Saturday, October 16

Does Zack Snyder’s Justice League signal the end of the DC Extended Universe? | Film


Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a movie that would never have existed without Covid-19. Just as the pandemic has at times given the rest of us time to pause and reflect on our place in the world, it gave Snyder time and space (thanks to the rise of streaming) to produce a movie that will probably never I would have done. the first time. And it’s better, much, much better, than we had a right to expect.

Compared to the 2017 theatrical release, directed by Joss Whedon after Snyder felt compelled to walk away from the project after his daughter’s death, the new Justice League is a bleak but operatic affair, reflecting the breadth and the impact of the events on display. . However, it only occasionally feels bloated and overdone.

Character arcs, particularly Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, are given depth and weight thanks to $ 40 million in new footage. The vast and spectacular diversity of Snyder’s vision of DC’s superhero universe, from the underwater world of Atlantis to the Amazon island of Themyscira, with time and space to properly manifest. We have a better backstory of what villain Steppenwolf is doing trying to conquer Earth in the first place, as well as our first glimpse of his boss Darkseid. There’s a Lord of the Rings-style throwback to an earlier time thousands of years ago, when Earth’s contemporary heroes last fought back against the same nefarious invaders against all odds.

Much of Whedon’s film remains naturally. But Ben Affleck no longer makes sad jokes and we miss the horrible fratboy nice moment from the theatrical cut where Ezra Miller’s The Flash accidentally jumps into Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The vision here of Diana is much closer to that realized by Patty Jenkins in the independent films of the Amazon princess.

Snyder’s DC movies have often been ruined by a determination to add gripping and gripping endings that take us out of the real world and into a hellish maelstrom of death and pixels. But the nearly four hour (instead of two) runtime of the remake means the balance between dialogue, exposure, and action is suddenly serene in a way that it has rarely been in any of the movies from DC of the American director. Did the switch to the small screen help the filmmaker realize that the crash-bang-bang approach of superhero movies only works in noisy multiplexes? Or is it watching someone else take over your movie and render it in a way that you found unpleasant, like having a supercharged storyboard, allowing any mistakes that were made to wash out for the final new cut? Either way, this is his best movie since Watchmen.

Snyder has always had a knack for visual splendor, and there are sometimes moments here that really feel like a living, breathing comic has been magically rendered in live action, like the photographs and paintings in the Harry Potter books. that suddenly change to three dimensions. Yes, there is a Wagnerian pomposity to the whole thing that seems deeply silly at times compared to the much more lighthearted Marvel universe, but the idiocy of trying to bring in Whedon to retrospectively add comedic moments to a universe that Snyder always imagined as doom . -The intense loading and heavy metal becomes even more evident when you see what the original vision was supposed to be, as if Katy Perry was hired to re-record Led Zeppelin IV after someone lost the master tapes.

Snyder’s enhanced Justice League cannot make up for the last third of Man of Steel, nor can it make up for the marketing-driven disaster that was the sequel to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But at least it completes the trilogy with a suitably epic ending that could, had it been released in 2017, have sent DC’s extended universe in a very different direction. Instead, Warner Bros decided that creating the studio’s own tapestry of interconnected superhero movies to rival Marvel’s successful model was impossible and preferred a template based on independent director-directed episodes.

Fisher, who has led a determined campaign to highlight Whedon’s allegedly abusive behavior on set, will surely be delighted with Cyborg’s restoration to center stage, and perhaps, his career. But the fact that it took a four-hour movie that would never have been made for multiplexes to give it decent screen time raises the question of why so much history would go into a single movie. If DC had had the gift of following Marvel’s model and introducing each new superhero in their own movie before finally putting them together for a great ensemble, they might not have gotten into this mess in the first place.

Not wanting to reveal too much, Snyder can’t resist a couple of prologues that hint at more episodes. One even features Jared Leto’s Joker, finally sharing an extended scene with Batfleck, in what turns out to be another Knightmare-style dream sequence. Another introduces us to the Martian Manhunter. It’s clear that Darkseid is still out there and planning a new invasion of Earth.

Given that Robert Pattinson now plays Batman and the DC extended universe is all but dead, it remains to be seen if Snyder will ever achieve his dream. But credit where credit is due: Justice League is not a masterpiece, yet it stands out alongside Wonder Woman as one of DC’s best entries and genuinely and surprisingly raises the question of whether this episode marks the beginning or the end of the story. It is simply a better and more accomplished film than what we could see in the cinema.


www.theguardian.com

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