Justice League [2017]

“I’m putting together a team of people with special abilities. See, I believe enemies are coming…”

I told myself I would never, ever watch this film (having watched Batman v Superman and being less than impressed… in truth I fell asleep at the cinema… says everything you need to know really) but here we are… I have seen the animated TV series and animated film versions prior to this which I think are the BEST, so I had pretty high expectations..

What I noticed first was how defined everything looked. The CGI was spectacular at times, and then others it looked like they really skimmed to keep things under budget. I was also struck by how similar some elements of the story was to that of Marvel Avengers film, complete with bad guy looking for cubes (erm hello tesseracts made of pure energy, I have seen you somewhere before… come on brain, think…).

There were WAY too many long shots of the super heroes looking off into the distance, looking hella strong to really sell the emotion of the story at that point in the film… I was not sold.

The dialogue was pretty uninspiring, though it had its moments. Usually in a Justice League film Batman will do a rousing speech and everyone including the viewers get behind them and believe in them because of the strength of Batman’s resolve… in all other versions of Justice League, Batman is at the centre of the team. He’s their leader and the lynchpin that holds it all together. Unfortunately Batfleck’s portrayal of Batman in this was so unconvincing that I sort of ignored that he was in it. He became such a background character to me and I lacked real respect for him. There’s a part where The Flash asks Batman what his super power is and Batfleck says “I’m rich” but he says it in a smarmy white rich man way. Obviously this is a true and inescapable fact – Batman IS rich – but you just know that Kevin Conroy Batman would have delivered that line sarcastically and low key like he kind of hated himself for it and wanted to play it down. It shows that Batfleck didn’t give due consideration to the weight of his delivery of the character, including inflection which can turn your Batman from a loved hero to an annoying turd. Batman is loved. He’s so well loved that DC films have mostly been riding on Batman’s coattails for years and Marvel has puked out hundreds of films in the meantime but Batman is such a brilliant and multilayered character that it doesn’t feel like an imbalance of sorts… There are a million different ways you can cut it but to his core he is and always will be Batman. To go into a portrayal so arrogantly like I GOT DIS and then poop all over it… I don’t have the words to express my annoyance at this… Don’t even get me started on Batfleck’s special and inconsistently applied Batfleck voice…

I was originally skeptical about the pick of Ezra Miller for Flash (I had loved Grant Dustin’s version as TV Flash), however, I think Miller’s version was loyal to Flash’s true nature, i.e. boyish, cute and goofy. He ended up being the only real high of the whole film for me, so I went from being intent on not liking him before it began and by the end I was giggling and clapping over him, and I adored his interactions with Superman. In fact it is those little moments that really hold the film together otherwise it would be totally pointless. I also really liked one moment in the film where Superman was going apeshit and Lois Lane turns up and they share a tender moment and you can feel this tremondous pain and humanity in him and the love he feels for her is so precious. In that moment he goes beyond being a symbol of strength, to this almost tangibly special otherness. I think they touched on it a little in the film, that earth is every bit as much Superman’s as it is Batman’s, that he’s not just super but also just a man and there’s a lot at stake if they are to lose and that’s why they can’t have this lil reunion without him. There should have been this good pause from Superman where he contemplated his humanity and the fact he is as vulnerable as a human.. I really wanted that to be developed more but it wasn’t. That essence just disappeared and it went back to being JUST ANOTHER AVERAGE ACTION FILM.

I really think the writing let this film down. The name Justice League should have heralded a higher quality of script that just wasn’t there, but despite that I strongly believe that better casting of Batman could have saved the film even despite a shitty script because Batman is a gamechanger.

So all in all, pretty mediocre film. Not a total waste of time, but I would highly recommend using your time for ANYTHING ELSE. For instance, seek out Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths [2010] instead, which is a WAY better Justice Team film. Sorry Batfleck.

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