Justice League Analysis (Theatrical Cut)

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By Adam David Collings. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We've made it to Justice League in our journey through the DC Extended Universe. In this episode, I delve into the theatrical cut of the movie, pulling out what I liked, and discussing what I didn't, which leads into my hopes for the upcoming Snyder Cut. I try to be positive in these podcasts and focus on geeking out over the things I like, so I must admit this one's going to be a bit of a downer, but, with the Synder Cut coming, there is still hope.

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Transcript

Welcome to Nerd Heaven

I’m Adam David Collings, the author of Jewel of The Stars, and I am a nerd.

This is episode 33 of the podcast.

We’ve been working our way through the early DCEU movies toward Justice League, in celebration of, and preparation for, the upcoming Snyder Cut.

Today, we’ve arrived.

Just really quick, before we launch into that, I want to follow up something I said two episodes ago regarding Star Trek Lower Decks. I was saying how I wished somebody like Alex Kurtzman would just break the silence regarding international distribution for the show, rather than just pretending it wasn’t an issue of importance to many fans. Well, somebody did break the silence shortly after, but it was Mike McMahon, which actually makes more sense than Kurtzman, because he’s the show runner of Lower Decks. Basically, we learned that there is a deal being negotiated, but there isn’t a known time frame yet. The main reason they went ahead without an international deal was because Lower Decks was originally supposed to show after Discovery season 3, but COVID messed that up, and they ended up bringing Lower Decks forward.

So I’m very grateful to McMahon for finally breaking the silence, and being open and honest with us.

It’s still a little hard to hear everyone else talking about the show, and know that I can’t be a part of that conversation, but I’ll be waiting until I can watch the show legally and ethically.

Ok.

The description for Justice League, according to IMDB reads

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his new-found ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

It was written by

Chris Terrio and Zack Snyder,

And Directed by Zack Snyder ( but also uncredited directing by Joss Whedon)

The movie first released on the 13th of November 2017

Let’s do it.

So here we are at Justice League.

I’ve talked in recent podcasts about Warner Bros interference. First, they cut the running time of Batman V Superman, resulting in a much inferior theatrical version of that movie, and then they made major changes to Suicide Squad, turning David Ayer’s soulful drama into a comedy.

But this interference is more evident than anywhere else in Justice League.

I don’t know all the details.

We know that Justice League was always going to have a lighter tone than Batman V Superman.

I’m okay with that. I don’t need every DC movie to be as dark as BVS, but ideally, I’d like them all to at least be as serious as Man of Steel. Personal subjective taste here.

We know that Zack Snyder left the project due to the tragic suicide of his daughter. Honestly, I don’t know how any parent could live through something like that. I don’t blame him for leaving. Family is much more important than any movie.

We know that Joss Whedon was brought in to finish off the film. We were told, at the time, that there was just a little bit left to do, and that Joss would very much be following Snyder’s vision and tone.

Over time, it has become more and more evident that it was much more than that. There were major changes to the content and tone of the movie, under Whedon’s direction.

It seems that all the meaningful character stuff was cut, and replaced with silly jokes.

As this became clear, the ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement was born.

Now, if this was all we’d ever got, I’d have been grateful for it. We got to see Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Henry Cavill’s Superman one more time. But I am so glad that the Synder Cut is coming out next year. I desperately hope that HBO Max makes it to Australia before it airs. Seriously, I’m holding my breath in very nervous anticipation here. I don’t want to be watching it months after the Americans. I want to be a part of the conversation as it’s happening.

Anyway, today, we’re talking about the theatrical Joss Whedon cut. So I’m gonna go through it, see what Ican find that was good, and assess what I’m hoping for from the Snyder Cut.

It makes sense to start with a flashback of Superman, since it’ll be some time before we see him again, plus, we’re still living in that world without Superman.

And we see the infamous CGI moustache replacement. I tell you, watching it again this time it’s super obvious and it looks really bad.

We see from the start that Batman isn’t just on a normal hunt for petty crooks. He’s just using the thief. He needs fear, because the parademons can smell it.

Yes, those same aliens we saw in the nightmare vision in Batman V Superman are here. On earth.

I found it a little jarring that they were just here.

I’ve gotta say, it’s so nice to see Affleck’s Batman and Iron’s Alfred together on screen again.

