Reel Quick: Justice League


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Justice League (2017)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, J.K. Simmons

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Synopsis: Ancient villain from another dimension seeks 3 boxes hidden on earth to some villainy misdeeds with. Batman and Wonder Woman seek other superheroes to help stop this nefarious bad guy.

What work(s): The cast tries really hard to sell it. Gal Gadot is still the highlight of these terribly made DCEU movies. I did kinda like Momoa’s anti-hero Aquaman though so there’s some sliver of hope for his solo flick, if that even happens now. Ezra Miller’s the Flash tried very hard to be the comic relief and at times I may have chuckled but ultimately he’s as annoying as he is quick. But anyway, I’m here to describe what works…um um um um. Its’ running time is short, under 2 hours. Jeremy Irons is a decent Alfred. J.K. Simmons, for the 2 minutes of screen time he had was a decent Commissioner Gordon too.

 

There was one [SPOILER] scene that was interesting and that was when Superman was resurrected and as a result of coming back from the dead, he was still not-himself and confused and thought the other heroes were his enemies and defended himself against them. It was a short scene and since I was still wincing at the way they resurrected Supes, I wasn’t THAT impressed by it but it was the only scene that really stood out as something clever and worthwhile.

There was also a short bank heist/hostage situation action scene that Wonder Woman took care of that was also very well done. Seems they are really doing Wonder Woman the cinematic justice she deserves in these films.

 

Yeah, that’s about it.

What fail(s):  Let me start off by saying this flick is CUTE. But not in a good way. I guess that sounds like a compliment but it’s really not. It’s cute how hard DC/WB is trying to keep up with Marvel Studios and failing miserably. First of all all these characters should’ve had more screen time alone or had their own movie—like how the key Avengers had their own to establish them before the big team-up movie. Marvel treated their properties like a marathon whereas DC is treating theirs like a 100-m dash. And it shows. I cared very little about The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Truth be told, I also cared very little for this version of Superman and Batman too but at least story-wise I knew beforehand their motivations and personalities. I sad earlier that the short running time of this feature was good but that mainly was a swipe on me not having to be tortured by this lackluster action flick with sub-par performances, special effects and jokes. 

 

There’s a ton to nitpick in this flick and not just in a comic book adaptation way either. I won’t bother since it’s a moot point. As of this writing, it substantially underperformed at the box office. Hell, even the 8:00 show on Friday wasn’t really packed. I will mention the two nitpicks that bothered me the most was the complete lack of other ‘humans’ or ‘citizens’ in this flick and the complete disregard for secret identities. Throughout most of the film other people or humans are not only unnecessary but almost completely absent. It was weird. Save for that Wonder Woman hostage crisis scene and Aquaman’s ‘fans’ there’s very little crowds around. The aforementioned fight between Superman and the other heroes was completely devoid of anyone but a few cops. It was particularly jarring at the Russian village that the main villain Steppenwolf made his secret lair that we only saw the destruction from one small Russian family of four’s point of view. And when they tried to flee the carnage at the finale fight, Superman stops beating up Steppenwolf to “save the people” and join Flash who was already running to save that small Russian family. Superman saves a lot of people (and this was actually a clever scene) but we never see any other human faces when he does. It’s like the movie wanted to save a ton of money on paid extras.

And the secret identity thing was basically stupid since people like Lois Lane are calling Superman Clark in front of cops. It was kinda dumb. There was a few other instances of this happening but 

The other really glaring issue I had, which you may have already read about was Superman’s mouth. Apparently, the producers of the upcoming Mission: Impossible sequel refused to let Cavill shave off his mustache when Joss Whedon needed to do re-shoots for Justice League. So they had to CGI his mouth. And let me tell you, it’s as distracting as it sounds. Some people are describing it like Superman looks like when in one of the Shrek sequels, when Shrek turns human. And that’s a fair comparison. There’s a short prologue where some kid fans are using a smartphone to videotape a quick interview with Superman and I seriously thought it was another actor playing Superman and that this scene was a type of reenactment that the kids were making some sort of tribute movie. I literally had no idea it was Cavill.

Speaking of Cavill, he needs to go. We’ve complained about him in both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman and it’s beyond a doubt that he is the wrong man for the job. Besides being so stiff, lifeless and bored looking in these films he’s just not a good actor. Same goes for Affleck, who acted in this film like he was literally staring at the exit doors, watching the clock. The rumors are that he’s getting replaced so that’s a good thing—if, any more of these movies get made that is.

I mean, I could go further how the plot is paper-thin and hardly interesting. I could elaborate more on how lame and terrible-looking Steppenwolf is and his minions. I can say how wasted and useless Amy Adams and Diane Lane are in this. But I think this film is taking enough beatings. Even the costumes looked terrible. It’s such a shame and let-down that these beloved characters are represented this horribly.

 

Overall: If this film was made in 1996, then it would be the tits. It seriously looks and feels like it was made 20 years ago. The effects are substandard. Every time they showed a close-up of Steppenwolf I kept thinking how on par CGI-wise he looked like The Rock in The Scorpion King. However, it was a few notches better than Batman vs. Superman and if I had to, HAD TO, see this again I probably could with no trouble.

Score: 3 At Least There Was No Jars of Piss (out of 10)

 

 

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