Tag Archives: Bruce Wayne

Film Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

The immaculate success of Snyder Cut is built on two factors. One is Zack Snyder‘s determination to stay true to its roots of understanding that what he planned for his DC Extended Universe (DCEU) beginning from Man Of Steel (MOS) and continuing to Batman v Superman (BvS) was right no matter how severe were the criticisms that he received. The other is the passion of DC fans who believed in Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League (JL) film, a soul that was besmirched by the-then CEO of Warner Bros. (WB) Entertainment, Kevin Tsujihara, who decided to screw the tone set for DCEU films and make it light and apply forced humor to drag the DCEU in an unconditional sprint race with the already well-established and globally-accepted Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by appointing Joss Wheddon to complete the film and cut the length of 4 hours of the screentime of the film to only 2 hours. Results were pathetic, outrageous, and spine-breaking consequences resulting in Warner Bros authorities deciding to wide-open the slates of DC films and go solo for different projects. Snyder’s DCEU had lost the soul but DC fans protested/demanded to release Snyder’s version for years.

Global fans demanding to release a film they are wanting to watch had never practically happened before. The fans were right that Zack Snyder was right; global fans who demanded to release Snyder’s vision believed in his vision. The original idea about Justice League is now finally released and I wholeheartedly accept that Zack did it, he f**king did it. Whatever rumors or leaks media revealed about Zack’s original works all these years were all true. Whatever we came to know about his works all these years was all true.

After four years of wait, a wait that built more anxiousness after Snyder announced that the project will finally be released, I thoroughly watched this 4-hour mega film with the rollercoaster of emotions and excitement. And by watching this epic, I realized how Snyder Cut distinguishes a comic book film between DC and Marvel. Marvel films cannot be DC, and DC cannot be Marvel, in a positive way. Both are different universes with great superheroes, great supervillains, and extraordinary stories told in the past 75 years. Trying to be like each other loses the identity and soul during the process. This Snyder Cut is the most DC thing to have happened in years.

This Snyder Cut makes a statement and crashes the-then bosses of WB and the decision to appoint Joss Wheddon to dust. This film exposes how ugly was the previous JL film. If the audience was disappointed to watch that two-hour film, this film will make hate it more. Every single mistake that film made, every single plothole that came into existence to confuse the audience has been totally cleared with such a deconstructive construction of screenwriting in a cohesive way.

Does The Screentime Of The Film Justifies?

It took two hours for Batman to gather a team and around three hours for Steppenwolf to get all the mother boxes. And then the screentime of the theatrical cut was 2 hours.

Should the film be four-hours long? I liked and favored MCU’s idea of the foundation by going solo for the first superheroes and unifying them into The Avengers film in the first phase and this is how a successful foundation helped the universe construct a strong nexus to many future projects that were bound to be accepted with commercial success. Zack had his own way of storytelling and I respect that. Because four years ago, in the theatrical cut, building a team without understanding the superheroes was unimaginable but Snyder Cut is very distinguished storytelling. This lengthy film guarantees and justifies that introducing superheroes for a mission with enough detailed minutes was the right decision in its own way. Nothing was rushed; Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg, they all get enough space to decide whether joining Batman and Wonder Woman to fight the war was the holy submission or a fool’s paradise.

Interesting Developments

Of course, I am not going to write every new thing the film added as the reel itself is two hours longer than the theatrical cut. So I will restrict to a few important events that happened in this film that builds the future.

Steppenwolf finds out the formula his lord, Darkseid, was searching for thousands of years, the anti-life equation. After failing to form the unity from the mother boxes, if Darkseid actually gets the weapon, he will be the supreme overlord of the universe. The original face or the character design of Steppenwolf from BvS has been restored. And generally, Steppenwolf has one of the best character developments in the film.

Then there is the gamechanger when The Flash saves the day by running back in time by using the Speed Force and giving the chance to Cyborg to separate the mother boxes. He says to himself that he has to break the rule. He talks about the rule twice in the film, previously when he helps in resurrecting Superman. That means The Flash already is a veteran speedster who had his moments of heroics in Central City fighting against some major crimes where he was forced to use this speed force. And this is why, The Flash’s solo film holds a lot of importance, especially if the film is based on the Flashpoint story.

