DC Comics movies seem to have the same problem. Watch “Suicide Squad” or “Justice League” and you’ll notice that the movie starts off slowly and keeps repeating itself by going over exposition time and time again. In “Suicide Squad,” every member of the suicide squad gets their origin story told multiple times. Isn’t of telling a story, this tactic simply tells us information so we can later understand the story. In the process, it delays the story and dulls all suspense and tension.
“Justice League” does the same thing where we see pointless action and endless explanations. The villain’s background is told by Wonder Woman and the mystery of three boxes is told and shown as the villains steals a box from Aquaman’s underwater kingdom and Wonder Woman’s isolated island. Watching the villain steal each box and fight minor characters who don’t play a role in the main story is pointless. Imagine if in “Star Wars” the movie focused on minor characters in the bar fighting, or if in “Die Hard,” the story suddenly switched to two architects on the street, arguing about the design of the skyscraper that the terrorists take over.
Endless exposition in “Justice League” simply drains the story of any excitement and wastes time showing us characters who play no part in the final story. The beginning of “Justice League” shows Wonder Woman saving people from a terrorist attack, yet these terrorists have nothing to do with the villain and her actions simply show what she’s capable of doing, which we already know. That entire scene is completely pointless and redundant.
There’s an opening scene where Batman fights some flying creature because it senses fear, yet there’s no explanation for how Batman knows this or why this is even important for him to do. Later we learn that this flying creature is helping the villain, but the opening scene makes little sense for the overall story.
“Justice League” simply wastes time explaining the story without actually giving us the story. Rather than tell us what’s going on, it’s far better to let the audience figure this out through drama. When Darth Vader blows up Princess Leia’s planet with the Death Star, that tells us everything we need to know about Darth Vader and the Death Star. When “Justice League” tells us about the history of the villain, it tells us the villain wants some boxes and is strong. Then it wastes time showing us this exact same thing a second time. Think of a car starting, stopping, starting, and stopping. That’s what DC movies like “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League” feel like.
Rather than tell us a story, “Justice League” tells us a single bit of information (the villain is powerful and wants some boxes) and then tells the same thing to us again and again. The movie is choppy as it bounces from one character to another, endlessly retelling us history without making this part of the actual story.
Imagine if instead of showing Luke torn between leaving his uncle’s farm and searching for an adventure, “Star Wars” simply devoted 30 minutes to showing us Luke’s history as a baby, growing up on his uncle’s farm as a kid, and learning to use various types of equipment as a teenager. How exciting would this be? The answer is not very exciting, and that’s the trouble with “Justice League” and “Suicide Squad.”
They don’t tell a story using drama. They tell a story by telling it to you and then showing you events afterwards. This gives the actual story precious little time to develop so the end result is a choppy, mess of special effects and fighting that means nothing in the end.
If you think you can’t write a screenplay, take heart that at your very worst, you could write a bad DC movie like “Suicide Squad” or “Justice League” without even trying. Now imagine if the screenwriters of those films actually tried to develop a story first before they wrote the actual screenplay.