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‘Justice League’: Review

Justice League is an entertaining, modest film that gives audiences the predictable offerings we can expect from a superhero movie like this – fights, action, explosions and one-liners. It doesn’t rank as high as The Avengers but it’s doesn’t tank.

The story is a continuation of Batman V Superman, Batman goes around world to assemble the best super heroes to fight Steppenwolf, an evil demon that has been summoned by Darkside to collection three cubes, for when fused together can unlock the power of the Universe.

What I liked about the film is seeing my favorite childhood superheroes from the cartoon days in a live-action movie all at once. Ray Fisher as Cyborg with a ton of emotional baggage to make him an entertaining Robocop  character. Gal Gadot is the face of DC now, it’s like she was put on this earth to play Wonder Woman and all the good she got from her solo movie that released earlier this year went over to the Justice League movie. But the standout star of the film was Jason Momoa as Aquaman. He brought a huge array of new masculinity which the cartoon and comic versions didn’t channel.

There’s some things that I didn’t like about the film like the “star cache”. It’s the star power and shine that the hero characters bring into the movie, you don’t see it at first but it’s the psyche when an actor knows he made $150 million plus at the box office opening weekend. When you watch The Avengers you know you are watching big name actors but with Jusitce League when not all the cast are megastars like Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg it waters down the impact of the film and makes it seem like they are supporting characters rather than heroes you would pay to see even with their solo films on the way.

Now solo movies…from this film three of the six leads are getting solo films done. Ezra Miller didn’t have much flare for the Flash, you can tell he didn’t really take ownership of all his character’s nuances and that’s why solo films are so important. They can work out the details that weren’t showed in such a huge all-star movie but they deliver confident performances.

These days Warner Bros and DC are in the start of a long-term strategy and are trying their best to separate themselves as far as they can from the Marvel Universe and build their own voice. You see it in the film from hiring The Avenger’s director Joss Whedon to the two credit scenes at the end which they did before, they basically used the blueprint of Marvel. It’s kind of sad because by this stage and this well known in the game you could have your own style and voice. I wanted DC to really give Marvel a run for their money but instead you get a knock-off Avengers film that falls short to the wonder of imagination.

Unlike Marvel’s films, the cast doesn’t seem to enjoy themselves here. They get through their lines fine, but where’s the chemistry? The Justice League attempts at humor fell flat; the subdued comedy felt manufactured and the only comic relief coming from Ezra Miller’s The Flash felt stiff and hollow. I must say, I usually don’t mind CGI, but when you use it gratuitously for even simple sunset backgrounds, you’re just being slack. Maybe it’s my nostalgia for Richard Donner’s Superman films when scenes used real external shots in real cities, but nothing felt real in Justice League. Everything felt fake, from the barn scenes, the Daily Planet offices… Hollywood needs a return to authenticity and realness in their film locations.

And finally, this should be Zack Snyder’s last film with DC. I still can’t accurately describe it’s tone and style. Are they comical like Marvel or dark like Nolan? It’s something in the middle, but that middle needs to be fresh and novel and they’ll eventually get there.

Justice League is neither epic or disastrous. It never hits the high marks of The Avengers, nor does it achieve the lows of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s a serviceable film that will provide all the action superhero fans expect along with a firm foundation for the DC Universe of films. Watch out for TWO end scenes after the credits. One is a funny scene comic book nerds will appreciate and the second pushes the story forward including a popular, familiar villain along with a brand new menacing face.

Watch the trailer below and be sure to watch Justice League when it hits theaters this Friday (Novemmber 17).

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