What to watch | The director's cut of Justice League and a Canadian crime drama plus a horror film about slavery

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Super team: (from left) Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa star in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. (PHOTO: Warner Bros.)
Super team: (from left) Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa star in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. (PHOTO: Warner Bros.)

Zack Synder's Justice League *** 1/2 

Sci-fi action. If a four-hour superhero epic feels a bit too much to bear, director Zack Snyder has helpfully split it into six chapters of 40-odd minutes each, allowing for bathroom breaks and naps in between sittings. 

Justice League was originally released in 2017, the follow-­up to Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2015). The director dropped out of the movie when his daughter died and Avengers helmer Joss Whedon was brought in to complete the film, which involved rewriting the script and shooting a lot of new footage. 

That movie flopped at the box office, but, like its red-caped hero, it was resurrected by a fan campaign, “Restore the Snyder Cut”. 

Snyder finally returned to complete his version of the film, with fresh visual effects and new footage shot last year, and boy, what a difference it makes.

The plot is basically the same – Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), wary of otherworldly threats to Earth, assemble a super-team of heroes, including Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller). 

Sure enough, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a minion of the universe-conquering warlord Darkseid (Ray Porter), and his demonic troops start making trouble on Earth – and only Superman (Henry Cavill) is powerful enough to stop them – but he died in Dawn of Justice!

This version of Justice League has the same tone and style as Snyder’s previous superhero outings, Watchmen (2009), Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman, and it’s (very, very) long running time means all the characters are comfortably fleshed out, even the villains.

The visual effects have also been greatly improved – Superman’s CGI-shaved beard (which Cavill grew for Mission: Impossible – Fallout and couldn’t shave for Justice League reshoots) is nowhere to be seen and Steppenwolf no longer looks like a hurriedly rendered boss villain from an old videogame. The pacing, editing and storytelling are also much more cohesive.

Fans of Snyder’s other movies will love it, but more casual viewers would probably be better off treating it as a mini-­series and taking advantage of the chapter breaks provided. – DENNIS CAVERNELIS


Serinda Swan, Coroner
Serinda Swan in Coroner. (PHOTO: Muse Entertainment)

Coroner season 3 

If you enjoy police procedurals but want something a little different than the usual American or British fare, give this Canadian series a try. 

Based on the books by MR Hall, the show stars Serinda Swan (who was also in Inhumans, but don’t hold that against her) as ER doctor Jenny Cooper, who, after the unexpected death of her husband, feels a calling to speak for the dead and studies to become Toronto’s chief coroner. 

Jenny is often overwhelmed by anxiety and struggles to cope with her father (Nicholas Campbell from Da Vinci’s Inquest), who has dementia, and her teen son, Ross (Ehren Kassam), who was on the fast track to university but lost his sense of purpose after his dad’s death. 

What sets this show apart is that it’s one of the few series to realistically depict mental illness, and there are some quirky, off-beat moments not often found in cop shows.

It has a diverse cast and doesn’t make a big deal of the fact Ross is gay. The Canadian setting adds a different flavour and the affectionate bond between Jenny and laid-back detective Donovan McAvoy (First Wave’s Roger Cross) is fun to watch. 

Season 3 is set during the Covid-­19 pandemic, with Jenny and Donovan trying to solve suspicious deaths while curtailed by coronavirus restrictions as Jenny’s cute pixie cut devolves into a bad lockdown ’do. 


Janelle Monáe, Antebellum
Janelle Monáe in Antebellum. (PHOTO: Lionsgate)

Antebellum ** 1/2 

Horror. In this movie the pendulum swings from contemporary America to a 19th-century slave plantation in the Antebellum South where African-American author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped. 

How did she get here and why is she in this horrifying reality? Has she time-travelled or is there a more rational and even darker ­explanation? Victoria tries to ­uncover the chilling truth before it’s too late. 

The mystery keeps you watching, while singer Monáe (Hidden Figures, Moonlight) again displays her acting chops. 

Unfortunately, by using the real-­life horrors of slavery and racism as entertainment, the film feels ­exploitative. 

Promoted as an intelligent horror that touches on contemporary ­issues in the vein of Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), Antebellum, however, is contrived and in-your-face, leaving the viewer feeling ambushed. 

Disappointing. – PIETER VAN ZYL


A: All ages   D: Drugs   H: Horror   L: Language   N: Nudity   P: Prejudice   PG: Parental guidance   
S: Sex  V: Violence

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