Justice League

The long anticipated “Justice League” has finally arrived finally combining the biggest stars of the DC universe into one film. The proposed film has faced many obstacles on the way to the big screen ranging from script issues, massive reshoots and a change of Director for said reshoots due to a family tragedy that Director Zack Snyder suffered.

The film follows Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Godot), as they look to assemble a team of other gifted individuals to help fight off a pending invasion.

The death of Superman has left a void on the Earth, and this has paved the way for an ancient evil to return as he attempts to conquer the planet after he collects the three needed artifacts that his plan requires.

In a race against time, Batman and Wonder Woman recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), to battle to save the planet. Naturally they battle amongst themselves as well as their massing enemies but ultimately decide on a dangerous plan that can tip the odds in their favor and save the day.

The action in the film is good but it often plays out like a video game. With so many blatantly obvious CGI backgrounds, the movie looked like a video game. There were numerous scenes that looked like they were lifted from Injustice and Injustice 2 that I mused to myself that someone must have used their Power Up for the shot.

Affleck and Gadot are good and work well with one another, but there are some serious casting issues with the film. The biggest for me was Ezra Miller as The Flash. I did not like his effeminate, nerdy, socially awkward, and neurotic and at times cowardly take on the character. This is not the Barry Allen I grew up reading in comics or the one that has been portrayed twice in a much better fashion on television. His comic relief status grew old fast and his character really offered little to the film.

It has been well-documented that Joss Whedon not only handled the rewrites for the film but took over directing duties to complete the film. You can see elements of his humor scattered throughout and the film does move along at a steady pace without dragging.

The biggest issue is that so many of the characters are just stiff and one-dimensional. They really are not overly interesting so it is hard to really connect with them and the tasks they are facing. Unlike Marvel who have excelled with dysfunctional groups who fight amongst themselves as well as the forces of evil, this group seems to be going through the paces rather than being fully engaged with the task at hand and each other.

In the end “Justice League” is better than I expected, and the two bonus scenes in the credits show some interesting potential down the road. As it is, it is flawed entertainment that requires audiences to overlook a lot of issues.

3 stars out of 5


Second Review by Barnetty Kushner

Let me first preface this review by stating I am in no way an expert on all things DC comics. I’m more well versed in that other comic book conglomerate. To say whether or not this movie follows any sort of comic book storyline, I cannot. That being said, I have been avidly following along the latest movies from Warner Brothers and I’ll admit I have enjoyed them greatly with the exception of Suicide Squad. Coming off the disaster that was Suicide Squad, I did not have high expectations for Justice League with a film involving a “team.” I’d be beating a dead horse saying that I’m not impressed by Ben Affleck’s performance of Batman, however I keep holding out hope for improvement. Alas, his portrayal of one the most iconic superheroes is still subpar (I miss Christian Bale!). I noticed Affleck did not have as much screen time which I feel lead to a more enjoyable film. In actuality, he did take a more comical approach to his character and they really poked fun at Batman’s “lack of trusting people” persona and his lack of superpowers.

Straight off the heels of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see the societal aftermath of Superman’s death. Everyone is in mourning, crime is at an all-time high again, both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) are trying to piece together the significance of a diagram they find of a trio of “mother” boxes. He reaches out to Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who knows exactly the severity of hysteria this will cause if these boxes are in the wrong hands. Batman and Wonder Woman set out to recruit a team of superheroes to try to stop Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), who plans an alien invasion and use the power of these three boxes combined to destroy Earth.

Rather than being about flying solo, fighting crime, and bringing down the villains, Justice League is about solidarity. The movie not only focuses on building a team, uniting powers for the greater good, and bringing down the evil forces trying to wipe out humanity. It also delves into the back stories of the newest characters: Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Aquaman (Jason Momoa).

Fans of the comic book may find significant flaws in the lack of character development for some of their most loved DC superheroes. This is Flash’s first attempt at being a superhero. He definitely gets most of the comical zingers with his cowardly lion type behavior. I was concerned that Jason Momoa’s character portrayal of Aquaman would end up a little cheesy. But, honestly they did an excellent job at playing to his strengths which was a too-cool-for-school, surfer dude-ish persona. Which I thought was pretty hysterical, but unfortunately lacked dramatic flair when we learned about his back story. At times, I noticed a little Drago from Game of Thrones come to light with some of his mannerisms. And, we learn the lengths Cyborg’s father went through to try to “save” his son who everyone believes died in an accident, by turning him into a cybernetic robot and quite possibly the most important character of the film. Props to Ray Fisher for really portraying the human struggles of what Cyborg has become and the responsibilities now set before him with his newly acquired body.

I, for one, will say, the movie was extremely entertaining with just the right amount of action, not too much over the top girl power, a little comic relief, and emotional connection to our characters. Don’t count this movie out! It was far better than both Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman.

4 out of 5 stars