Cochise posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 23 days ago

Justice League


Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by:
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comic Book, Fantasy
Official Site:
Plot: spoilers follow!


After all the post-production and reception fuss about this movie I went in with tempered expectations, purposefully low even. I was excited initially as I'm a big fan of Batman, and while I didn't like Suicide Squad nearly at all... like really... and am still 'meh' on Man of Steel despite trying over and over again to really like it, I actually thought Batman v Superman was almost shockingly good and refreshing. I went into the theatre having heard all the fuss about that one from critics and the like and was kind of floored by how much I felt differently when I watched it. It was the first time in ages that I actually cared about the characters and story in a superhero movie, and one of the very, very few times that the drama and emotion was tangible, and with that it made the action way more impactful. The seriousness worked, and there were some great twists and turns. I'm still not big on Eisenberg's Luthor, but aside from that I simply just do not get the hate. Then, came Wonder Woman. I went into that one with mild expectations, not really being a fan of the character at all, but thinking it looked alright enough, and I wanted to see more of this DC universe so I decided to buy a ticket. WW, too, surprised me. I quite enjoyed it, though I did think it was more familiar and by-the-numbers than say BvS or even MoS. While I did enjoy it a hell of a lot, I have to say that I do think it's overrated.

Anyway, Justice League comes and... I felt much the same way during, and after, that I felt while watching Batman V Superman. I just don't get the hate. It was just confounding really. Now that's not to say that I think the movie was amazing or flawless or anything like that. But... well I have to say this right off the bat. I feel like I saw a different movie than some people. Eerily literally so in some ways... now I'm not sure if it was because I saw it in 2D (I heard someone saw that the 3D made the green screen look worse) or if I legitimately saw a different or updated version of the movie (which I don't think they would do) that they released in IMAX like I saw it in but... I gotta say, I even looked for it/at it but didn't notice the whole 'Superman lip' thing. At all. Really. And yes, my vision is fine, I was sober and I usually am pretty picky with special effects. I definitely need to see this movie again, but I didn't notice it at all and I was looking for it (and a bunch of the people who I saw it with didn't notice it at all, and they hadn't heard the news about it beforehand). I'm honestly just pretty confused about that. Then, there is a bunch of people online complaining about the CGI overall. And while I won't say this is state of the art stuff, I would say it's better than Suicide Squad's effects and on part with Batman v Superman's, which I had no problem with and enjoyed (though I thought could have been better). I didn't think they were bad, and honestly a lot of them reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 style stuff, like Gamora with that giant gun. I honestly didn't find them distracting or detrimental.

I have to say I did not like the heavy red colour correction change that was made to the big finale though. I understand it's how the colour scheme of DC comics and animated films take when an event like that is taking place, so that source material faithfulness is cool and all, but I think the effects just looked better with the original blue-ish tone which you can see in some of the original trailers. But, it is what it is and isn't going to change now, unfortunately. The one effect I thought could have been better for sure is Steppenwolf's face, and think that they definitely could have and should have just got a real actor's face imposed on the body, considering Steppenwolf's face is so humanoid anyway... I just don't get that decision. Still, I thought as a villain he was pretty decent. Villains, especially in superhero movies, are usually pretty forgettable and mediocre. Steppenwolf does seem pretty by the numbers, but I found him more memorable than Ares, Enchantress, and probably most Marvel Studios villains too. A big reason for this were the 'moments' that he gets action wise that are just cooler and more visually striking and memorable than say someone like Hela in Thor: Ragnarok (whose only moment I really remember was her literal final moment on screen). However, he still feels like a mid-tier villain character wise, but I honestly think that's fine because... this movie was about the team. It has world-ending stakes (what blockbuster doesn't really) but it feels like a good first outing for the team. A first test if you will. He was a threat, but he was taken care of and I felt satisfied by it. He was serviceable and I think that's what this particular movie needed villain wise -- especially when you have Superman come back.

That is one thing that bugged me initially to be honest... Superman comes into the battle and then... it's over. The whole thing is a joke to Superman, who isn't taking it seriously but cracking one liners (I get that people like that but it totally takes me out of the movie, it makes the threat seem silly and takes all the drama and intensity out of it, which is one of my problems with a lot of Marvel movies... the comedy overstepping its bounds) and Superman is just so overpowered that fighting Steppenwolf, at least how they portrayed it, turned Steppenwolf from a serious threat into a fly Superman swats. I get that Superman is well... Superman, but I feel like they should have (especially with his rebirth) toned down Superman's powers a bit, because it just makes everything much less exciting.

Story wise, the movie was what I expected. It was The Avengers. It was by the numbers, but I wasn't really looking for much more. I'm not going to say I loved the story, because I didn't. It was pretty much exactly what you would expect, and then simplified. While I think The Avengers had a better script in terms of its progression, I found Justice League more memorable in terms of its moments. And it's odd because I far prefer Marvel characters overall, other than Batman. So, Batman being a part of this may have increased my involvement with the film, and my enjoyment of it for sure, I'll say that. At the same time, some of the weaker parts I found was some of the over-Marvelizing of it. Some of the jokes really worked (namely Flash's stuff), but what I find negatively affecting about these movies is when jokes happen during the moments of big serious action and intensity, because it just removes that tension and involvement I find. It happens a couple times here, especially with Batman, which I found was most out of place and off-putting of all. Then there's weird out of place jokes or lines like 'you smell good' followed by 'I smelled bad before?' at a pretty serious moment. That scene should've been played for emotion, but instead it just went for an attempt at a light joke. Aside from that, the movie feels heavily edited, and detrimentally so. I would love, love, love to see an extended cut of this (and if they could change the colour correction in the finale back that would be great, heh). The pace feels too quick when it didn't need to be. I still think it works surprisingly well, but feel it actually would benefit from more length. I do have to say I loved Superman's return somewhat. Not his new jokey and OP self though, instead the evil Superman scene when he first comes back. Though, it certainly could have been handled better that's for sure. I loved that scene, but they just completely ignore the very end of BvS. It would've been better if when Cyborg and Flash get to the casket, they open it up and find it empty, which would have made the ending of BvS make sense. Then have it be shown that Steppenwolf brought Superman to Apokolips or something, and turned him into evil black suit Superman, commanding part of his army or something. Then have Batman take Lois (I do have to say I was so happy they followed through on the 'Lois is the key' Flash thing from BvS at least) through a boom tube and they have to turn Superman good again while the rest of the league fight Steppenwolf and his parademons on Earth. They bring him back just in time, and he defeats Steppenwolf as he does in the movie. That would have been way better all around, not only for Superman and that whole change, but also for Batman, who unfortunately just feels so, so out of place in the final battle.

