TV Party Tonight! #44

TV Party Tonight! #44

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Justice League [4K/blu ray combo]

In many ways, the DC movies never stood a chance. I don’t know what started this ever-increasing snowball of hatred towards their movies: maybe it was a lack of faith in its leader Zack Snyder, maybe it’s just brand loyalty to Marvel, or maybe the DC movies just got off to a bad start. Whatever the case, the DC universe is the franchise people seem to love to hate. And this, quite honestly, is a little baffling, because the formula is just so similar to the Marvel movies, and a quick look at the box office shows that these movies are wildly popular. All of them have sold multiple times their budgets. Batman v Superman brought in almost a billion dollars worldwide. But, now it all seems to come down to Justice League which stands to be the launching pad for the next phase of DC movies.

Full disclosure: I’m a fan of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Wonder Woman (to a slightly lesser degree), which is why I’m a bit put-off after watching Justice League. Now, I don’t hold conventional views as to what the bad elements are in these DC movies. I think Henry Cavill and Ben Afleck are fine castings as Superman and Batman. Also, I think the storyline has the potential to be great. But, if I had to pinpoint why exactly Justice League fails to deliver is that Snyder has somehow sabotaged his own movie, and a lot of it comes down to the casting. For starters, Gal Gadot has a primary role in the DC universe, and it just needs to be said, but she simply cannot deliver her lines convincingly. Her mastery of the English language is such that every sentence she utters sounds unnatural coming from her. Then there’s Ezra Miller as the Flash, whose sole purpose, ironically, seems to be to grind the flow of the action to a halt as we have to watch him awkward , witty and coy, when in fact he’s just infuriatingly dimwitted and bumbling idiot.

Another obvious aspect that harms this movie is simply the source material the production team is drawing from. Again, this is not a popular opinion, but Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, while conceptually interesting, was laughable executed. The Apokolips/Darkseid universe is cool, and so is main bad guy Steppenwolf, but if you think Kirby thought his ideas through, just go ahead and Google the character Flippa Dippa. There is serious reworking that needs to be done on the Fourth World and its characters to update them and translate them to the big screen, and this seems to have been neglected by Snyder and crew.

Finally, it seems like Justice League sacrificed its story for flashy reveals and elaborate fight sequences. Story-wise, it’s frequently unclear what events have led us to the part of the story we’re watching, almost as if minutes of footage have somehow been cut and important plot points happened off-screen somehow. Character-wise, we just don’t know or understand much about our new heroes, like what are Cyborg’s powers exactly, and also, WHO IS HE? Same with the Flash.

The DC universe is full of talent driving its books like Bruce Timm, Jim Lee, Geof Johns, and Grant Morrison. How we still ended up with such a subpar product is baffling to say the least. Commercially, the DC movies are a monumental success, and by my account, delivered as entertaining movies. After Justice League, I have to say I’m a little bit worried.

Some observations:

  • The Flash and Superman can both travel at the speed of light. I believe they hold conversations with each other side by side while traveling at this speed. Light travels at about a million times faster than the sound coming out of their mouths. One would assume that these two superheroes are leaving their speech behind them as they travel and would be unable to hear each other. Not so, apparently.
  • The stuntwomen cast as Amazons took their roles seriously, worked out, and beefed up to look convincing in their part. Missing from the gym apparently was Gal Gadot, who looks like the skinniest and scrawniest Amazon, yet is somehow the most powerful one.
  • Cyborg actor Ray Fisher was pretty much in pajamas during the shoots since his costume is almost entirely CGI. Someone was living on easy street as far as far as prep is concerned.

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