The Movie Let’s just get this out of the way. There is no “Snyder Cut” included here. There is nothing in any featurette about the Joss Whedon reshoots. There are no interviews with Snyder or Whedon in any of the extras. There is no footage included anywhere from the reshoots, or featuring Henry Cavill’s infamous mustache. This is just a straight-up Blu-ray release of the feature film and Warner Bros. seem to be just hoping everybody forgets about what a behind-the-scenes cock-up Justice League was. So since we’re not going to get anything juicy or interesting (see my discussion of the extras, below), all we’re left with is what we saw on the big screen. So if you were disappointed in public, prepare to re-experience all that disappointment and more in the privacy of your own home. Justice League is a film that somehow manages to get worse every time I see it. Normally, films work the other way around. Repeat viewings reveal details and subtleties that may have passed by too quickly in the action of that first experience. Appreciation of performances grow. The flow of action that once seemed chaotic reveals a purpose. Not here. For those of you who didn’t see this in the theater, Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead and Batman (Ben Affleck) has discovered that some sort of alien bug men are on the verge of invading once they track down three mysterious boxes. He and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruit three other super powered characters, The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa), while full-CG 90s video game cut scene villain, Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds) kills Amazons and Atlanteans before coming after the third Mother Box – which is in the possession of Cyborg’s scientist dad (Joe Morton). The team suffers growing pains and mistrust before spontaneously deciding that the Mother Box can be used to bring Superman back from the dead. It works, he’s confused, they fight. While that’s going on, nobody’s paying attention to the Mother Box and Steppenwolf steals it off-screen. Then, once Supes is back to normal – only now normal means likeable, as opposed to both previous film appearances – the team rushes to Russia to save generic citizens most likely added in reshoots and then have a big punch fight with Steppenwolf and his bug men (Para-demons). When the giant cartoon character realizes Superman can kick his ass, he gets scared and his bug men turn on him since they feed on fear or some nonsense like that (it’s said a few times, but never actually happens). The End. Oh wait. There’s also a mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene (despite Warner Bros. saying they weren’t interested in doing that Marvel-style stuff – remember when they included what was essentially a post-credit scene for Wonder Woman as an extra on the home video release?). The mid-credit scene is a treat for comics fans and features the movie’s best character, The Flash, getting ready to race a joking and likeable Superman to see who’s really the fastest. Then after the credits roll we get to see the frankly horrible Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor meeting up with Joe Manganiello’s Wade Wilson. Since Wilson hasn’t been introduced in any of the other movies, you’d have to either be a comics fan or a fan of TV’s Arrow to know who he is. Anyway, Luthor wants to put a team of his own together. The End. I’m not worrying about spoilers here, since the movie’s been out already and there are literally no twists or surprises in the entire film. Can’t spoil what’s obvious from the beginning. Very clever, Warner Bros. Very clever, indeed. Basically, if your expectations are kept low and you just really want to see your favorite Super Friends punching CG monsters in live-action, and don’t care about script quality, and have a love of cheap-looking green-screen CG sets and landscapes that have depth of field issues that make the final act of the film look like a View-Master slideshow, then this is the film for you. It’s no secret (except everywhere in the special features and promotion for this release) that Zack Snyder brought in Joss Whedon to punch up the original script, and the contrast between their styles makes every single added one-liner stand out like a sore thumb. It’s also no secret (except everywhere in the special features and promotion for this release) that during post-production, Snyder left the film (in May 2017) following the suicide of his daughter. Whedon was then given, reportedly, $25 million (as opposed to average $5-10 million reshoot budgets) for two months of extensive reshoots. The reshoots were needed, apparently, because Warner Bros. mandated that the film not exceed two hours in runtime, so the cuts required to the three-hour workprint made the film borderline incomprehensible. The reshoots