Before viewing Justice League, I braced myself for it to be a complete waste of time. After all, Batman vs Superman is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life, Suicide Squad was unwatchable (any time Harley Quinn was not on the screen), and I was the only one I know who thought Wonder Woman was too long and boring. In other words, I have absolutely no faith in the post Dark Knight DC universe.
But due to circumstances beyond their control, DC changed their formula. I am sure the studio would have loved to continue making dark, brooding, nonsensical, joyless and boring superhero movies. However, due to personal reasons, director Zack Snyder needed to step away from the film before it was completed. In swooped Joss Whedon. If there is one thing Whedon knows, it is fun.
I think fun was the main element missing from previous DC movies. How can you possibly have a movie involving Superman that is too serious? His disguise is a freaking pair of glasses! You can't possibly take a movie seriously if it relies heavily on every single person in the world being a complete moron who can't recognize someone without glasses. Perhaps my biggest frustration with Batman vs Superman is that Snyder included a scene where Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent interact... and Bruce Wayne can't figure out he's talking to Superman! In the comic books, one of Batman's nicknames is "the world's greatest detective". So the world's greatest detective can't see through a disguise that consist of a pair of glasses? The 1978 Superman film handled the problem with humor. They made Clark Kent a bumbling, silly buffoon. And it worked. It showed the audience that they should not take it too seriously. Conversely, Snyder really wanted everything taken super seriously. This was just one example of how Snyder forgot that comic books aren't religious texts. They are meant to be fun.
Due to to the director switch, Justice League seems like two different movies mashed together. Normally, that would lead me to criticize a film. However, during the movie, I found myself being very thankful every every time the tone switched from what I imagine was the originally intended dark, bleak and boring one. It seemed very obvious that Whedon had inherited a nearly complete film and did not have enough time or money to redo it all. So he jammed in fun any chance he got.
Although the result was odd, at least I didn't leave the theater angry that I had completely wasted my time.
Don't get me wrong. The movie is not good. It simply isn't terrible. I can see how some people may actually like it.
I am guessing most of the first 45 minutes was not touched by Whedon. What is my evidence? It was really boring. Even with a couple of inexplicable fight sequences, it is still quite dull. The entire story of building the team simply drags on and on. After most of the team is assembled and Joss Whedon gets the characters having fun and interacting, it picked up quite a bit. I actually found myself having fun at times.
I pride myself on not including spoilers in my reviews. This is going to be especially tough for Justice League. Because of my desire to avoid spoilers, I am going to have to present this in a more choppy style (kind of like the movie). So let's take a look at the spoiler-free pros and cons of the movie.
+The action sequences during the second half of the movie are very entertaining.
+75% of the Flash's jokes are funny.
+40% of Aquaman's jokes are funny.
+A couple of Superman and Cyborg's jokes are funny.
+Gal Gadot looks pretty cool during the action sequences.
+Music was used well.
+I was originally upset with the fact that they did not allow Grant Gustin from The Flash TV show to reprise the role of Barry Allen, in the film. However, by the end of the movie, Ezra Miller had grown on me.
+It is short. Because it is under two hours long, I didn't have the chance to fall asleep at any point. If they had included 30 more minutes of useless boring dialogue, it would have made it impossible to watch in one sitting.
+If you enjoy looking at muscular men with their shirts off, you get at least 15 minutes of it.
+Both after the credit scenes are great! (Yes there are two.)
+I enjoyed how the Flash ran. He did not look smooth and composed. He kind of ran like Phoebe from Friends. I think this was an amusing detail. He is moving at ludicrous speed. It made sense that he was on the edge of loosing his balance.
-None of Batman's jokes are funny. There was simply no magic Joss Whedon could work on Ben Affleck.
-I think Gal Gadot is a terrible actress.
-Almost every scene involving characters talking about something serious is nearly useless and incredibly boring.
-It takes way too long to assemble the team.
-Every character who is not a superhero or villain is pretty much useless.
-If you do not enjoy looking at muscular men with their shirts off, you get at least 15 minutes of it.
-There are two Mercedes Benz commercials in the film. Neither one of them is needed aside from the obvious money grab. They aren't used in a clever or original way. Just simple scenes of super heroes driving to a new location in a Mercedes Benz.
-Many of the special effects look incredibly fake. Most of the effects looked like I was watching my son play a Justice League video game on the Xbox One. This is especially true of the main villain, Steppenwolf.
Quick. Is this from a video game or the movie?
Although I did not despise the movie as much as I was anticipating, I still could not recommend a friend waste their time or money seeing it in the theater. Perhaps if Jos Whedon had been in charge of the film from the start it would have been more cohesive and fun. However, this did give me hope that perhaps DC will get it right next time. The fourth time is the charm right?
I actually think this is a prefect movie to watch on DVD. That way, you can fast forward any time characters begin to have a serious conversation. You could probably finish the movie in 60 to 70 minutes and use the rest of the time to watch an episode of Firefly or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Oh yeah... comic book movies can be fun. I forgot.
By the way, the reasons this is a Geeky Guy" review instead of a "Geeky Dad" review is that my twelve year old son had absolutely no interest in seeing this movie. He has less faith in the DC universe than I do. I can't blame him. We will watch it together when it is released on DVD... and fast forward through most of the dialogue.
Geeky Dad's Movie Guide
Number of times I fell asleep: 0
Number of eye rolls: 8 (Any serious conversation. Oh and Ben Affleck.)
Number of face palms: 2 (Any attempt at love scenes)
Number of times I checked steemit: 0 (I would have every time there was serious dialogue but there were 8 other people in the theater and I didn't want to be "that guy".)
Number of times I said "That's ridiculous": 1 (For some reason, something needed to be charged precisely when it hit the water. Why couldn't it already be in the water and then get charged? I have no idea.)
Would I recommend this movie: Rent it and prepare to fast forward
Full price/Matinee/Rental/Free/Not worth the time: Rental.