In another scene, Martian Manhunter shapeshifts to Martha Kent and meets and motivates Lois Lane to start a fresh life. This comes surprising that the alien, the last survivor from Mars knows who Clark Kent is. He even visits Bruce Wayne and alerts him for the coming war that further confirms that he knows everything and has been following the developments for some time.

This film officially introduces Dr. Ryan Choi who is working in S.T.A.R. Labs. In comics, Ryan Choi is Atom. Yes, the body shrinker and another superhero, that will hopefully join the league. With the appearance of Choi, there may be a possibility that the first Atom, Ray Palmer, exists. Because in comics, Ryan Choi was Ray Palmer’s protégé.

Barry informing Bruce that he is fluent in Gorilla Sign Language is an understood indication that Gorilla Grodd does exist. Maybe, he shows up in The Flash film.

One of the most important moments in the film was Diana coming to know the biggest mystery – Darkseid. When Queen Hippolyta alerts Diana by shooting a firing arrow that drops straight into a Greek temple, she tries to discover the hidden secrets of the place. She finds a secret door, enters and many cave drawings about the ancient wars and the mother boxes are revealed to her. And this is where she finds out about Darkseid. All this scene never showed up in the theatrical cut and the audience thought perhaps Diana knew all this a long time ago while informing about the incoming war to Bruce. But the importance is that this scene gives a lot of weight to the development of Diana’s character.

One major of many improvements was the revival of Cyborg’s importance to this film. The old version gave Cyborg so few minutes that his significance in the team looked almost secondary but Snyder Cut propels the understanding that this fight with Steppenwolf and his army cannot be won without Cyborg at all. I am astonished by the fact that the heroes carried ‘almost’ the same weight as Batman and Wonder Woman. Barry and Arthur had their own heroics to save the day.

A needless element that was respectfully removed in the restoration of our faith in the JL project was discarding most of the forced humor. There was no joke about Bruce asking Arthur if he talks to fish, no Arthur confession to Diana on the lasso, no Batman fall from the height after Superman flies taking Lois with him, no comparisons of Flash rescuing a family in the car to Superman lifting and flying the entire building, no silly nonsense at all. The light humor was set only on Barry which was acceptable due to his fun-nature and being the youngest in the team.

Special praise to Zack Snyder for directing the ancient war that was fought 5000 years ago between Darkseid and his legion against a unified alliance of Atlanteans, Amazons, Olympian Gods, and the defenders of the earth that had so many historic legends like Britishers from the Middle-Age, the Mongols, Muslim warriors from ‘perhaps’ the times of Ghaznavid or Mughal empires. I think Zack got this idea of war from George Perez‘s comic book miniseries, War Of The Gods.

The epilogue part is the one that has new fresh scenes since Zack Snyder broke the news. In a very dystopian setup, Batman forms a team to take on evil-Superman and gives more details about this crazy adventure that surely looks like are the developments for the JL sequel (if announced).

Plus/Minus

The biggest accomplishment of Zack Snyder’s Justice League is that just like the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman fixed the plotholes of its theatrical cut, it has also fixed the puzzles and made the audience understand what looked like terrible mysteries, or the questions that went unanswered. The foundation of this universe and the creation of this team is now eventually acceptable. And just like BvS, we all audience once again will wish if this Snyder Cut was released four years ago, would have done wonders on the box-office and this DCEU would have been right on track.

There are ‘minor’ negative points but not blunders at all. For example, Wonder Woman’s new theme is needlessly overused. Then, in the ancient war, only one Green Lantern, Yalan Gur, shows up. Only one? How come the Guardians in Oa sends only one representative to fight this war?

And technically, just an opinion of a film critic no matter how much I loved this film on a personal note, this film achieves less. The motive behind making and releasing this film is to make the audience watch what was supposed to release in the theatres in the first place. The motive is to fix the plotholes and make the story understandable and convincing as it should have been a long time ago.

