Summary: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
So I’m going to say that I wasn’t necessary excited for this movie as the other DC movies haven’t been very good outside of Woman Woman which I liked enough. So, WW set the bar high and I was more interested in seeing Jason Mamoa as Aquaman to see his take on it, and to see Ezra Miller as The Flash SINCE I LOVE EZRA MILLER and I love The Flash. So I was excited to see them. But anyway, on to the review.
Cast and Characters. I think one of the best things this movie has going for it is that the cast is good, they have pretty good chemistry with each other and they’re all fun.
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman: A wealthy socialite and owner of Wayne Enterprises who also dresses up like a bat and protects Gotham City from criminals. He is a highly trained, a masked vigilante equipped with a lot of tools and weapons. In this film Bruce spots a parademon and makes it his mission to try to recruit the others to help fight as Superman died. I mean, Bruce is Bruce, Batman is Batman. I think Ben Affleck is a good choice for both characters. Being this older version of the character, he’s even more jaded than usual but at the same time, weirdly optimistic. I think he does a good job in understanding the character at this point in his life. I appreciate that he doesn’t growl when he talks as Batman but he does mumble since he talks through his teeth.
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman: Diana is a antiquities dealer, an immortal Amazonian warrior and the crown princess of Themyscira. She has superhuman abilities and is awesome. She is very different from the Diana we knew and loved from her solo outing, she’s still hurt and angry from the events that happened there and it shows because she isn’t nearly as eyes wide open as she was before, that also has to do with the fact that she’s been around for years. Diana is still trying to find her footing even though she helps whenever she’s needed. In this film, she works with Bruce, but she also opposes a lot of his theories and she basically is the one who understands the most what’s going on, as she keeps telling us. Gal Gadot is still great in her role, I love her facial expressions when she’s fighting, and when she’s enjoying whatever fight she’s in.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / Flash: In this film, I believe Barry is probably about 20 as he’s a University student. We first meet him when he’s speaking with his father in prison and it’s easy to tell that this sort of thing still bothers him, but as we get to meet him more, we find that he is a bit awkward, likes to crack jokes and obviously the youngest of the group. I liked his energy throughout the movie, he was funny, he was always smiling and I think Ezra Miller has really good comedic timing. I mean I get why people wouldn’t like him but I loved him and I can’t wait to see his solo movie. He was definitely the comic relief in the movie. I also liked the little extra things he would do for the role, like whenever he got ready to run, he would do a yoga pose, or he would breath deeply to prepare. I also enjoyed how when he was hungry as he burns a lot of calories that he would affect his body posture and facial expressions to show it.
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman: He is a meta-human with aquatic abilities and superhuman physical attributes due to his Atlantean physiology. He’s been a Good Samaritan to the people in a small town that lives on the water. He likes his alcohol and he’s super cool with all of his tattoos (good use of Momoa’s personal tattoos honestly) and it’s easy to tell that he’s distrustful of most people he doesn’t know. I liked that about him because it shows that something may have happened with him. I think Jason Momoa definitely enjoyed this role because he was able to be strong, funny and have fun. Whenever he was fighting, he would do “yahoo!” and I loved how he would comment about Bruce being dressed as a giant bat. He was totally a bro, but a likable bro lol.
Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg: A former college athlete, and a genius who gets into a car accident that nearly kills him. His father uses technology to reconstruct his body giving him abilities that allow him to fly, turn his arms into cannons and manipulate technology. Victor has to deal a lot with his struggle of his humanity and if he is still a human even though he’s mostly machine. I like that he has to deal with that throughout the movie before having to decide whether or not he comes to term with it. I liked Ray Fisher enough, I didn’t think he was the most memorable of the team but I didn’t think he was bad or anything, he was okay. He’s so handsome lol.
