Martens' Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews from an avid movie-goer

Justice League Non – Spoiler Review

Release Date: November 17, 2017
Running Time: 2 hours 1 minute

“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”

In anticipation to the release of this movie, I decided to review the other movies that make up the DC Extended Universe, and I managed to do that this week, with them all being able to be found at the link here.

I went into this movie with a lot of excitement and hope that this would be a really good movie. I’ve wanted to see this group of heroes brought onto the big screen for a very long time, and even though the franchise does not have the best track record, it is coming off of its strongest film to date in Wonder Woman. I’ve tried to stay away from as many spoilers as I could, and decided not to read any of the reviews that were coming out in regards to the movie, deciding that I would see this movie and make up my own mind about it.

This movie sadly has the misfortune of being placed in a very precarious position in regards to the making of the DC Extended Universe, or the end of it after only 5 movies. This movie has to succeed at the box office for the DCEU to continue, and the way that this movie ends, it’s very much a standalone type of movie, that doesn’t really set up future movies that much as their future hangs on the balance of the box office results. Now, I’ve talked about my anticipation and what this movie means to the franchise, let’s get on with the review, which you can find past the cast and crew section.

Justice League Trailer – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment


Cast and Crew

This film’s principal photography was directed by Zack Snyder, afterwhich he had to step away from the project for personal reasons, at which point Joss Whedon stepped in to finish the movie in terms of re-shoots as well as putting the film together. I’ve mentioned Snyder’s previous filmography work as a director in the Man of Steel review, and I’ve also talked about Whedon’s work during the Avengers review.

The story for Justice League was written by Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio, which was adapted into the final screenplay by Terrio and Whedon. Like I’ve mentioned above, I’ve already talked about Whedon and Snyder’s work as writers and directors during the respective films mentioned above. I’ve also recently talked about Terrio’s work as a writer in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review.Justice League

From Left to Right: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / Flash & Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

The cast of Justice League includes Ben AffleckHenry CavillAmy AdamsGal GadotEzra MillerJason MomoaRay FisherJeremy IronsDiane LaneConnie NielsenJ.K. SimmonsCiarán HindsAmber HeardJoe MortonLisa Loven KongsliDavid ThewlisSergi ConstanceJulian Lewis Jones and Billy Crudup.


Review

This movie has somehow been a very divisive movie on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic in regards to the critics’ opinions, and I can understand why some might not enjoy the movie, but I came out of the film happier than when I walked in, and for that, I’m glad to say that I enjoyed the movie. There were flaws in the movie, as all movies have, but for the most part, I think they did a good job.

The problems with movie lies mostly with the villain for the film, the very generic storyline and end of the world feel to it, as well as the pacing and editing of the movie. The characters were interesting, and each given a balanced amount of screen time, which is something that they’ve finally learned how to do after the mistakes in Suicide Squad. The music was as good as the other DCEU movies that featured good scores. There will be a slight spoiler for those who are going into this movie blind, and not knowing anything about Justice League.

Justice League

Aquaman – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman was a lot more witty and comical in this movie than in his other appearance as the caped crusader. I feel like it is inevitable that he will be leaving the DCEU as Batman sometime in the near future, but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed his performance in this movie, and showed that he’s lightened up a bit after the death of Superman. I feel like there could be one or two more stories to tell, but with more rumours than usual flying around, I feel like he will sadly be leaving the role. Now it’s just trying to figure out who will be the next Bruce Wayne / Batman in future films, and if they will ‘retcon’ it via Flashpoint.

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman did a fantastic job at her third shot at playing the character, and her confidence and acting ability just seems to be growing more and more each time. I was someone who was skeptical about the casting when it was announced, and I was trying to calm myself by saying that we don’t know yet, and she might surprise us, which she did, and has continued to improve, and I was really happy with the direction they took in this movie, and that they seem to be taking her in the future.

Justice League

Barry Allen meeting to Bruce Wayne / Batman – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Jason Momoa with Arthur Curry / Aquaman did what I was both fearful and hopeful about, in that he was Jason Momoa playing Jason Momoa with aquatic abilities. I love Momoa as an actor, and as a person, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at one of the conventions that he attended right after being announced as Aquaman. They did a good job at making jokes about the character, while also making him a serious, badass character that you want to learn more about. I have very high hopes for his solo outing next year, and I hope that it can deliver.

