By Jim Tortolano
Comic book iconoclast Howard Chaykin once quipped that the “Golden Age of comics is … 12.”
By that, he meant that the art of sequential story-telling was forever trapped by the impulses of the junior high lad dreaming of more and better explosions, uncomplicated villains and impossible plots.
It was 12-year-old boys of all ages who called for Zack Snyder’s version of the 2017 “Justice League” movie. That film, which did OK at the box office, was panned by the fanboy base and considered by many to be a disappointment.
Snyder dropped out of the project, and the movie was finished by Josh Whedon. Since then, Snyder’s own ever-adolescent base has been howling for Warner Bros. to bring out his version, and finally, here it is.
It’s not awful, but it is much worse than the film it was supposed to be an improvement upon. Twice as long as the original, it’s fat with needless scenes, overblown battle sequences and segments that simply make no sense, even in the make-believe world of comic book movies.
Much of the humor has been removed, and the connection that the first “JL” sought to make between the loss of hope and mankind’s descent into despair and xenophobia is lost.
This is simply Snyder throwing everything into the blender and hitting “frappe.”
In case you care, this is supposed to be the story of how the superheroes of the DC Universe – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg – first teamed up. It’s a sequel to the
“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” film that fanboys liked even less.
The heroes join together – with too many stops and starts – to battle an invasion from another dimension or universe or maybe just a real strange neighborhood where no one speaks in contractions.
This was supposed to be an impressive redeemed epic on the order of “The Godfather” series. The only impressive thing about it is that Snyder somehow talked the principal actors – Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), etc. – into coming back to shoot more scenes that add nothing but bloat.
If you’re 12 – in one form or another – you might like all the BOOM! And CRUNCH! And the occasional naughty word. But if you’re a bit more seasoned, your reaction is likely to be, “Well, there’s four hours of my life I’ll never get back again.”
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is rated R for some profanity and comic book violence. It’s now available for streaming on HBO Max
Categories: Arts & Leisure