Justice League 2017 – Movie Critique’s Review

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I’d say ****** but to be honest if you saw The

there wasn’t a lot you didn’t see, and if so it’s probably the worst bits anyway.

I went into this film with low expectations, a production riddled with reshoots and issues behind the scenes. A film that for me shouldn’t have happened before setting up the character individually first. A film that is the 5th instalment in what has yet to produce an outstanding or even great film yet.

THE DC UNIVERSE

In 1960 Gardner Fox formulated the concept of the Justice League. Putting together all the most popular superheroes of DC comics into one team and to be fair, doing this before Marvel did in 63. Justice League have already had various animated outings and also variations of the team for live action TV series but It’s with DC’s attempt at a shared cinematic universe that we are given a Justice League movie in 2017.

This follows the various (Wonder Woman aside) critically panned films set in the same world. Marvel made

carving the way for this concept but the difference with

is that they took 4 years and at least one solo outing for each character before putting them side by side in battle. And here in lies my first main issue with the film….

Much like Suicide Squad, this film takes a very juvenile montage approach to introducing the stars of the show. These scenes are very short and make huge presumptions that you kind of already know who that character is or that you don’t care enough to want more of a backstory telling. It’s storytelling at its worst.

Cyborg has such a

with lots of emotional lining to it and by having him in this film after a glimpse in Batman/Superman is all kinds of wrong. I luckily have the comic book fanboy knowledge but the standard cinema goer and especially ones who may not have seen Batman/Superman would be so confused by our first look at the character.

The same can be said about Barry Allen here, who again needs that emotional set up for you to invest in him as part of this team. Without that, you feel no sense of jeopardy in the fight scenes. As a result, It held absolutely 0 gravitas in the moment Cyborg is ripped in two by Steppenwolf during the final battle.

Wonder Woman we now know and her introduction scene was great, but it’s because we knew who she was, about the powers, why the powers and why she is who she is. This theme extends further into the film too with the Atlantis scene which must have been absolutely bewildering for the standard cinema goer. The scenes all seemed to be in the wrong order for the first act with some feeling like they were in the wrong place. I could have swapped two scenes for example which would have then offered context to following sequences.

THE LOOK OF THE LEAGUE

Visually this film really offered no individuality or personality. No original sights or things I hadn’t seen before and a use of red for the last quarter of the movie which came off as really unrealistic and detached me from what was going on.

With the amount of work that was going into this production you’d think locations, and sets would have been sourced or built instead we got a tone of really unnecessarily cgi’d backdrops and sceneries that again detach you from the moments.

Followers of this film will know all about the Henry Cavill lip gate going on behind the scenes too. Basically, for those that don’t know, Cavill had to have his moustache removed using special effects because by the time they had to do the reshoots he had already started another film where he was contractually obliged to keep it.

Why a powerhouse like Warner Bros couldn’t have found a way around this I don’t know and the results are terrible. I went in expecting it in a scene but not 70% of his time onscreen. It was so distracting and comes off like Henry Cavil has had some sort of disfigurement throughout not mentioning the effect it has on his performance.

The costumes were fine I guess…nothing we haven’t already scene from other Hollywood hero outings but the adjustments to Bats suit served no purpose to battle or story and Cyborg looked like something from a 1990s music video. More practical effects and robotics would have had a lot more of an impact. While we are on the subject of bad CGI’s characters we have to give a special shout-out to Steppenwolf who joins an ever-growing list of DCU villains who look rubbish. His voice barely matched with the small mouth movements on offer and the eyes were as dead as Kristen Stewart. All 9 foot of him didn’t look in proportion and no thought being put into the way he walked, moved or fought. If Pixar made Lotso Hug N Bear imposing and intimidating in Toy Story 3 then why can’t DC manage it here.

JUSTICE LEAGUE CAST

Steppenwolf – ’ performance isn’t even recognisable as his own. The use of voice enhancement and not a drop of his look within the bland, lanky, CGI monstrosity removes him from his own creation. This character seemed to have no real explanation to being such an asshole other than his ‘desire to conquer’ but for me as a storytelling fan and…well adult I need more than that in my bad guys. One dimensional.

Cyborg – Played by

is the main victim of a character being shoehorned into this scenario without getting the time to shine first. This rushed backstory means you struggle to buy into his Frankenstein-esque backstory and as a result, you don’t feel sorry for Cyborg half enough as what you should. Vision in Avengers is played wonderfully as a robot craving humanity and this could have been the perfect opportunity to play a human craving his robot side or even mirroring a similar performance too Vision would have still be suitable. Instead what we get isn’t flesh, it’s not metal but a truly wooden performance and character.

Aquaman –

looks cool and sounds cool….and that’s just about the extent of it. They got him to do him and yes it’s reinvented Aquaman into a badass but he really floats along without any standout moments both emotionally or visually. His powers didn’t serve in final battle and the ongoing plagiarism of other people’s catchphrases was embarrassing.

Flash –

has got quite a bit of stick from fans for not playing an accurate Barry Allen here with Grant Gustin doing such a great job in the TV series. But as someone who isn’t a Flash fan I didn’t pick up on this or at least it wasn’t an issue. I’ve got to say Miller was the highlight of the film for me. He had the most memorable moments and was only one to make me smile other than when Batman admitted to liking Superman. I broke a little when he realises Superman is as fast as him mid speed.

Superman – As before

again falls victim to their not being a lot you can do with Clark Kent. Even when he is confused and attacking friends it is a bore. I did, however, start to warm to him towards the end where his playfulness starts to show more.

Wonder Woman –

does a sterling job of depicting the soldier lost in time and protecting a world she has not come out to yet. She has matured and learnt about humanity in the years in hiding and Gadot displays this perfectly.

Batman –

again rocks the cowl well but I am so frustrated seeing him in these environments where all I want is a Batman film rooted in Gotham fighting his zany rogue gallery in Gotham. There are flashes of depth to Bats in Justice League in moments where he is mentoring Flash which is probably the first time he has since losing Robin and also an underline tension but friendship with Wonder Woman.

Supporting Cast – Great to see our new Alfred and Gordon but far too brief. Lane, much like her love interest is a bore and Amber Heard’s scene was offered without context makes for a really confusing exchange and introduction to Mera. Our final after credit scene brings back Luther who whilst not being like his comic counterpart is Jesse Eisenberg being Jesse Eisenberg which is always great to witness and the first look at kick-ass Deathstroke looking like he’s leapt straight out of one The Arkham games. For me their biggest mistake was not having their idea for Justice League 2 used for Justice League 1.

DID THEY SAVE THE DAY?

The answer quite frankly is no but I don’t think it’s quite destroyed. Wonder Woman’s strong solo outing and inclusion in this film along with a consistent Batfleck and charismatic Flash means DC can live on. They are on thin ice though so the next outing needs to be a great flick or this brand and even superhero films, in general, may start to get people’s eyes rolling. This is a disjointed, poorly cut and planned out film with bad CGI and rushed character introductions.

FINAL MOVIE RATING

It gets 4 Batarang’s out of 10 for Ben Outta 10

Justice League release date: 16 November 2017

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