Knightmare fuel CGI
Sorry, folks, but there's no getting around this: Henry Cavill's CGI mouth is as distracting as it is embarrassingly awful. Unless you're the most forgiving moviegoer on Earth, you were likely taken aback by its terrifying movements in the vast majority of Superman's scenes. Best case scenario, you snickered at the massive oversight and sat back to enjoy the action. Worst/more likely case, it completely took you out of every scene you saw it in and has haunted your dreams every night since. There's a big deal being made about this online, and frankly, the backlash is completely deserved. It's simply baffling that this was signed off on as passable CGI.
To make matters worse, CGI Cavill served as a clear as day indicator that the sequence you saw it in had come from the widely publicized reshoots, thereby proving that massive changes had been made to Zack Snyder's original cut of the film. In case you're keeping score at home, that means that every single Justice League scene featuring the Man of Steel was reworked to some degree.
The blame for this seemingly unnecessary distraction doesn't fall on Cavill, of course, as he was contractually obligated to keep his now legendary mustache for Mission: Impossible 6. It's a shame that the actor's opportunity to shed the doom and gloom of his previous outings is being so heavily overshadowed by special effects woes. That said, the CGI lip from hell wasn't the only shortcoming of Justice League's Superman. In fact, it's only a symptom of the larger problem.
The Superman fans wanted, but not one that the movie earned
Glaring mustache issues aside, final form Superman is a wonderful sight to behold. But while fans were cheering over the arrival of the "true" Man of Steel, essential aspects of his transformation were glossed over entirely. The last time this guy was among the living, he was still heavily wrapped up in what the public thought about him. Minutes before suffering a horrific death, he'd been nuked by the home team after being deemed an acceptable casualty by the U.S. government in their efforts to kill Doomsday. So it made sense that he was super confused once he'd been reanimated. The fact that he attacked the team after being provoked by Cyborg actually fit the MO of the character. But all that wonderfulness that comes afterwards sort of just...happens.
In the rushed way Superman's arc is presented in the final cut, it's implied that he's just too thrilled to be alive to give a damn about much else. But is the audience just supposed to accept that he's completely let go of everything that came before, that a brief stint clearing his head in the fields of Kansas has led to some sort of unspoken breakthrough? Whether or not you cared about Supes' internal conflicts from MoS and BvS, it's still a well-established aspect of his character -- and it's all but thrown out the window in the final act of Justice League. We definitely get the sense that a whole lot of character development was left on the cutting room floor in order to make Justice League a more simplistic superhero adventure (and to clock in under 2 hours, if you believe the rumors of a studio-mandated max runtime), and Kal-El may have paid the steepest price of all. While the end result is indeed the Superman fans were calling for, it's not one that this movie truly earned. Fingers crossed that an Ultimate Edition fleshes things out a bit more, we suppose.
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- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019