Let me be candid.
I’m really having trouble with these DC films.
Here’s my quick rundown as to why they’ve sucked.
Marvel begins to just kill it back in 2008 with Iron Man and the like. Good movies and mass profits coming out and going into the rival company. DC wants some of that action. They decide over there at Warner Bros. (who owns the rights to the DC characters) that they’ll do their own CINEMATIC UNIVERSE and start killing it just like their evil Archrivals.
But they don’t want it to look like they’re completely ripping off Marvel so, instead of making light-hearted, comedic movies that entertain they decided to go dark and brooding. Sullen and sad. Try to find a single smile in the new Superman or Batman Kills Superman. You can’t. They don’t exist. In trying to make the DC Universe unique, they drained the life out of it.
We can blame Zack Snyder: The writer/producer/director who WB inexplicably handed the keys over to. I am at a loss as to why. He must be great in pitch meetings because his execution degrades with each film.
Everything became dark; the tone, the story, the character’s motivation. Hell, even the scenery is nothing but gray on black. The stories were convoluted and confusing. It’s like there is always something missing, a vital component not explained or even present. The actors become wooden as they soak in this misery. Good actors become stiff and lifeless. Amy Adams becomes reduced to a single, drab note. Ben Affleck can barely move as he struggles to emote. The dialogue was so boring it induces sedation.
It took me 5 viewings to make it through Batman Kills Superman: Dawn of Justice. I began to use it as a sleep aid. Better than warm milk, safer than a pill.
Then something happened that brought a little hope into Gotham.
Wonder Woman was OK!!
It functioned. It told a story. It didn’t confuse and bore. The bar was low, and it cleared it with ease. The film shines in comparison to the incompetence of Suicide Squad et. Al. and went so far as to contain (and evoke) an actual smile. The people in the film did not seem to constantly be contemplating ending their own lives. Oh, and oddly enough, Zack Snyder DIDN’T direct it.
Now it’s time for a culmination, the DC version of an Avengers movie. They made it all the way to Justice League. If I was a betting man I would have put hard cash on a meltdown/dissolve (Like what just happened with the Universal Monster Movies) before now, but they play huge overseas. They made money so they kept making them.
The question going in is this: Will it be more of the same crap or did Wonder Woman correct the ship?
The answer is: Kinda.
Justice League is kinda more coherent. You mostly know what’s going on but there is still a weird vibe to some scenes. Aquaman goes to Atlantis for bizarre exchange with Mera (Amber Heard). It seems they’ve never met, or Aqua-bro has never even been to Atlantis. Or at least, not for long while? Who knows. There’s this family in an Eastern Bloc country that we cut to for some reason. The main plot consists of a couple of cubes that are right out of a Transformers movie and it’s pretty stupid.
The dialogue is still horrid. Much of the characters are still wooden and depressed. No one is having a very good time save for Ezra Miller and Jason Momosa as The Flash and Aquaman. These new characters are lighter and more likable. A sign that Wonder Woman had some effect. The others are stuck because of past sins.
Another positive the movie is ONLY 2 hours long. It benefits from this, making the film tighter and easier to swallow.
The villain isn’t worthy as the first foe for the Superfriends to combat. The baddie is just filler as we slog through even more origin story. It takes some time for things to get going.
BUT there is some fun hiding in the battle scenes.
Blame Joss Whedon. Snyder left the production due to a personal tragedy and Whedon stepped in. He brings some of that Avengers juice to the action and the movie is helped by his influence.
The Brothers Warner should give the franchise to Whedon. Or anyone, for that matter. Patty Jenkins was who saved Wonder Woman. She’s the real hero here. Give the keys to her.