corrected most of the previous problems in his own cut.

DC may not have the greatest reputation regarding cinematic adaptions. Comic inaccuracies aside, characters such as Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, and The Flash, played by Ezra Miller, are given a decent spotlight. Previous films mainly focus on the trinity group, which includes Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Therefore, the film is more enticing after seeing Cyborg and Flash get some fair attention.

Although I was apprehensive about Snyder using an obscure character such as Cyborg, who was always more of a Teen Titans member than a Justice League member, rather than someone like Green Lantern, he does have an interesting story arc that helps his character find better clarity.

As for The Flash, he is portrayed as the goofy kid within the narrative. Snyder has been known to be overwhelmingly bleak with his previous DC films and although his cut of “Justice League” is pretty dark, The Flash adds contrast by being portrayed as a bright character who provides comic relief.

The Flash’s backstory is hinted at throughout the film but is left a little ambiguous for those who are not familiar with the comic books. However, the ambiguity allows for plenty of source material to work with for a potential solo film.

Ezra Miller plays Flash, the comic relief of the film. Photo courtesy of HBO Max

Ezra Miller plays The Flash, the comic relief of the film.
Photo courtesy of HBO Max

The biggest problem with The Flash is the special effects the studio used to display his powers. Considering his powers are supposed to appear more stealthy, the special effects used make them look way too conspicuous. He ends up looking like a charged-up stereo.

Though the film is largely brutal, earning its “R” rating, it does contain some humor through characters such as The Flash and Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa. Momoa’s character has an aggressive, yet likable personality that undoubtedly gets people laughing.

Further, the lore is well-thought-out having it focus on Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, and Aquaman’s ancestral connections and how it pertains to the villain Steppenwolf, played by Ciarán Hinds.

DC's extra all-star heroes featuring Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

DC’s extra all-star heroes featuring Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros

Let’s not forget DC’s all-stars: Batman, played by Ben Affleck, and Superman, played by Henry Cavill. Snyder does a brilliant job of redeeming Batman for the mistakes he made in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” opening the door to what his bigger role is in future movies. The film also highlights how important Superman is to the world.

Though this movie does have a few minor flaws, DC does include a handful of Easter eggs and cameos, which work for the most part. However, a big one that is completely one-sided in the end is a cameo by Martian Manhunter, played by Harry Lennix. It felt like Snyder threw him in there just for the sake of being there, ruining something that could have been a much better twist for later DC films.

Another Easter egg that falls short is Superman sporting a black suit rather than his standard red and blue garb. This could contribute to a later story arc but for now, it is not made clear as to why he would go for a change in style.

Cyborg gets a bigger spotlight in Snyder&squot;s cut of "Justice League." Photo courtesy of HBO Max

Cyborg gets more spotlight in Snyder’s cut of “Justice League.”
Photo courtesy of HBO Max

On the other hand, a cameo and Easter egg that is well executed is the inclusion of the Joker, played by Jared Leto. This gives more insight into Batman’s tragic past and interesting Easter eggs to iconic storylines such as “Batman: Death of a Family.”

What makes this cut better than the 2017 version overall is how it expands the storylines for each character, especially Steppenwolf. Although the pacing is not perfect, it is almost justified since the film is four hours long.

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” helps atone for Warner Bros.’s previous mistake with the 2017 release by appreciating all of the other iconic heroes who deserved mentioning. It is definitely worth the watch.

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