Review Detail

9.7 18 10
jlunity_front
FanFix June 18, 2022 4191
(Updated: June 23, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
It's not usual, but yes, sometimes two wrongs DO make a right. It's no secret that I'm no Zack Snyder fan: his visual style doesn't click with me, and in the case of his DC movies, his vision of the characters vastly differs from mine. Plus, in the case of ZSJL, it also commits the cinema sin of being way too plodding and unfocused, apart from still way too overly grimdark. The Whedon cut? Objectively a bad movie, way too silly and with "executive meddling" written all over it. It is tied with 2016's Suicide Squad for the dubious honor of being the DCEU's Batman & Robin. So, having enjoyed neither cut, what hopes could I hold?

Well, the solution was actually surprisingly easy: it needed to be approached by someone that held the same sensibilities about these characters than I do. And fortunately, Bionic Bob is that person. A huge Bronze Age fan, he understands these heroes just as I do: serious but not grimdark, lighthearted but not goofy, essentially beacons of hope. Applying that to the footage, he found the good in both cuts by removing the grimdark from Snyder and the goofiness from Whedon. And what remains feels a lot like a classic Bronze Age JLA story indeed, making the bits I always enjoyed (such as the "save one" exchange or Superman's final shirt rip) shine so much brighter.

If I had to nitpick, I'd bring up some aspects of the audio editing that I would have approached differently, having to do with the levels of music vs. foley (and even lines) in certain flashback scenes, but I talked it over with Bob and it's a deliberate choice out of personal preference, so I can only respect it completely. The needle drops? Well, I'm not as much into James Gunn as Bob is (while certainly preferring him to both Snyder and Whedon) so if it was me editing this I doubt I'd have taken that path, but at the same time I'd lie if I said they didn't work.

So far the only version of Justice League I had been able to enjoy was Gieferg's side-splittingly funny Grindhouse cut, but that was of course all tongue in cheek. The Unity Edition showed me that a form of this film could exist that I'd be able to enjoy unironically. Count me in as a fan of justice!
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