Justice League (2017)

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Zack Snyder and Josh Whedon direct Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Ezra Miller in this comic book team up, where hidden superheroes come out and unite against an apocalyptic foe with a big axe.

It should have been a bases loaded home run, instead it swings wildly three times and seemingly is striking an entire franchise out. I don’t play baseball, I don’t know what I’m talking about when I use sport analogies but I do know Justice League is very much a dog’s dinner. Clearly the work of many hands, it veers from Zack’s big clanging spectacles to Whedon’s Avengers-lite staff room chats, way too many staff room chats. You can tell which director delivered what. Snyder’s uncomfortable attempts at jokes are unfunny (“You talk to fish?” “We can’t all carry swords.”) while Whedon’s are sitcommy and would happily find a home in a less inspired episode of Angel, that alright teatime telly show from 15 years ago. Great actors who’ve established strong characters are sidelined (Irons, Adams, Diane Lane wave at us in passing and let’s just assume JK Simmons’ Jim Gordon would have been as excellent as we all know he would have been) while Aquaman and Cyborg kill off any chance of you anticipating their solo adventures. Is it all that bad? No. There are glimpses of a better film. Cavill finds his Superman mojo. The focus should have been an entire mission to ressurect him rather than the rush job of turfing him up and electrifying him. Sorry… was that a spoiler? Supes comes back and he’s the Supes you want. Big bad probs solved. Ezra Miller’s The Flash can be annoying… but that’s on purpose… And I liked him. Even his forced humour reshoot additions feel organic to the character who is a pleasantly acerbic counter part to moody Bats and Cyborg, worthy Supes and WW. There’s nothing wrong with these characters being moody or worthy, by the way. That’s what they are. That’s what DC is. Dark, legendary, complex, heroic. Snyder understood that, Whedon knows paymasters Warners’ prefer silly and simple. A blockbuster can’t be all these things. So Justice League fails as a whole but has enough spurts of big, clanging spectacle (the Themyscira Motherbox Chase is fantastic) and well cast icons that you can see it filling an evening Blu Ray sesh more often than other movies. And by “other movies” I mean the more colourful, consistent and throwaway confections from that other, more successful, more crowd pleasing one-watcher studio. The end of the Snyder era. I’ll actually miss it.

5

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