Character wise Wonder Woman was solid, though didn't really leave much of a new impression on me. I liked her just the same as in her solo movie, good enough. I do still think her 'power' or skill of deflecting bullets with her gauntlets looks pretty silly. Flash was a fantastic new addition, and I look forward to seeing more of him. However, I was a bit disappointed in the visuals of his timeforce stuff... too often does the lightning and stuff kind of block the other areas of the image I found, though some of it did look really cool. Overall I just kind of found it to be a less cool version of Quicksilver's stuff from the X-Men series. Still, the character was lovable, silly, unique and endearing and I'd like to see a solo movie of him (that isn't Flashpoint -- too soon for that I think). Instead I think it'd be cool to see a double-origin Flash/Cyborg movie. Now Cyborg I was quite surprised me. I'll be honest again, upon my first viewing the effects didn't distract me at all, and I liked the character (who I had never really experienced before - hadn't seen any animated movies or read any of his comics). Fisher gives a very good, genuine performance considering it's just half his face, and I actually felt for the character and his ugly-duckling thing. Would be more interested in seeing a Cyborg solo movie, or especially a Flash/Cyborg movie than Suicide Squad 2, Wonder Woman 2 or... Aquaman. I hate to say that, but what surprised me most was probably how 'meh' I was on Aquaman after I left. I liked his stuff well enough, and maybe he just didn't get enough to do, but I was pretty indifferent to his character. Him riding a Parademon through a building was one of the weaker effects moments that stuck out to me (though again the red colour probably made it look worse than it was) and aside from that I don't really remember anything else he did action wise. And the Atlantis scene was probably my least favourite part of the movie... I don't know, I sure hope that first Aquaman trailer blows me away, because while I really like Momoa and the look of this version of the character, I was left not really caring about an Aquaman solo movie, but obviously it's already coming next year... I wonder if others felt the same, and honestly it kind of seems to me at this point that if Aquaman isn't a big hit that movie might actually signal the end of the DCEU. I feel like it could easily be a big bomb. I hope it surprises though, but I don't really see it being as big as any of the DCEU movies released this far... it honestly just seems like a pretty odd choice of a movie to have greenlit at this point (before The Batman, Man of Steel 2, etc etc etc). Batman of course is my favourite character, and he was solid here. Like Wonder Woman he didn't get much change from his last outing, though actually he did become a bit lighter and more comedic... which worked, for the most part (aside from a few times the jokes seemed forced and detrimental as previously mentioned). I really, really hope we get at least one more outing with Batfleck, and really hope it's a solo movie because honestly... it's great that he put the League together... but he doesn't really fit in it. Even all his expensive toys just seem to be good for one of two enemy hits and then they blow up, which was kind of weird (you'd think they'd portray his technology stuff as what makes him an equal warrior to these guys... but the parademons just rip all his stuff to shreds with ease, and hand to hand he stands no chance really). The coolest action sequence in the DCEU is still the warehouse sequence from BvS with Batman, where he goes Arkham (the videogames) on the bad guys. THAT is what I want to see more of, more so than absolutely anything in this DCEU. So hopefully there's a Batfleck solo movie where he goes up against human opponents like Deathstroke and his crew in the style of that warehouse fight. And get the Joker in there too. Just adapt Arkham Asylum with Matt Reeves (without the silly mutant-Joker crap at the end) or Arkham City. Then have him find Nightwing or whomever at the end. Then have the Nightwing movie be about Batman training him to take over for him, then have Bruce retire from being Batman and be more of a Nick Fury type character in the series. I really hope that happens... but it probably won't, of course. Apart from that though, I found the action in Justice League to be really fun. It was big and colourful (again, down with the red) and probably one of the most cartoonish/comic-book-y feeling movies out there, which works seeing as well... that's what it's supposed to be. It kind of felt like a Saturday Morning Cartoon in some ways, which was actually kind of cool (though less involving than something with weight like BvS).

Finally, music. Now I love the Burton Batman theme and the Reeves Superman theme... but I did not like Williams' score here at all. It was sort of cool to hear the Batman theme again, but it did feel a bit out of place. The movie just would've been so much more enjoyable, intense and involving if it had the same style of score that BvS and MoS had with the Hans Zimmer/Junkie XL style (and I was never really huge on those scores, but after seeing it with this score... I would have much, much rather have had something more along the lines of those). Too bad.

Overall I had an absolute blast and just do not get the hate. It's not perfect, and could have been better for sure (and probably was before all the studio interference). I will definitely have to see again to make up a final opinion on it, but it's a strong 7, maybe 8 right now because I'm buzzing from it. Sure do hope there's an 'ultimate cut'.


Other reviews of this film: KcMsterpce (5/10) , oscarxp25 (6/10) > Display all
Moviefreak2010 at 09:52 PM Dec 03

good movie

Back to Cochise's MOVIE REVIEWS