Justice League is a 2017 superhero film based on the DC Comics superhero team of the same name consisting of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. The film is directed by Zack Snyder with a screenplay by Christ Terri and Joss Whedon. It features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher as the superhero. In Justice League, the superhero team forms to honour Superman following his death and to save the planet from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.
If you have read my recent review of Thor: Ragnarok, you will know that I consider myself a Marvel fan. That doesn’t mean however that I like to diss on anything DC releases. In fact, I am one of the few people that enjoyed Suicide Squad, and I have recently started to watch what they have to offer in TV with The Flash. Even with all the bad reviews and Rotten Tomatoes drama, I held hope that Justice League would at least be an entertaining movie, and give depth to the beloved characters of the franchise. So, how did it turn out?
First and foremost, let’s start with breaking down each character. I will be ranking them from the best to the worst, and why they are in the order that they are.
Wonder Woman: If there’s one that that Marvel need to improve on, it’s their female heroes and that is what DC has going right for them. Wonder Woman is not only an amazing role model for women across the world, but she is feisty, powerful, fun and also very smart and caring. Easily the best character in this film, and I definitely need to check out her solo film.
The Flash: Okay, I still like Grant Gustin’s depiction of The Flash a little more, but Ezra is a great Barry Allen. I felt like his character was the least relevant to the storyline, but his introduction was great and he brought a lot of needed humour. I was disappointed with his super-speed scenes however as the cinematography and CGI didn’t do the action and moments justice, and they were a waste of a special moment.
Superman: This is when characters get tough, as I like none of the other heroes in this film. The reason I put Superman above the others, despite his limited screen time, is the emotion that draws the film. The emotional scenes are what controls the story, and holds the movie just about from crumbling down. Yes, he is overpowered beyond belief. Yes, he was underused. Yes, his non-moustache was distracting beyond belief. But I think there is more to play for Superman in his return.
Cyborg: Cyborg to me just lacked a lot of momentum and personality that could have come to play from his character. He was definitely a needed character to this story, and his side-plot with his Dad was a nice touch. However, he was bland and I definitely could not watch an entire movie based on him alone.
Batman: I have never been a fan of Batman, just like I have not been a big fan of Iron Man. I get that Batman just wants to do good, but he is quite selfish in his acts. I do think Ben Affleck is a good Batman, going for a more moody and serious appearance to the character. Unfortunately, I will probably never like the hero as much as others do.
Aquaman: Nobody likes Aquaman, and nobody wanted to play him. I feel like Jason Momoa was an inspired choice to try and get this unlikable superhero to appear cool and likeable, but at the end of the day he really isn’t. The only glimmer of personality from him comes from a pep talk with the team, and that isn’t him in full control.
So, safe to say that the characters didn’t live up to my expectations. But what about the story? Well, the main story whilst being cliched and unoriginal, was a really fun idea that for the most part held together and was good overall. Where it gets messy is with the sub-plots, which were almost trying to tell a second story. These sub-plots were trying to be emotional and connect the characters with family, such as parents and partners. This seems ironic as they go back to the two main people in the Justice League at the start, Batman and Wonder Woman, who have lost their parents and partners. This clash just doesn’t feel right, and whilst I know it’s part of their back-story and that should be respected, I feel it didn’t fit in this film.
That, and the characters, aren’t even my biggest grope of this entire movie. The reason that this movie just doesn’t work for me at all comes down to the cinematography and special effects. A huge company such as DC and Warner Bros should be able to create realistic villains, have focused camera shots and be aware of scenery. A lot of the shots, especially in the Amazons, felt really fake. It was clear that green screen was used, and that took me out of the scene. I mentioned before the moments of The Flash, which could have easily had the same effects that Quicksilver did in X-Men if executed right. Unfortunately, half of the moment just faced a wall and didn’t show any action which seemed like a weird choice to me.
The main villain, Steppenwolf, was powerful and a great choice against the Justice League. However, it was a shame that his character design was quite awful to look at. The CGI on his face was badly rendered, and looked like he was pulled straight from a video game for the film. For a company that has such a big budget on a blockbuster like this, I expected the villain to look at least sort of realistic.
This film has been slated by critics and die-hard DC fans across the globe, but has also been defended. This film is very much a marmite film, in which some people will like and some people won’t. I went with my boyfriend and he very much enjoyed it. I wish I could have enjoyed this film, but this is one review and even though I did not enjoy it, I would still encourage you to make your way down to the cinema or wait until it is released on DVD/BluRay and give it a shot yourself.