So Lex had notes about the aliens. I can only assume he got his information from the Kryptonian scout ship.

The sad contemporary song over the credits fits reasonably well. It’s a far cry from the hauntingly beautiful opening music from Batman V Superman, though. But the film really drives home that Supermanis head. We see Lois at his monument, and Martha at his graveside. Banners display the House of El crest all over the world.

Then We get to see Wonder Woman in true classic Super hero mode for the first real time, as she foils a terrorist plot.

Wonder Woman could almost give the flash and superman both a run for their money in this scene, as she rushes across the hostages, blocking the bullets.

I don’t mind the scene when Bruce goes to the village, looking for Aqua Man.

I think he knows from the start, that Arthur is the man he’s looking for.

This scene is our first real look at the DCEU Aqua man, a character who has long been the joke of DC superheroes. Not anymore. This Aquaman is a tough gritty guy you don’t want to mess with.

I don’t think the scene really does a great job of explaining Aquaman’s reluctance to help.

Bruce’s main lead on finding Barry Allen is the fact that he visits his father in prison.

Honestly, I thought all the scenes between Barry and his father ended up on the cutting room floor, but, there is a conversation between them.

At this point in his life, Barry is just on the run. He isn’t living his life. As much as Henry wishes he would.

Silas Stone is working at Star Labs, which apparently surrounds the Kryptonian ship.

So an object called the change engine was used to create cyborg, keeping him alive when he should be dead. Silas thinks it could interact with the Kryptonian technology on the ship. Victor isn’t happy about what his father has done to him. He sees his father as a monster, for what he’s done.

Cyborg isn’t just part machine, he’s part alien machine. He’s got a language he doesn’t speak in his head. He’s deathly afraid of himself, and of what he might become. Can you imagine fearing that you might in fact be the next invasion. It’s a heavy burden for him to carry. This is pretty good stuff. We don’t explore it in any depth, but there’s definitely potential here.

The Amazonians have one of the mother boxes, like the change engine. They’ve had it for thousands of years. In all that time it’s been dormant. But now it awakes. Enter Stemmenwolf. He beams down in the middle of this room.

And in come more of the flying aliens. The other one Bruce was tracking was just a scout.

I found Steppenwolf a pretty disappointing and forgettable villain. After Zod, Lex and even Ares, he was a disappointment. No depth to his story. To be honest, I don’t even remember much about him.

Steppenwolf makes short work of the Amazons. They’re no match for him. They really need to be using something a little heavier than arrows. He takes the box and beams away.

They light an ancient warning fire as a way to attract Dianna’s attention.

Martha has lost the Kent farm. She was behind in the payments. Lois is back at work, in theory, but she’s doing basic easy stories. Her heart just isn’t in it, since Clark died.

It’s nice to see these two interacting, as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

This movie feels a little .. plastic somehow. While the previous films had a reality to them, the way they looked, there is something artificial and glossy about this one.

Steppenwolf lived only to conquer. He turned people into parademons.

The mother boxes combine to form the unity, an apocalyptic power that transforms planets into the hellscape of steppenwolf’s home planet, Apocolips.

As Dianna tells the story, we see clips of the ancient battle, as the amazons, atlanteans, and even some Green lanterns from other worlds drove him from earth. It all looks very Lord of The Rings. And yet…..it all just feels a bit …… lacking.

It was nice to see that one tiny little Green Lantern reference, but it would have been even nicer to have a little more. There was a cool line cut from the trailer where Steppenwolf is saying how Earth is an easy target because no Lanterns are protecting it.

The boxes turning Earth into a hellish landscape is similar in premise to Zod’s world engine terraforming Earth. One felt truly epic. But this ….. I dunno. There’s just nothing to it. It falls flat.

The scene where Bruce introduces himself to Barry is nice.

His willingness to jump in and join the team is refreshing after Aquaman and Cyborg’s reluctance.

Barry comes across here as a nerd. He’s very relatable to me. He struggles with people.

I think Ezra miller’s flash had a lot of potential. Potential that is never realised in this movie, and …. Well….his solo movie has never eventuated. Dunno if it ever will.

But I must say, this movie redeemed the concept of Aquaman fairly nicely. He’s no longer a joke. He’s a hard-drinking hard-fighting tough guy with hard-rock music making a suitable soundtrack to his movements.

