by Amanda M.
“All In” was the slogan used to promote the highly anticipated comic book based blockbuster “Justice League”, yet it seemed the only one not willing to go all in was the studio itself. Like it’s predecessors, “Man of Steel”, “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”, “Suicide Squad” and “Wonder Woman”, “Justice League” wasn’t targeted to little kids, but to teenagers and above with a PG-13 rating.
It was the third film in the multi-billion dollar five movie franchise directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Brother, but unlike the previous installments, Justice League has a lighter fun tone throughout the film neglecting the high stakes and ambition of the preceding installments. Because of this, Justice League is a good film to go and see over the holidays if you are looking for a purely fun time at the theater.
The film followed Batman (Ben Affleck), still mourning Superman (Henry Cavill), as he tried to assemble a team of heroes to defeat Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and his army of bug like warriors called parademons. With the aid of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman recruits the help of the Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).
The plot jumps between the threat of Steppenwolf’s oncoming invasion of Earth, to the prospect of Superman returning and trying to establish the three new characters in the franchise. Juggling all of these plot points makes the movie as a whole seem inconsistent and even confusing at some points.
The origins of the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg are never explained except through quick conversations, making the movie harder to follow for people unfamiliar with characters.
The writing keeps the film by adding in jokes mainly from the Flash and Aquaman. The jokes were funny at times, but others seemed cringe worthy or out of character in the film. For example, there was scene seen in the trailer where the Flash gets a green goo on him from fighting the parademons. This seemed out of place and childish compared to the overall tone.
Additionally, the non-threatening villain makes the stakes lower, even though they said Earth would be destroyed. These two factors made the film less tense and a care-free experience.
Justice league also included many comic book references that brought up the film. The brief mentions of the Green Lantern Corps and Darkseid made the film especially enjoyable for even casual comic book fans.
Justice League followed up Batman V. Superman, and despite them being direct sequels, many of the storylines were dropped. Scenes in Batman V. Superman like Batman’s “Knightmare” where he saw the omega symbol was never brought up. Additionally, the famous scene of the Flash warning Batman was never explained.
The film was also lighter in tone and visually compared to Batman V. Superman. Danny Elfman’s score was more similar to the 1989 Batman movie than Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL Batman V. Superman score, giving the film a more comic tone.
Visually, many of the scenes in Justice League were underwhelming in comparison to other Zack Snyder films. The deeper colors and contrast which Snyder is known for was starkly absent at times in the film
Justice League is also the first time the DC heroes came together on the silver screen, and they don’t disappoint.
The actors’ chemistry with each other translates onto the screen seamlessly. In battles, they work off each others punches and help each other out like in one scene where the Flash caught Wonder Woman’s sword.
Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot’s chemistry as Wonder Woman and Batman stand out in the film. When the two characters interact on-screen their dialogue always seems authentic and heartfelt. When they fight, you can feel their pain by the gut wrenching dialogue and the actors’ excellent face acting.
Along with the good onscreen chemistry, each character has their own problems they overcome. This adds an extra layer to the film that took it beyond just a superhero movie.
Cyborg’s story line in particular stood out. He was still going through the aftermath of his accident and figuring out if he was still human. His interactions with the team to helped him go through a fully fleshed out character arc unexpected in a team film.
The main villain of the movie, Steppenwolf, was underwhelming. Despite the brief back story, his motivations were never clearly established, and they never explained his association to Darkseid, who was mentioned only once in the film. Additionally, Steppenwolf’s fully computer generated body didn’t blend in with the real world actors around him.
Overall, the film had many flaws, but they didn’t stop it from being a fun and exciting film. “Justice League” at its heart was a true superhero film that showed all of the iconic characters collaborating with each other to stop a great evil, and it was exhilarating to watch.