Movie Review: Justice League (Snyder’s Cut)

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I tried. I really tried to like this movie. Zack Snyder’s Justice League didn’t come in with sky high expectations. I just just hoping to watch a nice long-long-long movie about superheroes and be transported for a little while.

Nope.

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It was bad. It was so, so bad. And it was long. I think Vera (wife) disliked this movie even more than I did. At the 3 hour mark I offered to just stop and go to bed, but she said, “No, we might as well get it over with.” So we endured another hour.

Slow motion

There is so much slow motion in this movie that it becomes laughable. The first rule of movie making: leave the audience wanting more. If used properly, slow motion effects can be dramatic. But it’s used so much in this movie, and not just for the scenes involving Flash, that it becomes a distraction.

Music

Do Batman, Aquaman, and Flash have a theme? I don’t think so, because anytime the group fights together it’s the Wonder Woman theme, with a little bit of the Superman theme tossed in later. Mix it up a little.

Character motivations

The character motivations are weak-sauce. Especially those of the villains. They’re just evil for evil’s sake. Or just as bad — they want to be loved and accepted by a more evil character? How does that make sense? If I’m going to be evil then I’m not going to give a crap about what some other evil character thinks of me. It makes sense to see evil characters fight for supremacy. You can’t sell the motivation that a character is evil, yet wants to be accepted by the more evil character. That’s weak-sauce. I’d buy it if Steppenwolf showed up to Earth to gain power to overthrow Darkseid, but not to become his evil cuddle bunny.

And what the hell is this Anti-life supposed to be for? Don’t the villains realize they’re alive too? What I gathered was that this anti-life thing could end all life in the multiverse. Hello?

Here’s good character motivation: Darkseid is an immortal and cannot, under any circumstances, be killed. He could dance on the surface of a neutron star in comfort. He’s tortured by his immortal existence and just wants to find oblivion. And the only possible way he can end his existence is by using this anti-life thing that will render the entire multiverse inert.

That can work as the character motivation. You might even feel a tinge of sympathy for such a being: just how torturous it could be to live forever, and ever, and ever, with nothing to look forward to? How many people felt this way after three months in COVID lockdown? It makes you think maybe you’d end up feeling the same if you had lived for billions of years.

Why the rush?

Justice League tried to do in one movie what the MCU would do over the course of an entire phase. There should have been a Flash and Cyborg stand alone, maybe another Wonder Woman and Aquaman movie. Some more Batman here and there. Introduce the ultimate villain over the span of a few movies. I have no idea why they thought it would be a good business decision to pack two origin stories and introduce a new villain all in one movie.

Dialog

I should have taken notes during Justice League because there were dozens of instances of cringe-worthy dialog. Characters saying things that didn’t fit their own motivations; or spewing obvious exposition; or doing things that they really shouldn’t be able to do. Like when did Alfred become a high-tech scientist?

Batman’s Toys

Who made Batman’s toys, like his car and that troop carrier thing, and the night crawler? The latter two are huge complicated machines. Do they outsource this work? Wouldn’t that be a dead giveaway that he’s Batman? Because there’s no possible way, not even in the DC or MCU universe, that Bruce and Alfred built those machines. First, neither of them are particularly tech savvy. Certainly not to the point that they can build huge complicated machines. The movie implies that they built them, but I’m dubious.

Tony Stark can get away with this because, first, he is a tech genius, and second, he has a huge high tech lab with robot assistants. Plus, he can outsource some of the work because he’s not working in secret. Within the realm of the MCU, I find it believable that Stark created all his Iron Man suits. In Iron Man 3 he even talks about his PTSD and not being able to sleep, so he’s just been iterating on better and better suits for different situations.

Final Thoughts

I understand that it’s crazy hard to make a good product on the scale of what Justice League attempted. You’ve got lots of cooks in the kitchen when the stakes are this high and many of the cooks are probably unqualified to have an artistic opinion, yet they have the money to influence movies.

At some point someone with power and talent has to take control of the DCU. Otherwise it’s just going to wither and die. I have to see movies like this because it’s my job. But I can honestly tell you that I wouldn’t watch another DC movie again if I didn’t have to.

Grade: D

Movie Review – Batman vs. Superman

Movie review: The Dark Knight Rises

Movie Review – Wonder Woman 1984

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6 thoughts on “Movie Review: Justice League (Snyder’s Cut)”

  1. I have to admit that I really expected a Flash standalone film before Justice League. I’ll go as as to say I was really looking forward to one. I thought Ezra Miller was great as a cheeky teen version of The Flash and there was nowhere near enough of him for me.

    DCEU really didn’t have any confidence in their product. As you say, Dan, MCU would have made about half dozen films rather than just the one.

    1. @revrobuk, I loved the Shazam movie, even though the villain was a bit lame. But hey, it’s hard to make a good bad guy. What was nice about Shazam was that it had a lot of goodwill. The DCEU is really hard to love. I couldn’t believe that the Aquaman movie squandered the humor from the theatrical JL humor of Aquaman, and the beauty of the Wonder Woman films in the sequels.

      Perhaps the Flash movie will do us right.

      I understand that DC is more grim than Marvel as a rule, but that is no excuse for making a tale where you go home feeling worse than when you went in.

  2. I guess you never saw Nolans Batman movies as Bruce Wayne does not make all his stuff, it is part of his company stock that was not used for military and such (Remember the Tumbler and Batwing?) Foxx helped work on the latter. And if you do not know huge tech companies today use MANY outsourced places to make something, anything, the thing is to make sure the places they use to not steal what they want to make they either make it in their own factories with Non Disclosure Agreements signed by all, but mostly they have many companies do one thing so that all the others do not know what they are making this way you can have a car built and no one knows what the end product is and all is left it Bruce (And maybe a few close helpers) to put it together. I do not understand all this hate of DC movies, the fans have proven that they like them, as this movie in theaters even how “Bad” writers say it was it made more then 15 Marvel movies. Was this better yes, was it the best, no, I have only seen a few best superhero movies, like the First Christopher Reeves Superman (And Superman II) The First Iron Man, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America (First one) and that is it, the rest are good, even Suicide Squad was pretty good and made more money then 12 Marvel movies.

  3. Hey Michael. I saw the Nolan Batman movies and thought there were top notch. Some of the best superhero movies made. And they did a great job of explaining how Batman got the Tumbler and other gadgets from Foxx. That was as believable a backstory for Batman’s tech as you can get.

    In JL there is no backstory for where the tech comes from, unless it’s covered in a previous movie that I’ve forgotten about. But take the troop carrier as as a good example. It doesn’t fly. Batman said that himself. If it doesn’t fly then it must have been constructed in place. And if it’s constructed in place then Bruce and Alfred must have built it because they couldn’t exactly hire a work crew, NDAs or not, to come work in the Batcave. So it just sort of falls apart.

    It’s not a big deal, but every time they do something like that it detracts from the believability of the story. At least it does for me.

    I hate the new DC movies because I think they’re poorly made movies on top of worse stories.

    If you’re a DC fan I can understand how it’s hard to read my reviews. It’s hard to hear people be critical of things we like. I’m no different.

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