The underwater stuff feels a little less artificial here than it did in the Aquaman movie. Half of the time, you forgot that movie was even underwater. I mean, they had fire in the water for goodness sake. The way these characters move, you can feel water around them.

A lot of people didn’t like the air bubble that Mera forms around them so they can talk underwater.

I don’t mind it. It just adds a little layer of believability.

In reality, if these people were to communicate with each other underwater without air bubbles, they should use telepathy. James Wan’s decision to just let them talk verbally underwater may have been practical from a film-making point of view, but it definitely lacked believability.

So now Steppenwolf has two of the three boxes. He just needs to find the box of men now, which was buried somewhere underground. That’s the one that Victor Stone used to turn his son into Cyborg. We don’t get any backstory as to how he came by by it, other than the little epilogue on the Wonder Woman blue ray, where Etta sends the band to find it. It was found near the front, probably dug up while they were making ditches.

We get our first mention of Darkseid. It seems Steppenwolf is doing what he’s doing … for Darkseid.

Barry’s fanboying is perhaps a little overplayed. It’s a cool character concept but I dunno.

It’s ironic that the only memorable music in this movie is the occasional callbacks to previous versions of these characters, such as the little bit of the Batman 1989 theme we hear as Batman responds to Gordon’s bat signal. Personally, I Think these music cues are completely out of place here. I don’t want to speak out of place regarding Danny Elfman. He has written some memorable stuff, such as that Batman theme, but I was very unhappy when Junkie XL was removed from the film by Whedon. That felt like he was way overstepping his place. This wasn’t his movie.

The parademons are abducting people from Star labs to find out where the box is now.

The whole joke about the league members all vanishing, leaving barry with Gordon fell flat for me. Batman is a master of stealth, so he kinda makes sense. Dianna is fast and can leap, possibly fly. But would she just vanish that quickly and silently? And Victor? He can fly but his flight is slow and noisy.

So they’re off to Braxton Island to rescue the scientists.

Now here’s the one really good thing I think they did with The Flash in this movie. Barry is having a bit of a freak out. There’s a really bad alien down there. In Barry’s words, “I’ve never done battle, I’ve just pushed some people and run away.”

This makes sense. Bruce wants Barry on the team because of his abilities. But abilities do not make a hero. Super speed does not make somebody a soldier.

Not everybody has what it takes to go into combat. I sure don’t.

We have a somewhat romantic, glorified view of war and combat, which comes from the movies. But to actually be in the midst of that, surrounded by death. Facing the very real prospect of being killed, and if not that, having to take a life. That’s a heavy thing.

This movie acknowledges that. But again, it barely scratches the surface. I wish the movie had explored this a little deeper.

But I like Bruce’s advice. Save one. Save one person. Don’t talk, don’t fight. Get in, get one out.

And then?

You’ll know.

Bruce is good at seeing where people fit in. Barry doesn’t have to do battle, his logical role in this is rescuing the hostages. He’s perfect for that.

The alien origin of Cyborg’s technology makes the things he can do a little more believable.

Steppenwolf thinks he can get under Dianna’s skin by talking about the death of her sisters. But this isn’t the naive Dianna we saw during World War 1. She’s had 100 years to grow and mature since then.

I like Batman’s NightCrawler mech thing. It’s pretty cool.

And I like his line, as he shoots his machine guns. “Sorry, I didn’t bring a sword.”

But it sadly does highlight the absurdity of all this. Steppenwolf is an invader from another planet. And he hits people with an axe.

Ok. So there’s a moment where Barry rushes to move some falling debris that is about to hit Dianna, and he somehow ends up lying on top of her, his face in her breasts.

It’s recently come to light that this scene caused some controversy.

Apparently, Gal Gadot refused to film this scene, and I don’t really blame her. It’s crass juvenile humour. Oh, his face touched her boobies. Oh how funny is that. Seriously? The shot was apparently done with Gadot’s stunt double. I think the scene does Wonder Woman’s character a dis-service.

Apparently Joss Whedon also used this so-called joke in one of the Marvel films as well, but I can’t remember which one.

Steppenwolf sees the blood of the old gods in Dianna. But he points out, the old gods died. He wants to set himself up as a new god. Technically, his species are called “The New Gods” if I understand correctly.

