Justice League post-credits scene explained

One of the best lines in Wonder Woman comes when Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) tells Wonder Woman, “Be careful in the world of men, Diana. They do not deserve you.” The same thing should be said of Amy Adams for the DCEU films. Adams is a great actress, but she continually gets short-changed in these films. Justice League gives her the least amount of material to work with, but the few moments we spend with her are wonderful. Perhaps the best part of Justice League is a quiet, funny scene between Adams and Diane Lane as Superman’s mother Martha (yes, that Martha). There are no explosions here; no fisticuffs. It’s simply a quiet, amusing scene between Adams and Lane as they bond over coffee and mourn the loss of Clark Kent. Can I please have more of this? Martha and Lois Lane hanging out and shooting the breeze?

As mentioned above, Ezra Miller’s Flash is a treat. While he gets stuck with a lot of jokes that fall-flat, Miller delivers them all with gusto, and he’s easily the most-relatable member of the team. The sooner he gets his own standalone film, the better off the DCEU will be. I didn’t quite buy into the subplot involving Barry working to exonerate his convicted felon father – the details are incredibly scant, so it’s hard to really latch onto this – Miller does his best to sell it. Most of the comedy that works here is the result of Miller’s facial expressions – he always looks bewildered, like a kid on Christmas. He also gets to make a pretty amusing Pet Sematary joke, which is something I never thought I’d see in one of these films.

One last positive thing: at one point, Jeremy Irons is forced to say “Aquaman.” He pronounces it as “AHK-WAH-MAN” and it’s delightful. I wish Iron was in James Wan’s standalone Aquaman film just so I could hear him pronounce it again and again.

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A Snack Hole: What Doesn’t Work

There’s a scene in Wonder Woman where Diana, having spent her entire life on a picturesque island, takes one look at the cold, dirty visage of London and says, “It’s hideous.” That’s how Justice League feels. This is one of the most visually unappealing blockbusters in recent memory. A blob of steel-grays and rash-reds that don’t so much blend together as they do clash and make your eyes ache. There is no excuse to make a film this ugly anymore. During an extended fight scene in a sewer, where the Justice League does battle with Parademons, the screen could’ve been filled from top to bottom with a Brillo pad and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Cinematographer Fabian Wagner should have to turn in his DOP badge and gun for this one.

Much has already been made about how still-credited director Zack Snyder left Justice League before the film was finished, and Avengers director Joss Whedon came in and handled reshoots to get the film across the finish line. I won’t speculate about how much of the film is Snyder’s and how much of it is Whedon’s, but it’s clear Whedon did extensive work on the film, especially when you consider the trailers for Justice League, which are loaded with shots not in the final film. That said, it is painfully obvious this is the work of two different filmmakers.

Snyder’s penchant for money shots drastically clash with Whedon’s more pithy, quippy character moments. The end result is a schizophrenic film that can’t keep track of itself. In an opening scene, we see a clean-shaven Batman prowling the rooftops of Gotham. Yet the next time we see him, he’s sporting a huge beard. Then he shaves the beard off. You can argue this is all just meant to show the passage of time, but it happens so quickly that it becomes distracting.

I don’t know who to blame for the over-sexualization of Wonder Woman – Snyder or Whedon – but either way it’s glaring. Patty Jenkins didn’t shy away from highlighting how attractive Gal Gadot is, but Justice League hammers its audience over the head with this. The camera doesn’t present her here, it oogles her, taking its sweet time to shoot Gadot from the ground up, never missing an opportunity to focus on her rear end. It’s explicit, and unnecessary.

One thing we can firmly lay at the feet of Whedon is the film’s lighter tone. Whedon is, after all, known for his breezy, comical, pop-culture infused dialogue. Unfortunately, the “jokes” in Justice League don’t work at all. They almost all fall flat, and what’s worse, the editing of the film builds-in pauses after the jokes, assuming the audience will be cracking up and might need a moment to recover. But that hilarity never comes, resulting in very awkward beats of silence. Near the end of the film, Wonder Woman surveys the blunderings of her male counterparts and quips “Children,” and then there’s a pause that feels as if it lasts for ten full minutes before she finishes with, “I work with children!” It’s excruciating.

The dialogue in general is atrocious, filled with moments where characters keep spouting exposition riddled with clunky line-reads. When Batman first meets Aquaman, he addresses the underwater hero as “Arthur Curry, also known as the protector of the oceans!” Who the fuck talks like that? Sure, this is a comic book movie and some theatricality and suspension of disbelief is required, but that is painfully bad dialogue.

The script in general, by Whedon and Chris Terrio, is the film’s biggest problem. Perhaps a longer cut gives everyone more to do, but as it is here, every character except Batman gets short-changed. One gets the sense of the film trying to give Wonder Woman more to do since her solo film was the best entry in the DCEU so far, but she’s mostly stuck striking cool poses and bickering with Batman. The rest of the team doesn’t fare well either. Momoa is clearly trying to have fun with his Aquaman, but the character is a walking cliche; a bro’ed-out surfer dude who brings very little to the team. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg gets the shoddiest treatment of the bunch, which is a shame because Fisher’s performance is quite good. But it’s clear the film itself just isn’t interested in him or his character.

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About the Author

Chris Evangelista is a writer who frowns a lot. He's contributed to CutPrintFilm, /Film, Mashable, and more. You can follow him on Twitter @cevangelista413