Review – Justice League (2017)

by Nile Fortner

Ever since I was a child, I have been a fan of the DC characters. I have spent my life reading comics, watching the cartoons, collecting the figures and collectibles, going to conventions, seeing the movies, and I’m proud of all those things no matter how much society tells me I’m a geek.

As much as I love Marvel comics and movies, DC has a special place in my heart and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. In my opinion, Marvel has the better stories while DC has the better characters. Ever since the age of six, Superman and Batman have been my all time favorite comic book characters. Sometimes I even connect more to these characters than some actual people I’ve met in reality. I love these characters, and have loved seeing them come to the big and small screen.

Speaking of the big screen, there hasn’t been a better time to be both a fan of comic books and cinema. This has been the best time for fans to see our favorite caped crusaders, vigilantes, web-heads, heroes, and everything in the comic book cinematic universes.

As a fan of both Marvel and DC, I want both their cinematic universes to be great for all. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) I’m a fan of. They continue to grow, introduce new stories, and characters. On the other hand, I do find the MCU to be a little repetitive, and we need something new. The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) I thought was going to be something new. Something a bit more dark in tone, serious, and offer something other than the MCU structure.

I personally was a fan of the DCEU tone, but some of their films I found to be poorly written with the stories and characters. It is also sad to see how so many people and critics are being harsh and dislike the DCEU. I enjoy Man of Steel, didn’t care for Batman v Superman, was let down by Suicide Squad, and I love Wonder Woman. With the last DCEU film Wonder Woman being loved by most people, I thought fans and critics were going to enjoy the DCEU on the same scale as the MCU, and that the DCEU was moving in a positive direction. Justice League is not only my most anticipated movie of 2017, but one of my most anticipated films ever. It is finally here, the big blockbuster debut of the Justice League. As a lifelong fan, it truly hurts me to say that Justice League is a massive disappointment.

A Massive Disappointment?

I’m not going to get to deep into the plot. If you are reading this, keeping up with the DCEU, and know these characters and the comics, I’m sure you know what this is about.

I do think some of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are being harsh. I saw one critic call the film “unwatchable” and that DC stands for “Distasteful Cinema”. I really hope critics are not being  dicks just for the sake of being dicks.

For starters, the movie is poorly written. I hate to keep comparing the DCEU to Marvel films, but the way Marvel set up their cinematic universe is much better than the way DC is doing it. Marvel had a plan, introduce the solo movies, make references, fan service, and then we introduce the big dream team. DC feels ass backwards, Batman v Superman felt like the third or fourth movie that should have taken place in a cinematic universe.

The film could have and should have been written where these characters naturally come across each other, instead of Batman going from person to person trying to recruit them for the team. For instance, maybe Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher, needs something for his suit, so he goes into Wayne Enterprises to get the technology. The way these characters meet for the first time is a real dud. It really is, “Hi, I’m Bruce Wayne. I think some crazy shit is about to go down, and I randomly need someone like you. You in?”

Also, the movie literally just jumps from hero to hero without any real reasoning. It starts out with Batman, and then randomly jumps to Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, helping people against a bank heist and a bomb. The writing is sloppy and all over the place when it comes to story and how these characters meet. The film makes the writing seems as if it were extremely rushed.

It really is written as a generic superhero film. Superpower beings and Batman, get together to fight the villain. Fans wanted DCEU to be more like ‘Marvel’, and like ‘Marvel’, I find StepphenWolf to be a sorry ass villain. He is nothing more than a PlayStation 3 CGI looking character that is a giant two year old, because everything is “Mine!”

What About the Team Though?

I don’t want to come off like I hate this movie, because I don’t. It’s just as a lifelong and massive fan, I expect better. But one of the better things about this movie, and the DCEU so far, is how well they got the team right.

The plot, villain, and story were weak. On the other hand, the cast was great, and I love how they portrayed these characters and got them right. Gal Gadot is still one of my favorite actresses, and I love her as Wonder Woman. My favorite team members are easily Wonder woman and Ezra Miller as The Flash. Cyborg was cool, and his CGI suit does look better in the movie than in the trailers. He even said, “Boo-Yah!” Jason Momoa made Aquaman badass. Even though I think he gets the shortest amount of screen time, and the film didn’t do much with his water abilities. I know these characters will get their solo movies in the near future, but Aquaman should have done some balls to the wall crazy water shit at least once. How cool would it have been if Aquaman called in a shark, and said to Bruce Wayne, “You wanted to know if I could talk to fish, right?”

The World’s Finest

It was also a nice Easter egg for fans to hear the old Superman theme, and Danny Elfman’s 1989 Batman theme in the film.

Speaking of Superman, this is the Superman fans have been waiting to see for years. Let’s cut the B.S., we all know Superman is in this film. I do wish Superman would have come back with the black suit though. Me personally, the return of Superman could have packed more of a punch if this were all written a little better. Me personally, I would do the unexpected to really give people a surprise. Continue the DCEU, have Superman be dead for at least three years, and then he returns. However, when he returns, maybe he is the villain, or like Superman from the first ‘Injustice’ game. Later down the line, he becomes the Superman we all know and love. Just to throw people a curve, and give them the unexpected.

Speaking of the unexpected, yah boy Ben Affleck was great as Batman in Batman v Superman. But I really did get the feeling as if he does not want to continue as The Dark Knight anymore. We’ve seen Affleck act before, and he is barely acting in this film. He looks bored and as if he were sleepwalking through his movie.  If the rumors are true on #JakeGyllenhal (‘Nightcrawler’) replacing him as Batman, I’m all for it now.

Snyder and Whedon the Dream Team

Zach Snyder unfortunately had some serious issues to deal with, and Joss Whedon (Marvel’s The Avengers) had to step in and finish the film. The two directors working on this film sounds like the ultimate dream team for some fans. But I can’t help but notice the re-shoots, and how it is night and day when you can tell Zach Snyder’s film and Joss Whedon’s. Snyder still has the darkness going, which I like the dark tone that separated them from Marvel. While Whedon, brings a lighter and more humorous tone to the project. The two styles really standout to me, and do not mesh together all that well.

I’m a huge fan of these characters and the comics. DC is improving, but I’m sort of tired of taking baby steps with them. They really need to get the ball rolling, prove the haters wrong, and stop making movies that have a 90’s plot and structure.

Stop rushing the cinematic universe, call in the right people, don’t be afraid to be yourself, and most importantly have fun. I wish I could have loved the film and story as much as I love the portrayal of characters and the cast. I’m still a fan, and I believe the DCEU will and needs to pick things up. None of this R-Rated cut, extended cut, ultimate cut, or whatever cut you have. Just release a really good movie the first time around!

I am giving Justice League a 2.5 out of 5 Hairpieces!

 

  • Feel free to checkout our Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice review in the link below.
  • If you would like to read our review of ‘Wonder Woman’, feel free to check the link at the bottom.

https://cinephellas.com/2017/06/07/review-wonder-woman-2017/

 

  • If you’d like to see our Gal Gadot Tribute Video, Checkout the link provided at the bottom.
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