Film note: Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Well, I certainly enjoyed this more than the original, which I have trouble remembering clearly anyway. What I do remember is that Steppenwolf was a bit of a dull wimp. He’s got more balls here so there was a real threat to fight. Wonder Woman and Cyborg both have more to do and say (Cyborg was a cypher in the original cut) and since they’re the only DC big-screen heroes I have much affection for, that was just fine with me. The post-apocalyptic epilogue intrigued me, as well.

However, besides its bordering-on-sadistic length, there are a lot of overused visual motifs and pretentious proclamations, but I guess that’s part and parcel of comic-book movies. I got tired of seeing the Flash’s lightning, whom Snyder is evidently quite infatuated with. Plus, how many times did WW have to mew, “Kal-El”?

And you know what, I’ve always hated Superman as a character. I never bought a single Superman comic as a kid, despite all the muscle on display. (I have to say though that I dig a hairy-chested Superman and I guess Snyder does, too, judging by how long the character remains half-naked and how awed we were supposed to be by his shirtless presence.)

It would be hard to think of a more conservative, conceptually authoritarian character, despite the moralistic gloss and the small-town hokum slathered on like syrup in every incarnation of this character. All the condescending “Love them Kal,” exhortations got on my nerves, too. I’m pretty sick of Kryptonian elitism, I must say. Plus, Smallville seems exactly like a place that an aspiring gay kid would want to get out of as fast as he could.

So fuck that scenario.

But I had some fun with the action sequences and I do think, fanboys don’t mob me, that this version of Justice League is more ethically honest than Endgame. When Wonder Woman beheads the bad guy there at the end, it could almost be taken as a kind of mercy, considering the retribution he was headed for, rather than simply revenge. But let’s be real, all these superhero movies are meant to induce self-hating hardons in the bullied little geeks inside us all.

Originally published on Letterboxd.

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