Supporting Characters. I was going to go through the supporting characters but I realized that they’re not very important at least to this movie. Sure, Jeremy Iron as Alfred is great just as he was in BvS. Amy Adams returns as Lois Lane and she’s not in the film very long, she’s there to serve a plot point and that’s about it, same to be said for Diane Lane as Martha Kent. I guess outside of Alfred, Joe Morton as Silas Stone is probably the most important side character but that’s mostly because of his connection to the plot lol.
The Humor. I think the movie is funny, it has a lot of moments where I just cracked up because the characters, mostly Aquaman and Flash, had a lot of great lines, or interactions with other characters. I love how Barry tried to fist bump Victor and he would never do it. Or Aquaman’s reactions to the plan that Bruce had, or just most of his expressions. I don’t think every joke lands BUT I think a lot of them do that helps the movie from feeling slow and boring.
The Flash’s Effects. I will go into this more later, but I do think that The Flash’s effects were cool. I liked how they tried to distinguish this version’s lightning effects to be different with the blue instead of the red/yellow. It’s different and I thought the colors were pleasing in the film.
The Action. Not all of the action works but there are some great moments in the film. Steppenwolf goes to Themyscira and fights the Amazon, that entire scene was great! It was great to see the Amazons again and see them be awesome! There is also a fight in the middle of the film, I thought that fight was much better than the one at the end, I would have been fine if the movie focused on that storyline instead but that fight was really cool. Also Wonder Woman’s first fight scene in the museum (?) was AWESOME, that felt like it was right outside of a comic book.
The Villain. Oh boy, this dude was so generic that anytime he showed up, I was like “oh yeah, you are the villain trying to do something for Darksied” meh. I don’t even think they mentioned Darksied again so if you missed it when he said it, you will absolutely no idea what he is trying to do. He wants to destroy and change the planet. Okay, but for what? No one ever really talks about it again other than the fact that it’s BAD! He was just a big villain with his “gross” minions and I wasn’t at all worried for anyone, or at all scared of him. I mean, of course he’s a movie villain, but I didn’t think he struck up any type of fear in anyone. Which leads me into my next point.
The Story. It was really weak. I mean, I felt there weren’t any stakes. Again, there is too much going on in this story. I wanted to give a lot more bullet points for this but I’ll just put it here since it all has to do with the story.
No stakes. I wasn’t worried about anything going on in this movie, other than the fight in the middle when Arthur, Victor, Diana and Barry all show up to see if Bruce’s plan worked, I didn’t think they had anything to worry about really. Whatever threat they wanted to build up, just didn’t build up. Diana just kept saying over and over that it was dangerous but it didn’t seem that way other than her saying it.
The emotional weight. There were a few moments of emotional weight that SHOULD have hit but didn’t and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we’re really just meeting Arthur, Victor and Barry in this movie and we know nothing about them in this particular world/universe. Barry’s moments with his father in jail are always emotional moments and I think Ezra Miller’s and Billy Crudup’s emotional abilities were wasted in that scene as it felt forced in there. Victor’s struggle with his humanity was nice and it helped give him something to do in the first half of the movie, but honestly, a solo movie or something before this would have helped with that. Also, Mera and Arthur have a talk after Steppenwolf fights them in Atlantis and I know what they were talking about to an extent but I also didn’t care.
The plot. I mean who cares. Steppenwolf comes back because Superman is dead, and tries to go after these Mother Boxes to remake the world. Okay. Again, why exactly? He really only says it once. Again, they suffer from too much going on and not knowing how to balance it all for me to truly care.
The Characters. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them. But I also thought that there wasn’t really much to them, story wise. I think the actors worked with what they were given. When I tried to go back over the characters, I realized that they were kind of shallow. There were moments when Bruce made me think of Bruce from Injustice but it was inconsistent. I thought Diana was very different and for some reason they definitely played up her being a woman more (the shots of her butt, people commenting on how pretty she is… take more notes from her solo movie please), and I get that she’s a different person than she was in her movie, but that is what makes her interesting. Victor has his humanity struggles and his connection to the Mother Boxes but I don’t think they did much with him outside of what he could do with the Mother Boxes. Arthur and Barry had a bit more heart personally, but that’s because of how cool they are.
