Zack Snyder’s Justice League : Review – DC’s Lord of The Rings

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is DC’s version of The Lord of the Rings. Epic, grand, and full of heart, Justice League is any fan’s dream movie come to life.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher as the leading superhero team. Directed by the man who has his name in the title of the movie, Zack Snyder returns to DC after three years of fan campaigns to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Returning with the director is producer Deborah Snyder, cinematographer Fabian Wagner, composer Junkie XL, and a host of actors who were originally cut from the 2017 theatrical release.

Courtesy of Clay Enos / HBO Max

At its core, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a mythological epic told on a grand four-hour scale. The film, told in multiple parts, gives each Justice League hero a chance to shine. From Ben Affleck’s Batman, coming off of a grizzled performance in Batman v Superman, to newcomer Ray Fisher, who has been described multiple times as the heart of the movie, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, does not let any one character fall to the wayside as it constructs its story.

Following the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday in the previous film, Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman look to put a team of heroes together to fight the battle against Darkseid. Without Superman, the two heroes come across Ezra Miller’s The Flash, Fisher’s Cyborg, and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. Each hero comes with their own baggage, lore, and set-up that was meant to encompass the original DCEU plans. They battle against Steppenwolf, more layered than his theatrical cut counterpart and complete with Snyder’s original design.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is packed to the brim with heart, DC mythology, and even a fair share of humor, making the reported executive complaints of Snyder’s vision that much more head-scratching. Perhaps the most general audience-friendly film Snyder has made in his career, Justice League seems to have something for everyone. Whether it be Gadot’s Wonder Woman more heroic than ever, or Miller’s Flash providing levity, the team felt balanced and the personalities matched well.

In every film, there is one singular character that truly drives the story emotionally. A protagonist that all other characters rally around. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, this character is Cyborg. To put a Black superhero at the heart and center of the first live-action Justice League movie would be seen as risky in old Hollywood standards but Fisher not only fills these shoes, he exceeds expectations. Snyder has said that Cyborg is the heart of the film, and he did not lie. Fisher puts on an incredibly heartfelt, warm, and sobering performance as Victor Stone, complete with trials, tribulations, and successes. Far and away, Cyborg was the best part of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Courtesy of Clay Enos / HBO Max

Outside of Fisher, Affleck’s Batman was simply special. The character felt like he had naturally grown from the deconstructed version we saw in Batman v Superman. Bruce Wayne is a leader in this movie, and fans will appreciate seeing the hero at his absolute peak throughout. Affleck fills the shoes of Batman well, even in his limited additional sequences. If he decides to put the cape on again, no one would complain.

The entire DC saga that Snyder’s been working on since Man of Steel has encompassed Superman. In Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Superman is once again front and center of the story at play. Even in moments where Superman is not actively on the screen, the character’s presence, alive or dead, is reverberated through every character uniquely. In this film, even the reason for Steppenwolf’s arrival is directly linked to Superman’s death, once again affirming why he’s on top of the mountain. Cavill does great under Snyder’s direction, letting subtle emotion and body language speak a thousand words. Fans will be eager to see Cavill don the cape again after Justice League.

Courtesy of Clay Enos / HBO Max

In many ways a character of its own, Junkie XL’s score is masterful. With 54 tracks and brand new themes created for all the characters outside of Superman, each felt unique and powerful. Wonder Woman’s revised theme is particularly great. A primal, old-world sound reverberates around Diana, making each of her moments that much more powerful. VFX in the film, specifically on Steppenwolf is magnificent. While there were some nicks and scratches in the heavy CGI moments, given that the team only had 7 months to create 3,000 shots during a pandemic, this can be forgiven.

Artistic Integrity is the soul of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and its place in the pop culture zeitgeist is important to the film. Rarely does the story about the movie have as much weight as the story in the movie but Justice League does this. The film ends with the words “For Autumn,” a reminder of something bigger than any plot point of the movie, and a worthy name to end on. The film will be spoken about for years to come.

With strong performances, an incredible score, Snyder’s masterful directing, and a mythological story filled with DC lore, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is one of the best comic book films of all time.