First, let me start by saying I want Justice League to be fantastic. I do want this. I happen to be someone who enjoys great comic book genre movies regardless of who’s making them. Justice League or other DC-based movies don’t exist as a kind of exception. So, I hope no one accuses me of being a Marvel “shill.”
I am simply very alarmed.
For the past few days, I’ve been hearing about YouTube vloggers and popular news blogs getting to go on the set of the new Justice League movie and learn all sorts of information about the direction of the film. But more importantly, there is a word that keeps being tossed around by director Zack Snyder and the on-set reviewers: Fun.
Over and over again, I hear promises that Justice League is going to be entirely different in theme from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gone is the “sour for the sake of a sour” narrative. Gone is taking itself too seriously. Gone is the utterly self-congratulatory pretension. In its place is an enjoyable, fun movie!
So why am I alarmed? Well, fun wasn’t the problem with Batman V Superman. It was a terrible film, but it was never the so-called “lack of fun” that made it terrible.
— DC Comics Movie (@DCComicsMovie) June 26, 2016
The first major problem I had with Batman V Superman was the editing. The movie had several different beginnings, and it had poor transitions from one scene to the next. The scene changes were jarring to the point of visual whiplash. To be blunt, the editing was so badly done, it felt like I was watching three different films. I think better editing would have at least allowed for the Zack Snyder-directed film to be a coherent mess rather than an incoherent one.
— Heroic Hollywood (@heroichollywood) June 25, 2016
Second, the Jesse Eisenberg casting dragged down the movie. Snyder giving him that part put his portrayal of Luthor way out of sync with the tone of the overall film. It felt like Batman Forever and Man of Steel collided on-screen, with nails on a chalkboard serving as the sound effect.
— IGN (@IGN) June 26, 2016
Finally, the story was just weak. Batman and Superman were enemies “for reasons.” Lois Lane was just there to be a brainless damsel in distress. And ultimately, the day was saved because these two heroes just both happened to have moms with the same name!
I could have nitpicked in greater detail, but these sum up the decision-making issues that many critics and moviegoers had. Sure, some DC fans were happy (or at least desperate to be happy…lest Marvel win again!), but others felt like Batman V Superman was a terrible movie overall. It being more “fun” likely wouldn’t have saved it from being a cringeworthy film. Sadly the film was visibly treated as a throwaway, created solely to promote the upcoming Justice League movies.
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) June 26, 2016
I don’t want to hear about how “fun” the next movie is going to be. I also don’t want to hear massive spoilers involving Superman almost as soon as I start reading (looking at you, Screen Rant!). I would like to hear that Justice League will be an ambitious film with more attention given to the story than having everyone moving in glorious slow motion. I’d like to hear that the editing will be well down, and scenes will transition smooth enough for everything to make sense.
As it stands, I’m more interested in stand-alone projects. Suicide Squad looks fun, and I appreciate that changes were made to match the tone of the trailers rather than hitting audiences with a “bait and switch.” As for whether or not Justice League will be fun, I really don’t care. I just want it to be good. If it isn’t, then it doesn’t matter how much f-u-n was injected into the project: Justice League will flop.
Hopefully, Justice League won’t succumb to the issues in Batman V Superman, and I sincerely would like it to be because mistakes were learned from.
Are you optimistic about Justice League or are you afraid it might flop? Share your thoughts and theories below!
[Photo courtesy of DC & Warner Bros.]