Yes. Hmmm. Well.
I've seen it.
Here's the thing. It was not a train-wreck of a movie. It was better than Batman v Superman, which made me actually angry to watch. It was even, I dare say, better than Suicide Squad, although that's a bit unfair since SS had Jared Leto in it, and that deserves at least one star out of sympathy. I enjoyed most of League. I truly did.
As an ensemble movie, a strange-bedfellows, disparate-comrades, multi-skilled-adventuring-party movie, it had a lot going for it. Each character had their own development arc, even if sometimes clumsily handled. We finally get more than a brief glimpse of an on-screen Flash (who was great), we finally get a worthy Aquaman. Wonder Woman still wears wedge heels as armour and some of the Amazons had leather bras and for those reasons alone I want to punch Zack Snyder in the face, but...
Buuuuuuuuut. For $600 million (some estimates), we should be angry so much of it was bad, and the reported terrible box-office takings are their own gods-damned fault. So here's my two suggestions for anyone who wants to go back in time and fix it:
- Stop giving creative control to Zack Snyder. Stop letting Zack Snyder write stories. Stop letting Zack Snyder make movies. Stop Zack Snyder. I never want to bad-mouth another writer, but he's big enough and rich enough to take it. He's a heavy-handed, grimdark storyteller with no subtlety, who takes what should be interesting ideas and strips them of all pathos, depth and meaning. Also, he's a terrible director who probably thinks Michael Bay is good. I spent way too much of JL thinking "That was a bad shot. That's terrible editing. That's a stupid directorial decision. That's going to give me a headache. Someone please take away half his cameras." I started assuming that all the scenes that were easy to watch were the ones done later by Whedon (who... not perfect). I'm still convinced that half the bits I didn't like about Wonder Woman were Snyder's fault. Also, did anybody try to tell him that tridents have tri tines?
- Don't bring back Superman. Don't. Bring back. Superman. Do not bring back Superman. Henry Cavill does absolutely nothing for me as an actor, but he's serviceable and nice, which I guess is perfect for Superman. No, the problem is Superman, who, as usually conceived, is a stupid god-level Mary Sue of a character in any case, but in this movie he ruined the climax. The entire line "Is this guy still bothering you?" is everything wrong with Superman. The world's being destroyed, Earthlings are putting aside their differences and risking their lives, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are facing up to their responsibilities and learning to cooperate and having an important moment of shared battle, Flash is learning to be a hero, Batman is fighting despite being so far out of his weight class he can't be seen (because he's hiding in the shadows. Get it? I'll stop now), but hey! Ignore all that because we've got Deus Ex Machinaman! Suddenly drama gives way to spectacle. They had to throw in fleeing civilians just to draw things out a bit and give the rest some screen time. He's super-strong and he's nearly indestructible and he can fly and he has laser vision and he can freeze intergalactic axes with his breath and he's as fast as The Flash. Give me a fucking break.
Also: Every second shot of Gal Gadot was the reason feminist film critics use the phrase "male gaze". I felt dirty just being in the audience. Somehow, I don't remember any panty shots or buttock creases in Wonder Woman. Maybe I was just distracted by the movie not being cheesier than King Island (or Wisconsin, for Americans).
Also 2: Fuck whoever thought Lois Lane's entire story should be "I'm a Pulitzer-winning journalist who's gone to war zones, but now I've lost my boyfriend I'm doing puff pieces because all I can cope with, sigh." Fuck them in the head. You want to give her grief or PTSD, fine, but you show that, don't relegate her to "sad girlfriend".
You may now go ahead and disagree with me.