We are only two days away from the March 18th debut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a movie I don’t think I need spend too much time explaining (though I will a little later on), and I find it curious that the average of early reviews by the professional film critics -111 of them at this moment- gives the film a very healthy 77% positive rating…
Rotten Tomatoes – Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Now, having noted this high rating average, there is a chance that as more reviews arrive, this average will drop… though its certainly also possible we might see it rise as well.
What intrigues me is that unlike the previous two Snyder directed DC movies, Man of Steel (56% positive among professional film critics) and especially Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (28% positive among professional film critics), so far this movie seems to be trending quite positively and those who like it really do like it.
I’ve noted before I’m a fan of Batman v Superman, though I would quickly add -and have done so ad nauseum– that the version I like is the Extended/Director’s cut versus the theatrical cut which, while I didn’t hate, was revealed to be pretty butchered when the extended cut came out.
I found plenty of people, though, who had a visceral hate against the film and Mr. Snyder’s “take” on these various beloved DC characters. In part I was certain this was because they hadn’t bothered with the Extended Cut, but in truth I felt the two films were still close enough that those who hated the film in its cut up version may like the Extended Cut a little more -it is much more coherent- but if you didn’t like the story to begin with, you won’t like it told a little better.
Nonetheless, I was certain BvS was a film that over time and once the harsh emotions died down a little, people might come back to reassess and realize there’s more there than meets the proverbial eye.
Well, then came its sequel, Justice League, and the tragedy of Zack Snyder’s daughter committing suicide which led to him leaving the film before it was done.
Mr. Snyder finished the principle photography and reportedly had a assembly cut of the film shown to producers and was in the process of getting the special effects done when he left. Joss Whedon came in and Warner Brothers reported (falsely) that all he was doing was some “reshoots” to finish off the film. Alas, it turned out he essentially re-did the film and that was what was released in 2017.
I nonetheless thought the film was “OK” but not necessarily great while many other Snyder fans, those who loved Man of Steel and BvS, wanted to see what Snyder did versus what Whedon released.
Remarkably, the Snyder fan base started many petitions to have the so-called “Snyder Cut” of the film be released.
There were those who snorted there was no Snyder Cut, that the film was simply bits and pieces in some unassembled state (which goes against the fact that an assembled cut of the material done was indeed shown to the Warner Brothers producers). There were others that snorted the Snyder fans were idiots to think there was some complete version of the film sitting in the Warner Brothers vaults.
Truthfully, I don’t recall anyone who wanted the Snyder Cut released say the film was somehow completed when Snyder left, but… well… whatever.
With the HBO Max streaming service needing some kind of big hit, the folks at Warner Brothers looked around and realized they had themselves just that… provided they front the money to truly finish off the film.
Zack Snyder, of course, was willing to go along but this time around, he wanted to have control over the final cut and its release. He agreed to do the project and -incredibly!- did so without being paid. Mind you, I strongly suspect he’ll receive some kind of compensation based on how many views the film has, but nonetheless… this is something!
So now we’re at the end of things and the imminent release of the film and I wonder if my prediction that people would come around to BvS, and thus Snyder’s take on the DC characters, is somewhat coming true with this more positive view of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
I haven’t seen the film, so I truly have no idea.
But I will.
Maybe not on the 18th and maybe not until it is available on regular home media, but I’ll give it a look.
In spite of all the tragedy involved, perhaps this movie will prove to be a terrific addition to the Superhero movie genre.
UPDATE: It is now March 18th, the date of the release of ZSJL, and out of curiosity I checked out the latest ratings for the film over at Rottentomatoes.com and….
The average rating from critics remains at 77% positive though we now have 142 reviews. This represents 31 more reviews from when I originally posted above.
I don’t know how many more critic reviews are going to pop up. Generally, popular films such as Avengers: Endgame wind up with quite a few critical reactions. That film sits with 538 reviews while the original Justice League (the Joss Whedon theatrical cut released in 2017) has 400 reviews.
Given this number, I’m expecting now that ZSJL is formally released there will be more critical reactions and it wouldn’t shock me if the ratings go down.
Wonder Woman 1984 began with a high positive rating but over time the average of the film’s critical ratings slipped. At this moment and with 423 ratings, that movie sits among critics at a mediocre 59% positive. Worth noting that audience reactions are far more positive and lie at 78%. I have yet to see the film so I can’t really say whether I personally feel that rating is accurate… for me!
Anyway, just a matter of curiosity to me.
When I get the chance, I’ll check out ZSJL and see if the film was worth the fuss… and the wait!