Justice League ½

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Edit: I crack down pretty hard on Zack Snyder, and I regret it immensely. He seems like a great dude, and in any case I now know that most of why this movie was bad was because of Joss Whedon. I talk about the film creatively using language in disgusting variety, and I apologize for any misguided harm this includes towards Zack Snyder. I’m keeping this as it was because it’s my favorite review I’ve ever written, but just for the record I do like Zack Snyder, I am genuinely excited for his cut, and I hope you can appreciate this review regardless. Alright guys, be good people.

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“I take it back. I want to die.”
-Henry Cavill as Superman

Okay. Let’s...try to be fair. As I understand it, Zack Snyder was refused a lot of directorial freedom, and that’s why people have been pushing for the Snyder Cut basically since the film was released. I get that not getting creative freedom on your movie, your baby, really sucks, and I genuinely feel bad for Snyder. Another reason I’m for the Snyder Cut is because...well, any direction is up from this absolute pile of shit, so make a new cut, I guess that’s not the worst idea. You'll go from a one to a two! I can’t believe I’m watching a worse movie in 2020 than the latest adaptation of Pet Sematary. Congratulations Justice League, you abhorrent, abominable pile of trash, you’ve earned it. Now, let’s tear this film limb from limb. I mean, doing a new cut of a movie this bad can only do so much. Maybe it’ll fix pacing issues, because cutting down a movie about the fucking Justice League to two hours is just a terrible idea. I don’t care what their reasoning was, that production decision is the worst that I’ve ever, ever heard of. Especially if most of the characters didn’t even have proper introductions in earlier films. At least with The Avengers most of the characters had already been introduced. Almost every character in Justice League comes out of East Jesus Nowhere.

One character that had been previously introduced was Wonder Woman, whose origin film was surprisingly powerful, lovely and well directed, at least for the most part. Patty Jenkins did a wonderful job with every single character in that film, never mind Diana herself, and cobbled together a lovely, feminist film that didn’t play to any man in the audience. In Justice League, the male gaze is front and center, with every single one of their costumes changed in the least tasteful way possible, which is to say that every single bajongo and dump truck is proud and center. That’s not inherently a bad thing, women can wear whatever they want and they don’t need anyone’s permission, but it’s such a big change that I’m certain I know exactly what Zack Snyder was up to. He’s Michael Bay-ing all the strong female characters, camera fucking them like Tarantino with Margot Robbie’s feet in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, not that the two films are anywhere close to each other in terms of quality. I mean, just imagine that. Ben Affleck’s Batman has so little characterization outside of trying out a half-assed, half-remembered copy of Christian Bale’s excellent run as the superhero on every young boy’s lunchbox, on every young boy’s backpack, and every young boy’s wall. He’s so fucking bland that whenever it tries to progress his arc it feels like it comes out of absolutely nowhere, just as much as the new superheroes.

But at least it tries to give Bruce Wayne something of an arc. The rest are given one edgy personality trait at the very most, and that’s what they’re forced to roll with throughout the entire movie. Barry Allen is sad because his dad is in jail for committing murder. Victor Stone is also sad about...something. Either I didn’t care enough about this movie to pick it out or it’s just absolutely not there, but whatever the issue is, it’s an issue and in my opinion it must be dealt with. And that’s for the characters who even have personality traits. Arthur Curry is edgy and serious. Clark Kent is...edgy and serious. Diana Prince is—are we sensing a theme yet? I mean, people say that characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are repeats of one another where the only thing that changes is their costume. Fine, I guess, but at least none of them are as bad as this, which is absolutely something I can say about the movies in the MCU as a whole. Doctor Strange tries its hardest, but not a single movie in the MCU is half as bad as this unbearable pile of shit. Very rarely do the characters here have defining character traits, and even more rarely do they even try to progress arcs. You know, like any movie, any story, any...you know...piece of art is supposed to do. If you can’t even handle basic aspects of filmmaking, go back to the fucking drawing board. Try a little bit, for GOD’S SAKE, never mind the sake of any self respecting audience member. There are classes for this shit, you guys. There is absolutely no excuse for why Justice League was THIS FUCKING BAD.

As for the production design...I mean, I’ve said this before but at some points there’s so little to say that the only thing that does justice to how bad the film is, is that it’s an ass movie that looks like ass. The costume design is ass, especially with Clark Kent’s Batman. Aquaman’s tattoos look fake as hell, and also like there was no care put into how he looks. The only distinct costume design choice that went into any of these characters is to allow Zack Snyder to camera fuck the ladies he’s directing, which I’ve already discussed anyway so I’ll leave that be. And then we have Henry Cavill’s infamous mustache removal through CGI that is a constant nightmare to look at. With only a few exceptions (cough cough) there is no love or care put into the cinematography, or maybe it just feels that way because every last shot looks fake as hell, no matter where you stop and no matter where you look. I had no idea that someone could keep up such a layer of uncanny valley for so long, absolutely never letting up, but if any movie will be innovative with how bad cinema can look, I guess it’s going to be Justice League. I mean, it only makes sense. Then you’ve got the screenplay, which is both rushed and overly ambitious and also flavorless and bland. Let Zack Snyder write for comic books is what I’m saying, because although I imagine he’s still going to add a bunch of stupid fucking lines and moments, as well as MacGuffins and heaps and heaps, miles tall of bad character and world building, the likes of which are peppered all throughout Justice League’s screenplay, it’s clear that that’s where he belongs. He certainly doesn’t belong in Hollywood, so long as he’s making movies that break through the bottom of the barrel such as the absolutely unforgivable, unfortunately unforgettable, and likely eternally regrettable Justice League, which is possibly my least favorite film in decades. I’m not even giving this the satisfaction of calling it my least favorite film. It’s just an abysmal piece of cinema all around, and I’m going to leave it at that.