Justice League (2017)
I watched this movie again to compare to the new Zack Snyder cut, after I started reading up on the controversy surrounding this movie, and the maltreated cast members, and the director who made this, and apparently also had ties to Marvel.
I won't delve into that here but give it a Google if you like. Basically there are two versions. First this - one that was supposedly rushed on time, and not true to DC or the characters or to Zack Snyder - and then the new one, where the main man took his time and budget to really do things his way.
So... which way was better? That's the one question I'll try to focus on here.
With this one I like the color. I like the pace. I like the charisma, and character, the continuity and the 'life'. But I do miss a bit of the epicness with Zack's cut... alright, having seen the new one recently here's a list of the pros and cons I recognize with each; ultimately which I prefer:
Things I liked with this one:
- Wonder Woman's introduction. It felt a bit more realistic with the briefcase thrown instead of it being flown all the way up - wasn't she low on time? And with the bad guy there's no unnecessary break where he just loafs around and seems incompetent here. Though I do miss a little of the epic slow-mo in the other.
- The Aquaman intro. Felt like he was a bit more in character here. Trademark attitude. Good conversation. They clue in a bit more of the three boxes too.
- The face paint scene at the prison - I loved that! Simple but suitable little details.
- Victor's introduction. He knew his powers here. Explained them. Seemed a little less like a victim than in the new version too.
- The Amazons didn't stand around looking unnecessarily silly before things really started happening here.
- Flash got a better intro too! Realistic dialog flow. Plus extra entertainment.
- More focus on Gal Gadot's butt? I hope I'm not just imagining this now. There's that Diana/Flash interaction too.
- Aquaman was way cooler at the bridge. A little more revelation as to the alien presence here too.
- The nuclear reactor they took over wasn't in the middle of a ghost town this time. Adds life, again.
- Alfred's 'Do I know you?' sounded almost exactly like the uncle in Oni (the 2001 game) in the lab level! Unexpected déjà vu.
- Their motherbox/reviving Superman discussion: Way better. '
Technology is like any other power. Without heart. Without reason. It destroys us.' The conversation went on longer, but watch the movie and you'll see. It's easily quotable, and enacted well.
- The graveyard talk was better too. Victor shows some personality.
- Diana and Bruce's talk... that one as well.
- Aquaman sitting on the lasso of truth. Classic.
- Superman and Flash having a race. Awesome.
- The brunch bit!
Things I didn't like with this one:
- The very misplayed 'Booyah'. Though I wonder if I would've noticed as much (or at all) if I hadn't read the article on that controversy detailed above. That 'Booyah' was a notable part of it.
- Wonder Woman flirts maybe a little too much? With everyone in the team it seems. At one point or another.
- The TV interview bit about the alien probe. A little unnecessary? Feels like the wrong realm. They could've done that in the Marvel one.
I also do feel, especially in the beginning, that they don't give moments the time they really need to make an impact. Or sink in. Like after the Cleaner sweeps away the curtain in the lab. Like after the first motherbox awakens. Like... a little less of these moments later on. They start feeling better and better timed as we go...
Steppenwolf being more human didn't seem like a bad thing at first here. In the new one he seemed a bit like a beast of DOOM. Something not right there. But here... he seems both good and bad. On the one hand he's stronger. On the other he ends up weaker. On the one hand he's not just an unfortunate victim. On the other he certainly has a more unfortunate end. And Darkseid's gone... this is getting strange. It's too inconsistent. What happens after this? Do the bad guys make a league or does Superman really go rampant? Loose ends.
Both versions of this movie were great in their own regard, but if this wasn't the cut that was meant to be I feel they shouldn't have done it in the first place. When it's done it's done.
I like a lot of elements in this, just like I like elements in the other, but that there's not just the one feels wrong. And knowing Ray Fisher's story I'm noticing unnecessary details in the newer one now too. Like did they just add in the black girl in the beginning to add in more black people in the movie? If so they did a lousy job. It seems they forgot about her entirely after the intro.
Nobody's commenting on that. To me it felt like one of the bigger loose ends with the movie. She should've come back around somehow. Full circle with the girl. Can't include something like that just for kicks or karma.
The special effects were definitely better in Zack's version, though. There's no debate there. As were the sound-effects. We have some Transformer-like ones here that I didn't think about the first time I watched this.
They really improved on those.
But the world is also definitely more colorful in this one. Everyone has more personality. The dialog feels real, and the script (for the most part) feels good and right.
There are some good lines here I'm not sure carried over:
"We're asking people we don't know to risk their lives."
"We have families. Why does everybody keep telling me that?"
"A motherbox destroys as it creates. It's a cycle of life, but a million times faster."
"Seeing the engine of the world when it still ran."
It's overall all very quotable. Memorable. Clever. Well-scripted. They explain certain details better - the motherboxes in particular.
There's a sense of urgency more than desperation here too. There's more of a team effort. Ironically - considering the dialogs were so much longer in the other version - it feels like there's more dialog here too. Even when the pace is faster they manage to talk things through.
Having seen both of these versions in close proximity I'm left feeling this, though. Ultimately: This is no passion project. This was rushed, yet with Zack's cut it feels like he simply puzzled together pieces from the original in a Zack-like way. It doesn't feel complete either. It feels drawn out instead. Intentionally different. Overworked - though also much improved in the process - and untrue to the original, or to the realm overall.
It seems they somehow split my liking as they split this movie... I like both versions for different reasons.
I had a blast with this, and I had a blast with the other one, and I do think that overall Zack's version is the better one, but he also had an additional four years to make it better, whereas I'm impressed with what they managed here with the time they had. And I'm disappointed that Zack didn't recognize or carry over the good things from this one too.
It feels like a betrayal on two levels somehow. Each one doesn't do the other Justice.
Yet I really should appreciate them both, because they're both out of my League.
I thought I'd seen this one already btw but... no review? Maybe I hadn't after all.
rated 4.5/5: almost awesome