Justice League Review
The latest offering in the DCEU, Justice League, has had a troubled production to say the least, with Warner Bros. giving the film a strict runtime of 2 hours, to Zack Snyder having to step down and Joss Whedon rewriting the film and reshooting most of it to the point where Snyder’s trademark style is nearly nonexistent. All of these problems make themselves very clear throughout the film; even with its gigantic budget of $300 million the visual effects are awful, even by DCEU standards. The film concerns Steppenwolf, a minion of Darkseid that wants to gather all three mother boxes on Earth to take over the world (nothing new here). Batman must work with Wonder Woman to create a team of heroes to stop him. Although they stop Steppenwolf, the Justice League most definitely fails to save their own film from its own mediocrity.
Before getting too far ahead of myself, let’s address the main cast that everyone came to see. The common praise of this film is that the camaraderie among the team is what makes the lackluster plot worthwhile, but this is simply not true. The League shares one scene together where they talk about Steppenwolf’s plan and that mother boxes are dangerous, which only lasts 10 minutes. The following scenes with the team do not give off a sense of chemistry, but rather a quippy parody of itself trying desperately to imitate the MCU films. This parody continues in the film’s color grading. Most people have seen the original trailer for this film, and to say the least it does not look similar in any way. The film’s color scheme was changed from a cool blue to a harsh red that does more to expose the obvious weaknesses of the CGI than it does to help it. Say what you will about Snyder’s films, the director knew how to hide green screen sets well and make CGI look convincing on set. This film makes Suicide Squad look better from a technical standpoint in almost every way. To give you an idea, the last teaser for this film with Superman and Lois on the farm looks more convincing there than it does in the actual film (and most of that scene does not even appear in the film).
To continue off this point, Justice League has nothing within the film that feels earned in any way. Events just happen, and characters react to them. Character arcs are an inch deep for every character and even shallower for Steppenwolf and Superman. The three film character arc that Superman was supposed to go through is completely nullified in this film, as his resurrection makes no sense when taking into consideration what the previous two films were going for. The Flash has two scenes of character development that last 5 minutes at most, Wonder Woman is worse here than in her solo film, and Cyborg and Aquaman are just there to help out.
As the film plods along, it becomes apparent too that Danny Elfman’s score does none of the characters any favors, as he not only stomps this incarnation of Superman into the dust, but does so by first hinting at the Hans Zimmer theme and then never using it again. The same fate befalls Ben Affleck’s Batman, as his theme is nowhere to be heard, and is instead replaced by a ridiculous callback to Tim Burton’s 1989 film. Even the Wonder Woman theme with its outlandish electric cello swells to a climax only to disappear after a single use.
With nothing worthwhile, Justice League is a film that should be avoided at all costs by DC and Snyder fans alike. Not even the handful of Snyder shots that rarely appear in the film would make this 2 hour endeavor worthwhile for anyone besides the most inattentive viewers. At this point, the DCEU is braindead and struggling for survival by following suit with a style that is not its own; a style that, in the process, alienates and drives away all of the fans it had accumulated in the beginning of its now 5 film franchise and gains nothing in return but ridicule and poor box office numbers.