Justic League: The Good, The Bad & The Meh
by Lauren Bradshaw
I’m just going to be straight with you, “Justice League” is disappointing. I hate to be the bearer of bad news on this one but even I (who liked “Man of Steel,” “Batman V Superman” and even kinda “Suicide Squad”) had a tough time finding the good in “Justice League/” I seem to dislike the movie even more the longer I think about it… not a good sign. Below is my breakdown of the good, bad and meh elements of the film that have been rolling around in my brain since seeing the movie. Let me know what your good, bad, and meh opinions of the movie are when you make the inevitably poor decision of seeing it this weekend, too.
Note: There are TWO end credit scenes, with the final one setting the stage for an upcoming film and introduction of a fan favorite villain (rumored to be the baddie in the upcoming standalone Batman movie).
“Wonder Woman” is one of my favorite movies of the year and her presence in “Justice League” is one of the few consistently bright lights in the film. It’s obvious that after the success of her standalone film, they added additional scenes of Gal Gadot kicking ass to appease fans… and thank God! But because “Wonder Woman” was so amazing and raised the bar for DC Universe films, it makes the failures in “Justice League” even more distinct. Maybe if it had followed “Suicide Squad” I wouldn’t be as critical, but now that we have seen how good DC movies can be, it’s time to hold them accountable!
BUCKLE UP! Henry Cavill is shirtless for 10-15 minutes
Yes, you read that correctly. Do I really need to say anything else? Okay, if you insist. Please do yourself a favor and start prepping your fallout shelter now. Acknowledge the heavenly gift bestowed on us. Maybe they were hoping these precious moments would cause us to blackout for the rest of the movie and not realize its inherent problems. Good try, Warner Bros. Either way, when you start to get annoyed by what you’re seeing on-screen, know your salvation is just around the corner or go there in your memory.
Man oh man. Why does DC have such a hard time with villains? First Hula-Hooping Cara Delevingne in “Suicide Squad” and now this? I’m not saying Marvel doesn’t have baddie issues, because it is a hard nut to crack when it comes to superhero movies. It’s an especially difficult problem for films involving multiple heroes, who need a really hardcore nemesis to make the requirement for a team-up plausible. And when the all-powerful Superman is involved, it’s even more challenging. But let’s be real, Steppenwolf is a mess. Not only is the CGI horrible, but his backstory is lame/unoriginal AND he never really seemed that menacing. Maybe those familiar with the character will get more out of it than I did, but I found him more silly than scary.
Stop trying to make humor happen, DC. It isn’t going to happen. It’s crazy to me that the studio didn’t learn their lesson from “Suicide Squad” when it comes to trying to cram levity into an otherwise dark story. While there were some hits in terms of humor (see the Flash vs Superman scene below), a lot of the jokes and lighter elements of the script came across as forced and even cringe-worthy. Not only was the dialogue a problem, but there were also issues with character development. Because there are so many new heroes introduced in “Justice League,” there wasn’t enough time to give everyone a decent backstory. And maybe that’s the biggest problem… this movie came out too early and should have waited until after the “Aquaman” and “Flash” standalone films. The brief introductions to each of the new characters was scattershot at best and, if anything, took away from the overall story. Cyborg’s arc was especially lousy; he had awesome powers and abilities, but was really one-dimensional and (apart form the action scenes) kinda boring.
The unnatural tonal shifts and lacking backstories may be the result of the film’s last minute director change, which led to Joss Whedon helping to finish the movie for Zack Snyder; Snyder left the film following his daughter’s suicide early last year. But as the same problems continue to sprout up each time (in varying degrees), I doubt it. I was hoping “Wonder Woman” would usher in a new type of DC superhero film with as much heart and heroism as it has action, but it looks like this is still a work in progress.
The Amazon costumes
Whyyyyyy did they feel the need to change the Amazon’s costumes from ones that, I don’t know, SUPPORT THEIR VITAL ORGANS to bikinis? Ridiculous.
I am still upset and confused that Snyder didn’t choose TV’s “Flash,” Grant Gustin, to reprise the character on the big screen. He is so perfect as Barry Allen, it’s hard to support anyone else in the role. It’s no fault of Ezra Miller, who is fun and does the best he can with the character’s arc; but when we know what could have been with Gustin, it deserves some criticism. On a positive note, one particular scene of The Flash and Superman :ahem: eyeing each other is my favorite in the film and is sure to get a hearty response from audiences.
Batman and Wonder Woman
I’m always down for a good romance in a movie, but the Bruce Wayne/Diana Prince relationship wasn’t something I particularly rooted for. I think the two characters have good chemistry, especially in the heist scene in “Batman V Superman,” but in “Justice League” there was something missing. But maybe what I’m really upset about is that I am desperate for Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) to make a grand entrance and seduce Batman. Gotham Sirens, anyone?
My Review: C-
LAUREN BRADHSHAW is a lover of all movies, even the bad ones. Follow her on twitter @flickchickdc. She grew up in Courtland, graduated from Southampton Academy and doubled-majored in foreign affairs and history at the University of Virginia. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.