Who the hell was Whedon's Justice League for?

Who the hell was Whedon’s Justice League for?

Promotional poster for Justice League 2017.

picture: Warner Bros./DC Comics

There were so many superhero movies that have come out since 1998 that almost every one of them has someone coming to their defense. Think about what is considered the worst MCU movie or the worst movie ever X-Men or Spider Man franchise, and you can probably name someone who would tell you that these items are better than most people would think. It’s a little harder with the DC movies, especially since his entire existence could be scientifically classified as radioactive.

justice league it was released on November 17, 2017, and it’s…a bit complicated. Joss Whedon directed after the original director Zack Snyder left the film after the death of his daughter, you can’t talk about the film without talking about how he entered the world. Things were not in his favor when his immediate predecessor, 2016 batman v superman, was raked over the coals for weeks after its release. At that point, Snyder was already filming league (originally planned as a two-parter), while Warner Bros. was no longer certain in its decision to make Snyder its man to lead what it hoped would be a decade of films for the DC Extended Universe. Executive producer Geoff Johns, who provided Chris Terrio’s rewrite of the original script, much to his chagrin, only added to the troubled production. Once Snyder backed out during post-production and Whedon took over directing reshoots and rendering his own transcripts…well, you know it the rest of the story from there.

Image for an article titled Who the Hell Was Whedon's Justice League For?

picture: Warner Bros./DC Comics

The thing about Justice League 2017 is that its root problem stems from its existence, which feels more like an act of obligation than anything else. Ten years ago, Marvel was the only franchise doing even remotely good for the cinematic worlds, and other studios were all too eager to follow suit, none more so than WB. Recruitment Whedon at the time it felt like a move that was at its most cynical, a subtle admission that the studio wanted to copy its direct competitor’s homework and just change some names. The Avengers did he have a rubik’s cube important to the plot? Justice League 2017 will have three of them. Avengers ended up teasing a bigger cosmic conflict on the horizon? Justice League 2017 it will do and promote a ground team of villains, that sort of thing. Although these specific details may have already been baked into the plot of Snyder’s version justice league somehow his Director’s Cut 2021 there is enough going on to forget about it.

Conversely, its 2017 counterpart lacks the grit of Snyder’s victory lap, or even a distinct energy of its own that people could latch on to. The end result is a film that feels like it should be far more important and grand than it actually is. It’s the movie equivalent of a balloon that inflates to full capacity and explodes with minimal pop. Even in moments where he tries to shine, like Batman (Ben Affleck) briefly giving Flash (Ezra Miller) heroic advice or Superman kicking the League’s ass, it really doesn’t work. The DCEU films that preceded it Justice League 2017 they weren’t perfect by any means, but they were at least watchable and worth talking about with friends, provided you all agreed that the next hour-long conversation wouldn’t be held against anyone involved. You don’t really get the same kind of conversational stamina justice league 2017, unless it’s a game of who can give her the most backhanded compliments.

Then and especially now, Justice League 2017 ranks as the worst for a movie in any franchise, and that makes no sense to anyone. At the box office of $657.9 million, it didn’t catch on with audiences; Fans of Snyder’s vision wanted nothing more than to see it fail, and likewise anything else that didn’t seem to have his stamp of approval. Those who wanted to see DC characters have some superhero fun on the silver screen were left wanting and for years wondering why the Arrowverse was doing what those movies couldn’t do every week. Movies the half-dialed out of league over the next few years he spent this time largely ignoring his existence at every opportunity. And WB finally decided to go along with the program: it was spent the last six years hoping for a Miller solo Flash delete the movie justice league (and by extension, Miller himself) from film memory. It seems that way, thanks to the sheer force of Dwayne Johnson’s will Black Adam would rather do literally anything else to avoid having to refer to this film, instead using its final moments to declare that a new era Henry Cavill’s Superman Is here.

Image for an article titled Who the Hell Was Whedon's Justice League For?

picture: Warner Bros./DC Comics

Five years later, it’s unclear if anyone at WB who hasn’t been fired or bowed out has really learned their lesson. Until recently, WB largely seemed to have moved past its mega-franchise phase and focused on putting out great stand-alone movies like Batman. But there has been a paradigm shift over the past month, with WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav openly expressing his desire for unified universe of DC movies going forward and recently hired James Gunn and Peter Safran to be the architects of his vision. Both men have resumes that speak for themselves, sure. But the problem, as stated a few months ago, largely lies Warner Bros: He loves over-promising and under-delivering to the point where he feels like a running gag in a sitcom.

Superhero movies are standard blockbusters and therefore need to appeal to as many audiences as possible. Justice League 2017 had the potential to do that, or at least rise above the circumstances that made it one of the most controversial superhero movies of the modern era. Instead, it’s an example of what happens when you stretch yourself too thin: you just piss off and disappoint everyone because they know you’re better than this.


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