Release: November 17, 2017
Director: Zack Snyder
Screenplay: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon
Starring: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavil as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, and Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf
Superman’s death has triggered the Mother Boxes to reactivate and Steppenwolf to return to earth to collect them in an effort to gain Darkseid’s favour. Bruce Wayne and Diana use Bruce’s immense wealth, the best superpower of them all, to track down other costumed weirdos in an effort to thwart Steppenwolf’s plans. That is essentially the plot of Justice League in a nutshell. It’s a film revolving around a simple, uncluttered narrative. A film that I avoided for a while due to my past experience with Batman v. Superman and the involvement of my arch nemesis Joss Whedon.
The acting is good, but not necessarily stellar. It’s about on par with what you get from the more widely praised efforts that Marvel have been putting out. I’ve said it before that these are movies revolving around colourful characters in capes, so you don’t exactly go into these things expecting Citizen Kane. If you do that, you’ll only find disappointment in all of them. I have to say that the one i was the most pleasantly surprised by was Ezra Miller as Flash. To put it bluntly, I don’t particularly like him as an actor. I’ve seen him in other films and I find him to be more than a touch annoying. However, here he was much less so. The worst performance would have to be a toss up between Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Fisher’s bitterness and brooding wears thin after a while and Momoa is just incredibly flat.
The writing could be stronger, but Joss Whedon was involved so you can’t exactly go in expecting too much. I’m assuming that Chris Terrio must have reigned Whedon in a bit because the dialogue was light on the godawful puns that hamper the Avengers films. Snyder did well with the action sequences, seemingly avoiding excessive use of closeups and an overly shaky camera. Tonally speaking, he also managed to avoid his proclivity for wanton moroseness, something that I and many others have criticized as being rather out of step with DC’s stable of colourful costumed crimefighters (Batman being a bit of an exception), this time around. I do think the film would have benefitted greatly from a better villain. Particularly someone that Superman couldn’t just come in and manhandle. It makes the last fight pretty low stakes and one sided. Warner/DC would also do well to look into some better CGI. If they’re going to be so heavily reliant on it, they should at least try to have it not lapse into looking like a cartoon, a problem that was also prevalent in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. If this sort of thing keeps up, this superhero cinema trend may end up dying sooner rather than later.
While the film is definitely not without its problems, I mostly found Justice League quite enjoyable. It was a light, easy superhero popcorn film that in no way deserved the critical thrashing it received. I’m not one given to buying into conspiracy theories, but I don’t think its unreasonable to think that perhaps there may be some merit to the assertions that Disney/Marvel are using their considerable (and growing) influence to stilt some of these reviews. I’ve seen quite a few MCU flicks that despite being just as cheesy as this one didn’t receive any of the lashings that it did. Give it a view if you’re feeling bored. It could be worse, it could be Iron Man 3 (or Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Also, what was the deal with that digital mustache removal? That was possibly the weirdest thing I have ever seen on film. It was disturbing. It looked like there was something living on Henry Cavill’s upper lip.