With a fresh viewing of Zack Snyder’s film in mind, the overall impression is that it is better than the original. A little bit better, not enough to make any lasting impression. By the time someone does another cut of this film, it will be all new to me again.
My memories of the first cut of Justice League were bits and pieces of fighting and Wonder Woman. She is still the highlight of both films. Her presence prevented the ho-hum stuff between the opening and closing credits from getting to me.
THE GOOD STUFF There’s a lot of good storytelling. We get more character depth than it’s possible to get in a 90-minute film. It’s good to finally see Darkseid in the flesh. As the DC version of Thanos, he has enough menace to be someone I look forward to in the next installment of Justice League. The plot has been rearranged, and it makes a lot more sense now. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the stand-out characters, as is Alfred the butler.
THE BAD STUFF There’s still not a lot here to get excited about. The overall arc of the film plods along, with no coherent sense of continuity. Pacing is choppy, and the film never really gets momentum to take off. It is a four-hour film, but it could be eight hours, and it still wouldn’t be much better than the original film.
The problems are with the entire DC Universe setup. It tried to outdo Marvel. DC made films that they thought would be exciting and fill theaters, but with no future design. No planning was done to create a coherent whole as Marvel did to perfection. We had no introduction films for Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, or Cyborg before the original film’s release. Contrast that to Marvel, where we had movies for Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, and Captain America before The Avengers came out.
The second glaring problem with the DC Universe is the horrible lack of character continuity between films. Batman is a cold killing machine in Batman vs. Superman but is a chummy guy with a sense of humor here in Justice League. Wonder Woman has apparently forgotten that she can fly, having learned to do so 30 years before the Justice League‘s setting. I’m not thrilled by The Flash or Cyborg as characters. They’re second-tier characters and not in the same league as Batman. With the fate of the world at stake, are these the best you can come up with? No spoilers, but there are characters in this film who could have lent a hand and just couldn’t be bothered, I guess. And who likes Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? I’ll say nobody does and leave it there.
THE UGLY STUFF It’s not epic in any way you can define epic. This film never gets near epic in scope. The characters are not engaging and bland, except for Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The conversations have no flavor, no character context. You could take all of the dialogue and give the lines to different characters, and it will still sound the same. Nobody is in a hurry to stop the bad guys. They stand around talking about how bad things can get unless they do something, and sooner or later, they get up and do a little something. And don’t get me started on that epilogue.
RATINGS I gave Joss Whedon’s Justice League a 5 out of 10. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a 6 out of 10. Not enough has been added to make it much better than the 2017 film. Something is still missing from the DC Universe that keeps it from competing with Marvel. For me, it’s the characters. They’ve never been as interesting as those at Marvel. I just don’t care much about them, and that’s fatal for a film franchise.