As the water rushes in to fill this underground tunnel, it’s the perfect time for Aquaman to make his appearance.

He knows Atlantis was attacked, and the box taken. He knows the time has come. He’s needed. Mera has convinced him.

Every now and then we cut to a family somewhere in eastern europe. Their home has been surrounded by Parademons. Near the end we’ll understand why, but, this doesn’t really pay off. Not strongly.

Yeah, Barry’s fanboying is definitely overdone. As he zooms around the batcave, his eyes about to pop out of his head, it’s really quite annoyingl.

Victor gives the remaining backtstory of the human motherbox. The british found it in ww1 and studied it, but they couldn’t even date it. It was shelved until the night when Superman died when it lit up. Probably because of whatever Lex did on the ship to contact Steppenwolf.

And this is when Bruce gets the idea of trying to use the power of the motherbox to bring Superman back to life. They could sure use his help right now.

Superman is not like a normal mortal. Although, technically dead, there may still be power dormant in his cells. We saw a hint of this when the dirt began to rise above his coffin.

Add to that, the power of a motherbox, enough power to transform an entire planet.

Okay. I’m kinda with that.

But his plan isn’t really thought through. We’ll give him a zap of power from the motherbox.

It’s pretty weak from a science fiction point of view.

Dianna has some legitimate concerns. The last time somebody tried to use the genesis chamber on the Kryptonian scout ship to resurrect dead cells, the result was Doomsday.

If they do manage to revive Clark’s body, it’s most likely that they’ll simply turn him into a monster, like Luthor did. When Dianna objects, Bruce begins to say “If there’s even a fraction of a chance…” which is an interesting call-back to a previous time he said those words in Batman V Superman. In that case, he was arguing for killing Superman. Now, he uses those same words to argue for his resurrection.

The argument between her and Bruce here is some decent drama. She thinks he’s doing this out of guilt. But Bruce didn’t kill Superman. Doomsday did.

Bruce calls Dianna out for having shut herself from the world for a century because of Steve Trevor’s death. Superman was a beacon to the world. Wonder Woman never was. Not until she was drawn back out of her reverie by Luthor’s photo.

I do have fears about how Wonder Woman 1984 will fit into this. But I don’t think DC care about any of these movies anymore. They’re trying desperately, to forge some new path. Goodness knows what it is, though.

Aquaman points out that you lose something when you die. Even Superman. Maybe not his mind, but maybe his soul.

I like the acknowledgement here that there may be more to a person than just the physical. If that’s the case, Bruce’s plan could go horribly wrong. Assuming there is a soul, if they re-animate Superman’s body, will his soul return to it? That’s something outside of their control.

Bruce is a little over-confidant here. He says he has a contingency plan for that.

I don’t think this was the originally planned payoff to The Flash’s message from the future, that Lois Lane is the key, but I guess it kinda works. But, can Lois really cause Superman’s Soul to return? That’s a bit of a weak premise.

I don’t think we’re really dealing with the problem of the soul here. Anyway. I’m getting ahead of myself here. We’ll come to that

This is the first time the term “Batmobile” is said out loud in the DCEU. Honestly, I don’t think it needed to be said. We know that’s what it is. That’s what we know it as, but…..when you hear it out loud, it’s pretty cheesy. The batmobile was in Batman V Superman. They didn’t have to call it that. It didn’t matter. What mattered was, it was there. And it was awesome. Just another example of these movies moving away from their heritage of taking themselves seriously.

Alfred points out that maybe Clark is at peace. Do they have a right to pull him away from that?

But times are desperate. Although, I don’t think this movie has really allowed us to feel that desperation. I mean, compare this to the feeling of the battle over metropolis. This movie hasn’t sold us on the danger that Steppenwolf represents. I kinda felt the same way about Ultron in the second Avengers movie.

It was nice to hear a few notes of the Superman theme from Man of Steel as they enter the scout ship, but it was kind of a case of too little too late. It actually feels really out of place alongside the rest of the music in this movie

So The Flash has to run really fast to build up enough electrical charge to power the transformation.

It feels like a bit of a forced way to give him something to do.

I get the impression that Superman’s resurrection was going to be handled very differently in Zach Synder’s version. I’ll be very interested to see how that plays out.

So Superman is alive. But as Aquaman predicted, something is missing. He’s lost something, and maybe not just his memories.

