Justice League – Justice Is Not Served

Justice League Review

Runtime: 120mins | Director: Zack Snyder (Joss Whedon) | Rating: 2 Stars

Instead of getting to see the Justice League film which should have been made - a glorious culmination of yet another fantastic comic-based Cinematic Universe and its characters - I was instead ‘treated’ to a screening of ‘The Injustice League’ which stars all your favourite disappointments; Zack Snyder, Chris Terrio, Charles Roven and a surprise cameo from Joss Whedon (I can only assume David Ayer was too busy to make it this time – he wasn’t missed).

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of why Justice League was abysmal and why you shouldn’t waste your money on it, I first feel it’s important to clear one thing up – I like DC. I’m not a ‘Marvel fan-boy’ who regardless of whether the film was good or not would have lambasted it. I’m simply incredibly disappointed, and quite frankly, bored of being let down by this horrible excuse for a Cinematic Universe.

Man of Steel I didn’t actually have too much issue with – Yes, it had a lot of turn style combat. No, it wasn’t the ever-hopeful Superman many were hoping for, but at least it was a decent origin story with good acting. Saying that though, it was nothing special, which is not what you want from a film supposedly kick-starting your Universe.

Batman vs. Superman - rather than being the improvement we had all hoped it would be, it was an extreme disappointment. The very title Batman vs. Superman inspires giddy excitement, and instead, the first two-thirds of the film boil down to plot setting. It’s only during the final third we are given the underwhelming gladiatorial match which is later interrupted by a horribly rendered and completely un-needed, Doomsday. I won’t even bother delving into the ‘Martha’ moment… if you know though, you know.

Suicide Squad - I’m trying to think of something good I can say about it, give me a second… hang on… Nope, I’ve got nothing. Hideous.

Wonder Woman – “They finally got a film right!” I heard people clamour after they went to see it. Unfortunately, I disagree. Yes, it may have been entertaining, and yes, it was fantastic to see a female superhero kick-ass, but it wasn’t anything special. I genuinely believe with all my heart the only reason people enjoyed it so much is that compared to all the other atrocities we had been subjected to, this was a breath of fresh air in that it wasn’t glaringly disappointing. Saying that, it still had narrative flaws, Ares (yet again) was subjected to horrible CGI, and I also felt it ripped off Captain America: The First Avenger in a big way toward the end.

Finally, we arrive at Justice League - DC’s equivalent of The Avengers and a film many naively hoped would be the pinnacle of superhero cinematic excellence. I mean, with all their A-List Superheroes being utilised, what could possibly go wrong? They’d have to be insane to ruin it… yet somehow, they defy all odds and do so. Again.

The film picks up after Superman’s death with the world plummeting into chaos due to criminals and aliens alike seeing it as vulnerable without their recently deceased protector to save it. In order to change this, Bruce Wayne along with Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) seek other heroes to protect it – that’s where The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman come in. Once they are united, they attempt to stop the world’s biggest threat yet, Steppenwolf, from destroying it.

One of the biggest problems this film faced from the beginning was its directorial mish-mash of styles between Snyder and Whedon. Due to tragic circumstances, Snyder wasn’t able to conclude filming, and as a result, Whedon was brought on board to wrap it up. Quite frankly though, their styles couldn’t clash more if they tried. Snyder made the DC Cinematic Universe dark, gritty and bleak, whilst Whedon, who heralds from the Marvel camp, is much lighter in tone and uses a lot of humour. This clash of style is very jarring and makes it come across as somewhat bi-polar. For example, you have Lois Lane mourning Superman’s death in one scene, and then you have Jason Momoa’s Aquaman surfing through the air on an alien-bug screaming “My maaaaan!”

Secondly, the CGI throughout the film was embarrassingly poor. Considering that Justice League is one of the most expensive films ever created due to its budget of $300 million, there are really no excuses for this. For me, the worst example of this was after Bruce Wayne finished talking to Aquaman and he swims off in what can only be described as an effect straight out of a PS1 game. Other notably embarrassing bits of CGI include Cyborg’s poorly animated head in certain scenes, Superman’s terribly ‘removed’ moustache via CGI and Steppenwolf who looked like an angry hammer-wielding piece of melted plastic.

The biggest, and least forgivable, flaw of Justice League (and the DC Cinematic Universe as a whole), however, is that it is horribly rushed. In the film, we are introduced to three, not one, but THREE of arguably DC’s biggest superheroes. Prior to this, we have zero knowledge of them other than a couple of brief clips seen on a laptop screen. Part of what makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe so incredible is that it has been carefully planned with each character being properly introduced beforehand. DC, instead, seem to view their respective universes as being in a race, and consequently, they’re always playing catch-up and suffering as a result. Jason Momoa has come out in an interview saying “It may be tough for a lot of fans to watch what they’re gonna see, how I portray him. But you gotta wait until we get to the solo movie to really know” – this sums up my point entirely. Why push out Justice League before the characters are properly established? It’s illogical and amateur.

Now that I’ve got all that off my chest, there were two things in Justice League which I did enjoy- the first being Flash. I’ve always loved Ezra Miller and I think it’s fair to say that he is easily the best part of the film. Whilst the comedy is questionable as to whether it’s needed, Miller owns it and made me laugh multiple times. The Flash is also the only new recruit who has some glimmer of hope regarding his backstory which inspires some hope for his solo outing in March 2018. As this article has made abundantly clear though, I won’t be getting my hopes up for any future DC film (even if they feature characters I like) – fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, thrice, a fourth and fifth time, shame on me.

* SPOILER, BE WARNED*

The second ever so slightly redeeming moment was Justice League’s second credits scene which reveals that Lex Luthor has escaped Arkham Asylum. More excitingly though, it introduces us to Deathstroke, who I love.

Ultimately, Justice League is the most unjust thing to have been released since Suicide Squad, and given that this should have been their best film with their best characters, this makes it sting even more. When will they learn…? Apparently never. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review - Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Unfortunately…

First Man Review - Out of This World

Hereditary Review - Should You Believe the Hype?