I try to stay away from reviews about anything entertainment that I’m a fan of. Be it comics, TV, movies, whatever. If marketing does it’s job, and sparks an interest, I’d like to find out for myself. But headlines are hard to avoid. And every now and again, the click bait does it’s job, and I read a review or two.
Such was the case with Vanity Fair and JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Vanity Fair posted a pretty damning review of JUSTICE LEAGUE. And I know, who the fuck cares what they think about a comic book movie, and on any other day, I’d agree with you. But like I said, every now and again, I fall for the click bait.
And in this case was their headline, “Justice League is a Big, Ugly, Mess”
I won’t go too in-depth with their review, and while I think “big, ugly mess” might be a little harsh. JUSTICE LEAGUE was not good. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun, I had laughs. But it wasn’t good.
And in all fairness, I think the concept of a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie was doomed from it’s inception. I don’t think it was until Marvel had huge success with AVENGERS that Warner Brothers started looking seriously at the DC Comics arm in producing a universe of movies and the revenue that could yield. But by then, Marvel was already 10 years into game when AVENGERS hit, so it felt like Warner Brothers decided to rush properties into production, presumably thinking about dollar signs and not solid movies, and ended up with mixed results.
And like just about every DCEU movie before it, JUSTICE LEAGUE didn’t feel like a complete concept. And that’s not entirely the movie’s fault. Unfortunately, the production had it’s share of tragedies. Most notably director Zack Snyder stepping down as director to deal with a family tragedy, and Joss Whedon being brought in to finish the film.
But as exciting as that was to have Joss Whedon fill in. It was also a handicap. In my opinion Snyder and Whedon are wildly different directors. Based on recent projects, one dark and moody, and the other fun & wit. And that contrast definitely was noticeable in JUSTICE LEAGUE. I felt like I could almost tell what was Whedon and what was Snyder in the movie, which lead to an almost broken narrative for the movie’s story.
With Whedon’s appointment came tons of rewrites and reshoots. Which, again, led to a broken narrative. I should warn you, I am probably heading into spoiler territory here. But the movie tried to address too many points: Bruce Wayne’s guilt for Superman’s death. Bringing Superman back. Trying to get Wonder Woman to move beyond Steve Trevor’s death. Cameo other characters in the DC Universe (and yes, there are cameos), introduce us more to Flash; Aquaman and Cyborg, and of course deal with the big bad for the movie, Steppenwolf.
Each one of those benchmarks could’ve easily been it’s own movie. But putting that all into one movie? For me, the movie didn’t have any idea of what it’s story was. And addressing each of those elements created half-assed efforts to make you care about the characters… but really, you don’t invested at all. And the fact that you had a generic CG villain, and a vague plot for world doom didn’t help either.
And if you’re curious about the threat to Earth? Basically Steppenwolf was gathering 3 “Mother Boxes” to create the a “Unity” that will reshape the world in some fashion. And somehow that translated to doom for Earth.
Now I’m not too invested in DC Comics titles, so more hardcore fans might understand the threat of the Mother Boxes if it was pulled from the comics. But for the moviegoer, without a build up to the threat, honestly there was no tension or anticipation for the film’s resolution.
Ultimately, JUSTICE LEAGUE was a movie that didn’t know what adventure it wanted to take you on. My advice to Warner Brothers and DC, stop rushing these things… stop thinking you need to make things more “light hearted”. Just PLAN your film universe, not rush it, be true to your characters, and everything else will fall into place.
BUT despite this review. Like I said at the jump, I did have fun in this movie. As forced as their moments of levity may have been, Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman, were great fun in the movie. Their inclusion made a broken story, bad CG (you’ll see towards the end), actually fun to watch.
But my advice? I’d wait for a rental if you’re really curious about this movie.
OH! But however, whenever you see it, there are 2 post-credit scenes. One early on, and one at the very end of the credits. It’s worth a wait till the very end too. Unlike the THOR RAGNAROK very end post-credit scene… that one was a throw away, and not really worth waiting for.