Justice League faces their biggest challenge yet, itself

Jared Tucker, Staff Writer

While it may have improved from the original, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is still a major misfire, filled with bad storytelling, lackluster CGI and terrible villains. 

The first hour of this film is horrendous. Although the film was released on Mar. 18, 2021, it is essentially the exact same as Justice League, and, you know, Justice League sucked. The amount of slo-mo that will be considered artsy and authentic was boring and unnecessary. The CGI throughout the entire movie was up there with some of the worst I’ve ever seen in a blockbuster. The green screen literally looks worse than that scene at the dump in “The Office.” It was hard to take any of the fights or emotional moments seriously because of the ridiculous set pieces and awful backgrounds. Also, the fights looked terrible themselves. The ‘Superman Returns’ action scene was just as laughable as before, and while the final battle was the movie’s chance to redeem itself, it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It seemed poorly written in a lot of crucial, emotional moments, which took away a lot of the experience.

The run time clocked in at just over four hours, which was obviously unreasonably long, and even with an hour break in the middle of the movie, I was still begging for it to be over by the epilogue. I can’t blame that on Snyder, because DC crammed a bunch of new characters into the film and expected it to work. Look at “The Avengers.” By the time the film came out, four out of six of the main characters already had standalone movies, and the other two had appeared in other films, so we didn’t need two full hours of this movie just to develop the team. 

Most of the characters were fine, and many good ones were tossed aside, but Flash was really annoying all throughout. He cracked cheap jokes for his entire time on screen, and as he manages to annoy his fellow superheroes on screen, he annoys the audience as well. Superman has always been cheesy, and Ben Affleck is not the right choice for Batman. Wonder Woman is cool, but her fights are painted over by distracting CGI that make them not fun. 

We haven’t even gotten into my least favorite part yet… the villains. 

What the hell was going on here? This movie had already kept the same ridiculous story from Justice League and kept my least favorite part: Steppenwolf. But this time, he has a cooler costume and some bigger bads who end up meaning nothing to the story. Steppenwolf has the worst motive ever. He wants to destroy the world. Cool, haven’t seen that 896 times. He has these weird flying demon things that seem like something out of a spoof. The objective to get the mother boxes—yes, that is the name of the evil objects—to conquer the planet was so stupid, and me trying to imagine the actors saying these outrageous lines with a straight face was funnier than any joke in this film. They seemed to be setting up Darkseid (a horrible CGI bad guy) to show up and kill some folks, but he just stood there doing nothing. At least before Thanos became the main villain, he actually had an influence on developed characters in the MCU. This was the main reason I hated Justice League, and they just brought it right back here. 

I know I’m tearing this movie to shreds, but there are definitely some positives here too. The flashback scenes were cool, and the big battle for Earth flashback was fun to watch. The character development that led to the long run time was good and helped elevate this film well above Whedon’s version. It was good to learn about these grossly underdeveloped characters. There were a few times the emotional moments hit, but for the most part, I didn’t feel much connection to any of the characters due to how the DCEU set them up in the past. But a positive is that until it just felt way too long, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is very entertaining. It provides fun characters and big action to keep my attention. (Also, this film has the Wisconsin Badgers losing a football game, which is always a beautiful sight).

Overall, Zach Snyder’s Justice League is definitely an improvement but is still far from being good. If the film was able to clean up its script, completely redo its special effects and knock a half an hour off the run time, we could’ve had a quality movie that’s not draining to watch.