conflicted with Cavill’s shooting schedule for Mission Impossible: Fallout, though, and he was contractually obligated to keep the mustache he’d grown for that role. So rather than opt for a fake mustache, Paramount forced the issue and Warner Bros. had to remove Superman’s ‘stache in post. And it was sloppy as fuck. Thus, the reported “Snyder Cut” mentioned at the top. It seems the workprint that was shown to studio suits is nowhere to be seen. Given the fact that the film grossed $657.8 million worldwide on a budget of $300 million (the second highest film budget of all time, tying with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), it’s unlikely we’ll see a “Snyder Cut” release (it would have needed to bring in at least $750 million to break even). And that’s unfortunate, since the Director’s Cut of Batman v Superman was actually a better film than its theatrical release, there’s a precedent set that makes me believe that the longer cut might have been a stronger film. It was probably still a mess of hot garbage, but it was probably better. Justice League is ultimately an expression of the worst aspects of Zack Snyder’s work mixed with the worst aspects of Joss Whedon’s work, combining to make what can only be described as an incomprehensible failure. None of the characters are really given a chance to develop except for Cyborg (slightly) and The Flash. Every other character is one-note. Only Momoa and Miller seem to be having fun and thanks to the wonky script, neither of them really get a chance to shine. In fact, they’re both borderline annoying rather than fun. Miller comes out on top here, if only because he’s such a super goof. He’s the character most clearly impacted by Whedon’s touch-ups, and as such, often seems to be in an entirely different film than everyone else. Fisher’s Cyborg has promise, but ultimately serves as a dour, flat affect, literal deus-ex-machina whenever the plot gets tied into a knot. Gadot’s Wonder Woman is dull and Affleck’s Batman is a puffy bore. Seriously. He looks like he’s got the mumps. Momoa’s Aquaman is fun, but calling him Aquaman is a bit of a stretch. He’s charismatic, but in a ‘frat boy who’d rather be chugging beers and date-raping cheerleaders’ kind of way. Steppenwolf and his bug men are probably the film’s biggest failing. Whoever decided that going full CG for this villain, instead of actually using more than just the voice of the immensely talented Ciaran Hinds should be taken out behind the woodshed. This is literally the worst CG character I’ve seen in film since the late 90s. They barely even get his lips to match up with Hind’s dialogue, for fuck’s sake. Visually, the film is a Snyderific nightmare. Whenever a green-screen could be used, it is. Whenever a green-screen isn’t needed, it is. To the point that aside from a couple of scenes here and there, the movie looks more like a knock-off of Sin City or 300 than an actual film (yes, I think they’re garbage, too). For a $300 million budget, there’s not a lot of it on the screen. I guess somebody has to pay for Snyder’s gym membership. The only good things about Justice League are Ezra Miller and Henry Cavill. The Snyderverse finally gets a character who is light-hearted and enjoyable in The Flash, and though they had to kill and resurrect him, they finally have a good Superman. When the inevitable sequel starts production, they should have a solid handle on Wonder Woman, too (since her film debuted and Gadot became WW personified before Justice League had finished production). So that leaves fleshing out Cyborg and figuring out what’s going on with Batman (both thematically and casting-wise) as the only remaining points of potential catastrophe. I guess we’ll have had Flashpoint by then, too, so who knows what the DCEU is going to look like by the time they get the band together again. It really seems like somebody at Warner Bros. should have some sort of plan about all this. The Extras The Return of Superman – Here we get a couple of bonus scenes that extend and flesh out Superman’s rebirth sequence. They don’t really add a whole lot and we would have been better served actually seeing a fuller deleted scenes segment. There’s a lot of stuff that didn’t make it into the film. Would it have hurt to get at least one scene of Cavill with his mustache? Road to Justice – This is the most interesting of the special features, as it takes a look at the history of the Justice League from their first appearance through their animated adventures to this new feature film. No mention of the 1997 TV movie, for some reason… Overall, it’s a light piece that touches on the high points of the comics without really going into any great depth. Dan Didio mentions how it was a modern take on the original Justice Society, Marv Wolfman talks about how his Crisis on Infinite Earths streamlined the DC multiverse, Geoff Johns mentions the wonderful Justice League International. There’s some discussion with Grant Morrison about his 1990s return of “The Big Seven” which reinvigorated the franchise with JLA (which Johns says is his favorite run on Justice League of all time!), and Jim Lee talks a little about his New 52 relaunch with Johns. Then we move to a brief discussion from Johns and Lee about the animated Justice League, going back to Super Friends, and Bruce Timm talks about modernizing them with Justice League Unlimited. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there and we get Deborah Snyder talking up what a great job she thinks her husband did with the live-action filmed version of the team. The cast interviews here are pleasant and we get a glimpse at the enthusiasm that Ray Fisher and Ezra Miller bring to playing Cyborg and The Flash. For a fluff piece, it’s not bad. Heart of Justice – This one’s kind of pointless, other than to just allow the performers (and some comics pros) gush about how much they love the trinity: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The high point is when Henry Cavill says what everybody’s been thinking about finally getting to see the “true Superman” this time. Technology of the Justice League – Here we get a little insight into the inspirations for the designs and construction of the Justice League’s tech. Patrick Totapoulis talks about creating Batman’s new vehicles, then there’s some discussion of the design of Cyborg. There’s not a whole lot going on here. Justice League: The New Heroes – This is probably the second best featurette (after Road to Justice). Cyborg himself, Ray Fisher hosts with so much more charisma than he brought to his character I almost didn’t recognize him as he introduces segments on Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash. Each piece begins with looks at the characters’ first appearances in the comics. There are interviews with Marv Wolfman and Geoff Johns about Cyborg along with some behind-the-scenes interviews with Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller about their interpretations of their characters. There’s a lot more comics history and genuine enthusiasm on the actors’ parts here than in the piece on the Trinity, which makes this much more enjoyable. Especially Miller as he goes Full Geek while talking about The Flash. Steppenwolf the Conqueror – This one’s short and sweet as Ciaran Hinds talks a bit about his character, Steppenwolf, before concluding that teaming up to beat him really wasn’t a fair fight. Johns, Didio, and Lee all heap praise on Jack Kirby and his Fourth World comics, as they should. Too bad they turned what was an interesting and multi-faceted character in the comics into a CG snooze-fest. Scene Studies – These are closer looks at the filming of these sequences. The most interesting thing about them is that we get to see what was filmed originally under Snyder’s watch. Nothing from the reshoots is included here. Revisiting the Amazons – Nice to see that they brought back a lot of the actors from Wonder Woman for this. No mention of why about half (maybe more) of the Amazons now wear leather bikinis instead of full armor. Wonder Woman’s Rescue – A boring scene is even more boring behind-the-scenes. No mention of why Wonder Woman doesn’t use her super speed in the rest of the movie. Heroes Park – This one’s entertaining, mostly because of Ezra Miller’s excitement and engagement with the material. He’s genuinely enthusiastic about making The Flash the most fun character in the film. The Tunnel Battle – Again, the most interesting parts of this involve Miller’s Flash. The rest is forgettable. Suit Up: The Look of the League – Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson discusses the work and artistry that went into the costume design and construction. This one’s fairly interesting, if only to see how they improved on the designs of Batman v Superman. If you don’t blink, you’ll also get a glimpse of Superman’s unused Black Costume. So, in case it wasn’t obvious, I’d recommend a hard pass on Justice League. The extras don’t provide enough enjoyment or interest to justify a purchase. If you’re a masochist, you might want to rent it, just make sure you’ve got a good supply of booze to take the edge off. It’s just a poorly conceived, poorly made film. How the hell do you fuck up Batman (for the second time) and Superman (for the third time) teaming up with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash to fight an alien invasion? Seriously, what the fuck? See larger image Justice League (BD) [Blu-ray] Justice League (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Combo Pack) (BD) Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. New From: $16.50 USD In Stock Release date March 13, 2018. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.