Unlike the raving DC fan base, I did not hate Joss Whedon’s version. I did find it forgettable, but I did not hate it. I mean I literally forgot that I had seen it. I did not hate it though. After seeing Zack Snyder’s take I have completely different point of view. Since the first was so forgettable, I decided to watch the first version before watching the new version. I thought it fair to compare them and see if one can measure up to the other.
Zack Snyder’s four hour long, chapter split vision was simply beautiful. Actually beautiful. The CGI, special effects and general editing were all so very well done. The added effects to things like when Wonder Woman strikes her wrists together and the added visual effects were done so seamlessly. It looked about as natural as that could possibly look. It was exactly how I would imagine it happening in front me in real life and real time. What I loved most about the CGI work was the differences made to Steppenwolf’s look. The visual effects in his physical movement and how his armor would move with his emotions changing. It was so very well done. I could hardly take my eyes off it. This also applies to the apokolips minions of his. Their movement was more natural feeling. Cyborg was all around well done. He had a nice fluid combination of robotic and humanlike movement. The only thing that left me wanting for the visual aspect were the capes, as they felt more out of place from everything around them. This is especially true for Batman. By contrast, Superman’s cape seemed more natural and stood out far less than Batman’s. Since they were made from two entirely different materials, I understand that their movements and appearance would not mimic each other, but still I hold firm that Batman was under represented in the cape department.
When I first started watching, I was not a fan of the 4:3 setup. I am so accustomed to the full screen setup that it bugged me at first. This opinion quickly changed. I believe that had a huge impact on the overall visuals and it did not take long before the amazing visual work outweighed that 4:3 viewing. This was a visual work of art. Take away the sound and it would still be amazing. I know for sure because I forgot to turn the sound back on after taking a short break and let it go for a minute before realizing I had no sound. This is a testament to how incredible of an atmosphere Zack Snyder was able to create in this version.
Do not actually forget to turn on the sound like I did! The sound effects were spot on. The music that Tom Holkenborg made for this film was unbelievable. I am not sure the last time I heard such well done and well placed music in a film. Not just Holkenborg, the entire music department for this film clearly put in a lot of effort and heart to build the auditory masterpiece that they did. Although the film was stunning with its visual work and would be great without sound, the sound is so amazing that you do not actually want to do that. You would miss out on some great works. I can say that not everything was perfect. The only complaint, kind of a complaint, I have is the sound wave of Superman dying in the beginning. For a minute I thought I was jettisoned from DC to Star Wars at the Boonta Speeder Race. I would have liked for that sound to be less like a speeder and more of one constant and moving sound.
The story layout was well done. The timing of the Mother Boxes being shown closer together instead of being so split up in timing. This version showed Cyborg before his story was brought in previously and I liked that. The way this was done made it so that the boxes seemed to wake up closer together in time, instead of seeming to have lots of time between each box awakening.
The added back stories for Steppenwolf and the flashbacks may have increased the run time of the movie, but each scene was well worth the extra ticks. Each scene broadened the overall plot and not one flashback or back story felt out of place or forced.
The changes made to scenes like Wonder Woman’s introduction and the temple falling were welcomes additions. The inclusion of Central City was very nice. Comparatively the slow mo in this film was done extremely well and placed appropriately throughout. Whereas, in other films, these scenes can feel so forced and illogical. The only slow motion scene that was weird for me was the sesame seed falling. This felt weirdly added. There were plenty of other small movements that actually felt in place for that sequence.
The choreography for each fight scene was excellent. None of the actors’ movements felt forced or fake. Even with the addition of CGI, it still appeared natural. You could say it was like watching an actual comic book battle unfold before you.
Getting a glimpse of characters like Darkseid and Martian Manhunter were really nice additions and I believe those surprises help with setup for a second movie.
I really like how he broke the movie up into chapters. It gave a clear moment that was good to pause for a snack or let the dog out, and not have to wonder if you are pausing at the wrong time.
I am excited to see what is to come. I surely hope that they get this crew back together because they did such a wonderful job together on this film.
Hopefully it is not a fulfillment of the Batman dream sequence. I was not much a fan for the dream’s setup. It felt drawn out and unnecessary. A lot of the acting there felt forced.
Where are we going from here? What makes Lois the key? Who is coming for Earth next? Darkseid? Brainiac? I do not know about you, but I cannot wait to see what comes next. I am not sure I can wait to find out.
All in all… Zack Snyder’s Justice League triggered emotions that previous versions could not do. This definitely will not be forgettable and I will surely be watching it again. I do not believe for a moment that three years of technical advances are why the visual and sound improvements were so great. I believe this was a result of Zack Snyder’s vision and the amazing team that stood behind him while the fan base demanded for this film to be completed. The wait was well worth it.
This was not just a movie. This was a work of art.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League receives 9/10 cupcakes