Snyder, who left the production after a family tragedy, has called the 2017 cut a “Frankenstein’s monster” – a confusing mishmash of his dark original vision and lighter scenes directed by Marvel alumnus Joss Whedon. After years of fan campaigning, he was given the green light to complete his version of the film. It’s definitely an improvement – but there’s still something off with the dynamics of the group. Once again, the action picks up after the dreadful ending of Snyder’s 2016 dud Batman v Superman. The Man Of Steel (Henry Cavill) is dead (did anyone buy that?) and the world is in mourning.
When Ciaran Hinds’ alien baddie Steppenwolf launches an invasion, Ben Affleck’s morose Batman summons up the energy to recruit a crack team of defenders – Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (still mourning the death of his dad), Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (still mourning the death of her boyfriend), Ray Fisher’s Cyborg (mourning his missing limbs) and the refreshingly upbeat The Flash (Ezra Miller).
While this bloated four-hour epic hard going in one sitting, the film benefits from Snyder’s singular vision.
A much-rejigged finale is far more spectacular. The Flash gets a wonderful slow-motion sequence, Superman’s reincarnation makes more sense and Cyborg’s extended scenes provide some much-needed heart.
Sadly, Snyder hasn’t learned from past mistakes, stirring in more dreary Batman premonitions, sequel-baiting subplots and a comeback for Jared Leto’s worst-ever Joker.
We may understand the Justice League a lot better but they’re not exactly a fun bunch to hang out with.