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Justice League review

by Eli Duncan, Opinions Editor

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Rating: 7.5/10

Director: Zack Snyder

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa

Release Date: November 17, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

 

Gone are the days of dark and brooding for DC Comics’ film universe. We saw glimpses of comedy and happiness in 2016’s Suicide Squad and 2017’s Wonder Woman, but those do not compare to Justice League.

We did get the darkness we have grown to love in DC movies, but this time it was overshadowed by the chemistry the superheroes had together.

Fueled by his guilt for inadvertently causing the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck), alongside Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), assembles a team of other heroes the world has yet to see. Together with Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash (Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller respectively), the team aims to combat a world ending threat.

The best parts of Justice League come from the chemistry between each members of the Justice League. Like Marvel’s The Avengers movie from 2012, the heroes started off fighting each other but in the end, they come together to beat the bad guy. Despite that, we got to see each character shine in their respective roles. Yes, even Aquaman.

Aquaman is one of the weaker superheroes to be made in any comic book universe. In the older comics and the TV shows that use Aquaman, they portray him as just a guy who can control water. That was what I was expecting going into the movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jason Momoa was one of the best parts of the film. He had some of the best lines and he was actually useful to the overall plot.

Flash on the other hand was used too much. His character was designed to be a kid friendly version of Deadpool. His jokes were funny the first few times but by the end of the movie but like a baby crying on a plane, you just want him to be quiet. When he was first introduced, I thought that he resembled Batman’s problem child that lives away from home but still benefits from his dad’s enormous bank account.

Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are the same heroes. Though not dark and depressing, Batman and Superman have not had many changes. The biggest change came in the fact that Batman now refuses to kill, after he killed Superman the last time the two crossed paths. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was fantastic, once again. The secret formula that they used in her character needs to spread to every other character. She, alongside Cyborg, are the most relatable characters in the DCEU movie universe.

Cyborg was by far the best character. His story is not something any of us can relate to, but the feelings he has is something most of us can relate to. After he gets his cyberkinetic upgrades to his damaged body, he feels that he cannot fit into normal society ever again. He felt alone and that he had no use in the world again. Without giving away too much, you will see that he plays an important role in why the villain, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).

While all the characters were objectively good, that does not overshadow the fact that the villain was weak. He was the generic villain for the heroes to eventually beat. This would not be a big issue if other superhero movies had bad villains as well, but Marvel has stepped up their villain game.

Marvel has made people care about the villain and their motives and if DC wants to catch up to Marvel, and eventually beat them, then they need to step up their villain game as well.

Despite that, the fight scenes between Steppenwolf and the Justice League were visually fantastic and engaging. Zack Snyder finally figured out his famous slow-motion fighting and it worked really well with each character and it was enjoyable to watch.

That should not be the saving grace of a superhero movie. The plot should also help out, mostly because the writers have decades of source material to use. The plot was good. It was not bad, it was not fantastic… it was just good. It jumps around a lot. One minute, we are in Gotham and then the next we are in Central City picking up the Flash and then back to Gotham to speak with commissioner Gordon. Eventually we end up reviving Superman so we could get to the Justice League doing Justice League things.

Overall, this movie had two goals.

One of those being to cleanse the viewer of the overly depressing 2016 movie, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The next goal was to make these characters interesting enough to watch in their own respective solo movies and eventually in another full ensemble movie.

Justice League mostly achieves those goals, despite the messy execution. The film is sloppy and flawed but, thanks to the fun the heroes brought, it was worthwhile to watch and has me excited to see where DC will take its movies in the future.

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