DC’s The Dawn of the Justice League Review

There are 3 things I am certain of when it comes to movies right now, 1. Ben Affleck will be a good Batman 2. Suicide Squad will be better than Batman v Superman and 3. I am 100% all in that Rey is a Kenobi. But let’s address the DC questions and see if my opinions change after CW’s special last night.

If you were not aware CW aired a special called Dawn of the Justice League and revealed new footage to the DC universe which will expand on film this March. Little to no new footage was revealed for Batman v Superman. Little clips of Batfleck (Yes I am calling him that) doing weighted pullups and the showing ending with the title characters charging at each other. Based on the assumption that we are not going to see any more clips I am ready to make my prediction for the film.

While many opposed to his casting I like the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman.  If this was casting for Christopher Nolan’s Batman nearly a decade ago I would be furious but in the past couple years Affleck has had a carrier revival in films Argo, The Town, and Gone Girl. He has shown me that he can play well developed characters. He has also shaped his image from the dope in Pearl Harbor and Daredevil into a ability to be a dark character. Essential to play the caped crusader. Will Batfleck be better than Bale? I don’t care. Bale was terrific; Affleck needs to be great but also needs to be his own character. I have a similar stance on the joker that I will talk about later.

I have major concerns for the film, first and foremost director Zack Snyder. I don’t hate any of his movies but I don’t love them either. I feel like he is just a tier below the necessary director for this project. He is fine for Man of Steel solo films or any other solo film but this and Justice League I am a little hesitant on. I feel like a few to many of his scenes are corny. The recent trailer where Superman says “the bat is dead” just feels a little flat to me. That should be iconic and put on license plates but instead I was like damn, good writing but poor execution. That may be Cavill’s fault but I tend to blame directors for wooden performances. See Star Wars prequels. While I am mixed about Hayden Christensen’s casting, he not nearly as bad as his performance in the movie. Watch his screen tests/audition tapes, I see depth in that character but George Lucas completely ruined along with Natalie Portman.

Another concern is the direction of the movie. I use this wording a lot so I think it would be a good idea to explain what I mean to say this is a comic book movie. The movie is corny, feel good, and predictable. These films are meant to be entertaining. By comparison, The Dark Knight Trilogy does not consist of comic book movies. Those are cop/vigilante movies with a dude who dresses up like a bat. The characters are relatable, realistic, and not filled with ex Machina moments. There is nothing wrong with the DC Universe being too comic booky, it will make a lot of people happy. The concern is that it will appeal to a smaller audience and possibly hurt the box office. The movie will do fine but it is not a lock to hit a billion dollars like I predicted this summer.

Finally, I just hope the movie isn’t too crowded. I think we are going to get a tease of the Justice League, but I hope it is just a tease, any character other than Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman should not be essential to the plot. While my opinion regularly switches, right now I believe Wonder Woman shouldn’t be in the movie. A cameo would have been nice to tease her solo film, but too many characters are a recipe for disaster. See Spiderman 3.

Lets hope this movie does not get too crowded

Now, let’s move on to the biggest story of the special, The Suicide Squad trailer. My reaction to the trailer? WOW. I don’t know what to think other than im going to see this movie opening night. This movie appears so unique and complex I hope it doesn’t disappoint. This movie doesn’t bother me for being comic booky, I find the bright and changing colors in the wordmark fascinating and sets the tone. Director and writer David Ayer had the difficult role of creating characters that have major flaws and are unlikable, only to create a scenario where we are rooting for them. The part where this gets really interesting is if/when some villains survive will they remain “heroes” and stay on the squad, or take their freedom and battle the Dark knight where we are rooting against them.

In my opinion the most essential part of the movie is to create and develop the Joker. Jared Leto has to be transcendent. Heath Ledger had the best performance I’ve ever seen in Nolan’s second film. I have never loved a villain so much. I was actually rooting for the guy. So what does Leto have to do to avoid becoming a disgrace to the comic book community? See George Clooney. He needs to be, how do I put it, so dark and twisted like we have never scene. Ledger was interesting because he had no motive. He was had no fear of consequence, which was a fascinating take that didn’t require an origin story. Leto needs a motive. Whether it be directly Batman he hates or some flaw in the system. It appears in the trailer that he disfigured by some kind of chemicals but im not entirely sure. If it is the chemicals, then why do he and Harley have differences? His Harley just crazy or did Joker put her through chemicals too? For example, the Joker always has green hair, even in jail based on a photo from empire magazine.  But,it is revealed in the trailers that when Harley is in jail, his hair appears bleached and is colorless. It isn’t till she is in action that she dyes it again. Why would Arkam Asylum allow Joker to die his hair, unless the picture was taken immediately after he was convicted? The fact that he has no eyebrows makes me think that while creating the character, DC just agreed green eyebrows just don’t work.  I prefer Ledger who just used makeup because it implies that the joker could be one of us, but I don’t blame the studio for doing something different and try to stay faithful to the books.

The Joker in Arkham Asylum

Based on the trailers I think Joker, Harley, and Deadshot are locks to survie and will be used in future films, so their backstories are most important. I know Joker isn’t in the Squad, but I don’t think he is the villain either. I think he will be a side character that haunts Harley. His role is to be so unlikable, in a good way, which fans will be lining up to see the Batfleck solo film.

My overall reaction to the DC Universe, I am concerned from the heroes side. I think rushing it with a unqualified face is going to create a inferior product to Marvel. This year DC is showcaseing characters we are more interested in, but Marvel has characters we are more invested in. Which will set more bodies in theaters… we will see.

 

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