• Ben Erickson

Zack Snyder's Justice League

I did not think the 2017 Justice League was all that great but, having endured the four hour experience that is Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I have gained a deeper appreciation for the judicious editing that took place there. Neither do I have a hate-on for Snyder, by any means. (I would guess my views of his directing style fall in line with general audiences). However, I am disapproving of Warner Brothers feeding such a self-indulgent endeavor as the Snyder Cut, an opinion which is little improved by Tom Holkenborg’s new score.

Holkenborg’s first entry in the DCEU was his collaboration with Hans Zimmer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was also a part of Snyder’s original vision for the 2017 Justice League, so it makes sense that he was restored as the lead composer of the Snyder Cut. Holkenborg’s score, by extension, is a direct reflection of the film. A needlessly long, confounding display of muted melodrama that favours style over substance.

Danny Elfman, in tandem with Joss Whedon, made some bold thematic choices for the 2017 Justice League, reviving themes old and new. Zack Snyder’s Justice League instead resurrected only Zimmer’s Superman theme from Man of Steel and the Wonder Woman war cry from Dawn of Justice. These decisions felt more complimentary on the whole since they were building solely on past DCEU scores and removing themes born of a separate generation of films. Even so, the war cry was effectively replaced after its initial airing with the ‘moaning woman’ technique, the badgering pervasiveness of which is obnoxious to the point that a video tracking its every appearance in the Snyder Cut already exists. “Look to the Stars,” which had been appropriated for a scene in the 2017 Justice League, was dropped, too.

These choices put into question just how genuine an attempt this was at restoring the musical continuity of the DCEU, or if Holkenborg’s motivations were as equally self-serving as the director’s. For my tastes, Elfman’s hammed-up, comparatively zany, and conclusively reliable approach to superhero scores is preferable to Holkenborg’s any day of the week.