I’ll be honest when I say I was expecting “Justice League” to be a typical heroes-save-the-world-with-fire-and-explosions movie that would inevitably be poorly written and have few redeeming qualities, and I turned out to be mostly correct.
The worst thing about this movie was certainly the writing. Towards the beginning of the movie, Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s trusty butler, said, “I don’t even recognize this world anymore,” to which everyone’s favorite rich orphan responded, “I don’t need to recognize it. I just need to save it.” When he said that, I actually groaned out loud. Oh my goodness, I cannot believe someone wrote that line and thought it was a legitimately good idea and not a ball of cheese forced into poor Ben Affleck’s mouth.
And as much as I love both Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot, I felt sincerely sorry for her when she was telling Batman about the Mother Boxes and had to say the words, “They don’t contain power. They are power.” At that point, I turned towards my boyfriend in the seat next to me, looked straight into his eyes, and let out a sigh of profound disappointment.
It only got worse from there as Wonder Woman launched into a lengthy explanation of the significance of the Mother Boxes that sounded a lot like very unsubtle exposition, and also sounded like something Batman already should’ve known before she told him about it in explicit detail. Leave it to Batman to always be out of the loop.
There were definitely other spots in the movie where the writing could have been improved, like at the end when Superman said, “I’m a big fan of justice.”
Another major gripe I had was actually with Superman himself. Specifically, I had trouble with the fact that he was dead for most of the movie, and then came back to life and almost single-handedly took out the bad guy. What’s the point of having an awesome team of unique superheroes with complementary powers if Superman is just gonna show up and beat everyone down regardless? There isn’t one. Jeez, Superman, stay in your lane for once.
Speaking of everyone Superman beat down, the main villain of the story was so poorly developed that it hurt. I mean, it’s an unspoken rule of literature and film that you can’t have a villain whose only goal is to destroy everything just for fun. At least have them crave power or harbor resentment for a specific protagonist or have a tragic backstory or something. I couldn’t bring myself to be threatened by this angry, wrinkly alien with no real purpose in life. He kept on shouting, “I AM THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!” like he was some kind of entitled millennial who thought he deserved to blow up the Earth, and I just wanted to pat his shoulder and say, “Okay, honey,” so he might shut up.
I’ve been a little harsh so far, but I will say that there was at least one good thing this movie had going for it, and that thing was Gal Gadot. She plays the awesomest, most hardcore, female-empowering character in the movie and probably the whole franchise. No one can disagree with me when I say that Wonder Woman is really, really cool. Not only that, but her fight scenes in this movie were some of the only good ones. I mean, she beats people up and blocks bullets with her wrists! That’s the coolest thing ever! Everyone else’s fight scenes were just a lot of fire and explosions and barely escaping the fire and explosions. How cookie-cutter.
The only issue I had with Wonder Woman was that she only took her hair down when it was time for battle, but every other time you saw her, she had it up in a ponytail. Now, that just seems impractical. Why go through the trouble of taking down your hair so you can fight bad guys? Does it help? Does it get in your eyes? As someone who ran all her laps in PE with her hair down, I believe that yes, it would probably get in her eyes, and yes, it would probably hinder her ability to decimate her enemies.
But despite the blessing of Gal Godot, the movie was essentially what I’d expected: lots of overdone fight scenes, cheesy dialogue and predictable endings. I should’ve stayed home.