Justice League Review
I want to start this review off by saying I am a huge fan of the DC films. Man of Steel was brilliant, and I’m in the minority when it comes to enjoying Batman v Superman. So, when it came to Justice League, I was excited, and certainly in a positive frame of mind when entering the theatre. I really wanted Justice League to be a success not only because I wanted to enjoy the film itself, but so that we can see more of these characters. I’m such a big fan of Cavill’s Superman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. I don’t think Affleck’s Batman is the best we’ve had but he is certainly good. Sadly, I thought Justice League was an absolute mess, starting with the god-awful CGI they used to cover-up Cavill’s Mission: Impossible 6 moustache, to the blend of two directorial styles that couldn’t be more opposite.
Justice League has a simple story like many superhero movies; a big bad, named Steppenwolf, wanting to destroy Earth to demonstrate his power. For Steppenwolf to see out his plan, he has to collect 3 items in the shape of boxes that go by the name Mother Boxes, and combine them together which will, in turn, destroy the world and grant our villain god status. With Batman being warned about this pending apocalypse by Lex Luthor in BvS, he seeks out help to fight against it, as with Superman now being deceased, there is no one powerful enough to fight this battle alone, and certainly not our HUMAN playboy Bruce Wayne.
In Batman v Superman we already see Bruce recruit Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman to the team. Now if there is one bright spark to this film it is Wonder Woman. She is exactly how I know her to be: powerful, caring and inspiring. I can really see why women around the world are really enjoying this character. There are some incredible scenes which really demonstrate her power. With Diana a firm part of the team already, we see them both set out to recruit the other members we all know and love.
Bruce sets out to, what seems like, Iceland, to try and recruit Arthur Curry aka Aquaman, played by Jason Mamoa, but with no luck. As seen in the trailers, Aquaman is spurred on to join the team when Steppenwolf attacks his home world Atlantis. I was really expecting Aquaman to steal the show in this film, but to be honest, you don’t really get to see much of him, nor do you get any real knowledge of what he can do. As a big fan of comic book heroes I understand where his strength comes from, but this is not explained in the film. If there is one thing this film did right, it is make you want to see more of the character’s introduced and I, for one, want to see more of Mamoa’s Aquaman.
The lack of backstory for each character is a running theme for most of the newly introduced characters. When it comes to The Flash, it is said why he can run fast, but if you miss these brief conversations you won’t have the foggiest why. This is somewhat the same for Cyborg, but more in regards to what can he actually do. What are his powers, as in this film they almost seemed limitless. Again, I am a big fan of superheroes but for the average film goer, they aren’t clued up enough. There is a weird scene where Cyborg just goes into defence mode and causes some inappropriate trouble, and I was completely stumped as to why it happened. It was as if this was just wrote into the story to move things along, but there not be any real meaning behind it.
When it comes to Justice League though, the one thing that really ruined it for me was the poor shifts in tone, which made it as clear as day there were two very opposite directors working on this film. What happened to Zack Snyder was a tragedy, and I do not begrudge him stepping down at all. What I do begrudge is how Warner Bros did not push the film back so that it could be finished properly. Joss Whedon is a very different type of director to Snyder, with him being more light and happy, with cheesy quips that can work in films like the Avengers. The fact they thought it was best to do reshoots whilst Cavill was filming MI:6 with a real moustache, and to remove it with CGI just to meet a deadline, shows you they care more amount the money than making a good film. The tash was so obvious and it ruined my favourite character. Not only did the tash ruin the character, and the film, by looking weird, it was a clear indication of how much was reshot, because it was obvious in about 80% of the scenes our Boy Scout was in. On top of all this, Joss Whedon obviously did not understand the Superman Snyder had created, with him just being unnecessarily cheesy.
When it comes to the score, which is composed by Danny Elfman, i’m going to have to be brutally honest. Not only was is frustrating news to hear that Elfman wouldn’t be using much of the original score from any of the previous DC films, but he would be bringing back his score from the 1989's Batman film instead. Re-using a score which was created for another type of Batman is just lazy. Besides from the Batman score there wasn’t much else to this soundtrack that made it special. Hans Zimmer created beautiful themes for each character and they should have been utilized a lot more. It’s a new era of DC films and it should have been treated that way, not just rehashing what they know is enjoyed for cheap and easy success. I don’t appreciate that at all.
I am a huge fan of what Marvel have created, and even though DC isn’t as coherent, I enjoyed what they were creating as it was very different in style to the MCU. What we get with Justice League is this weird hybrid of them both, which does not match the tone set by the other DC films and certainly doesn’t make for good viewing. It upsets me to have to write such a negative review as this was the film I was looking forward to all year, but I see now that Warner Bros really don’t care about these characters, and we’ll never get to see a DC film of the standard Marvel are punching a lot of their films out at. I can only hope we get to see a Zack Snyder Director's Cut on Blu-Ray.
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