DC films have garnered a mixed response to say the least. How does Justice League fare?
The best thing about Justice League is its Heroes.
Each member of the Justice League gets there time to shine. Ezra Miller is a standout as The Flash and his comedic timing is on point – he was my favourite part of the film.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is as amazing as she was in her solo film.
Affleck has put his haters to bed as he is perfect as The Dark Knight.
When I heard Jason Momoa was cast as Aquaman I was overjoyed. I can say that he is just as badass as you expect him to be. He brings a macho surfer-dude feel to the character while delivering some stoic moments as well.
Henry Cavill’s Superman is the Superman that comic-book fans have been waiting for. His character is ripped straight from the comics! Without spoiling too much, gone is the brooding, angsty Superman and in is the big blue boy scout we all know and love. Cavill isn’t in the movie that much but when he is the whole film is elevated by his charismatic performance.
Danny Elfman’s soundtrack is a masterpiece!
Danny Elfman replaced Hans Zimmer as the film’s composer and crafts an amazing and joyous score. He incorporates the classic 1989 Batman theme and John Williams classic Superman theme seamlessly into the film’s score and it was an absolute treat to hear those iconic melodies again. The integration of Hans Zimmer’s epic Man of Steel score with Williams’ classic theme was an unforgettable moment.
Justice League is the most Marvel-esque movie of the DCEU.
I really felt Joss Whedon’s influence on the film. He was brought in to write and direct the film after Snyder left midway through production due to personal issues. The character banter between the league members is reminiscent of The Avengers. There are a lot of jokes in Justice League – more so than in any other DCEU film.
Personally I was surprised to see all the Justice League members whip out jokes, but it worked for the moment and drew laughs from the crowd. However, I feel like Warner Bros. is pandering to audiences and critics by making the DECU “lighter” and “fun”. I mean, Batman is delivering jokes for crying out loud. That being said, it didn’t bother me that much.
However, Justice League has a lot of issues.
The CEO of Warner Bros. mandated a strict 2 hour run-time for Justice League before it started shooting, and as a result the film feels very clunky.
The editing is choppy. In the first act we’re jumping back and forth between scenes that don’t flow together. It’s clear numerous scenes have been cut out to adhere to such a strict time limit.
This is probably the biggest complaint I had about Justice League. Snyder and Whedon weren’t allowed to take their time to tell a cohesive story and it clearly shows. A significant portion of the film was reshot to make it lighter and you can really feel that it’s been tampered with.
Steppenwolf is another throwaway villain.
DC follow in Marvel’s footsteps by delivering another weak villain. All of DCEU villains have been weak except for General Zod in Man of Steel.
Steppenwolf, whilst menacingly voiced by Ciarin Hinds, is entirely one-dimensional and his sole motivation is to take over the world. yawn How many times have we seen that before?
One theory is that the reason why Marvel films have weak villains is because they concentrate on the heroes more. And this applies to Justice League. The League is so front and centre you forget about Steppenwolf entirely when he’s not on screen.
The Stakes never felt high enough.
Another glaring issue I had with the film was I never felt any sense of urgency and our heroes were never really in any danger. The lack of destruction and civilians were alarming.
Man of Steel had much more destruction and higher stakes than Justice League, which really feels off! This can again be attributed to Warner trying to appease the masses who lamented the amount of destruction in MoS.
In the third act, Justice League chooses to focus on just one family in danger and it really brings down the scope of the film. Justice League never felt epic, and that is a real disappointment.
The CGI is a bit off.
If you haven’t heard of the Henry Cavill mustache controversey you must be living under a rock. Warner bros. had to CGI off Cavill’s moustache, and it is very noticeable. Cavill’s upper lip is fully CGI and it looks very off.
The CGI overall is not up to par. Cyborg looks pretty bad in some scenes and Steppenwolf looks fake for the most part. In the third act of the film I could practically see the green screen. For a film with a budget of over $200 million this is not acceptable.
Justice League is still an enjoyable ride worth taking.
Despite all these issues I still had a fun time with Justice League and that’s thanks to the dynamic between the team, and partly due to Elfman’s amazing score. How does it rank amongst the DC films? Well I’d say it’s definitely better than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad but doesn’t quite reach the heights of Wonder Woman and Man of Steel.
Justice League won’t blow you away but even with all its issues it is a very enjoyable film. I can’t wait to see what else DC has in store.
PS: There are TWO post-credit scenes so make sure you stay till after the end credits!
Justice League is now in cinemas.
For a detailed breakdown of each member of the Justice League, click here.