“Justice League” Develops Banality into a Harrowing and Tiresome Art Form

If a committee of Warner Brothers executives got together to work their way through a 300 million dollar paint-by-numbers, it would look like Justice League.

With the odds stacked against it, no expectations, and the fate of exactly nothing of importance hanging in the balance, Justice League is still an utter disappointment.  The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was recently buoyed by the impressive Wonder Woman film from Patty Jenkins earlier this year, but the franchise is back aground.  Justice League features a hodgepodge of messy scenes, poor storytelling, terrible CGI, lackluster characters, and no real stakes.  These failures are becoming hallmarks of Warner Brothers ill-advised attempts at a grittier version of Marvel, and the embarrassments are becoming too numerous to count.  I guess we’ll do our best.

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Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” Overwhelms With Wasted Opportunity

Batman v Superman plods along with the pacing of a courtroom, which may be why it is named like a civil suit between our two heroes.  Given the manufactured fighting between the two, there may have been more believable drama had Batman decided to sue the Man of Steel for destruction of property.  Instead, we are left with the standard flaws that always seem to accompany the direction of Zack Snyder:  bizarre use of music, rushed and unearned plotting, and action sequences that, while reasonably entertaining, strain comprehension.  It is altogether a shame, because the eponymous characters are iconic and beloved – and well portrayed in this film.  There simply isn’t anything terribly interesting for them to do.

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A Glimpse of Fun in the “Batman v Superman” Trailer?

It is no secret that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has darker ambitions than its brightly colored and quip-filled Marvel counterpart. Since the DCEU is late to the shared universe party, they are tasked with differentiating themselves, and if Man of Steel and the teaser trailer for the follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are any indication, they want to skew more serious and dramatic. This is fine, as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy leaned more realistic and was a success. But, this strategy could be quite dangerous if applied across the board (including Man of Steel, 13 DCEU films are in various stages of planning).  While a single film can focus on the darker aspects of the world, I feel like the weight or power of such a choice is diminished by each successive trip to that well. With that in mind, I looked to the new Batman v Superman trailer with the question: is there ever going to be any fun at all in the DCEU?
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