Don't Call it a Comeback
Justice League kind of blows. There are some nice moments, some nice images if you want to pick cherries. But everything seems hacked up and rushed. If Joss Whedon’s reshoots constitute 20 percent of the runtime (and it’s pretty obvious which stuff is his), how was Zack Snyder looking at 95 minutes? Seems like they deleted an hour from Snyder’s cut and added 25 minutes of additional material. Most of the scenes look trimmed. This is a Frankenstein.
The earliest trailers look different than the finished film. The coloring is different. It feels like the studio tried to de-Snyderize this thing in post.
Whedon’s style doesn’t mesh with Snyder’s. I presume the opening scene is Whedon’s. What a way to spray graffiti all over the film. Really looks like Cavill should have a mustache there. A side of his upper lip is gone, and his cheeks are blurry. Weird-looking CGI, not off to a great start. The scene feels cheap in every way. Whedon sucks, man, and that’s not taking into account the words from his ex-wife. He was good on Buffy but ever since then he’s been riding on a wave of toilet water. Wally Pfister had an interesting take on the first Avengers movie. He said it looks shitty because they wanted to show off the sets.
The banter between the heroes is grating. Gal Gadot is forced to bicker and make up with Ben Affleck, who appears to be drunk and wearing kabuki makeup. Jason Momoa is in over his head, worst member of the cast. I’ve seen people ripping on Cyborg. The character isn’t the best but he’s more fun than Aquaman. Ray Fisher delivers one the film’s better performances. One thing I’m really impressed by is Fisher’s ability to interact with pretend digital garbage. Ezra Miller’s adequate. I was equally as amused by him as I was annoyed, and I think that’s because they put too much on the guy’s shoulders. Amber Heard’s good in a Flash Gordon sort of way; it was weird to see her face get smashed into a wall. Connie Nielsen has more to do in this than she does in Wonder Woman.
Steppenwolf looks corny, poor CG, straight out of a movie from 2003. Ciaran Hinds does what he can with the voice work; his motion capture is worthless since Steppenwolf doesn’t look real at all.
Dunking on Zack Snyder is dunking on Deborah Snyder. Her influence is all over these things. You get a sense that the Snyders talk everything through together. As laughable as the Martha thing in BvS is, it fits right in there in a thematic sense. Man of Steel and BvS are rich in subtext. Justice League is not.
Today it was reported that Zack Snyder hasn’t even seen the film. He and Deborah reportedly left the production because they needed space to grieve after their daughter’s suicide. Who knows what the whole story is, or what the production was like after the backlash against BvS. I doubt JL is anything like the film they planned to make. Not like that film would’ve gone over any better with critics and audiences.
Justice League is Dune, Alien 3, or American History X. We don’t know what the movie’s actually supposed to be like. Most people are probably just happy that the Snyders are gone. The whole thing feels like an injustice.