Justice League review: it’s humor and humanity, stupid.

I saw Justice League. Alone. I did not want to inflict it on anyone else. My expectations were low, like they were when my friend Brian “Mondo” called me up and wanted to see Dude, Where’s My Car?┬áBut I liked it. It was funny! (“We are hot babes.”)

I liked Justice League too. Sure, it grated on my writer brain. Some scenes felt glued together with library paste, I believe there was a payoff without setup, and too much dialog was blabby moody exposition. (Alfred Hitchcock said that exposition is a pill that must be sugar-coated.) Plenty of room for improvement. But this movie had two story elements that Man of Steel and Batman v Superman lacked: humor and humanity.

The Flash’s geeky, gawky enthusiasm and Aquaman’s heroic beer-chugging macho were especially fun. (The original Aquaman and Barry Allen Flash in DC Comics had the personalities of Macys mannequins, so this movie was right to revamp that.) Wonder Woman was again the fearless, ferocious fighter with a heart (although some of her fellow Amazons should not bare their bellies when going into battle). Batman showed his after-battle ouchie bruises and he stated his true superpower: “I’m rich.” When Superman stepped up to the villain, his voice was purehearted Christopher Reeve (it made my heart sing). Cyborg got to say his favorite line from Teen Titans Go (starts with a “B”). This movie gave the DC supers humanity to build upon. (Except Wonder Woman, she and her most excellent movie were slopping over with humanity to start with, even considering the goddess thing.) And its photography avoided a lot of the black bleak depressing sad angsty moody sepia dark tones of M of S and B v S.

Speaking of gods, a YouTube video that I saw (and lost) said it best: In the Marvel movies, the supers are human. In Man of Steel and Bats v Supes, they are gods above men. YUCK! My advice for DC movie makers: keep losing the Ayn Rand crap and you’ll keep improving.

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To Batman v Superman: Hire a writer!

batman grimly faces supermanWhy was Ben Affleck’s Batman forced to say this stupid line about Superman?

He has the power to wipe out the entire human race and if we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.

Batman can do math. On the Justice League, he is called, “The Smart One.” He is a detective. He would detect who is guilty, who is innocent, and who does and does not need a Bat-punch in the mush. Read The Dark Knight Returns, there are better ways to give me a Bats-vs-Supes smackdown (and a serious fanboy orgasm!) than that one-percenter line. It is lazy writing, and it sucks. Even an NPR critic did a double-take at that.

That line reminds me of an old joke from Steve Landesberg (Dietrich from Barney Miller). Steve was doing the character of a Deep South sheriff. His accent was perfect. (The quote below is from my memory, so is not likely exact. Except for the punchline.)

“Yep, ah’ve been at this job a long time, I can tell just by lookin’ at someone if they’re gonna do a crime. Just yesterday, I saw a guy, and just by lookin’ at him, I know he wuz gonna kill someone.”

(Perfectly timed comedic pause.)

“So I shot him.” (Audience laughter.) “He ain’t gonna kill nobody now!”

Batman is smarter than that sheriff. DC Comics, when you make your next movie, please hire a writer.