Justice League

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Plot:       ☆☆☆

Acting:   ☆☆☆☆☆

Visuals:  ☆☆☆☆

Music:    ☆☆☆☆

Overall: 16/20  –  A

Director: Zack Snyder

Actors: Gal Gadot, Ben Afleck, Jason Mamoa, Ezra Miller

 

Yes, yes. I know. This was released AGES ago.  Between real life and the holidays, I don’t know where the time has gone. But the important thing now, is to let my thoughts on Justice League be heard. While I did get to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi in theaters with Movie Buddy (in IMAX no less), we were unfortunately unable to join up to see Justice League. This was mostly due to funerals and illnesses. Trust me, Justice League was way better than those. In fact, Justice League made an enormously refreshing change from the mind-numbing attributes of Batman V. Superman. I apologize if that is your favorite movie, but it seriously drove me nuts. The plot line dragged, nothing made me laugh and literally everything made me ask “Is it over yet?” Luckily, this was not the case for Justice League.

The Plot:

I’m not going to lie, this is still the weakest part of the DC movies I’ve come across. I can’t figure out what the deal is, but it feels like they have the villains, but then don’t know what to do with them. There’s absolutely no unpredictability in Steppenwolf. I have a feeling that if I knew what Steppenwolf was actually capable of according to the comic-verse, I’d probably be even more offended than I already am. Especially since it seems like he is taken down with relative ease. At least the script-writers took to heart that fans were not happy with the casualty list from Man of Steel and remedied it by evacuating the town before destroying it. The little minion flying bugs remind me of the Geonosians from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. They don’t seem menacing or deadly in the slightest despite their attempt at making them so. In short, the villains seem weak.

The one thing that I do appreciate is the way the team finally comes together. I do hope that there is more of each character to come because while they work well as a unit, you don’t get to see much of their individual traits come to the front on screen. Wonder Woman and Batman are fine since they’re already established by their own movies, but Cyborg, Aquaman, and Flash are a bit underdeveloped. For someone who is new to the DC movie, if I have to rely only on what I see and not on MB’s comic book knowledge, I would be completely lost. It takes the team a while to get together, with at least half the movie focusing around Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman trying to find everybody. This runs parallel with the finding and taking of cubes. What these cubes are, I have no idea. Somehow they are supposed to reform the world. I honestly couldn’t tell you. However, I can tell you that the Amazons and the Merpeople fight minor battles to protect it and each one fails. I wish there had been more of the merpeople. The Amazonians put out a poor showing. I do not feel like these are the same Amazonians of Wonder Woman, who help take down Ares in their day. They have nowhere near the finesse that they do in the previous film. Those were role models worth looking up to, particularly for young girls.

The Acting:

I have to admit, I don’t mind Ben Afleck in the role as Batman. Christian Bale will always be my choice for Batman, but Afleck did much better in this one. More snarky sass and less homicidal tendencies does wonders for your reputation. Gal Gadot returns as the amazing Diana and as usual nails it completely. However, the one that made it for me was the addition of Ezra Miller as The Flash. I’m recently new to the Ezra Miller bandwagon, but it seems like it’s a well deserved wagon. He’s got it down, everything from body language to snappy delivery, to awkward fidgets. I sincerely hope he keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s definitely one to watch out for.

Jason Momoa is another welcome addition. I’ve got to admit, I don’t know anything, and I mean ANYTHING about Aquaman besides he can swim really well. So whether he does justice to the character or not is beyond my scope to decide. However, I can fully appreciate the snarkiness, gruffness, and go get-em attitude. I’m glad to see there is an Aquaman movie coming out (but slightly bitter that it’s taken three times as long for a Black Widow movie to appear). My only fear is that he ends up being typecast which would be a tragedy for the acting world. And last but not least is Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Not gonna lie. Don’t know who he is. The fact that he is transitioning into screen-acting is definitely interesting. To be honest, I didn’t learn much about Cyborg in the movie either. But luckily, he gets his own movie as well. So go team!

The Visuals:

The color palette of this movie is weirdly fascinating to me. I don’t typically notice colors so much as I do the CGI, but in this movies the colors are really pretty. If there is a cold, gray landscape, then the people stand out. The entire battle sequence against Steppenwolf, while plot-wise unremarkable, is actually visually stunning with just enough mixture of colors and fantastical imagery. As stated before, the monsters looked like recycled Geonosians from Star Wars and I can’t even tell you how Steppenwolf looks because his character is honestly forgettable which seems regrettable. However, aside from that final battle, and the epicness that usually surrounds The Flash, there aren’t any scenes that really stood out to me as being visually stunning.

The Music:

I had to go back and re-listen to the soundtrack because I didn’t remember any of it. The fact that Danny Elfman’s name is attached to it already tells me many things. There’s going to be a great deal of whimsy interjected into it through use of various percussion instruments and that it’s going to have a lot of highs and lows in terms of emotional content. Elfman is very good at injecting a sense of urgency into his music. There’s a reason why he’s one of my favorite composers in the business. Good scores enhance the action on the screen. Great scores evoke enough emotion that you can essentially rewatch the movie by listening to the soundtrack. Sadly, it’s been long enough since I’ve seen the movie (and I only saw it once) that I can appreciate the score for what it is, but not enough that it makes me want to run right out and get it. However, it is nice that each superhero gets their own theme. I do love being able to pick out Wonder Woman’s entrances and exits.

This was a solid attempt on Snyder’s part to further the DC universe. It was a much better attempt than BVS: Dawn of Justice which shows me that he is at least capable of learning from past mistakes. If, and this is a big if, the writers can learn how to write an actual terrifying villain, they might finally have a chance to rival the Marvel Machine.

 

Adults: If you are a DC fan, I’d recommend it wholeheartedly. If you are a newbie, as much as it pains me, you need to watch Batman V. Superman to get a good sense of where they are coming from and going. Watching Wonder Woman should be a no-brainer.

Children: I’d say probably 10+ would be okay with this movie. The monsters aren’t that bad. Any younger than that and you’ll be lost though, kiddos.

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