All right, look. I have my issues with Joss Whedon, both as a filmmaker and as a person. But there are a couple things I want to make clear right now. First, this will NOT be a discussion regarding the behind the scenes accusations. I have made a separate post that talked about that a bit. This will be focused on the 2017 theatrically released film itself. Second, as much as I want to…I can’t put ALL the blame on him for how this movie came out. Ever since “Dawn of Justice”, the studio had been increasingly at odds with Zack Snyder’s vision and style. Going so far as to order reshoots for “Suicide Squad” following the reception of BvS. So when Zack had to step away from the movie to be with his family, the studio saw a way to completely re-work the film by bringing in a director that had worked with the MCU in order to bring in the humor and enjoyability that many people said was missing from Snyder’s previous films. Regardless of who they brought in, they would have faced an impossible task of trying to please the studio while trying to give an enjoyable movie for audiences, even if it meant disappointing those that did get into Snyder’s films from the start.
Having said that, there are several reasons why even general audiences never really liked this film. It was recently confirmed that the reshoots Whedon made were so extensive, very little of Snyder’s footage was actually used. Despite that, the movie still comes off as a Frankenstein monster of a film. The entire story and sequence feels off, where sometimes you can feel the absence of a storyline or footage that was supposed to be in the film. Characters that were apparently supposed to actually go through an arc or have development ended up just being characters that, while in the movie, never really did much.
And I want to bring up a criticism that I don’t really hear people talk about when it came to this film. Whedon’s direction of Wonder Woman, or rather the way he shot her and showed her, is amazingly sexualized and disrespectful! If you were to look back at “Dawn of Justice” where she first appeared, you can really notice the difference. Yes, Snyder did address the fact that she was beautiful. But I don’t recall Snyder ever putting in a shot that focused on showing off her a** when she entered the Batcave, or put in a scene where during a battle one of the male characters landed on top of her, making it look like they were doing it! And considering this came out months after the first Wonder Woman hit screens, I am actually surprised I didn’t see or hear anyone else notice this significant difference in her presentation.
You guys know how the MCU is sometimes criticized for making films that all feel lighthearted, focused on humor with no real dramatic feel? Well, you can take back all of that and aim it right at this film. Because this flick is the most lighthearted, empty superhero flick I have seen in a long time. The humor is amazing forced and completely out of place. And I feel so bad that The Flash is the one connected to this part of the movie the most. I mean, Barry probably is the hero that has the most jokes in the JL in the comics. But none of the jokes are good or land. “What’s the deal with brunch?” Oh shut up movie and your attempt to try and come across like Seinfeld! But I think the humor probably damaged Batman the most when it came to this movie, because even though he is still one of the better characters in this movie, there are many times where he is at odds with how he was depicted in BvS.
Now I know, not everyone like Snyder’s previous DC films. It did take me some time for me to actually realize the the reasoning behind many of the decisions made in those films. And I have come to appreciate what they offer, in some cases even kind of come around in how I think about them. But even I never did that, I would still feel horrible for everyone that really got into those films prior to this. Because this feels like a slap in the face to those films style, visuals, and storytelling. Seriously though, looking back at those films, I’m amazed at the difference in quality regarding the CGI. Yea yea, we all like to make fun of Clark’s generated lip. But all the other effects are still really bad. None of the visuals in this film can even compare to the striking images and frankly well done CGI of “Man of Steel” or “Dawn of Justice”.
And thankfully, we aren’t the only ones who realized this. Because recently, even studio executives admitted they didn’t like the movie when first screened it to them. Granted, they still released it because they wanted to keep their bonuses, but at least they weren’t completely blind to the situation. Look, at the end of the day, I still can’t really say this is the worst superhero/comic book movie I have ever seen. Back when I first watched this, part of me wanted to like it because tonally it did feel different. Like maybe the DCEU was going in a brighter direction. But looking back on it now, this feels like a movie that came out in the early 2000s. A flick that should never have happened in the first place. Now we know that it doesn’t really matter if all of DC’s films are part of cinematic universe with a unified looks. We are happy for each film to try and find their own tone and style, one that fits with the character and the story they want to tell. Just please don’t let something like this happen again.