Justice League is here!
To get this out of the way, I am a self-proclaimed Marvel fanboy. That being said, I have enjoyed the DCEU films that I have seen. Man of Steel, BvS, and Wonder Woman were all decent, if flawed, films. I even wrote up stuff about BvS when it came out explaining where I am coming from in my fandom. You can read that here.
I wasn’t “super” excited to see Justice League. Sure, I knew I was going to see it… but I wasn’t first in line, “hyped-and-dressing-up-like-a-character-from-the-movie” hyped.
That was reserved for Thor: Ragnarok.
Anyway, my wife saw that it was coming out and said: “Let’s go!”
Never one to turn down a movie… we grabbed the kids, jumped in the car and zipped over to the movie theater.
My over-simplified, overall reaction:
OK, a little more detail:
Yes, much like the other DCEU films, it is flawed. It has some dodgy CGI (like just about every movie with CGI always does), plot points that might not make complete sense, action that defies the laws of physics, and some jokes that might not land.
But hey, this movie tries to make jokes! It’s not Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok, but the tone is decidedly lighter this go-around. It is definitely a step away from the Man of Steel grimness, and a step toward the optimism of Wonder Woman. You can see Joss Whedon‘s touch on this thing. Director Zach Snyder had to bow out of the film partway through due to a family tragedy, and Mr. Whedon stepped in to finish it up. He still left Snyder’s name as the “Director” however. That’s either classy or “cover-my-ass” calculated, depending on your opinion of the final product.
The cast is great, and the chemistry between them is wonderful. Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash was the standout for me. Barry had the best lines in the whole movie. I will be first in line, hyped-up for the eventual Flash movie. I also really liked Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg. He brought a grimness and brooding that felt real, relieving that duty from going to characters that didn’t need it… like Superman in his other two films. Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), and Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman) do their thing that they have done a few times now, and it is still good. Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman was the weakest of the group for me. Not that he was bad, per se… he just was there. I’m not excited about his solo movie. I guess for a character that has been treated like a joke for so many years… he wasn’t a joke. So I guess that’s a step in the right direction?
The story was solid, and I like what it sets up. Yes, this is like a Marvel (MCU) Movie. It’s a step to a larger, more sinister evil that the group will have to fight in a future movie. They didn’t push it and included enough info to get me intrigued without being overloaded.
THE CGI LIP.
It is reported that Paramount wouldn’t let Henry Cavill shave his mustache for his re-shoots as Superman, as he was also filming MI6 at the same time. So the Justice League production team had to digitally remove his facial hair in all the re-shot scenes.
So, I guess I understand that Paramount feels like they have the right to enforce such a thing on one of their (presumably) lead actors. The JL re-shoots probably weren’t scheduled very far in advance and Paramount was probably doing WB a favor for letting Hank come out to play at all.
BUT… it is a mustache. IT LITERALLY GROWS ON HIS FACE.
Was Cavill going from one set to the other on the same day? Was he going on his lunch break from Mission Impossible and shooting a Justice League scene and then going back to the MI6 set?
I highly doubt it.
Here is the face-fuzz in question:
Facial-hair SPFX is not a new thing. It is utilized effectively every week on Saturday Night Live. It is a basic and necessary skill that all Special Effects makeup wizards should know.
We are at a place in Cinema and Television history that you don’t even realize that an actor has prosthetic hair. Adding a mustache or beard is a utility that is commonplace all over the production world.
You know what ISN’T all those things that I just mentioned?
A FREAKING CGI UPPER LIP.
This may be the first production in history that has had to digitally make an upper lip. Even Marvel, when faced with a similar problem with Chris Evans having a beard, chose to just go low-fi and throw a little makeup on there, have him put his hand on his face and not speak or move.
It was rumored to cost up to and possibly multiple millions to do this Superman upper-lip CGI work. WHAT?!
The worst part is that it doesn’t even look that good.
The most interesting part is that it is a clear indicator of which scenes were re-shot by Joss Whedon, and I would say it’s a good 90% of what Superman is in.
THEY EVEN OPEN THE MOVIE on his weird CGI’d face.
I just can’t believe that the WB producers couldn’t come to some sort of agreement with Paramount and get the MI6 production to just put a fake mustache on the guy. Even if WB footed the bill for the WORLDS BEST mustache artist to sit on set and manicure Henry’s fake face caterpillar until his real one grew back, it would be a fraction of the CGI cost for this thing.
Plus it wouldn’t look bizarre.
Whatever. CGI lips are the thing of the future I guess.
OH! One more last thing:
STAY FOR THE CREDITS! Finally taking a page from Marvel, there are two after credits codas this time.
They are both great!
I proclaim all comments below will be SPOILERLY, so let us talk about the movie!