LOS ANGELES – On the cusp of the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max, director Zack Snyder has revealed that the film was shot as a 121 minute story which has been stretched into a 242 minute runtime by having the entire film presented in varying speeds of slow motion.
“What’s more dramatic, Batman beating up a bunch of parademons in the rain, or Batman beating up a bunch of parademons in the rain at half speed, then quarter speed, then half speed again? Half speed, quarter speed, half speed, obviously,” Snyder said during an interview to publicize the new cut.
“Slow mo doesn’t just make action more dramatic, it makes everything more dramatic. Every sorrowful glance is twice as sorrowful because it lasts twice as long. Nothing builds suspense like waiting, and during Justice League the audience gets to wait for everything.”
Synder is known for utilizing a mixture of slow and fast motion in his films to create unique and thrilling action sequences, but this is the first time the director has used a time manipulation technique throughout the entirety of a film. Reviews are mixed.
“It’s kinda slow,” according to the review for Variety. “It’s really slow,” confirmed The Hollywood Reporter. “I assumed there was a problem with my network connection,” said the reviewers for CNN, Vulture and Vox.
“The Flash scenes are slowed down even more because his power is superspeed. A single shot of him punching one bad guy is ten minutes long,” said one reviewer. “But at least this version isn’t a lumbering Frankenstein made by mashing together the work of two directors with clashing sensibilities and in which Henry Cavill’s mouth is sometimes replaced with a horrifying CGI nightmare mouth.”
Many reviewers tried playing the movie at double speed to get through it faster, but that has its own challenges. The dialogue was all shot with the actors speaking twice as fast as normal so when the video was slowed down and dubbed in post production, they look and sound like they’re speaking at normal speed despite all the actions they’re performing happening in slow motion. Therefore, speeding up playback makes everyone sound like cartoon chipmunks.
However, most reviewers still recommend the faster, cartoon chipmunk method of viewing because otherwise Justice League is four hours long.
While Snyder has yet to confirm the rumours, it’s believed that his next project will be another four hour action epic, but this time condensed through the use of fast motion into a half hour runtime that audiences will be required to sign a health waiver before viewing.