Back when I saw Wonder Woman in the theater, I told a friend of mine two things, the first one was I did not really appreciate a toned down DC Comics film and that it ruins the image of the brand I’ve had since childhood and second, but this toning down still made Wonder Woman very enjoyable and I would not mind if DC maintains this same tone for the rest of their cinematic universe, as it surely would help them churn more money by drawing out some Marvel fans and neutrals alike.
But oh god I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Justice League, directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon came out with big expectations to perform big, and be as big a tentpole as Disney/ Marvel’s The Avengers. But Justice League is a mess, it messed up the characters, it messed up our memories of growing up with the Justice League TV series as well. Although, what else could you expect from the man in charge of this entire universe, Geoff Johns, who by the way, co-created the CW DC TV Universe, which makes it quite self-explanatory.
The story takes off after the events of Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice. Superman is dead and the world is mourning him, while Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince realize that a bigger threat is coming to Earth and they try and assemble more people with powers to face that threat. The threat here, is a poorly CGI’d villain named Steppenwolf, who comes on Earth to collect the three Mother Boxes(I’m sure someone has a copyright on “Martha Boxes”), kept securely by Amazonians, Humans and Atlantians after the Great War which sent Steppenwolf to exile.
Featuring an ensemble cast of Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams and Gal Gadot, Justice League is enjoyable in its first watch. The comic timings were mostly on Flash/Barry Allen’s shoulders and Miller pulls it off most of the time. There were some scenes you would cheer out loud for real and laugh out loud at the jokes, but that’s about it. Justice League fails to make any sort of impact on you. Its forgettable, as in the moment of step out of the theater, you don’t remember much about it. You remember the glaring plot holes and the horrible editing that was applied. A kid with a mouse clicking randomly would have produced a better edit than what was done.
Warner Brothers desperately tried to copy Marvel and their use of humor to break the ice in situations, something that never sat right with me throughout the entire movie although some of the jokes and comic timings were pretty humorous. This is just not how I’m used to seeing DC Comics adaptations on screen. But sadly, WB couldn’t beat Marvel at their own game. Their over use of humor was one of the reasons why the film lost its charm. The only thing fans took away from it was probably a dream come true moment of getting to see their childhood heroes on screen.
The direction was botched and it was evident that two people did it. Dialogues and tones often didn’t match and the massive debate of who did which scene still continues. But irrespective of that, it was okay-ish at most. Fabian Wagner’s cinematography wasn’t any good either, definitely a step down from the jaw dropping scenes that we got in Batman vs Superman : Dawn of Justice. The editing as mentioned before, sucked. Danny Elfman composed the most uninspiring score to a film of this magnitude which doesn’t help the film’s cause either. The CGI of Steppenwolf was a quite poor in some cases.
I feel really bad for the cast to be really honest. In Batman vs Superman, it was well established that Ben Affleck was a damn good choice to be Batman, and Cavill did just as well with Superman. The casting of Gal Gadot too proved to be great, as she proved how good she is in her solo outing earlier this year. The other characters too did their best, but they were let down by everyone else. What could have been a memorable movie, has become one of those one time watch rom coms, that you don’t really remember or watch with any purpose.
As a long time DC fan, as someone who’s grown up to the likes of Mark Hamill’s Joker and Kevin Conroy’s Batman on TV, I hope this changes for better. But it certainly doesn’t seem like this scenario will change any soon.