With Batman v Superman getting mediocre reviews and a mixed reception earlier in the year, a lot of focus has been on the next film in the DC franchise. Hopes for many were high, as DC seemed to realise that their villains are far better Properties than the majority of their heroes and I’ll admit, even I was a a little excited. So have DC managed to follow up a weak start with success?
No. Allow me to tell you now why this film is Dawn of Justice style waste of IP’s.
This film isn’t particularly bad, you don’t leave the cinema feeling cheated in any way. In a lot of ways it does exactly what it says on the tin. If you sit down, turn your brain off and are easily impressed by pretty lights or characters looking bad-ass (which is done well) then you’ll likely be pleased as punch. But if you look a little deeper and consider the substance of the story you’ll be disappointed.
Right off the bat, why on earth did DC attempt to save this franchise with some of the most obscure characters they could scrape up? All of the notable villains were from Batman and the rest had a paragraph or so for their wiki pages at best. Not to mention the goofiness of characters like Captain Boomerang and Slipknot. Although all of them are played reasonably well it’s not exactly a bulletproof plan for building up excitement about a film. A lot of emphasis is placed on certain characters, namely Quinn and Deadshot but in reality there’s no substance to it. Apart from an opening slide outlining their powers we see no backstory to motivate any of these characters to allow us to feel a real connection or empathise with them. El Diablo is the one exception to this and is one of the better characters because of this, of course they then immediately get rid of him for no discernible reason. Having such minor characters be the stars allowed a whole new back story to be made around them and help us connect, but instead we just get another wasted opportunity.
Now lets talk about the elephant in the room. How Jared Leto has essentially destroyed the DC universe. There is hype, and then there’s the hype that this guy got. Jared Leto is not a bad actor and he’s a pretty popular guy, with all the stories coming out about how he was taking method acting to the next level to follow up Heath Ledger’s performance, how could he possibly do a bad job? Well, he does.
To start with the character is written poorly. DC seem to have the same issue with all of their characters now. They’re trying to find a middle ground between a comic book and ultra-realistic portrayal of them. It seems in practice however the only way to do it is fully commit to one side of the spectrum or the other. Ledger’s portrayal worked so well because they fully committed to realism, but this Joker is a mess at best.
Every time he’s on screen it seems as though he’s wondering what will freak people out as oppose to having that psychotic randomness that the joker is known for. The portrayal is overly flamboyant and this leads to it feeling unconvincing and hollow. Not to mention the relationship between the Joker and Quinn being totally against the comic portrayal; but that’s being commented on everywhere so I won’t touch upon it.
A good performance from everyone but Leto, yet no real substance to any of the characters with some like Croc being reduced to props and a plot that makes you wonder “If their mission was just to evacuate the HVT then leave, surely that means there was no plan for anyone to stop Enchantress so the whole finale was a mere coincidence?” I recommend this if you can turn off your brain for 2 hours, otherwise you’ll likely be disappointed.
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