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash was brilliant and very comical in Justice League, really playing the fanboy up a lot for this film. I feel like they did a good job at teasing the future solo film that he will appear in, as well as make him likeable and different enough from the CW Flash that it worked well for me. I wish that we would have seen a bit more of his genius, or for it to be a bit more evident other than the creation of his suit. This version of the Flash gives me hope for future DC movies, even though other critics didn’t enjoy the film as much.

Justice League

Bruce Wayne telling Barry Allen that his superpower is being rich – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Ray Fisher did an admirable job as Victor Stone / Cyborg in this film, which was bogged down by the heavy use of CGI to make his character work. I enjoyed his take on the character, and I thought that he felt real, and I enjoyed that there was still humanity in the character, and not fully machine. I’m hoping that they can expand on that as well as his new found abilities a lot more in his solo film.

Henry Cavill’s return as Clark Kent and Superman was fantastic, and I loved how they brought him into the movie, and I feel like Cavill now has a stronghold on the character, and what makes him so great. I can’t wait to see what we will get from him next!

Justice League

The Flash – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

The music in this film was done by Danny Elfman, who introduced a lot of different themes into this movie, and I feel like he did a good job in combining the other themes already known into the grander score of the film. I also enjoyed how they warped some of the already existing scores from other films, and even the old Superman theme was added into the film. The music was well placed in the movie, however I still think that the overall score for both Man of Steel and Wonder Woman did a better job overall.

The cinematography was done by director of photography Fabian Wagner who I feel did an adequate job with the shots in the film. I enjoyed the Age of Heroes scene, and was happy that we got to see Themyscira and Atlantis in the movie. Overall, I would say that the cinematography didn’t quite meet the overall quality of the better of the DCEU films.Justice League

Wonder Woman and Aquaman – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

The CGI in this movie was not even close to the quality of recent films at all, and the look of the CGI characters (Steppenwolf, Cyborg, Parademons), all felt like it was the quality of early 2000s movies, and for a big budgeted comic book movie, I expected a lot better than what we were given. The special effects of the characters were great however, with the water control in Atlantis, and Aquaman, to the lighting and speed effects of the Flash, I was happy with what we got from that.

Justice League

Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Flash & Cyborg – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Steppenwolf was voiced by Ciarán Hinds, and while the character was a computer generated character, I feel like he still had a weight to the character, and that the voice acting was well done. What I didn’t enjoy about the villain was that there was no sense of urgency from the character, and the ideology of the character was never fully fleshed out, and I think that greatly affected his character. This character had no qualities that you could empathize with, and therefor was just a punching bag for the heroes of the movie.

 This movie also features a very much overdone trope of big blockbuster comic book movies, and that’s an army of minions, in this movie it’s the Parademons. In the comics, they are an army that is usually associated with Darkseid, a different villain than what we saw in this film, but they decided to give them to Steppenwolf for Justice League. When they battle, they turn the fallen of their enemy into more of themselves to strengthen their army.

Justice League

Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

This movie contains two credit sequences, the first being a comical and fun little scene that takes place about a third of the way through the credits, while the other is at the very end, and hints at possible future movies in the DCEU.

Justice League

Cyborg carrying Aquaman in the sky – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Overall, I disagree with most of the other critics about this movie, I found it to be enjoyable, and a lot better than I was expecting. I think there could easily be more life within the DCEU, and hope that it continues, as it’s always fun to have stories and movies that interconnect with one another, which makes it feel like a world within itself rather than just stand alone movies. The pacing, villains and the storyline were the problems with the movie, but the characters and the interactions between the Justice League more than made up for the problems in my opinion. At the end of the day, I would rank this movie as #2 on my list of the 5 movies in the DCEU, right behind Wonder Woman. With hopes that this is not the end of this franchise, I give this movie a score of 7.75/10.

Justice League

The Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman – Source: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Have you seen Justice League? Are you planning on seeing it? What did you think of the movie, do you agree with review? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

From now until December 6, I will be going back to regular reviews about movies that I’ve been neglecting as I’ve been writing reviews for franchises.

Thanks for reading,

Alex Martens

Categories: Reviews

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1 reply

  1. Hey Alex,
    The moment I saw the trailer for this film I knew I wanted to see it. However, I was also quite confused as it seemed like a lot of story crammed into one film. Am i wrong about that? The different settings (young Diana in training etc and 20th century) seemed so different.

    Finally, a request/ suggestion (if I may 😉 ): I really do like all the Justice League stories, however, I’m not nerdy enough to actually figure them out 😀 Would it be possible to create some sort of overview/ time line … where we could see which story follows which? Or what and who is connected to what to understand the stories better?
    (to have a structure for binge watching 😉 )

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on that

    Like

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