Reader, I often try to furnish you with reviews that could pass some kind of professional standard. I try and take my taste and my film education (such as it is) and analyse a movie with a mix of intellectual discourse and emotional engagement. Like two kids in a trench coat, I hope to trick you into thinking I am a real grown up for a beat or two – but the truth is I’m just a fan, and occasionally a movie dances across my desk which renders me unable or uninterested in examining the construction of the piece. I engage with it with heart-first.
JUSTICE LEAGUE has a giant beating heart and for that, friends, I fucking love it.
But let’s simmer down and be real. This was a DC white elephant even before it suffered such a large and public disruption to its production. It was the movie that wanted to answer THE AVENGERS without doing the same prep work. It had to roll cameras almost as soon as as BATMAN AND SUPERMAN MAKE A PORNO was rightly ripped a new arsehole for it’s depressing tone and unrecognisable Superman. And then, due to the awful tragedy that struck the film’s director, it had to absorb a change in leadership and yet another crisis of tone.
So it is absolutely no surprise to find that JUSTICE LEAGUE is a massive mess. It somehow manages to feel both rushed and overcooked. It has a villain that seems like it could have been both written and rendered 4 weeks ago and dropped into the movie at the last minute. Scenes lack any real place in an overall narrative structure, and many of the special effects are simply unacceptable for a movie at this level. The seams between the two productions are enormous and you can almost see the salvage job being undertak—-nah you guys NONE OF THAT MATTERS to me. Not today.
What matters is seeing the characters I love step off the page and onto the screen with veracity and sincerity. What matters is seeing their powers being used in inventive collaboration. What matters is realising that the scenes of them talking in a room are just as good, if not better, than their action set pieces. What matters is feeling like they are building true friendships which will exist beyond the walls of the movie. That they are our champions and protectors. Wanting to be there for us rather than loom over us.
You want them to be a team. A family. OUR family.
I could dissect and destroy JUSTICE LEAGUE for its myriad of flaws, but what it gets right it gets SO right that I have no appetite to do so. I want to see these characters again and I want them to be in much better movies. But for now, I am happy with this triumph of moments.
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