‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) is the director’s cut of Justice League (2017).

I spent the first few minutes messing with my television convinced that the TV had developed a problem. Then I thought there must be something wrong with the streaming service. No. This film is actually supposed to be in non-widescreen format. I’m stupefied as to why, because this is an epic scale superhero film with a large CGI budget. It was made for widescreen. But, as it turns out, this was the least of its problems.

I found the film disjointed, rambling, and impossible to like. It was like watching something from an alien world. Having just watched Future World, which currently holds a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (and I managed to get to the end of it), Justice League’s unrelenting tedium made it impossible to finish.

Maybe it’s because the protagonists are known and widely loved that no attempt was made to make the audiece fall in love with them again? They had no depth or charm. This is all the more bewildering considering the all star cast. These stories are all about the CGI. But the CGI doesn’t even feel real. It’s like watching an animation.

Apparently, there was a lot of online trolling surrounding the film. I haven’t followed it in detail, but that strikes me as sad. This is just a film, a work of entertainment. It’s okay to like or dislike a film.

The financials on Justice League (2017) were staggering. It had a budget of $300 million. It took $657.9 million at the box office. Apparently, it needed to take $750 million to break even. I’m guessing... but does that mean they spent $450 million promoting it? And this was before the Coronavirus pandemic.

This film is indicative of where the film industry is right now. Theatrical releases have to be bigger, and bigger. They’re dominated by superhero films. The bigger and bigger phenomenon is strikingly apparent, even in so-called ‘intelligent blockbusters’ like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Not only are films getting bigger, the budgets are getting bigger, and the pressure to perform at the box office is bigger. Almost everything else has been pushed to the side, onto the streaming platforms. This, combined with Coronavirus, feels like an extraordinary situation for the film industry.

Is it a temporary glitch? Or have we hit a crisis point in American storytelling?