But from the very same perception of making this film, Zack Snyder’s film successfully develops the characters, most importantly Cyborg. The film directly connects with all the major films pretty well. With more screentime, the audience is mesmerized with more action and more sub-plots. Fabian Wagner’s cinematography and the new score by Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) attracts the screenwriting. Visual effects are stunning. Thank God, the red sky in the final battle changed. 

Will Justice League Gets Its Sequel?

Does the film hold the future for further continuity or if this is the end of Snyderverse? This is a big question but not a mystery to me. Warner Bros. has no plans to let Zack Snyder carry the torch but the success of this film can manipulate or shall I say reverse the decision. The film ends with an extremely enormous cliffhanger and the plot concludes raising a lot of questions that have been risen in the epilogue.

WB has to release future DCEU films like sequels of Shazam, Aquaman, and Suicide Squad. The Flash is a very important film to happen as I wrote above. So I think, the time is right for the authorities to reconsider the future of JL films. It is time to learn from the gravest mistakes WB has made in the past and execute better plans. There is no way the continuity from Snyder Cut will go uncertain. If a less-important project of this universe like Suicide Squad can get a sequel, if a needless film like Birds Of Prey can happen then I see no reason how Zack Snyder cannot get the chance to work on the sequel. After all, JL is the most important of all events.

How Will The JL Story Continue?

I think the Knightmare scene and The Flash warning Bruce from the future and then the scenes from Epilogue are all deconstructive parts of JL’s sequel. After Steppenwolf dies, Darkseid tells Desaad to ready the armada and use the old ways because anti-life is found. So what I am believing is that Darkseid will arrive with his legion to the surface where the anti-life equation exists and will kill Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. By killing Lois, Darkseid will manipulate Superman and appoint him his deputy in Steppenwolf’s place by anti-life. Darkseid will guide Superman to the wrong path and fill his ears with lies that his Lois died because of Bruce Wayne.

Yes, Darkseid will know Batman’s identity because Steppenwolf will have informed his lord about the leak as Steppenwolf must have definitely been informed by none other than Lex Luthor when he met him in Superman’s spaceship. If Lex can inform Deathstroke, then why not Steppenwolf?

Batman will form a team comprised of Cyborg, The Flash, Mera, Joker, and Deathstroke to save the world. How come Deathstroke joins Batman? Maybe we come to know in the sequel but it is not as crazy as observing Joker in Batman’s team. While fighting, the parademons will capture Batman and send him to Superman. With the arrival of Superman in one of the caves where Batman is imprisoned, his mercenaries will bow to him. Within a few steps, Superman will kill his teammates by heat vision who are most likely to be Deathstroke, Mera, Joker, Cyborg but not Barry. Superman will take off Batman’s cowl and tell that Lois was his world and he took her from him and will eventually kill him. The cowl will be in his hand while he is in the air with omega-sign behind him. Barry will again use the speed force and run back in time to alert Bruce in the past and alarm him that Lois is the key and find them. While running back in time, he may enter the multiverse and may meet other Batmen, most importantly Michael Keaton‘s Batman. In this way, The Flash becomes an important film if it really builds the story in continuity on Flashpoint storyline. Yeah, this all sounds pretty crazy but this is just my theory of how I see this all developing. Who knows, only time will tell. For this moment, all I can say is “Thank You, Zack Snyder”.

Ratings: 8.8/10

Note: Most of the sources of the images in this blog are inserted in the images. A few images with no source indicate my screenshots.

Film Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

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The third chapter of the DC Universe, Suicide Squad, is itself a suicidal and wasteful event coinciding the events of BatSup and parallel to the events happening in the upcoming Justice League (JL) film. The screenplay of the first 30 minutes of the screen time is faster than Barry Allen’s speed. Actually, a roller coaster ride where you try to adjust yourself to the altitude but have to do nothing but scream. The viewers will meet the same fate in this period of half an hour and it will look like a 30-minute over-exaggerated trailer.

No matter how slow-and-sound was the beginning of director David Ayer‘s Fury, this is the contrary. Keeping in mind this is such a major franchise and a freshly baked existence of some Suicide Squad comprised of dangerous super villains, the makers should have properly introduced these characters and build it to our understanding. They just didn’t define these people and kept them raw to the viewers.

