There ain’t no Justice: Justice League

jl.jpg2017.60: Justice league (2017)

Oh dear. This was terrible. I came out of the cinema feeling how Charlton Heston looked at the end of Planet of the Apes, on his knees, fists clenched, screaming at the heavens about the damned fools who had finally bloody well done it; “You Maniacs! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”

Yes, they’ve made a superhero film worse than Batman v Superman.

I suppose Justice League never had a chance, doomed at birth by the critical and public response to Batman v Superman, but the terrible waste here is just bewildering. Ben Affleck is possibly the best Batman we’ve ever had, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight brought vividly to life, but he’s now been wasted in three bad films, and Affleck looks as if he’ll kill someone to get out of making a fourth. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is possibly the only DC success story, but even she looks tired here; “I’m working with children,” she muses at one point- damn right girl. As for Henry Cavill, I like the guy, I’ve enjoyed him in earlier stuff like The Tudors etc and his Superman should be a great fit, but at this point everyone has to admit it just doesn’t work. I don’t know if it’s the direction he is being given but his Superman just doesn’t work. His Clark isn’t a bumbling alter-ego, it’s a Superman as topless hunk, the same character completely, utterly missing the entire point of the Clark character.

Anyway, Justice League is only just out so I’ll spare any spoilers. But it is terrible. Horrible. Surely a movie based on a comic deserves/needs a story more sophisticated than a children’s comic? The crass stupidity that, what is it, anything north of $200 million has been spent on is just bewildering.  It’s one thing to bring Superman back and explain that ‘miracle’ off to the public, but how does Clark Kent get away with a return from the dead when he turns up for work on Monday at the Daily Planet? This film is so S-T-U-P-I-D. The awful dialogue, the desperate need to give every character their ten/fifteen minutes to shine, the pithy one-liners, the jokes that fall flat, the villain who may yet rank as the worst villain to ever ‘grace’ a superhero movie, some of the shoddiest effects work I have seen in a tentpole blockbuster…. I could go on.

But dear God the abysmal story.  It’s almost part Lord of the Rings in its cartoony backstory/mythology of ancient wars battling ancient evil. I’m not quite sure that didn’t come from some completely different movie altogether, it was so weird. Three glowing rubik’s cubes spell death for humanity.  How long did they spend dreaming that up? It’s so infantile and crude, so many characters come and go for no reason at all, side stories come to the fore then simply disappear. Maybe there is a three-hour cut that will fix everything, there is simply too much movie here for two hours, but a three-hour Justice League sounds right now like a recipe for torture.

Yet this mess will get more bums on seats than BR2049. There is a lesson there. But the DC extended universe is surely in real trouble now. Such a pity, such a waste. Where can it possibly go from here?

17 thoughts on “There ain’t no Justice: Justice League

  1. So… I liked it. I mean, it’s certainly not perfect, for all kinds of reasons, but I didn’t think it was significantly worse than your average CGI-and-action-focussed blockbuster.

    1. Strange, the derivative nonsense plot didn’t bother you? Some of the Marvel films are silly, don’t get me wrong, it’s the nature of the superhero genre taking itself so seriously in these films, but after so many duds in the DC universe, wasn’t this just… awful? An awful waste of talent in front and behind the camera, and anything between $200 – $300 million. It’s a shocking situation, really.

      But I look forward to seeing your review.

      1. Maybe it’s my low expectations giving it a free pass, but “villain wants MacGuffins; heroes try to stop him” is about all I expect from the plots of these movies most of the time. It’s so familiar and straightforward that I didn’t even really think about it — it just occurred while I was enjoying and/or thinking about other aspects.

        Still, no way a movie of this scale (i.e. not as grand as I guess they think it is) needs to cost so much money.

  2. Matthew McKinnon

    Well, here’s the thing: you went to see it.
    You’re adding to the problem when you hand over your money. I mean: you saw the trailers, right? You knew what to expect.

    I’ve drawn a line in the sand with this one, and I’m just not going near it I actually tried to do the same with BvS, but a friend bought us tickets for his birthday so I couldn’t refuse. But after that experience, and the preceding misery that was MoS, and the childish and thoroughly mediocre WW… forget this nonsense. I’m done.

    Matt Reeves attached to direct a Batman movie might be interesting, but there’s still plenty of time for that to go wrong.

    1. Yeah you’re right. I just thought, wtf, gotta be there to see the car crash happen. Morbid curiosity I guess. There were more people there than at 2049s opening night. That REALLY cheered me up.

      But I figure word of mouth works both ways, right? Enough people like me shout out loud how bad it is, people gotta notice and maybe avoid it. They got to see sense, films like this can’t just carry on making money.

      Not that I’m sore about 2049, you understand, but I’m still sore about 2049. Truth will out.

  3. They cannot have my money for this one. So many bad reviews have convinced me to just wait for a high quality stream I can get for free online.

    Such a shame too, I was hoping to see legit competition to the MCU.

    I guess the DC v. Marvel discussion has been decided at this point.

    1. Yep, DC have dropped the ball with this one. I watched Spiderman Homecoming last night, it’s in a different league (sic) altogether. it’s incredible how classy and effortless Marvel make it look, the clarity of the drama, the action, the characters. Brilliant stuff that makes Justice League seem so… amateurish.

  4. My 11-year old wants to see it. We can get two tickets for less than $8, so we’re going. I don’t “do” comics, so I have no expectations. My last exposure to the Justice League was on Saturday morning cartoons. Seeing the trailer and the massive improvement to Aquaman, I’m good with paying $8 for a bit of eye candy. So, no matter how bad the movie might be, I get to spend time with my daughter (who also doesn’t follow comics). Making memories is priceless.

    1. I hope you enjoy it. It’s certainly got its fans (a work colleague thought it was great and is going to see it again). As neither of you read comics you won’t be taking any baggage with you so may enjoy it more on its own terms. If you find time, let me know how it goes.

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