— SPOILERS for Justice League lie ahead —
As the critically and commercially underwhelming Justice League heads into its second weekend, we’re taking a look at the biggest plot holes we spotted in the Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon collaboration. Since the film is product of two directors, perhaps it was inevitable that it would arrive with its fair share of inconsistencies. As many of you know, Snyder stepped down midway through post-production due to a personal tragedy, and Whedon was called upon to step in and replace him at the helm. An extensive amount of reshoots were then ordered that completely reshaped the film, and the sweeping changes themselves are actually responsible for several of Justice League‘s logical gaps.
Whether or not the well-documented reshoots actually improved the film is a question fans may be asking for years to come. Calls for a Zack Snyder cut of the film will almost certainly fall on deaf ears; its release would completely undermine the version that hit theaters while undercutting any notion of a united front (to say nothing of the cost required to finish the effects on Snyder’s cut). Still, there’s strong evidence to suggest that Snyder’s version would at least partially explain most of the plot holes we’ve detailed below.
Read on to see if you can explain any of the plot holes we noticed in Justice League, or if you caught any other biggies that we missed!
5. That bizarre opening scene
Well technically, the first scene of Justice League served as the world’s introduction to the horrifying monstrosity that was CGI Henry Cavill, but the true opening salvo comes in a sequence set on the rooftops of Gotham City. In it, a nameless burglar (played by Holt McCallany, who just broke out in Netflix’s Mindhunter and really didn’t need to do this) crosses paths with Ben Affleck’s Batman as he exits a home after robbing it. We learn that the Dark Knight intends to use this small time thief as bait in order to trap a scout Parademon, as the alien foot soldiers are apparently attracted to fear. Things seem to go according to plan, though the Parademon explodes after being captured, and the Caped Crusader is left empty handed.
This is where things get murky. The green mess of goo the Parademon leaves behind inexplicably forms the shape of three boxes, which is definitely odd, but the real question marks arise out of Batman’s behavior post-spontaneous combustion. After a brief exchange with the thief (why in the world didn’t he take this as an opportunity to escape??), the World’s Greatest Detective radios home to Alfred to ensure that his trusty butler saw what just went down. Except he refers to Alfred by name, well within earshot of a common criminal. For a guy that’s usually all about keeping his identity a secret, this is a pretty reckless move.
To cap it off, the Dark Knight then dives off the rooftop without apprehending the criminal or alerting the authorities that an armed man is up there burglarizing homes. He even leaves him his gun. Sure, the Bat’s got bigger fish to fry, and above all else, this scene was really meant to introduce story elements that would come into play later on (the three boxes, the sound that the Parademons don’t like, and the fact that they’re attracted by fear). But in the end, Batman’s distinctly un-Batman-like behavior overshadows it all.
4. The invasion timing makes very little sense
The timing of Steppenwolf feels a bit off from an outside perspective, but an attempt to rationalize it is made at one point. According to the villain himself, he understands why the mother boxes waited until now to summon him, saying “The Kryptonian’s death plunged this timid world into such terror; Amazons, Atlanteans — each stands and falls alone.” The decision to strike comes as a direct result of the worldwide sorrow and fear felt in the aftermath of Superman’s death. The most powerful defender of Earth has been lost, making it an ideal time to invade.
Related: What Was Steppenwolf’s Plan?
There’s a few problems with this, not the least of which being that, just prior to his death at the hands of Doomsday, Supes wasn’t exactly the most popular being on the planet. Would the entire planet really be that upset over his passing, that terrified that his death would leave the Earth vulnerable to attack, that the collective fear of the world would awaken the mother boxes in a way that something like, say, the previous two world wars hadn’t done? You’d think that one of the two planet-wide conflicts Earth had endured in the century prior would have caused more global sorrow than the death of a single, widely divisive individual.
Of course, the real answer to any and all invasion timing questions is the same — there wasn’t a group of superheroes then, and therefore there wasn’t a potential movie. In-universe, however, those damn mother boxes sure did call back Steppenwolf at a terribly inopportune time.
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