My first and primary objection towards the film basically is the reason of the making of Suicide Squad. After the BatSup events, was the creation of a super villains squad necessary? Absolutely not! It never made any sense. A.R.G.U.S. intelligence officer, Amanda Waller‘s plan to assemble Task Force X for a top secret mission makes you think for a moment that the whole story or the film could have been skipped for the sake of some other introductory origins-based film on any iconic superhero.

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Hardly a 5-second cameo of Barry Allen indicates the parallel connectivity of the upcoming JL film. The trailer of JL which was released a few months ago showed Barry accepting Bruce Wayne‘s offer to join a team of superheroes and here we see him helping A.R.G.U.S. to catch his enemy, Captain Boomerang. Another possibility to Barry’s cameo is that A.R.G.U.S. may have known Barry before Bruce hired him due to the fact that Amanda passed government files to Bruce which are based on metahumans that included pages on Barry and Arthur. In any case, it was a very short cameo but an interesting hint.

One of the major expectations from the film was the introduction of Batman’s most famous arch-enemy, Joker played by Jared Leto. 8 years after the events of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight involved Heath Ledger‘s version of Joker. Sadly the Leto one doesn’t come to the expectations after all the hype and legacy which Heath left on us. Joker’s involvement to the film is highly questionable. Not that the onscreen appearance of Joker is quite less than expected but the character’s involvement in the story of Suicide Squad doesn’t justify. Joker simply has no prominence in the film due to the fact his role is short for a reason.

Attached to Joker is the origin of Dr Harleen Quinzel. That famous interview with Joker in his cell which made her Harley Quinn is extremely short. The scene deserved a lengthy interview and expanding the after-effects could have given much a deserving screen-time to both from the origins. Shockingly, the entry of Joker in the film was very very ordinary.

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Another minus of the film is the script which offers Batman and Joker sharing the same screen but does not confront. The mystery behind Robin‘s torn suit in BatSup film is still enclosed for God knows what reason. When the stories of different films in the same universe are interconnected in the same timeline, the balance of longevity should be cohesive. Robin’s death deserved a minor flashback in the film to solidify Joker’s involvement in the film.

Is there anything impressive about the film? Yes! The music department of the film has much to offer than the story and continuity. Academy award winning musician, Steven Price has produced a very impressive musical score with many attractive soundtracks fitting your mood with the scenes. The visual effects and costume designs are remarkable.

Performance wise, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is the clear winner. Her depiction of madness to the character is the one that steals the show. Paul Dini, the creator of the character has highly praised Margot’s role. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is another major impressive number as she continues to impress the viewers in recent years from the ABC show How To Get Away With Murder. Will Smith as Deadshot and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress were average performers. The rest were below par. Mid-credit scene is quite interesting which connects the building of the Justice League.

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If Suicide Squad was the priority to produce after the events of BatSup, then the film badly lacked heavy writing. The characters are not detailed and the story itself is flat to the connectivity. Yes, it is entertaining with the flavour of humour added but then I would state the obvious that it is the script which attracts the viewers, not the proposal of adding humour for the sake of filling cinema houses. David Ayer’s direction is a question mark and nowhere to the level of excellence where he made Fury.

The problem between the shared universe is now the artistic creativity. There is a tremendous difference of pace and mode in both films, BatSup and Suicide Squad. If BatSup is dark and slow, then Suicide Squad is the contrary. When you shape a universe with different storylines and characters to describe and shot, the momentum is highly required to balance the films and bridge the gaps. Being the initial phase of DC extended universe, every film is playing a different note altogether. The continuity and conclusion of BatSup directly connect with the upcoming JL film but before the film releases, the producers will educate you the whos and whys of Diana Prince in next installment. The viewers who do not read comic books on these iconic superheroes have no luxury of understanding these powerful dudes but have to struggle and understand them after watching JL as the solo films on Barry and Arthur are bizarrely slated after JL. In the same case, the viewers who have never read about the team of super-villains in comics are and will be completely at a loss while watching the film and making it look overstuffed. DC/WB people must consider changes in their strategy and forget about catching a supersonic train which takes them to their rivals.

Ratings: 4/10

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