Justice League Review
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Joe Morton, Amber Heard, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, JK Simmons, Ciarán Hinds
Written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, and Zack Snyder
Directed by Zack Snyder (Joss Whedon)
Cinematography by Fabian Wagner
With great anticipation came Justice League, the [not so hotly] anticipated film that sees the culmination of Warner Bros.’ efforts for a comparable Marvel rival. Like Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad, Justice League suffers from the same thematic and tonal problems that can’t seem to be ironed out. After the departure of Zack Snyder (due to a family tragedy) in the middle of post-production and twenty percent of reshoots falling into the hands of Joss Whedon, the superhero film feels disjointed, neither complementing either director’s style.
Justice League, taking place shortly after the events of Batman vs. Superman, feels very much unlike the world established in the previous films. Parademons aren’t just a figment of Bruce Wayne’s imagination, they’re real. Diana Prince, after coming out as a superhero again after 100 hundred years, does her heroic duties to prevent terrorists taking advantage of Superman’s absence.
Warner Bros. adamancy to create a world that feels lived in feels too lived in; there is too much happening all at once and not many heroes get a proper introduction. Aquaman gets the shortest time to establish himself as a character. Instead, he’s more like a secondary character used as a punching bag for Bruce Wayne’s quips. Cyborg’s development is neither fun or engaging, his arc coming off just as robotic as his heart. Justice League suffers from lack of establishing who these characters are with the exception of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
The main villain is yet another large, grey being set on destroying the earth, or something like that. The motivations behind Steppenwolf is boring, uninteresting, and completely unoriginal and only used as fodder for the team to come together to fight. Justice League hinges on the relationship built between the members and nothing is ever earned. Why Cyborg and Aquaman agree to fight together with Batman and Wonder Woman is beyond understanding.
The film also suffers from poor CG, at times. The Flash running through a tunnel can look amazing and the recreation of Henry Cavill’s upper lip can be too distracting to sit through, where you sit there and ask yourself, “why?”
With all that said, I have to say that I enjoyed myself. I grew up on watching JLA cartoons and fell in love with these characters as a kid. I couldn’t help but smile ear-to-ear as each member would quip with one another. Whedon’s imprint is made blatantly loud with his brand of dry humor and his interpretation of the goodie-two-shoes Superman is the best depiction of the character to date, even if it lasts for a handful of scenes.
Is this a step backward for the series? Yes, without a doubt. Wonder Woman did so much to springboard the DCEU in the right direction and Justice League takes one step back. However, Joss Whedon’s inclusion of levity in the film shows that there’s so much room to create a world that doesn’t feel so dour and has a fighting chance against rival Marvel.