I think that was what Zack Snyder was trying for with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Bare with me for a second. In those films, I think Snyder was trying to show how Superman was hope for humankind. Unfortunately, his message somehow got lost during the filming. I think that is why they constantly have to beat it into our heads that the “S” on his chest is a Kryptonian symbol for hope. My guess is the death of Superman should have been a death of hope, and Suicide Squad should have probably shown how the people were almost completely without hope when faced with such enormous threats. Unfortunately, that is not what came across on the screen. I wonder if WB had not tried introducing the rest of the Justice League during BvS, if that film would have made more sense and been more about the hope that Superman inspires in everyone (everyone except Bruce Wayne). Obviously we will never know.
There were still glimpses of that vision in Justice League, but again, it just did not fit. I wonder if the original idea was for Steppenwolf to have activated the Unity and many humans, since they saw the situation as hopeless were just giving into his will (isn’t that the idea of Darkseid and his Anti-life equation?). The newly formed league would be defeated and making a last ditch run at the guy, when all of a sudden, Superman would return. The people would see him and fight Steppenwolf’s Unity. I like to think in some alternate universe there is a version of these movies that was fully fleshed out. Unfortunately, we live on Earth-1 and this is what we got.
Justice League was good. Not great, not bad, just good. There were some really great moments and there were some really weak parts. I wonder what the movie would have looked like had it been Whedon’s right from the beginning or if Snyder had not left the movie (understandably so, for those that do not know, his daughter passed away during the filming). I could honestly feel the tonal shifts and the way the film seemed to lighten up early on. I am guessing Whedon really scrapped the hope stuff and just wanted to focus on a straight up team oriented fight film. Not a knock against Whedon, he was obviously not able to redo the entire film (maybe he was not the best person to bring in for post-production work?). Honestly, I would love to see a full Whedon take on Justice League, but he and Snyder are totally different directors, so it seems weird mixing them together this way.
Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed the movie. I definitely think people should go out and see it. I am just trying to explain what I see as the biggest problem of the film. So from here on out, there will be spoilers as we look at what I liked and disliked about the movie.
-I definitely loved more Wonder Woman and how they put her in a leadership role. Also, the fact that should could basically go toe-to-toe with Steppenwolf just shows how powerful she can be at times.
-Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa were awesome as Flash & Aquaman. Arthur Curry being this badass, outcast Atlantean was so cool. He and Bruce’s interactions were fantastic “I dig it.” I really liked how they portrayed Barry Allen. Was he on the spectrum? If so, do you think they went that route after seeing the success of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy? The whole brunch joke was great, but even better at the end when Superman and Flash go to race and Superman says that if he loses Barry has to take the team out for brunch.
–Ben Affleck is good as Batman/Bruce Wayne. There were some genuinely funny moments with him and some of the other characters. I really hope Ben sticks with it for the Batman solo film.
-I loved the flashback where we saw Green Lantern. What an awesome way to show GL, but not have to introduce the character at all.
-The fight between a resurrected Superman and the rest of the team. I loved when Wonder Woman went to do her bracelet trick and he just stopped her. Or when the Flash is coming in for an attack and Superman turns and looks at him. It was definitely a great fight.
-My favorite part was probably when Aquaman gives his little speech, telling everyone what he really thinks of them. And when he looks at Wonder Woman, he is like “and you, you’re gorgeous.” Then he realizes he is sitting on her lasso. I am pretty sure they did that joke in an issue of JLA once (I think Grant Morrison really toyed with the idea of Aquaman and WW), I want to say that Aquaman pulled Diana from the ocean and he starts telling her how beautiful she is and she is like “I think your leg is touching my lasso.”
-The CGI was actually pretty bad at times. For example, when Aquaman was moving through the ocean, they made it look like he was flying (like the same way Superman flies), instead of actually swimming. I would think they would try to have him undulate or something. Also, you could totally tell that something was wrong with Henry Cavill’s face in some scenes (the infamous mustache CGI).
-At the beginning of the movie, there is a terrorist attack at a London bank. Roose Bolton shoots a few guards. Wonder Woman is watching from on top of a statue (I think it was London)…so she allowed those guards to die before acting? I think they should have just had her smash into the building and save people.
-Speaking of Game of Thrones, Mance was pretty cool as Steppenwolf (although, did they use another actor to model the face? I swear he looked like Bill from True Blood).
-I am a little confused about the plot. The Mother Boxes activate and alert Steppenwolf, who decides to come and try to reconquer the Earth, now that the Kryptonian is gone. Soooo, why didn’t he come back at some point before Superman came and after his first defeat, since it was like thousands of years. Also, Kryptonians only get power like that when they are under a yellow sun…so did the Mother Boxes know about this little detail and worry that Superman was strong enough to defeat Steppenwolf? It just was not very clear to me.
-So many of the character introductions felt rushed. This is the advantage to the Marvel method of doing individual movies first. We had to have the scenes of Barry at the prison, Arthur meeting with Mera.
-Steppenwolf mentions Darkseid once, but we never got a scene or something that let us know that there was truly a bigger threat out there. The post-credits scene of Lex Luthor meeting with Slade Wilson was cool, but since we have not had the Batman movies where we learn about Deathstroke, all we know is that the dude looks cool (they really did a great job of getting Joe Manganiello to look like Slade, especially the outfit…on Arrow, he looks a bit too bulky).
-The movie could have been longer. It was two hours, but it felt pretty rushed. Superman shows up and defeats Steppenwolf and pulls apart the Mother Boxes and boom, all is well again. BvS was like 12 hours long, Suicide Squad was like 11 hours long, but the movie that needed to be longer, they cut stuff out and make it shorter. Seriously, Warner Bros loves to drop the ball.
Okay, so that is what I thought of the movie. I have waited like ten years for it and well…it had some really great stuff and some less than great stuff. Let me know what you thought of it.