Justice League is....
Posted: Posted November 21st, 2017 by Jet Presto
... fine? I guess? I dunno. I thought it was pretty drab and boring, mixing the worst attributes of Zack Snyder with the worst attributes of Joss Whedon. But, it also wasn't the jumbled hunk of garbage that Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, or Suicide Squad were. (If you enjoy any of those, great! But they're objectively messes as far as filmmaking go, even by Hollywood blockbuster standards.)
Of course, some of the biggest aspects to the film are inherently broken because they're build upon the broken foundation that was Batman v. Superman. Like, the whole thing about needing to bring Superman back because he was a beacon of hope to the world, and to these other superhero players? What? When did that happen? When was he an inspiration? Ok, so there are a few moments in Batman v. Superman where some people are shown to be idolizing him (because Zack Snyder loves messianic imagery), but a huge chunk of the world hates and fears him. They hated him because he was an alien and thus brought Zod to Earth. But now they all love him because he sacrificed himself to stop Doomsday, who is a reincarnated Zod in the first place? And like, none of these other characters even ever interacted with him. Superman isn't given much time in the public spotlight, and most of the film, he's still figuring himself out and his role in the world. He's hardly an inspirational figure. Not the kind that the Superman in everyone's head is.
So, that doesn't really work. (It's also weird because they definitely hinted at the end of Batman v. Superman that Superman isn't completely dead, but they kinda just forget that happened entirely. There are a number of new continuity issues that arise from Justice League.) It's also strange this idea that they need Superman to bring the team together when Wonder Woman fulfills the same function. She is clearly a leader, and functions exactly as Superman would if he were there from the start.
(I also, admittedly, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hate this take on Aquaman. Writers, can we pleeeeease stop the "Aquaman talks to fish!" joke? It was barely funny the first time, and ya know, maybe at some point, fans might appreciate it if you stopped being embarrassed by your source material? Aquaman is an awesome character and has been for decades!)
(I also, admittedly, reeeeeally enjoyed Ezra Miller as the Flash, but I don't really get why they made him Barry Allen if his personality is just going to be Wally West...)
(I also, admittedly, reeeeeally was indifferent about Batman this round. Didn't hate him or think it was terribly off, but it definitely doesn't feel like the natural progression from where he left off at the end of the last film.)
I've heard some praise the film for finally getting Superman "right," but I think that's a big stretch too. It's more "right" than the past two films, but it's just a couple of moments. He's such a small part of the film that I still don't think you can really say he has much of an impact. He still hardly comes off as an inspirational figure.
There's also a ton of CGI. Like, 90% of the whole thing felt like CGI. The villain would be at hope in a Marvel film. Utterly forgettable. It's hard not to see how the motherboxes fulfill the infinity gems role here, so it feels rushed (but I do kind of like seeing all the ways that Marvel and DC were constantly ripping each other off). The action is mostly forgettable as well: just CGI human-esque characters fighting CGI human-esque parademons.
So, it's definitely not good, and I won't ever watch it again, most likely.
But what did I like about it?
Well, I really enjoyed The Flash. Thought they did a good job making his use of speed visually different from both Fox's and Marvel's. At this point, it's kind of tricky to show a familiar power in a unique way. Thought they did a pretty good job of it here. I also really enjoyed Ezra Miller's innocence and his sense of wonder. He might come off a little fanboy-y, but I actually think that helps. Everyone else in this universe is such a downer. It's nice to have a character that actually seems excited to be there.
Wonder Woman continues to be the shining light for the universe. Since they've clearly made no commitment to making Superman Superman, Wonder Woman has effectively stepped into the role, and I think she does a solid job.
I actually quite liked Cyborg as well. I thought he started off kind of slow, and he doesn't ultimately get enough attention considering his connection to a motherbox, but I really liked his...arc? I guess? (As much as any of these perpetually existent characters can have arcs, really.)
And, of course, the film is only two hours. It actually felt longer to me, but it also didn't go on well past when it needed to.
The ultimate problem facing Justice League is...what is it doing? Warner Bros. has been so confusing. They've come out to say that they aren't really trying to build a "shared universe" like Marvel, but then Justice League clearly builds off of Batman v. Superman, and sort of teases a follow up in its post-credits sequence. At the same time, it kind of just...ignores many key elements to Batman v. Superman, some of which kind of do matter to Justice League's world. So I'm just...kinda...confused by what I'm supposed to think of it in a broader context. Should I be looking at it as its own film? (Which you can't really do because it is clearly a sequel.) Should I be looking at it as part of a bigger shared universe? (Which you can do, but quickly notice many glaring problems with a lack of solid continuity.) Am I supposed to be hyped for the next film? (Which you can't really do because they haven't committed to making another one, even scrapped a sequel that was supposed to feature Darkseid.)
The film is...ok, I guess. It's not complete garbage like some of the past films, but it's hard to get psyched about this universe. Still, given the director change and how much got altered after Snyder wrapped his shooting, and given the clear and vast confusion the studio has towards these franchises, the fact that the film is...ok?... is, itself, a rather astonishing achievement.
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