November 17, 2017

R: November 17th, 2017 | R: 119 minutes | R: PG-13

When Steppenwolf (voiced by CiarĂ¡n Hinds) invades earth to combine the powers of the three mother boxes, Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince (played by Gal Gadot) are forced to unite a League of meta-humans to fight the greater power. While this League of heroes is rushed together, they all quickly realize that the only way they can save the world from this cosmic attack is to join together as the Justice League.

Justice League was partially directed by Zack Snyder (who previously directed “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch”), but then due to a family emergency was picked up by Joss Whedon (who previously directed “The Avengers” and “Serenity”). Joss Whedon performed many reshoots and plot changes which worried fans. While the DC Extended Universe has had a rough start, with “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League”, I think it is taking a great step in the right direction. I really had an enjoyable time with this film. To start with the actual League itself, I thought Ben Affleck’s (previously seen in “Gone Girl” and “The Town”) Batman is absolutely fantastic. His character is such a different Batman than previous iterations, he is an aged and worn out character (as previously seen in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice). I also really enjoyed Gal Gadot’s (previously seen in “Furious 7” and “Keeping Up with the Joneses”) portrayal as Wonder Woman. She had the same flare as seen earlier this year in her solo film, and it was still just as great. On the other hand I felt really that Cyborg stood out as a weak character. His character was not relatable or likable. I honestly found him very bland and forgettable. The only other character I had a problem with was Steppenwolf. His motives were very unclear and while he did seem like an important character, I think he will be quickly forgotten.

Now this film feels like you are actually in a comic book right from the start. The tone and visual aesthetic is brilliant. But what could have improved this film is if the story did more than scrape the surface level. When I am saying this I am not saying that I was expecting some insane art house film, rather I was hoping for this movie to just go a little deeper than it did. I also found quite a few scenes overly simple or convenient. I assume this was due to the many scenes cut from this film in order to receive a two hour run time. And the last story problem I had was during the third act a character is introduced and he seems very shoehorned into the story. While he had been seen in the DCEU before, I felt that he was taking me out of the film. It was disappointing because I really liked what I had seen from him in previous films and his character in this film let me down.

One more noticeable issue I found with this film was the CGI. It was not horrendous, but it was heavily noticeable. At some scenes it reminded me of video game cutscenes rather than an actual film. And Cyborg’s CGI was the most distracting. I am not sure what the artist were thinking when designing his character. His armor looks like something from an early 2000’s video game.

To wrap this review up, Justice League is a fun ride. I definitely recommend all comic fans to give this one a watch. It is not as great as “Wonder Woman” (2017), but it is a major step in the right direction for Warner Brother’s superhero universe. Like I did mention before, the story is not fantastic. But it is epic seeing all of your favorite DC heroes team up on the big screen in live action form for the first time. And as a side note make sure to stay till the end credits to watch two end credit scenes...they are worth it.

Rating: 3.9 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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Clearly compromised from director Zack Snyder’s original vision by reshoots and studio tinkering, including a saddeningly weak villain and some of the cheesiest dialogue you'll hear all year. The compact running time keeps the adventure moving fast and the light tone makes it pleasant and easy to watch, even if it’s seldom completely engaging. Flash (Ezra Miller) is the definite standout among a stellar cast, while Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) are surprisingly nice additions to the already stacked team of superheroes. Ben Affleck as Batman is done with the DC Extended Universe and he honestly brings nothing to the table in this movie.

There is a moment at the beginning of Justice League that reminded me of Snyder's touch, the sensation that only he can give to a comic book movie, and then it went away for the rest of the film. That moment was to be replaced with bad CGI and general inconsistency. While you could switch to autopilot and enjoy the mindless entertainment thrown at you, the disappointing takeaway is that JUSTICE LEAGUE doesn't feel whole. It feels empty, devoid of what could have been and a fresh DC look that we may never experience.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Gerardo Gerardo (Contributor) is a film student living in Philadelphia. He usually prefers independent and classic films, but he will watch anything in theaters.
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