Sunday 19 November 2017

Justice League - Zack Snyder

Justice League - Zack Snyder

"What's your super power?"
"I'm rich."

Ben Affleck's Batman really is the Trump of superheroes, buying his way to power without talent. He's incapable of compassion. He's incapable of leadership. He's incapable of winning fights alone. He's just the worst. This is all to make him seem human - after all, he doesn't have a super power and his rival (Superman, Henry Cavill) is an alien from outer space. But he's just pathetic.

Really, it's Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who's the true leader of the Justice League. She possesses everything Batman doesn't - charm, power and personality - and in the process carries the other heroes and the whole film on her back. For a female character to be in this position in what is usually such a macho heavy genre is progressive, but it's undermined by the amount of low angle ass shots that are wholly unnecessary.

That's the least of your troubles in this hodgepodge of a film. With Superman dead after the events of Batman vs Superman, the world is in disarray without its key symbol of hope and justice. It needs a leader. Instead it has Batman, desperately seeking the assistance of four other heroes in the face of an unknown enemy.

That would be Steppenwolf, a shoddy CGI character voiced by Ciarán Hinds who's little more than an excuse for the Justice League to assemble, Avengers style. It's a film about the power of unity, of teamwork over solo effort. It's ironic, then, that the film is so inconsistent in its tone.

Torn between the grand operatic melodrama of its director Zack Snyder and the comic quips of writer Joss Whedon (of Marvel fame), Justice League is pulled in two opposing directions that cancel each other out. The busy camerawork and poor special effects lack grandeur, but worst of all the film is crippled by terrible scriptwriting that will have you groaning until your throat is hoarse.

The narrative leaves little room for character development, meaning each member of the league is little more than an elevator pitch. Wonder Woman at least we've already got to know in Patty Jenkins' brilliant film earlier this year. But Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is part gruff viking, part glam rock superstar in spandex who does little more than drink and woop throughout; Cyborg (Ray Fisher) has a potentially interesting daddy issue that's poorly explained and falls flat; and The Flash (Ezra Miller) is a poor man's Quicksilver from X-Men, who's forced to spout some of the most cringeworthy lines of all.

The film does have its moments - just enough to keep you entertained between shoving popcorn in you face. And in Wonder Woman, we have the true superhero of our time. But if there's any justice, D.C. will give up on this particular league (or recast Batman at least).


Watch: Justice League is out now.