To quote the great Ian Malcolm – “That is one big pile of shit”.
That’s not to say there are no redeeming qualities in Justice League, but those nuggets are so deep inside the aforementioned turd that thinking of them still leads to retching.
So why the strong reaction? A quick look back at my thoughts on Zack Snyder’s last film – Batman v Superman (Ultimate Edition). Here’s an excerpt from my review.
“Batman v Superman is almost a trilogy on its own. It’s not your standard comic book film and I think that put off a lot of people last year. It is a layered film that rewards multiple viewings. We’re saturated with Marvel and Fox stories that have created a standard template for what these kind of film should be, so a story that is harder to follow and relies heavily on metaphors and imagery is going to be tricky to accept.”
I’ll always appreciate one man’s vision over a committee’s mess by numbers. But people didn’t want it, and there was a backlash.
We know many more details about how Justice League came together now; I could probably write a whole piece on that alone. Suffice to say, Whedon and WB did not help things.
There are multiple issues with the changes. They fundamentally change the film’s tone; it’s easy to tell what is Snyder and what is Whedon. I don’t think there’s much Snyder left to be honest. The complete lack of regard for continuity is the main marker of the newer scenes. They couldn’t even get Affleck’s wig right. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ben Affleck clearly lost the will to live ever time he had to deliver a Whedon zinger.
Granted, Batman shouldn’t really be much good against aliens, and I do appreciate seeing a dinged-up Bruce struggle with the pressures put on his older body. But he doesn’t come out of this well.
It’s a flat out bad film. Fleeting moments of decency are washed away with appalling CGI, or tired, immature humour. Danny Elfman’s phoned-in score then starts up, only to be compounded by the realisation that the story is generic as hell and barely hangs together. Snyder made some excellent casting decisions; they’ve just been wasted.
Perhaps you’ll enjoy this version of Justice League. But there was a different film here at one point—Snyder’s film—and I’d wager it was better than this, divisive or not. This version of Justice League can’t even figure out what sort of film it wants to be.