This review concerns the Joss Whedon led and edited 2017 release of Justice League. I wrote this review shortly after release, and these are my restructured thoughts, edited for readability.
Justice League is such an incredible movie, because I am unable to determine if it was bad or not. I can’t figure out if I liked it. I couldn’t tell you if I’m thinking about it so much because it was so bad or because it was good enough to surprise me. I legitimately am at a loss to tell you what my opinion on this movie is. Nevertheless, I give you my opinion like four times in this review.
Bad Guy #41
Let’s begin listing the good stuff. This should not be short, right?
I liked the simplistic story. Bad guy arrives, motivates dysfunctional team to save the day. I enjoyed Flash’s humor, but only in the trailers because we saw all his jokes in the trailers. There was nothing in the actual film that wasn’t already seen, which sucked. I liked Gal Gadot, but that’s cheating because everyone likes her. Aquaman was pretty cool. Steppenwolf is a cool name.
Then there’s the rest of the movie. The CGI was somehow really bad and I’m surprised how bad the CGI is. The CGI for Superman was on par with that scene in Matrix: Reloaded where Neo fights a thousand Agents and that movie came out in 2003; 14 years before this one.
The movie is cluttered and cramped, full of so much stuff, but nothing of substance. Absolutely nothing at all is of any value. It’s a constant cringe fest of overt, failed efforts.
The movie can still be fun, and I do suggest you watch it, but it could’ve been better. To be fair, it could have also been worse. It just hurts more to know that it should have been better.
I like the dark twist Zach Snyder has on his superhero movies as there’s definitely an element of grunge, destruction and pain that is glossed over in the Marvel films, that I sort of wish was there. Done well, the grit can resonate with the audience and helps the film stand out. Logan is the perfect example of a dark superhero movie. It has real, human themes of pain and struggle, laid over superhumans. Justice League is a perfect example of what’s called, ‘antithesis’. It’s not real, it isn’t human, there’s no true pain, and only emulated struggle. We already knew that they’d win and all the heroes would survive. After all, DC has money to make!
Then when they killed Superman, they should have left him dead. You want an unforgettable start for your cinematic universe? Kill the man of steel, and leave him six feet under. Superman’s theme has been to incite hope. His message was “If you want to find superman, just look around”. We can ALL be great. We can all be super. Our strength is our humanity. It’s what makes people love Superman. The film should’ve had the resurrection fail. Leave him dead, misdirect the shit out of us, and have our surviving heroes find hope within each other. Sidenote: Infinity War should’ve had the balls to do that after the snap. DC should have had the balls to do that this time.
As it stands, Justice League is nothing special, nothing worth discussing, except to rag on it for being a shit movie.
Who Said What?
Like usual, there’s really bad, predictable dialogue. A third grader’s conversation with his imaginary friend would’ve been more interesting than the words that fell out of everyone’s mouths.
A bad movie is made average by a good soundtrack, and this movie did not have that benefit. The soundtrack was just a wall of noise with a beat, touted as an original soundtrack. Everyone wants to imitate Star Wars’ success, but they forget that everyone and their dog can whistle the Imperial Death March. I doubt anyone can whistle the new Batman theme song.
I really want the DC movies to succeed because I like DC more than Marvel. Batman is a dark character, and he works perfectly in Zach’s vision. Superman is a ray of naïve sunshine, and it’s why Man of Steel sucked. You can’t just cover the sun with a sheet and call it nighttime. I’m going to give this film a tentative 4/10. Worth a watch, just to see Gal Gadot kick ass, but beware of gratuitous Gal Gadot ass shots.
I don’t actually want to tell you where to watch this movie due to the recent allegations of misconduct against Joss Whedon. Stay tuned for my review of the 2021 Justice League review if you’d like to see a different version of the film.