Weekend Superhero: Justice League Looks Like CGI Vomit
I promise, one of these days I’m going to write a positive article about DC. In fact, I was prepared to write something about how Tom King’s “Batman” run is the best main-title hero comic DC has put out in years. But then this travesty hit the internet on Saturday and I couldn’t resist. The first full Justice League trailer has been released, and it is exactly what I expected: more of the same garbage.
I’ve seen a lot of headlines and comments saying that this trailer looks great and people are optimistic it’ll shake Warner Bros and DC out of their movie funk. These are the words of desperate people, horribly in denial about the reality of the situation. This trailer is awful, and it’s done nothing to convince me Justice League will be worth watching. Let’s attack this piece by piece.
Story – The only hint we get at the story in this trailer is that “they’re coming” and, oh wait, “they’re already here”. Based on the end of Batman v Superman, I imagine this is referring to Darkseid and his army. So what will the physical manifestation of the threat be? You can take a peak at that at around the 30-second mark of the trailer. On the right side of the screen, you can see some gross, CGI robot monster with tentacles. This could be a misdirection, since that scene features Victor Stone’s (Cyborg’s) father, and the CGI robot monster could be an early version of Cyborg himself. But if that’s the case and then we truly have no glimpses of the enemy, I am reminded of the Suicide Squad trailer. Remember how the enemies in Suicide Squad ending up being completely bland, brown blobs that came in wave after dull wave? Well if Darkseid has sent an army of gross CGI-robot monsters, be prepared for more of the same.
CGI – Let’s talk more about gross CGI robot monsters. Rather, let’s talk about Cyborg and how he looks absolutely godawful. I mean, look at him. How could you look at that and be impressed? Have you never seen a special effect before? That moment at the 50-second mark when he says “You should probably move”, are you watching his face? Do you see how completely rubbery the features are and how completely out of sync the audio is? Did you notice how his body looks like a rejected Transformers design? I know enough about DC movies to know that that’s not stand-in VFX and audio; that’s the final product.
Let’s leave off Cyborg for a second, and approach the action as a whole. Did you notice how every scene in the trailer appears to take place in a nondescript void of murky silver? Who decided this color palette? Colors can be really fun to play with. Colors like blue and orange are natural complements and so when they are placed on top of each other, they both pop out and create a really beautiful, natural visual effect. Do you know what isn’t the complement of grey? More grey. Look at the picture I put at the top of this article. Notice how Cyborg practically disappears into the background, because the color and design of his body is identical to his surrounding. Notice how Aquaman and Wonder Woman are completely washed out because the colors of their own costumes have been dulled to match a dreary tone that nobody wants. That is such a disgusting picture, and it’s meant to be hero shot that drives us to the theater! Unacceptable.
Acting – I will never let the following fact go: Gal Gadot cannot deliver lines convincingly. Her accent completely butchers her lines and makes it impossible for her to put emotion into it. This is really the only negative I have to say about the acting. Ben Affleck is a good Batman as we already know. I think his delivery of the “I’m rich” joke to Barry Allen is pretty solid. I think those two can potentially have great chemistry. That’s the only positive thing I will say about this trailer.
So what do you think? Am I just a cynical hater that can’t appreciate “cool” things? Or maybe I just have standards for what makes something cool. As a final note, I noticed that Superman was absent from this trailer. Who wants to put money on him not joining the team until the final sequence of the movie, when our heroes are at an “all is lost” moment?