My entire position on Justice League may have changed if they had failed to save the world. What an interesting twist on the superhero team up movie! The band of leaguers out for…justice try to stop the big computer bad guy and they fail and are imprisoned. Like the end of Seinfeld except with silly costumes. That’s a minimum 4-star film right there.
Of course, Warner Bros. couldn’t possibly let that happen. This is a major fall tent pole with million-dollar marketing budgets and 7/11 cups and shit. These super people can’t fail to accomplish their rudimentary goal, can they? But what if along the way they make a movie that lacks endearing characters, every joke lands like a lead balloon, has horrific special effects and plays like an 1:45 trailer for the Justice League?
By now, most of the internet knows about the troubled and rushed history of this production. Zack Snyder delivered a 3+ hour cut of the film that horrified studio executives. After the debacles that were Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad they were desperate for a financial and critical hit. After a horrible family tragedy Snyder was pulled from the production and replaced by Avengers-alum Joss Whedon who rewrote, reshot and recut the film to a monumentally sloppy 1:45 (2 hours with credits and stinger scenes.)
All of that production history is more interesting than what happens onscreen. It’s clear given the goodwill drummed up from the fabulous Wonder Woman that JL needed to rely more heavily on the charisma of Gal Gadot. Whedon-chopped and screwed JL gives us more Gadot but not in any interesting way, she’s just sort of centered in the frame more often than the other bozos.
Said bozos are Batman (Ben Affleck,) Aquaman (Jason Momoa,) The Flash (Ezra Miller,) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher.) The five of them get together because a bad guy named Steppenwolf (lol) has returned from exile (?) or something and wants to put three cubes together (these movies are always after CUBES) called mother boxes (when these characters say mother boxes it’s never not funny) to make him super powerful and make the earth a hellscape. Oh and Superman (Henry Cavill) comes back to life – remember he died (I didn’t remember.)
That’s pretty much what we have happening in Justice League. This is unkempt Hollywood trash of the highest order. I couldn’t imagine having to promote it. I will say it probably deserves an Oscar nod for editing given they were even able to create the semblance of a film out of the scrap heap that was first presented. I can’t imagine what a slog that would be to sit through.
Snyder’s aesthetic remains a fireworks truck that t-boned a candy factory so I can’t tell you if the action was good, my eyes are still blurry and everything tastes like sour patch kids. I will say though, in the cannon of stupid superhero villains, Justice League doesn’t disappoint – Steppenwolf is 100% CGI, looks and sounds terrible and I assume is a big John Kay fan.
Honestly, JL is a minor step up from Bats v. Supes. If it wasn’t for the merciful run time and the charisma of Momoa and Gadot I probably wouldn’t be so charitable. The films tagline is “you can’t save the world alone” but after watching it I wish they would’ve spared the globe their sympathy.