Justice League is why I hate group projects. My idea for a project is to work on it early as possible, plan ahead, and retain one specific vision. What’s frustrating about group projects is having to rely on other people to not screw up the assignment. What’s really frustrating is when the teacher wants you to submit a draft, so they can give you tips to make your grade better or in this case, for a film to earn more money.
Teacher: You have too much Darkseid. Can you add more Steppenwolf?
Me: AHH shit okay, I mean I guess. I was kinda trying to have him appear at the end and I was going to spend more time on Cyborg but—
Teacher: Get him to say mother a lot.
Me: Oh like in Advent Children? I mean that could be kinda cool, but he works for Darkseid.
Teacher: If you have to leave it in just let him mention Darkseid.
Me: I mean…okay but why would he call three boxes, mother? Should I animate a lady when the boxes are together??
Teacher: NO, you’re making too complicated. But add the mom stuff. DC characters love their mom.
Suddenly a project you were focusing on your own, turns into a bunch of people yelling out ideas to make it better. Everyone wants to add their own spin to the story.
Group Member: AQUAMAN IS A BAD BOI.
Group Member: Flash is bad boi but cute boi too.
Group Member: Batman is the OG bad boi.
Group Member: No, too many bad boi’s.
Group Member: I WANT SUPERMAN TO BE EVIL IN ONE SCENE.
Me: He’s not in the movie right now?
Group Member: Let’s Frankenstein him like Zodd.
Me: WHAT another giant creature!?
Group Member: No! Do a smol superman…but evil and BRITISH MAYBE? Just for like a minute. Then back to normal. It will be cool scene.
Me: Jesus FINE.
Group Member: Superman came to set with a moustache now we have to film everything with a moustache in it.
Group member: Nah, just CGI remove it. We have plenty of money. Who gives a shit.
At this point I’m just trying to get this project done.
Me: Let’s get together on Friday to film.
Group Member: Nah, Wonder Woman can’t meet then.
Me: Okay Sunday?
Group Member: Flash is busy on that day.
Group Member: No worries man, I’ll just film all the scenes where they’re together with mostly close up shots. No one will be able to tell.
Me: TF that’s not going to work.
Group Member: Yeah it will. Just get b-roll of them reacting to stuff and then we’ll figure it out in editing.
Group Member: SOMEONE MAKE SURE TO GET CYBORG TO SAY BOOYAH
Group Member: When I recorded Aquaman he kept yelling, can we keep it in?
Me: I mean, I GUESS. It’s too late now, isn’t it?
Group Member: OOPS. I filmed Batman with a beard, does he have a beard in the rest of the movie?
Me: WHAT NO HE DOESN’T
Group Member: No worries, I’ll fix it. I just put some shaving cream on his chin and make it look like he was shaving real quick.
Me: BUT WHY DID HE HAVE A BEARD.
Group Member: IT WAS COLD WHERE HE WAS IT WILL MAKE SENSE I PROMISE.
Me: Okay we have them all together for 2 days. Let’s story board what we need.
Group Member: I think we’ll be okay winging it. Just need to get them jumping out of stuff, right?
Group Member: Yo, someone crank Batman’s voice modulator UP. MY BOY NEEDS TO BE SICKENING
Zach Snyder had a personal tragedy that pulled him out of post-production, but consider Joss Whedon (his replacement) has a completely different style than Snyder.
Also weird, because Joss Whedon liked this tweet.
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) November 16, 2017
Producer Charles Roven said “The goal is to make sure when you’re watching the movie, it all feels cohesive… That imprint that Joss had, some aspect of it is going to come out in the direction, but the actors are already pretty much down the road on their arcs…Let’s just say 80, 85% of the movie is what was originally shot. There’s only so much you can do with other 15, 20% of the movie.”
YIKES MY BOY IT DID NOT WORK.
But in a weird way the movie does work…just only in the same way The Room works.
Like The Room, you kinda help but can’t laugh at some of the attempts at humor, the overuse of cutaways, the ham-fisted way the story progresses, and like I said earlier, the same use of close-ups over and over again.
There’s this one scene where Cyborg is talking to his dad and then in the middle of his dad talking, he uses his jet boots to hover in the room, “I couldn’t do that yesterday.” He says. It’s meant to come across I think as snarky, but the cut and timing of the moment made it accidentally hilarious. When I guffawed at this moment in theaters, I realized no one else chuckled. It felt like when you laugh at someone falling and then realize your friends aren’t laughing so you feel like a jerk.
My favorite part personally was where Justice League turned into a Lord of The Rings fan film. HOT DARN. I wasn’t even mad. I laughed and cheered, and I couldn’t believe it. When Galadriel Wonder Woman was telling the story of the 3 rings—err I mean boxes, the scene was quintessential Snyder. It looked beautiful, had a distinct atmosphere. I mean it was Lord of the Rings, but I’m giving it to him because it looked so cool, and was a really needed aspect of a superhero film which had another forgettable villain. The scene managed to add some beauty to the film besides Wonder Woman’s smirk and Aquaman’s abs.
It’s really stupid, but I enjoyed Justice League for the giant mess that it is. There were even a few moments that weren’t too bad. I think it did it’s job in introducing new heroes, and setting up for another film relatively easily, even if it is an easy target to poke fun of. Batman is in on how much of a joke he is. Aquaman is a bad boy who tries very hard to be a bad boy. Cyborg is moody and sad, but his voice is just lovely and they hinted at him lightening up in the future. Flash is GOLDEN; he’s truly funny and his relationship with his dad was very cool to see. Wonder Woman is delightful. Superman was there. Injustice the video game has better CGI than this film.
The film just barely scrambles together to get the minimum level required to not be as bad at Batman Versus Superman. It’s a real mess. It felt like I was watching a movie while on my phone, but I wasn’t. I was sober, very awake, and somehow it’s still so forgettable, but again, it works if you accept how hopelessly silly it is. So for Justice League, I give it 1 participation trophy out of 1.
Betty Windsor is a film snob and co-host of Geek Versus Week. Her favorite DC character is Cyborg. She believes a polished turd still smells.