Yesterday I activated my free month of Amazon Prime to take in Picard, the new Star Trek series. That was excellent and I especially loved the subtle Brexit reference, but that’s for another day. After that I had a look at what Amazon offered, and had Zack Snyder’s Justice League film recommended to me, but I’d found the film a mess not to mention a chore to get through when I’d seen it the only time a few years back. I thought I’d give it a few minutes to see if things had changed expecting to stop and have an early night.
And I liked it lots more than I did previously.
Maybe some distance has passed, and although the issues still stand it really is more enjoyable than a number of other superhero films, plus it has an actual sense of a directorial vision which the Marvel films, on the whole, have lost. Sure, the scenes shot by Joss Whedon stand out a mile, the villain is badly done, the script has gaping holes, and that CGI lip is an awful bit of work to appear in a big-budget Hollywood film.
However, the League themselves are actually interesting. Affleck’s Batman is an interesting portrayal of an older man who’d lost his way finding redemption. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the standout star character of the DCEU and should be its bedrock as Iron Man was for Marvel. While Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman and Ezra Miller’s Flash have a genuine spark on screen. Hell, even Cyborg seemed less tokenistic this time round. The big loser here is Henry Cavill and his Clark Kent/Kal El/Superman as once he’s allowed to play Superman not as a brooding Emo type, but actually as Superman, he’s a revelation.
It’s a flawed experiment and yes, I’d be interested in seeing what a full ‘Snyder cut’ would look like because again, there’s a bland generic quality creeping in to the point you couldn’t tell who directed one Marvel film to another. With this it is pretty clear it’s Snyder’s vision. You may not like it, but there’s a clear vision which makes the Whedon footage clash so badly, and also, there’s a bit of irony as the Marvel template is based on what Whedon did with the first two Avengers films.
It is unlikely DC/Warners will do a Justice League film again in some time, which is a shame as it’d be good to see this group together again but in a film free of studio meddling.
But there you go, I never thought I’d write any of that but it shows opinions do change…