After years of campaigning, begging and pleading from the fans who were disappointed in the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League, Zack Snyder seemed to hear the cries of the many and went back to business to make his vision a reality. Zack Snyder’s Justice League was promised to be a darker, grander, more epic version of what could have been had Snyder not abandoned the project due to personal issues (Can you blame him for what happened?). While Joss Whedon stepped in and tried his best to deliver a quippier, lighter, and more colorful take akin to his work on The Avengers, it still felt like something was missing, and 2017’s Justice League eventually got buried in the pile of mediocre DC films. Now, in 2021, the groans of disgust have now become tears of joy, as Snyder’s cut finally got a release on HBO Max.
I understand how hard it is to bring everyone’s favorite superheroes together in one movie; but if Joss Whedon can make a superhero crossover fun in Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, I am sure Zack Snyder could do it too with ‘Justice League’. When compared to ‘Man of Steel’, or ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘JL’ is way more light-hearted in tone and just as brightly colored as ‘Wonder Woman’; yet as the days go by, I find myself forgetting almost every detail due to its jumbled ability to find the right story. It takes a while to put these heroes together, because Snyder wants to expand the universe and re-introduce us to the characters we all know. Obviously The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg have not had their own movies yet, and we only got to see glimpses of them in ‘Batman V. Superman’. Now we get to see them together in one movie! The result is a fun film, yet a convoluted mess.
As Batman in ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and Christian Wolff in ‘The Accountant’, Ben Affleck has had a pretty good 2016; although, he hasn’t directed a film since ‘Argo’, which was a very funny and thrilling piece of work that earned 3 Oscars, including Best Picture (but no director nod for Affleck). Here, he has to balance both being behind and in front of the camera; the result is a rushed, squeezed-in gangster flick about adultery, the prohibition-era, and a bit of soul-searching. As a director, Affleck has it covered. The action scenes in this movie are well-handled as well as its costume design and beautiful cinematography. But that’s all ‘Live By Night’ has going for it.
From the first trailer I saw for ‘The Accountant’, I was expecting a hint of mystery and vagueness with Ben Affleck tapping his fingers on a desk with scenes cut for tension. (Something that would make directors like Christopher Nolan and David Fincher proud.)
Instead, I got Affleck’s stern emotionless expression and intelligent brain. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Affleck has proven himself in the past few years with films like ‘Argo’, ‘Gone Girl’, and surprisingly ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’. ‘The Accountant’ is another addition to the roster of movies where Ben Affleck actually shows skill as an actor; and in this movie, he has hit a home run, even if the movie has a struggle of getting to home plate.