‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Changed My Mind About the DCEU

The 4-hour DC film from Zack Snyder truly shows what it means to be united as a team




Let me start this review of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” by saying that my expectations for the movie were very low. Initially, I was not excited for the movie since I was not a big fan of Zack Snyder’s previous DC films, such as “Man of Steel” (2013) and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). Despite enjoying films in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), such as “Wonder Woman” (2017) and “Shazam” (2019), I believed that the franchise was very unorganized and tried too hard to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). After watching the film, I was proved wrong about the potential of DC movies — and I mean very wrong.

Snyder’s film centers around a group of superheroes coming together to stop an extraterrestrial threat from causing the extinction of humankind. The superheroes on the team are Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. While this premise seems very typical for a superhero movie, it is only the surface level of the film.

Zack Snyder shows his best work through Justice League and reminds fans that this movie is for them. After years of conflict with Warner Brothers over releasing the film, he was able to release his director’s cut and tell the narrative that he initially wanted for the characters. Despite being listed as the director in the 2017 release, Snyder had to leave the project due to a family emergency, and the studio decided to make changes to the film. The changes made this movie very different from the 2017 version because of its darker tone and more developed story. While some scenes of the film can drag on, the dynamic between the characters is shown really well.

The first two out of four hours of the movie introduce the characters and set up the plot. While these two hours may seem boring to some viewers since not much action occurs, the setup is necessary to fully understand the narrative. Throughout the start of the movie, viewers are given the opportunity to know the characters and understand their motivations. For example, Bruce Wayne, who is played by Ben Affleck, is motivated to form the Justice League in honor of Superman. Also, Victor Stone, who is played by Ray Fisher, is trying to figure out his place in the world after becoming a cyborg. The villain, Steppenwolf, who is played by Ciarán Hinds, has mischievous motives, but the viewer can also sympathize with the character. 

All of the other characters are given a chance to shine throughout the movie. Barry Allen, known as the Flash and played by Ezra Miller, is not only the comedic relief but also the most enthusiastic member of the team. Diana Prince, who is played by Gal Gadot, returns as Wonder Woman and helps the team understand the villain’s motives. Arthur Curry, played by Jason Momoa, is trying to find his place in the world by being Aquaman. Finally, Clark Kent, who is played by Henry Cavill, returns as Superman and gives the team hope during a time when the world needs him the most. 

The second half of the movie shows the payoff of the abundant setup and character development. The stakes are high and viewers are constantly on the edge of their seats trying to figure out what will happen next. This portion of the movie is filled with many action sequences and heartfelt moments that define the greatness of the film. The Justice League truly feels like a team during the battles and all of the story arcs for the characters are completed by the end of the film. There are particular scenes for the Flash and Cyborg that show the beauty of the film and also the growth of the characters because of its attention to detail. The scene showing the Flash use his powers to their full potential emphasizes that the visuals are a highlight of the film. Each set piece is very grand and shows the intensity that Snyder wanted to give to his audience. By showcasing the greatness of Atlantis, Themyscira or Metropolis, the audience feels more immersed in the DC universe and plot.

Many people, especially comic book fans, will be satisfied with “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” The film shows the best of the DCEU and the potential future movies can do for the franchise because of its reliance on the comics. While it is still unknown if Snyder will return to the franchise, fans are hoping that Warner Brothers will continue his connected universe in future films. Despite this uncertainty, it can be determined that this is the definitive Justice League movie that will have a positive impact on comic book fans for years to come.