I’ve been away for a few years. Its been a tough one for me. Not only has the rival MCU continued exploding with 3-4 of the dopest movies ever… releasing annually, but the “Josstice League” came out to pathetic reviews and box office back in 2017. Why? Because it was a misfire? No, WB released the movie they wanted to release, calling it a “course correction.” Was it because the director had to leave and post production was handled by someone else? Well, that’s happened successfully on a lot of films – think Rogue One. So nope, that’s not it. Maybe it was the marketing? The cast went around as a group and did the normal press interviews. And they were all very positive throughout. Momoa (Aquaman) and Ezra Miller (The Flash) seemed to have a particularly good time doing that. The poster art looked like it was ripped from the pages of a famous graphic novel called, “Kingdom Come”. It was actually spectacular.
No, the problem was the movie sucked. It was a misguided attempt to quickly catch up to Marvel and to massage their Cinematic Universe into something as funny, light hearted & profitable as the MCU. Ugh. Thing is, there were 3 DC movies out already with a particular look & feel; one that was decidedly individual and apart from the MCU’s aesthetic. There were characters and story points dropped whole cloth. Big ones. Entire characters changed completely as they pretended things like Batman’s “no killing” rule were always in place… discarding a MAJOR character arc in BvS. Cyborg and Flash were essentially cut out of the 2017 theatrical release. Restored in the Snyder Cut, Cyborg is the heart of the story, our entry-point/POV character. And Flash is literally the one who saves the world at the climax of the battle at the end of the film. They were both removed from the 2017 release to shave time and make what was originally conceived as a 2-part epic, into a studio-mandated runtime: “Under 2 Hours”. Evidently there were some senior executive bonuses at stake were the movie to be delayed.
In the end, it was a terrible experience seeing the 2017 Justice League. Yes, there were a ton of problems:
- They began production 2 weeks after Batman v Superman’s release. BvS received middling to bad reviews from critics and audience.
- Warners immediately began questioning the vision Zach Snyder had for the DC world he had created.
- Of course there is the horrible family tragedy in the middle of all this mess. The worst possible thing that could have happened… happened.
- Instead of following through on the promises made in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman, once Snyder and his wife/producer were gone, the studio cut bait and bastardized the whole project.
At first, I told myself it wasn’t so bad; there are good parts of Josstice League. Like for instance … No I’m not going to do this. Suffice it to say I was wrong. Let’s just move on.
ZACH SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE was released on HBOMax in March of 2021. After years of #releasethesnydercut we finally FINALLY were getting the story we were promised. Anyone who didn’t enjoy MoS or BvS would hate it. It’s the same dark look, the same dour Superman, the same Batman everyone whined was “wrong.” I happen to see it differently. I loved the look of Man of Steel. Just because the movie focused on the alien aspect of Superman, and the way our current media and society might treat an all-powerful alien living among us, doesn’t mean it’s not still the same optimistic Superman. It’s BECAUSE we know the character so well that Snyder was free to focus on other things.
Same with Batman. We were all here for the Nolanverse and we all know Batman doesn’t kill. That is exactly WHY he killed in BvS – we are SUPPOSED to think that’s bad, that it’s not the Batman we know and love. The idea being by the end, he sees this and his HOPE is renewed. Hope that people can be redeemed. That “men are still good. We kill and betray one another. But we can rebuild. We can do better. We will.”
If we set aside Josstice League, this is the first time we have caught up with Bruce since Clark’s funeral. To keep his promise to Clark that he would be better, he assembles the other members of his new team. Ideally together, they can at least partially equal Superman’s power, hopefully enough to hold off this coming attack Bruce keeps getting hints is on the way. It doesn’t work – the enemy is simply too strong. They find that they can use some of the alien technology and some of the Kryptonian technology to actually bring Superman back, unifying the (mostly) full comicbook League.
Is everything perfect? No. But I’m happy to look past things I personally don’t love because this very long film at least wraps up much of the story set up in Man of Steel and BvS. And I’m here for it. Thank you Warner, DC and Zach Snyder.