6 Changes That Could Fix The Justice League Movie
In our recent podcast episode, we had a round table discussion with our friend Monte about the 2017 Justice League movie. For the most part we all agreed that it wasn't the worst thing DC and Warner Brothers has done but it was still far from perfect. It was poorly written, poorly constructed, had mediocre character development and a lackluster villain (though the villain problem seems to include most comic book movies these days.) A majority of the articles and suggestions I've seen online (for how to improve this movie) require starting from scratch. Some fans wanted a different story line or villain or recasting of characters altogether but I don't think we need to go that far. I believe that with a few minor changes, DC could have really knocked this thing out of the park. So here's my list of changes that I think could have fixed the Justice League movie. Obvious spoilers ahead.
#1 Release The Aquaman Movie First
The Justice League movie spends a lot of time, but not much detail, on the Mother Boxes that Steppenwolf is hunting down. There are three of these boxes that he must find. One is in Atlantis, one on Themyscira, and one in Metropolis. The movie has only a few minutes set in Atlantis and it's mostly just the scene where Steppenwolf steals that specific box. Releasing the Aquaman movie before Justice League would have given us some much needed back story on Atlantis, Aquaman, and their involvement in the great war (when the boxes were obtained.) This also would have reduced the amount of exposition we needed for Jason Momoa's character.
#2 Show Us The Box On Themyscira
This change is similar in that it involves the establishment of these Mother Boxes. The only difference here is that we did in fact get the Wonder Woman movie first. One thing that was missing from the film however was any mention of this box! In Justice League we see that it's a highly guarded relic kept in it's own chamber. All it would have taken was some mention of this in Pattie Jenkins film to help audiences draw the connection a little easier. Again, this would limit necessary exposition in the Justice League movie.
#3 The Parademons
In the opening scene of Justice League we see Batfleck stalking a criminal across the rooftops of Gotham. We quickly learn however that he's not interested in catching this guy for something he's done, Batman really just needs to use the guys fear so he can attract and catch a Parademon. What's a Parademon you might ask? I found myself wondering the same thing. You later find out through some quick dialogue that they are essentially the minions or soldiers that have followed Steppenwolf to Earth. This upfront confusion could have been easily avoided with some sort of context. Even a post-credit scene in Batman vs. Superman or an opening shot in JL of Batman uncovering some intel that was recovered from Lex Luthor would have been sufficient.
#5 Make Superman the Villain
The movie suffers from what feels like two story lines. One of the main objectives and plot points of the Justice League movie is the team building aspect including the resurrection of Superman. The other is the need to stop Steppenwolf from gathering the Boxes and rising to power. With a shorter run time, there is hardly enough room for all of these ideas to develop fully. My suggestion is to save Steppenwolf for the sequel (which we may or may not even get now) and have the first movie end at the resurrection of Superman. When they bring Clark back from the dead, he experiences some memory loss and begins attacking the League. This battle however is short and ends faster than it started. Making this moment the finale would allow for more time at the beginning of the film to introduce Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman, give more time for the emotional reunion of Lois and Clark, and allow for the League to come together in a meaningful way. Make the final scene the arrival of Steppenwolf as a cliff hanger to set up the sequel.
#6 Pick A Tone And Stick With It
The tone of the Justice League movie is all over the place. This is in part due to the fact that Zack Snyder had to step down for personal reasons towards the end of the production, and was replaced by Joss Whedon. The studios also kept their eye on things a little too closely. The result is a confusing blend of dark and brooding and comedic one liners. While I tend to prefer Joss's style, it clashes at times with the tone that Zack has spent the last few years developing.
So there you have it. A few suggestions to improve the mixed bag we got in theaters. No news yet as to wether or not we'll get to see the pre-Joss version on DVD but i'd be interested to see Zack's full vision. So did you see Justice League? What did you think of the movie? What usggestions would you make to fix it? Let us know in the comments below.