I saw Justice League last night. The best thing it had going for it were all of the terrible reviews, which helped lower my expectations. What also helped is the fact that I am a Marvel guy and think that, with the exception of Batman — the most Marvel character in the DC universe — most DC characters stink (particularly Superman). That said, I think Sonny Bunch is right: It was a big missed opportunity.
Because I largely agree with Sonny (it happens) on his big-picture take, I will focus on some minor notes. Spoilers to follow — so if you haven’t seen Justice League, just ignore this.
It looked bad. I just don’t get the cinematography. Fine, make Gotham look dark and shadowy. But why shoot it through a soiled diaper?
More unforgivable: Steppenwolf’s CGI. It’s amazing how Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises managed to display a huge range of emotions and subtleties despite basically having an oxygen mask on his face for the whole movie. Meanwhile, I had no idea that there was actually an actor playing Steppenwolf in Justice League until I read Sonny’s review because his face seemed like it was fashioned with the best special effects available in 1989. Heck, the Beast in the TV series Angel was so, so much more lifelike. Moreover, they didn’t need to make his face out of what looked like semi-hardened concrete. That’s not how Jack Kirby (Praise be upon him) envisioned Steppenwolf. But if you’re going to go that way, in the post-Gollum world of special effects, there’s simply no excuse to have an “uncanny valley” problem with a main character.
The Flash was great. He was the most — and perhaps only — entertaining character. But I have issues. First of all, the way they did the special effects for Quicksilver in the X-Men movies was so much cooler. I understand the need to be visually distinctive, but all of the giant bursts of static were annoying, even if I think they’re a nod to scientific accuracy. Also, someone needs to explain to me why the Flash (and Quicksilver) don’t have explicit super strength and super-tough skin. A normal human body moving at, say, 300 m.p.h. will turn to jelly with the first stumble or crash into a wall. If you move as fast a bullet and then hit anything solid, that object will hit you like a bullet, no?
Since you brought up scientific accuracy, I also cheered the fact that the Flash needs to eat a lot because he burns so many calories. This has been a peeve of mine with superheroes forever. Fine, fine, Superman gets a pass because his Kryptonian cells are powered by our yellow sun (eye roll) and Wonder Woman is a demi-god or something. But most superheroes presumably get their energy the old-fashioned way: from food. You’d think they’d all be eating constantly. Throwing cars and punching through walls is both serious cardio and weight training. Get these guys to a Cracker Barrel! The Hulk should be eating a side of beef every day! And Wolverine? Where does he get the protein to grow new flesh and muscle?
One last point: Flash’s hunger could have been a great source of much-needed comic relief. Instead, they make one joke about his low blood sugar, and Bruce Wayne mumbles something about how the Flash should go to the pantry, presumably to get something to eat.
Gal Godot is beautiful and lovely and wonderful and I can tell she thinks I’m special too (even though she’s never met me) and I will fight anyone with my fists who disagrees, much less speaks ill of her in any way.
Aquaman? The character was cool, but I still don’t know what his powers are, and I was shocked to learn that if Atlanteans need to talk to each other, they have to create a giant air bubble around them. That makes secretly whispering to your buddy in math class quite a hassle.
Oh, and then there’s the whole story itself. A gaggle of superheroes needs to organize into a team to defend Earth from an apocalyptic invader determined to find a cube with unimaginable energy and destroy the planet using his army of flying warriors. Where have I seen that before? Oh right. That was the plot of The Avengers! In fairness, in Justice League it’s not a single cube, but instead it’s three boxes. Way to think outside the cube, DC. No Marvel envy here, people.
Oh, and if you’re response to this is “It’s just a movie,” you shouldn’t have read this post in the first place. Ha ha. Joke’s on you — just like DC.