Justice League

19/100

Far too incongruous to even be categorized as a film really. Not sure of the breadth of the disparity that arose when Whedon took over Snyder's post (my condolences to him for the saddening reason behind his departure), but Justice League, above all else, is a cobbled together mess of a film that assumes its audience is already well aware of the story devices they utilize here. Which is the most egregious failure of the DC Extended Universe: not even beginning to construct their entourage of super characters. Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg are merely thrown into the heap, their characters only shown briefly as a series of photos from a computer screen in a previous film—what character introductions! As a result, this film, more so than its predecessors, caters to the DC fanbase, as they already know who these players are. But to everyone else? Who even is Steppenwolf beyond his poorly designed headpiece, just another computer-generated ultravillain hellbent on 'correcting' our planet as far as the film's screenplay is concerned. A screenplay that is already well-nourished in the ways of cheeky one-liners, leaving Aquaman as the literal spokesperson for 'hell yeahs' and the 'that's what I'm talking about' breed of cringe dialogue. Also overdoes the darkness retcon, correcting its oft-criticized dark color pallet and trades it for one that is now too damn bright and overwashed with light that essentially makes our suit-clad heroes look more artificial and Halloween-costumed than genuine stalwart superheroes. Where most of the fun resides is in the casting of Affleck, Gadot, and Miller, who all act the best they can given the poor material they have to work with, but even they feel hammy in most scenes we find them in. Practically a discombobulated, malnourished, erratic way in which the film is told, the editing, and the individual scenes that are dashedly spliced together, never quite feel well-formed enough to be considered a narrative. Dull and thoroughly banal through and through, but at least they have color? Color that is brightly bleached and serves as the soul oversaturated flavor of entire sequences; looking to the final confrontation in a red-hued Russian countryside. Likely the true gem of the film is in seeing the Flash save a small family from stampeding tendrils only for him to look over and see Superman literally carrying an entire building to safety. And my god, the League really is useless without Superman, isn't it? Suicide Squad still holds the mantle for the worst entry in this misguided film franchise, but this comes frightfully close to being just as tawdry. Try forming your characters first before throwing them into a cacophony of bad CGI, bad writing, and poorly conceived... everything. Here's hoping they can realign their ambitions, and like with Wonder Woman, surprise us.

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