The Justice League arrives to see whether they’re dealing with friend or foe.

Superman is sizing them up, assessing their threat level. Then Cyborg’s armour fires the first shot. It’s interesting to me that the alien technology in his systems have a mind of their own. Another interesting idea that is not explored in any meaningful way.

Superman doesn’t know who he is. He only knows these powerful beings seem to pose a threat to him.

I do like the moment when the Flash runs around and he realises that Superman is fast enough to see him, even in “bullet-speed”. The looks on both of their faces are priceless.

And we get another inappropriate music cue.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the John William’s Superman theme. I really really do, but it has absolutely no place here.

That theme belongs to a completely different interpretation of the character, a completely different universe. A completely different canon.

And yes, I know. Multi-verse. The CW Crisis on Infinite Earth’s story has basically put the Christopher Reeve Superman and the Henry Cavil Superman in the same multi-verse.

But you know what …. As fun as it is to see these little crossovers, I’m not really a fan of that concept.

Oh, I’m not opposed to exploring multi-verses in Superhero stories, but the idea of Superman looking like Christopher Reeve in one universe, and like Henry Cavill in another just does not work for me. At all. It’s way too meta. It’s an intrusion of real-world concerns into the movie world.

And I know the comics did this kind of thing. Every continuity reboot in comics is basically only a soft reboot. They’ve been doing that for ages.

But I still don’t like it.

I just wanna keep them seperate.

The tones, the mythology, they’re too different.

Interestingly, I had a different reaction when the Superman theme was used in Smallville. Perhaps it was because Smallville drew so much from the Reeve Superman, or maybe it was just that at the time, Christopher Reeve was still very much my Superman.

But Man of Steel was so different to anything that had come before. It was fresh and new and exciting. This stuff just muddies the water for me. It makes the DCEU less …. Pure...somehow.

Batman reveals himself to Clark. Now, this is someone Clark remembers. This was the guy that tried to kill him.

Clark seems just as angry at Bruce for bringing him back, as he is for trying to kill him.

“You won’t let me live. You won’t let me die.”

So Batman calls in the big guns.

Which, of course, is Lois.

So this is how this movie fulfills the Flash vision. Lois Lane is the Key.

Like I said before, I don’t think this was the original plan. Not by a long shot.

So the power of love helps bring Superman back. It’s a little cheesy. But … love IS powerful.

We can’t take Aquaman’s words about Superman’s lost soul too literally here. The sight of Lois doesn’t cause Superman’s soul to return to his body. It simply helps him overcome the confusion, to remember who he is, and what’s important. To sort through the emotions flooding through him.

And then Batman says “Yes, something is definitely bleeding.”

See, this isn’t the the time or the place for a joke. Not like that.

Realistically, Bruce should be dead. Clark must have held back something shocking not to have killed him. He’s in bad shape. This silly wise-crack just doesn’t ring true as something that Bruce would say here.

The other reason I don’t like this line is because it’s kind of making a mockery of a serious moment in Batman V Superman. Warner Bros pandered way too much to their critics in the making of this movie, and in doing so, they kind of spat in the face of their most dedicated fans. They were so obsessed with saving face they forgot we existed. They forgot that plenty of people enjoyed those previous movies. In the end, the critics mattered more than we did. We who stuck by them and defended their previous films. It felt pretty insulting, to be honest. But this will be felt more strongly when we get to the end.

Meanwhile, the league were so distracted dealing with Clark that they completely ignored the mother box. That was really stupid. As a result, Steppenwolf swoops in and grabs it. Now he has all three.

So Clark takes Lois back to smallville. The Kent farm.

Lois says Clark smells good.

Really?

He’s been in the ground for a long time. He’s literally a re-animated corpse. He’s probably covered with some kind of embalming fluid or something. I don’t know a lot about the preparation of bodies. He’s certainly not wearing any aftershave.

What on earth is she on about? What a stupid line.

And then he responds, “Did I not before?”

He’s Superman, not Lieutenant Commander Data.

I think Aquaman has written off the whole Superman thing as a big mistake. Whatever Lois may or may not be able to do for Clark, Arthur isn’t counting on getting any help from Superman.

He blames Victor for not being able to control the machine. I have to say, the conflict between the heroes in the first Avengers movie played a lot better than this stuff.

