Movie Review – Justice League

Justice League is the second entry from DC this year, following up on their most successful all around outing in Wonder Woman.  As we all know the going has been very rocky for the DC slate as two of the first four entries – Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad – were absolutely savaged by critics with 20-something ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and only approval in the 60s from fans, which is not good for superhero films.  And then there’s the first movie in the bunch, Man of Steel, which kinda split the difference on both fronts.  So how would this one turn out?  Justice League is meant to serve as a closing chapter of sorts for the onscreen creation story of DC’s Justice League, a full character realization of sorts for DC’s Trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and an introduction of new movie characters in Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg.  So there was a lot to accomplish in a short (for comic book movies) runtime of two hours.  Would they do it?

The plot, despite all I just mentioned, is pretty simple.  Steppenwolf, god like invader from the world of Apokolips, has returned to Earth after a prior defeat centuries ago to gather three devices, called mother boxes, to take over the place.  While that’s going on Batman is looking to gather together the superpowered people he discovered in Dawn of Justice to form a team to stop him.  Along the way we get to know Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman while the team bonds together and focuses on its goal, and of course at some points desperate times will call for desperate measures, some of which surround the return of a certain deceased superhero to the land of the living.

Likes

The character interactions were really good.  Whether it was Batman and Wonder Woman, Batman and Aquaman, Cyborg and Flash, or Flash and Superman to name a few in my opinion they were all well done and were very entertaining.  The banter between teammates is a crucial part of all these team up movies and can make or break it.  Here they interjected the right amounts of humor and seriousness to make it all work well.  The casting choices are a big part of that as well  Say what you want about Zack Snyder but a lot of the performances that people have raved about – namely Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg – are results of his decision making.

Cyborg was a pleasant surprise, and his exchange with his father early in the film was pretty poignant.  By movies end I felt like he’d earned his spot on the team and wasn’t a misplaced Teen Titan (more on that later).  Flash stole almost every scene he was in as well and was a big part of the lighter moments in the film.  Gal Gadot picked up where she left off in her performance as Wonder Woman, and we got the Superman that a lot of people have wanted from day one.  The fight scenes between the league members and Steppenwolf were well done, as was the action where Steppenwolf fought the Amazons. Overall the fight scenes were a plus.  

Dislikes

There have been a lot of digs about the CGI; for the most part I don’t harp on that but Superman’s face was weird looking.  Henry Cavill was shooting another movie and they had to cover up the mustache he had for that role.   It’s not a movie killer but it does stand out.  The score wasn’t anything to write home about.  Music can add so much to a movie and they blew that here.  Of course that didn’t help anyone like Batman vs Superman anymore so you can argue that it doesn’t matter but I think a great score is always worth having. 

Other things

Steppenwolf was an adequate villain.  He didn’t have a bunch of memorable lines but he was a physically imposing enemy and got the better of the league members in battle enough to be a real challenge.  He’s not Heath Ledger’s Joker or Loki or Ultron, but he did the job as an adversary in my opinion.  

The other complaints you may hear about it are subjective matters in my opinion.  If you stay home because you don’t like the way Flash’s suit looked or that Cyborg is a league member (even though he’s been one in the comics for six years now), then I got nothing for you.  It ain’t that serious, folks.  Same goes for their storyline choices.  Where I’m from you shouldn’t be prejudging a movie a year out like that and then walking in ready to nitpick because you don’t like some choices they made.  Just go and judge it for what you get and not some preconceived idea for what you think they should have done.  

Overall Verdict: 8.5/10

I thought it was really good.  The characters were all well done and each got their moment to shine with each other and on their own,  the fights were well done and the humor was well placed without feeling forced.  Despite all the hubbub about what was edited I thought what they got in was very good.  No movie is perfect obviously but this is a good one that’s worth your time even if you didn’t like some of their previous entries.

And now for a rant…….

Stop with the selective nitpicking already.  These are movies about people who wear costumes and fight monsters, aliens, and killer robots.  Some are better than others but all of them require you to not pore over them with a microscope to enjoy them.  Trust me even your favorite superhero movie can be nitpicked into absurdity if you so choose.  They all have leaps of logic and depend on nonsensical things to make the story work.  Whether you find one movie’s logic leaps acceptable or not is purely subjective and can often depend on how you go into the movie.to start with.  If you come to find crap to complain about chances are you’ll get something.

Anyhow…..I liked it a lot.  If you’re thinking about seeing it all go aheas and do it.  

 

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