Batfleck. Socially awkward Flash. Bro-quaman. Actually, we love a bunch of the characters and the actors who play them… but the story driving JUSTICE LEAGUE is… terrible! Jay and Daryl each present four ways they would Make JUSTICE LEAGUE Better!Patreon Exclusive: The AFTERCAST - 2 MORE ways we would make Justice League better!
The Story Geeks’ blogger Ashley Pauls share her four ideas to make “Justice League” a better film.
1. Pick a tone/style — and stick with it.
“Justice League” is the product of two very different directors — Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder. Snyder started the film (and technically received sole directorial credit), and Whedon took over post-production, including reshoots. Unfortunately, these two styles/visions did not mash up super well, and the final result is a film that feels a little jarring, with Whedon’s trademark lighter touch clashing with Snyder’s gloomier, broodier aesthetic.
I can sympathize with what Warner Bros. was trying to do here. They didn’t want to completely remake the original film, which was probably similar in tone to “Batman v. Superman,” but they did want to lighten it up, since they had received some complaints about the DC Cinematic Universe being too serious. But I feel they should have either stuck with Snyder’s original version, or reshot the film entirely with Whedon, instead of trying to mash it together as the release date loomed and deadline pressure kicked in.
I personally wish they would have stuck primarily with Snyder’s vision and tone, because for all its issues, I thought “Batman v. Superman” was a better film than “Justice League.” I’m actually a bit of a “Batman v. Superman” apologist, and I think that film has some great moments it doesn’t always receive credit for. I’ve enjoyed watching it several times, whereas I’ve only seen “Justice League” once and may not see it again.
2. Fix the villain.
To be fair, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its issues with villains as well. However, Steppenwolf was a rather underwhelming villain for what should have been an epic superhero team-up. They needed a villain as charismatic as Loki or as fascinating/complex as Thanos. I think this could have been accomplished by giving Steppenwolf more nuance and backstory in the film, or by teasing him more in prior films, like Marvel did with Thanos. That way, when Steppenwolf finally arrives, it really does feel like an event.
3. Give Ben Affleck more to do.
Although Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman was initially controversial, I actually really enjoyed his performance in “Batman v. Superman” and felt like he was one of the highlights of that film. Unfortunately, the character isn’t quite as strong in “Justice League.” I’m not sure if that’s due to the way the character was written or Affleck’s level of engagement in the film, or maybe a bit of both. But it really feels like a shame, because I love Affleck’s unique take on the character and wish he’d been used more effectively in “Justice League.” His scenes with Wonder Woman in “Batman v. Superman” were great, and I would have liked to see more of that in “Justice League.”
4. Polish the dodgy CGI.
For such an expensive film (its budget was a reported $300 million), “Justice League” has some surprisingly dodgy CGI. Compare that to the budget of, say, “The Last Jedi” (at an estimated $200-$250 million); regardless of how you feel about that film’s story, most fans I know have agreed that in terms of cinematography and special effects, “The Last Jedi” is a gorgeous film.
Some of that expense for “Justice League” could be due to extensive reshoots, and the unpolished-looking CGI could be a casualty of a rushed timeline. Or, maybe it’s because there’s simply too much CGI overall. Special effects can be really awesome, but they work best when they’re mixed with practical effects and actual, on-location sets. “Justice League” ends up looking a bit fake at times, particularly during the final battle scene.