And then before we can do any serious character exploration, we’re interrupted by another stupid joke about Barry’s blood sugar.

The whole exchange between Bruce and arthur about asking the fish to keep an eye out for the mother boxes is awkward.

Fish are not sapient, so … talking to fish is probably not the best way to word it. Maybe it’s more that Arthur can kinda see through their eyes? I dunno. Bruce really isn’t sure what to believe about the mythology surrounding Aquaman.

Ben Affleck’s Batman is a very different character in this movie. I don’t just mean that he’s changed as a person for the better, inspired by Superman’s sacrifice. That’s just good character development.

No, it’s something else. Something feels off. And I think it’s mostly just the comedic influence of Joss Whedon.

I’m not a whedon hater. He’s done some great stuff. And I loved the humorous turns of phrase he gave the characters in Firefly. But it really doesn’t suit Batman, especially this version of Batman.

I just don’t feel like I’m watching Batfleck. Even though it’s Ben Affleck playing him.

When Dianna says Clark could have killed Bruce, he replies with “I was willing to make the trade.”

I kinda like that. He finally sees the benefit of Superman. He sees his power in a new light. He no longer views Superman as a threat. Bruce wasn’t cut out for fighting villains like Steppenwolf. He’s just a man. And he’s getting older. When Dianna says “You can’t do this forever,” he says “I can barely do it now.”

These two characters actually have a half-decent conversation. It’s a nice moment. Dianna reflects on her isolation. She’d fight when we was needed (I guess one of those times was in 1984 as we’ll see in the upcoming movie) but she never wanted to step into the light and lead, inspire.

Bruce isn’t a leader either. He lives his life in the shadows, dressed as a bat.

There’s only one person who is really cut out to lead this league.

Cut to Clark standing in a corn field at sunset (or maybe sunrise).

And Lois asks him what coming back from the dead felt like.

And he says “itchy.”

So stupid.

And Lois admits how she’d retreated into herself. She wasn’t strong. She wasn’t Lois Lane Reporter.

Well, of course she wasn’t. The love of her life had died.

If my wife died, I’d be a mess, and I don’t know if I’d ever recover.

Nobody is gonna blame her for not being the old Lois after what happened.

But maybe it’s precisely because she’s Lois Lane that she holds herself to such a high standard. That’s why she’s judging herself.

So basically, all of Clark’s coming to terms with having died and come back, his reunion with Lois, it all happens off screen.

So we get an explanation as to why Stemmelwolf has set up shop in remote eastern Europe. He wants to be somewhere there’s isn’t a lot of internet connectivity to prevent Victor from tracking the mother boxes. Ok. That makes sense.

It looks like he’s already started to re-create apocalypse

But he kicks the process off properly. And it just feels like a pale shallow shadow of the terraforming in Man of Steel.

Bruce’s troop carrier looks more like a spaceship. Unless it’s got some alien technology in it, I’m not buying it.

And then the scene where Aquaman spills his guts because he’s sitting on the laso of truth.

And they just let him keep going, looking just slightly awkward.

Even bruce kinda raises his hand but can’t quite get any words out.

I mean, this is Bruce Wayne. Just say “Mate, you’re sitting on the Laso. stop talking.”

Anyway, another example of comedy that didn’t really work for me.

And this is where the movie really falls apart for me. The climax.

I just can’t help but compare it to Man of Steel.

This is an alien invasion situation. This is the apocalypse. Man of Steel made me feel it. This movie does not.

It all just feels so cartoony. There’s no real emotion here.

There’s no sense of scope.

And here’s another difference between this movie and the previous ones.

You see, there are certain elements of comic book stories that are silly. That make no sense.

An example here is how Aquaman brought a pitchfork (actually a trident) as his weapon to save the world.

Movies like Man of Steel and Batman V Superman interpret these things in a way to make them work, or, if they can’t make it work, they just set it aside.

But this movie (And a lot of the Marvel movies) choose a different approach. They call it out as silly and kinda make fun of it. There was a similar moment in Avengers Age of Ultron when Hawkeye says “I’m here with a bow and arrow. None of this makes any sense”. Realistically, Hawkeye probably shouldn’t be an avenger.

I don’t like it when these movies try to be tongue and cheek and make fun of these things.

