Justice League Review

Justice League could have been worse. The DC superhero team up flick is a run-of-the-mill mediocre effort that shouldn’t be written off as a complete mess. There’s some decent moments here and there. The sum of the good parts: Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman is not enough to elevate Justice League into an above average spectacle.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a recommended prerequisite; recommended not because it is a great movie but that it’s a prologue to Justice League. Unfortunately, Justice League still has heavy lifting to do in the first act by having to properly bring The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman into the fold. Justice League is another set up movie to a future sequel which fewer people care about judging by all the empty theater seats on opening weekend.

Without it sounding too much like a backhanded compliment Justice League’s decision to streamline the story is good one. At the end of the day we just want to see all the superheroes come together and kick some ass. The powerful mother boxes are Justice League’s all purpose macguffin acting as a plot device multiple times throughout the 2 hour long run time.

The problem is that the story lacks a meaningful conflict to fully engage in. There’s not a point in the film that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The big bad villain is Steppenwolf, you guessed it, he wants to destroy the world because … he’s the big bad villain. On the plus side he’s got the kind of face that makes it satisfying for our heroes to punch over and over again.

The best thing going for Justice League are the superheroes. The lighter interplay between the characters reflect the movie’s overall tone of not taking things too seriously. Some of the previous DC films forget that it should be kind of fun being a superhero. The revamped formula is “less brooding, more grinning at each other”. There’s a great sequence where Jason Momoa’s Aquaman gets to be expressive and has a good time beating up enemies. Aquaman’s costume and tattoos have a cool aesthetic. And for some reason the ladies in the theater kept giggling every time Momoa took off his shirt.

Each of the heroes have their own personal obstacle to come to terms with. For Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, he’s been brought back to life by his father although a part of him wishes he was dead. He’s part man, part machine. Sometimes one part gets the better of him. Cyborg is a decent addition to the team who should be better fleshed out in his own solo film.

Erza Miller’s The Flash is socially awkward. He’s supposedly the comedic relief but Batman delivers the funnier lines. There’s awkward silence when Miller tries to be funny. Maybe Miller’s take on Barry Allen will appeal to some. The CW version starring Grant Gustin is more likable. Ben Affleck is very good in reprising the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. And Gal Gadot seems even more confident as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Both Affleck and Gadot continue their on-screen chemistry together which is good thing since their characters anchor the film.

After all the hype over the years we finally got the big live action blockbuster Justice League! What we actually got is an uninspired, conventional comic book movie. There’s plenty of action to go around. But nothing that’s incredibly inventive or jaw droppingly awesome. The CGI doesn’t blend in well. Aside from Wonder Woman, we are still waiting for the rest of DC Universe to really take off. DC Universe has some decent pieces to work with. It certainly has catching up to do and needs to put all the pieces together. A middling superhero movie in 2017 doesn’t cut it, in fact it places Justice League as this year’s weakest offering in this popular genre.

About Sidekick Reviews

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Posted on November 18, 2017, in Movies, Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. GOOD one mate.Please do check my justice league review. Pls like and feel free to pin point your opinion.

  2. I’m disappointed too. Momoa taking off his shirt was fine but there was some really gratuitous ass shots with Wonder Woman. Nothing wrong with that per se but it felt out of place and lecherous following what has come before. The film looked cheap which I would never accuse a Snyder film with all its CGI of looking like previously. There were moments though. Batman was outgunned here and still trying to do the brave thing, Superman looking over at Flash when he’s speeding. In some ways this is a sequel to a movie that doesn’t exist and oh man. Look I could go on. I think Batman Vs. Superman was better and that’s saying something but that feels dismissive of some good things that were in it.

    • Hi Lloyd. I really don’t know what to make of JL. I mean I captured my thoughts in this post immediately after watching it. I know other people either seem to really like it while others were very disappointed. The shots of Wonder Woman don’t bother me as much as the lack of a strong story. The poor CGI did not help. I did like some of the lighter banter. I’m pretty sure Aquaman sitting on the lasso was all Whedon’s idea, it seemed like Aquaman let loose after that. Yeah, Superman looking over at Flash is cool … so there’s some decent moments that should be considered too. 🙂

      • Those two moments are definitely my favourites nd the former definitely classic Whedon. Maybe I’ll be kinder in time but there is good stuff including Batman’s vulnerability but at the moment it only makes me mad about what could have been. 🙂

        • Hi Lloyd, I like it when reviewers and fans share how they really feel about a movie. There is good reason to be heavily critical of JL and some good moments too for those who enjoyed JL. I like this version of Batman/Bruce Wayne. I like that Batman doesn’t physically fight this villain in hand-to-hand combat because Batman doesn’t have superpowers but the script gives him other moments, like his plan for the “secret backup weapon”. Yes, thinking of what JL could have been … 😦

          • Saw it again this weekend. Seems to play a lot better for people the second time around because they see the film that is rather than the film that they expected it to be. I still have a million things to complain about but it can wait for my review. I enjoyed your’s and yes there are positives to take away too here. Agree on your points about Batman.

            • You’re a true fan for giving it a second chance 😉 I’m looking forward to your review and if you’ll be describing how it was the first time compared to the second. I remember as I was watching Justice League thinking … so this is what we got? I agree the second time around I will see the film that it is and probably not compare it to what it could have been (or at least try) … but that won’t be until after it’s on home video. 🙂

  3. Great review! I loved the characters but didn’t love the story and ultimately felt frustrated because this should have – and could have – been an epic team-up on the same level as Avengers. I love superhero movies and will keep watching these but my fear is that general audiences may start to tune out. 😦 Which is a shame because I love the cast in JL and want to see more from them.

    • Thanks! I really liked the characters too, except I need to warm up to Flash. Yeah, there was something really special about how the team came together in Avengers. JL didn’t have that same magic. So much potential going into JL, too bad it didn’t live up to the possibilities. It goes to show that good team up movies aren’t that easy to make even if there is a known formula. DC couldn’t keep the momentum going after WW. Yeah, I imagine the casual fan could start tuning out if they haven’t already or pay less attention to the hype. (Less than a month to go before The Last Jedi). 🙂

  4. I think you’re right that this is the weakest superhero movie from 2017. I still enjoyed it and you summed it up well – it could have been worse!v But with how bad DC’s shared universe movies have been (only Wonder Woman was objectively good) Justice League needed to be a lot better. It did not get me excited at all for what comes next and it really, really needed to.

    • Very true! I agree Justice needed to be a lot better. When I think of what could have been … it’s a missed opportunity. There are things to like about JL but it wasn’t good enough. I can’t say I’m surprised because of the circumstances surrounding the making of the film and DC’s less than stellar track record, except for WW which was pretty good.

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