Designs of Characters. I didn’t like the design of Cyborg, the Parademons or Steppenwolf. Cyborg’s design wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. I was pretty optimistic before I saw the film about his design because I figured the film wasn’t finished that he would look better but he didn’t. I think you could tell that they had to replace Ray Fisher’s body with CGI because the way his head moved compared to his body was odd. The Parademons could have had a different design, I mean I know they more or less look like that in the comics but they look too much like other things from other movies. A friend of mine mentioned they looked like Ultron’s henchmen which now I can’t unsee that. Steppenwolf looked like that hammerhead shark guy from Pirates of the Caribbean and I think his design could have been different. He’s this big grey guy and I think they could have done a little more with his design.
Special Effects. There are a lot of moments in the movie where the special effects looked really bad and weird. The effects on Cyborg were awkward, I didn’t like the blue light on his forehead and then the red light with his eye. It didn’t look well together. There is a particular character that shows up a few times where it’s easy to tell that something was digitally done to their face (a friend told me why that happened) and while I get it now, it still bothered me and I noticed it every time they showed up and was so bad.
The Fight Scenes. Not all of them were bad but there were some badly choreographed fights. Most notably, the one in Atlantis. I was really looking forward to that because I want to see how it looked underwater and it was meh. It was disappointing. The fight scene at the end, the big one, was also lackluster and there were times when The Flash was running that all you saw was a bunch of lightning and I mean I get it, he’s so fast BUT I WANT TO SEE THE ACTION. The big fight at the end, there are moments when I had no idea what was going on, there was this weird orange tint on the screen and they would cut away or do a long shot when someone was fighting. Why?
Disjointed/Structure. I don’t know if everyone really knows this, but Zack Snyder had to step down from finishing this movie due to a tragedy in his family, so Joss Whedon (Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) came in to finish the film in post production. He was originally hired to write additional scenes that would be reshoots but due to the tragedy, Whedon ended up finishing the post production of the film and filmed the scenes he wrote. I think it’s easy to tell that it was handled by different people because it gets very clunky in there. It almost feels like one of those puzzles where you have to slide the pieces in order to make it fit and someone didn’t know what they were doing at first, and then someone had to come behind them and fix it and they tried their best but one piece was still not fitting correctly.
Bad/Awkward Cuts and Transitions. Wow, this movie so many bad and awkward cuts and transitions. There was a particularly bad one that I was so shocked at how bad it was and it happened quite a lot in the movie. In the beginning, there’s a scene with Batman and a thief, and there’s a bit of dialogue and then it just cuts to the next scene. Later with Diana and Victor, they have a conversation and after it’s over, the scene cuts awkwardly again. There’s a lot of that in the movie and it’s really distracting.
Overall, the day I saw Justice League, I found myself liking it more than I do now. This review has been hard because the more I thought about it, the more I found myself not liking it as much. I believe it’s definitely better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad but definitely nowhere near as good as Wonder Woman. It has a lot of flaws, but it’s fun. I did have fun watching it. I enjoyed seeing this characters on-screen together, I loved seeing Ezra Miller as The Flash and seeing Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, they were new and felt fresh. It was great to see Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot return as Batman and Wonder Woman and I liked Ray Fisher as Cyborg. I think the actors were fine in their roles. I liked some of the action, the music was fun, I particularly liked the credits song and I thought that it had a lot of funny moments. However, there were a lot of times where the characters felt like shells of what they should be, or have been, the action wasn’t consistent, the story was clunky with no stakes, I didn’t believe the danger. The special effects were inconsistent and there were a TON of bad and awkward cuts and transitions. I wanted to really like this movie, I like it enough that I would buy it, but I don’t think it’s as good as it could have been. I just hope that the future movies, get better. Perhaps the solo movies will be handled better.
Rating: 2.89 out of 5 stars.
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P.S. There are TWO credit scenes.