Another problem is that Aquaman is having way too much fun for someone in a desperate fight to save the human race. A fight that he admitted a few minutes back that he doesn’t think they can win.

I really hope the Snyder Cut does something more with The Flash than have him make silly jokes all the time.

So Superman finally arrives to help, and he’s making smart-alec one liners like a cheesy 80s action movie star.

So Superman and Cyborg successfully pull the boxes apart. And then Superman laughs uncontrollably for no reason.

And then Wonder woman looks down her nose and calls them children.

I found this moment pretty condescending. What exactly did they do to warrant that? Was it just the laughing? I mean, I find that annoying and out of place, but I don’t think it warrants her statement. And yes, she’s a lot older than the rest of them, but that still doesn’t explain it.

Making Steppenwolf afraid so that the parademons would turn on him WAS a good plan.

The alien plants growing out of the half- transformed landscape was kinda cool. Though, again, they probably could have made more of it. I mean, think about this, A section of Earth has been partially terraformed, with flora never before known to man. And it’s never mentioned in the DCEU again.

I’m a little surprised Bruce didn’t just help Martha with her financial troubles before she had to sell her house. In fact, the more I think about it, the more surprised I am. He felt responsible for what happened to Clark. He would have kept an eye out for her.

Anyway, it’s fixed now.

So Barry has a job in a crime lab, so he’s on track to become the Bary Allen we know. This is not the way you do a character arc. The movie set it up at the start, and paid it off at the end, but there was nothing in between. Nothing about Barry’s experiences in the movie really helped motivate him. All he did in between was crack stupid jokes. The journey itself needs to tie in thematically with the growth he experiences.

And then we get the voiceover from Lois talking all about optimism.

This was so on the nose.

It almost felt like an apology for the previous films.

Don’t worry guys, from now on, we’ll be optimistic and positive and light and happy. All that dark stuff before was a mistake, but it’s fixed now.

It kinda felt like a kick in the gut to me.

So then we roll credits, with some really bland music. To be honest, there’s not a single memorable piece of music in this movie. The only music that does stand out is the stuff taken from other movies.

And we have a mid-credit scene where Superman and The Flash decide to race and find out who is fastest (spoiler alert, it REALLY should be Barry. After all, he’s the fastest man alive.)

Anyway, it’s kinda pointless. I thought Smallville did a better version of this scene way back.

And then the after credit scene which shows Lex Luthor has escaped from jail and is forming his own league. His first recruit is Slade Wilson, otherwise known as Death Stroke. I don’t expect this particular thread to ever be picked up again.

So that was Justice League.

It felt really out of place after the last 4 movies.

It was at least as good as an average Marvel movie, but a far cry from the really good Marvel movies.

And frankly, this may be unfair, but I hold DC movies to a higher standard.

Partly because I care more about the DC characters, and probably partly also because Zack Snyder set the bar so high with the first two movies.

When I re-watched the last three movies, taking notes and analysing them, I found I loved them even more than before.

With this one, I think it was the opposite. The other movies are still so fresh in my memory, so the contrast is really glaring.

I have no idea which scenes were Whedon re-shoots. I have no idea what will be different in Zack Snyder’s cut.

I do know that he won’t be using a single frame of footage he didn’t shoot. So we’ll have a much greater understanding of who did what when it comes out.

I’m sorry to finish this on such a downer.

I can say I definitely like the first half of the movie more than the second half. I think there’s potential here but that potential was just never fully realised. And that gives me hope that the Snyder Cut could be awesome. We’ll just have to wait and see.

.

My original plan was to stop at Justice League and move on to other things. After all, my favourite DCEU movies are those before Justice League. My plan was to start an episode-by-episode look at the two seasons of Stargate Universe. But I realised that with Discovery Season 3 starting in October, I’d only get a couple of episodes in and then have to switch tracks.

So instead, I’m gonna continue with the DCEU, talking about Aquaman and Shazam. Because both of those movies are worth talking about. They’re both good movies.

And that’ll almost take me up to Discovery.

I haven’t seen Birds of Prey, so I probably won’t be doing an episode on that.

I still very much want to cover Stargate Universe, but it won’t be happening immediately. We’ll definitely get there though. It’s an underrated show in my opinio, and one that hasn’t been talked about near enough.

But next fortnight, We’ll be delving into Aquaman.

Catch you then.

55 episodes