Movie Reviews

Justice League – An Overstuffed Superhero Team-Up Film

The team is now together but will it do these character justice? Early reception to this film has been mixed so far but as far as I’m concerned, I’m in the middle.

Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. (Warner Bros.)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Amy Adams

Writers: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon

Director: Zack Snyder

Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)

Running Time: 120mins

Trailer:

For showtimes and more, check out Justice League on movietimes.com.

When it comes to superhero cinematic universes, Marvel leads the way and it isn’t even close. DC hopes to do the same by consolidating their own catalog of superheroes, starting with last year’s Batman v. Superman up until Wonder Woman earlier this year. While the former failed to make an impression with critics and audiences (although I kind of liked it), the later became a monumental success that this new film hopes to ride.

Comparisons to the MCU are probably unfair but it’s hard not to. Over the last 9 years, Marvel has given us solo films that gave us the chance to get intimately acquainted with its characters before putting them in together in several team up films. DC, on the other hand, have decided to place their characters in a team up film before fleshing them out in their own solo films. We already know about Batman/Bruce Wayne (Affleck), Superman/Clark Kent (Cavill), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) though this film introduces The Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher) to the mix.

Batman v. Superman offered small glimpses of them, as well as Wonder Woman, but this film offered real introductions to this universe’s incarnations of The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. They’re great characters, however, the main problem with this film was that it tries to both reintroduce the characters we know and these new characters and their backstories while being a superhero team up film within its 2 hour running time. Because there was so much going on, it was hard to care for the most part. Despite having some interesting pieces, the film does not quite work as a whole by simply trying to do too much, hurting the story as a whole.

The film’s villain, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), and his backstory was an afterthought compared to everything else going on, making it hard to care about him as a character. Just like everything else, he was rushed. He could’ve been so much more but instead was another disposable villain. It also took way too long to get him as the story meandered way too much with character introductions and team building before they made any real dent in the main plot. There were some fun moments, they were few and far between, and by the time things actually started, the film was almost over which was disappointing.

The film’s lack of balance also affected the action in that there was less of it than you would probably expect for a film like this. Other than a few battle sequences, there wasn’t much to be had here. They were still sort of exciting to watch but they weren’t original or revolutionary by any means. They featured plenty of CGI which which was fine although it relied a little too much too the point that it became very noticeable. The film had some decent moments but the script was inconsistent with occasional bad dialogue and the tone was all over the place, awkwardly hovering between light and darkness.

The acting was decent all around but besides the occasional one-liner, no one really stood out. The actors did the best with what they had despite the lack of character development for the new characters. Despite some moments such as the humor and the chemistry occasionally coming off as forced, these characters were mostly fun to watch. There was still some promise here being their first film together, however, it would have been nice to see more of it. While Affleck, Cavill, and Gadot brought back their chemistry from Batman v. Superman, Miller, Momoa, and Fisher took awhile to find their place. Can the new three sustain their own films? Miller and Momoa certainly proved their worth but the jury is still out on Fisher, perhaps due to the unfamiliarity with Cyborg.

Overall. this was a decent, albeit incoherent superhero movie with some fun team moments although takes a long time to get going and whose story can’t quite overcome its overstuffed-ness, trying to do too much in too little time.

Score: 7/10

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