There are mixed opinions on Justice League.
In the one corner the film is being praised as the greatest film in the DC universe film canon since The Dark Knight. On the other side of the fence the film is being perceived as a jumbled mess of two directors visions, even inspiring a petition to have the original Snyder director’s cut restored for the home video release.
Justice League’s best acting talents needed more airtime
Whatever it’s strengths and weaknesses might be; the one part of this movie that is absolutely inexcusable is that the the talents of J.K Simmons and Jeremy Irons are under-used.
These two actors are up there with the best character actors in the business and they aren’t given a lot to work with. Both are cast as two rather well known characters in the Batman backstory but you could argue these are glorified cameos, whereas in previous Batman movies there were given a lot more gravitas.
J.K Simmons in Justice League
Let’s start with J.K. I remember when the first photo released of J.K hitting the gym getting in shape for the film. Those GUNS were huge. And then when the movie came around you saw more of his moustache being flexed than his muscles. What happened there? His moustache in the movie is badass however.
He looks the part of Commissioner Gordon but it’s hard to tell what his motivations are with barely one minute of screen-time. He doesn’t even get to tell bizarre comic relief jokes like Gary Oldman got the chance to perform in “The Dark Knight”. Do you remember Batman Begins stopping in it’s tracks with “I gotta get me one of those!” when the Batmobile flies past. Of course you do. It might not be Gary’s finest moment but at least he gets a chance to shine.
Jeremy Irons in Justice League
Let’s move on to Jeremy Iron’s. This man was the voice of Scar in The Lion King. He could say anything and it could sound cool. If you’ve got the chance to use Hans Gruber’s younger brother to carve through some delicious dialogue let’s get as much of it as we can!
Alfred has always had comedic elements to his character and in the comics; he’s almost 100% dedicated to either making a joke at Bruce or Batman’s expense of lightening the mood. Here the best he can do it make an outdated reference to Batman Returns. This new audience probably missed the punchline before the scene had well and truly moved on.
Despite its flaws Man Of Steel is the only film in the current DC universe to actually use supporting actors and their characters to their potential. Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner all had the spotlight at some stage and turned in memorable performances.
Having marquee names in a production is a truly wonderful thing. Unfortunately DC probably didn’t make the most of it here.