Film Review – Justice League (SPOILERS)


DIRECTED BY: Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon

STARRING: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K Simmons and Ciarán Hinds

 

SYNOPSIS

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

After the death of Superman, Bruce Wayne worries of a new, great threat that could strike Earth with the Kryptonian gone. Enlisting the help of Diana Prince, the two work quickly to recruit a team of metahumans to defend the planet from Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, who are searching for three Mother Boxes.

Following up on my spoiler free review, I’ll elaborate my thoughts furthermore in this spoiler-filled review.

 

I came into this film hoping that the group dynamic between the league members would be enough for me to enjoy this film and, for me personally, it was. Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is on a different path to what he was in Batman V Superman, deciding to team up with metahumans rather than be hellbent on bringing them down, as he looks at the bigger threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons making their way to Earth in order to find the three Mother Boxes. His interactions with Wonder Woman are a positive of the film, as is his brief mentorship with Barry Allen. Gal Gadot’s arc here as Diana Prince is another bright light in the film, almost as if they’re pushing Wonder Woman to become the front and center going forward in the DC film universe as he tried to push the role of being a leader behind but inevitably takes the role here in the battle against Steppenwolf. Bruce and Diana come to blows as they learn that the Mother Boxes can potentially resurrect Superman, with Bruce very much keen to not only bring him back to stop Steppenwolf but to bring back some hope to humanity. Diana, on the other hand, is against it, primarily as she remembers the result of Lex Luthor using Zod’s body to create Doomsday. This comes to a head when Bruce mentions Steve Trevor to Diana, saying that after his death she shut herself off from mankind whereas she should’ve been the beacon of hope like Superman was, which I thought was a good scene. When Superman is resurrected, we’re given the treat of a scene of him being confused and going full Kal-El once Cyborg unintentionally attacks him, leading to him beating the absolute hell out of the members of the League. My favourite moment in the scene, however, is when The Flash uses the Speed Force to make his move behind Superman as the rest of the League members are tackling him from the front and we see Superman following The Flash by the corner of his eye every step of the way. I liked the snippets of backstory we got around Arthur Curry and Victor Stone, while Barry Allen we’re more familiar with the backstory thanks to the television series in comparison with his visits to his father Henry Allen in prison. Jason Momoa definitely fits well with this macho persona of this big screen Aquaman and I did enjoy the scene with him opening up to the group as he is sitting on the Lasso of Truth, while I think Ray Fisher had the more difficult role of the new characters as Cyborg and thought he done well with the material he was given. The film definitely has a feel of the animated series of Justice League/Justice League Unlimited with its setup and go motto and the interactions amongst the characters and I feel that some fans of that growing up will see some similarities there. As for Henry Cavill’s return as Superman, I bloody loved it as he is resurrected to have the characteristics that people have wanted for the last two films, save people and have a smile on his face whilst doing so.

 

The biggest negative to come out of Superman’s resurrection for me is how it was actually handled. Using one of the Mother Boxes to bring him back felt like a cheap way to do it and having two Justice League members digging back up his body in the grave just didn’t sit right with me. It doesn’t help however that the film is ignoring the floating dirt from the end of Batman V Superman and it’s not the only thing that it’s trying to ignore from that film. The reshoots don’t particularly help matters, with Bruce going from beard to clean shaven upon his visit to meet Arthur Curry, to CGI’ed out mustache on Henry Cavill. I wonder how important the mustache is for Mission: Impossible 6, but it is noticeable which scenes are the reshoots for Cavill whenever he appears as the upper lip stands out a mile, though it doesn’t ruin particular scenes for me on repeated viewing of the film. Now I see a lot of people are stating that The Flash was their favourite character from the film and that Ezra Miller knocked it out of the part, but for me, I thought that The Flash was the weakest part. The portrayal of Allen was almost too-quirky for my liking, some of the light-hearted moments with him worked while some felt forced. The special effects are pretty below-spar in certain scenes, especially in the final act of the film when the League takes on the Parademons and Steppenwolf in Russia. Speaking of which, minus the fact that he serves a purpose of the time coming together and planning on world domination, Steppenwolf is a paper-thin villain, but not as bad as what Doomsday was. The script itself is pretty weak, whether that comes down to the rewrites on top of the original script. Example – why did Batman let the burglar go in the opening scene? Were they both in on it in order to bait the Parademon? Was there more to the family in Russia other than to showcase that the heroes actually do spend their time saving people as well as the main villain?

 

VERDICT

Even with it’s flaws, I still focused on the characters and their interactions and for the most part that worked for me, as did the action sequences in the sewer as well as against Superman. Superman was more of a beacon in five minutes than in the course of two films, Gal Gadot shines once again as Wonder Woman and the rest of the cast are fine as well. Too many cooks in the kitchen leave a undercooked storyline  for most people to enjoy and while I can understand people not liking it at all, I can see the DC film universe being fine moving forward, this just feels like the studio were feared to take the time that desperately needed to fix/reshoot everything they wanted/needed to and put it onto the big screen like this instead.  7/10

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