Justice League Proves DC Learned Nothing From Suicide Squad
I would rather see Zack Snyder's Justice League than whatever Frankenstein monster the stitched-together Zack Snyder / Joss Whedon Justice League has turned out to be.
Batman v. Superman isn't perfect. Hell, about half of it isn't even adequate. Its themes somersault all over themselves, its characters are different styles of frowns, and its script is a weird Greatest Hits Collection from better Batman and Superman stories. The "Ultimate Edition," meant to make the film more coherent and enjoyable, accomplishes neither of those things. Instead it serves as an oddity, the answer to a question no one really asked: What if Batman v. Superman was as long as The Two Towers?
But its tone stayed strong. Yes, it was mostly dreary, like a comic book filtered through the second verse of a My Chemical Romance song. And even some of the action scenes, which would be thrilling in a different movie, seem weighted down by the insistence that no one be having any fun at all under penalty of death -- or worse, recasting. However, the fist-pumping nihilism only enhances some scenes, like when Wonder Woman "debuts," accompanied by shrieking music, and proceeds to kick all of the ass in the area. After watching Zack Snyder and Bruce Wayne explain Nietzsche to me for two hours, it made it all the more thrilling when such an exciting "CHUG CHUG CHUG" moment was dropped in front of our faces.
It's a Jaegerbomb approach to superheroes and grim philosophy. And while it's not my preferred way of seeing these characters, I can, in a weird way, appreciate it.
Now we have a Justice League film which, from how it's been described, seems like a combination of Snyder's visuals and Joss Whedon's dialogue and character moments. And from what critics have said about it, that's not a very good combination. And it was never going to be. There's this absurd, prevailing idea that you can take a movie and somehow improve it by halfheartedly changing its genre. Didn't we already learn that this doesn't work from Suicide Squad, which was changed from a dark film into a tonally inconsistent DC Comics Family Vacation?
Instead of whatever tone Zack Snyder intended, Justice League will now have two battling for superiority. Imagine if you made a steak. People might disagree about whether or not it's a good steak, but it's a steak that you cooked. And then someone says, "You know what would go good on that steak? Skittles."
"Why would adding Skittles make this a better steak?" you ask. "Why not just make a new steak if you don't like my steak?"
"Well, we've seen multiple times that people like Skittles in other steak-less situations, so we're going to add them to your steak to make it a better steak."
Yeah, comedy and odd sentimentality can work in a superhero film. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has shown us as much, and before that, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films were just as goofy as they were exciting. But none of those movies started out as fundamentally different things. Guardians Of The Galaxy wasn't all sobs and boo-hoos before James Gunn decided that it needed some classic rock. Thor: Ragnarok wasn't a parade of mascara tears before Taika Waititi plugged some jokes into it.
Also, have you read Whedon's Wonder Woman script? There are other directors who exist, Warner Bros.
We'll probably never know if Snyder's pure Justice League was any good. But even if it wasn't a masterpiece, I'd prefer it over this method. Even if it's just Batman sobbing over his dead parents for two hours.
Daniel has a Twitter, which he uses to mostly talk about Pokemon. Sorry about that.
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