Movie Reviews

“Justice League” (2017)

WARNING: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

Synopsis: Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) recruits a team of superheroes to unite against the earth’s biggest enemy, Steppenwolf.

Review: After the critical disaster of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros went back to the drawing board to try and fix the DC Extended Universe to make their upcoming films better. The studio succeeded with Wonder Woman, a critical and commercial success. The same can’t be said for Justice League.

Bringing together a team of superheroes is complicated when you haven’t done origin stories for each character (a la the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Justice League tries to give quick origins to Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), but falls short. The Marvel Cinematic Universe gave each Avenger their own movie before teaming up in The Avengers. It would’ve been smart for DC to do the same.

Another huge issue with Justice League is the runtime. Justice League clocks in a minute under 2 hours, which means the film has to introduce us to three new characters, set up the villain, bring back Superman, and kill the villain all under 2 hours. The last film in the DCEU, Batman v Superman ran 2 hours and 31 minutes, which many felt was too long. DC learned their lesson with Wonder Woman keeping the film at 2 hours and 21 minutes, but decided to trim even further with Justice League.

Director Zack Snyder filmed a majority of the film, but a family tragedy forced him to step down from the project during reshoots. Former MCU director Joss Whedon came in for the reshoots and helped punch up the script. This led to some of the best scenes in Justice League, however, it also led to horribly awkward pacing throughout the film and rushed CGI.

One of the highlights of the film was Henry Cavill (bad CGI’d face and all). Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman definitely was able to have a little bit more fun this time around, joking with the other members of the Justice League, and wasn’t so dour like he was in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Hopefully this is a sign to come for the Man of Steel sequel that is currently in development.

There are plenty of Easter eggs throughout the film to please die hard DC fans, as well as two post credit scenes. The interactions between the Justice League were definitely amusing, and although the film definitely is a step back in terms of overall quality, it seems that this film could still help push the DCEU in the right direction.

The DCEU has a full slate of upcoming films including Aquaman (Dec. 21, 2018), Shazam (April 5, 2019), Wonder Woman 2 (Nov. 1, 2019), Cyborg (April 3, 2020), and Green Lantern Corps (July 24, 2020). Hopefully DC has learned their mistakes from Justice League and can make the DCEU as popular as the MCU.

Final Grade: 6.0/10

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