Justice League Receives Poor Reviews

by Nicholas Runyon – Artist

“Justice League” continues where “Batman V. Superman” left off in 2016. Superman is dead, the Earth no longer has an alien protector, and Batman (Ben Affleck) is worried about a new threat. With the database taken from Lex Luthor, Bruce and Diana/ Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) attempt to recruit exceptional individuals to the cause. He meets Barry Allen/ Flash (Ezra Miller), in a scene that feels a lot like when Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) recruits Peter Parker/ Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in Captain America: Civil War (2016). Bruce also tracks down Arthur Curry/ Aquaman (Jason Momoa). Diana tries to convince Victor Stone/ Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to join them. All of the would-be Justice Leaguers have their own reasons for initially refusing to join, except Barry, who was excited to join. The nature of that apocalypse will make a lot more sense to fans of the comics who are more familiar with the Darkseid lore than it will to casual viewers. The main villain of the film is “Steppenwolf”, who threatens to achieve total dominion over everything, once he has gathered three ancient boxes of pulsating energy known as Mother Boxes. The film is a clash of multiple different visions and multiple corporate ones: original director Zack Snyder stepped down from the film after a loss in the family, and Joss Whedon stepped in to complete the movie, stitching together Snyder’s footage via months of extra reshoots to add character-building and comedy. And Warner certainly had to be aware that Snyder’s grand scheme for the DC Extended Universe. DC’s rushed attempt to catch up with Marvel’s nearly decade-old movie franchise has not been very popular with critics and fans. Wonder Woman however was amazing, director Patty Jenkins was able to create a film that matched the color scheme of Snyder’s films, but also had a lighter tone.

Basically, what happened was; After the Dark Knight trilogy, WB wanted Christopher Nolan to do “Man of Steel”, but Nolan refused and instead pushed for Snyder (a family friend). During “Man of Steel” and “Batman vs Superman”, Warner Brothers execs didn’t even read Snyder’s notes on the films, because they “trusted him”. The President and The CEO of WB hated BvS so much that they wanted to fire Snyder from JL, but it was set to begin filming the following week so they kept him. Warner Brothers hated the direction JL was going and kept trying to get Snyder to change things, which he would but it was difficult and stressful for him. Snyder was about to quit or get fired when the tragedy happened with his family. Huge pressure from WB execs at this point who were understanding of what Snyder was facing in real life, but they were very against the movie. They called it a Frankenstein movie and said it was incoherent and made no sense and way too dark. Snyder quits to attend to his family.

Instead of delaying the movie until 2018, WB CEO and President decide to bring in another director and throw in $100m studio money for reshoots for a quick turnaround (This includes things like Henry Cavill’s awful CGI removed mustache, because they didn’t have the time/ resources) and to keep the release date because if the movie was released in 2017 they would be able to apply it to their bonus checks for the year and get way more money, but they were both sure they wouldn’t have a job in 2018 so if the movie released then, they wouldn’t get the bonus.

WB execs made a conscious decision to release a poor product which they acknowledged would be bad- simply because it would mean more money for them. They used a director they knew was going to put out a lower quality product, and then wouldn’t let that director even make the movie like he wanted. They then chose instead of fixing it properly, to rush it out and force it simply to get paid.

Some of the main problems with “Justice League” was the bad CGI, many people described it as “watching a videogame”. Another thing was the forgettable villain, although that seems to be a common problem with superhero movies according to critics. Unfortunately, another disappointment was Danny Elfman’s Soundtrack. Besides his use of the original John Williams’s 1978 Superman theme, His Batman theme from the Tim Burton Batman films, and Wonder Woman’s Hans Zimmer theme, the soundtrack was not only very forgettable, but also had parts taken almost directly from his “Hulk” (2003) soundtrack, Spider-Man (2002, 2004, 2007) soundtrack, and the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015) theme.

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