Movie Review: Justice League 2017

I got to watch Justice League last week at the pre-screening held at Century Cinemax, Junction Mall two days before the official premier courtesy of DSTV which was all kinds of exciting. One of the major movies to comes out this year, I had anticipated it for so long, and it certainly did not disappoint.

Justice League starts off in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead and the world is in mourning because even though their hero is dead, evil is still alive and well. There is a new supervillain in town, Steppenwolf, who is one of the New Gods in the Fourth World. His mission is to retrieve the ‘mother boxes’: one in Themyscira among the Amazons, another among the Atlanteans and the last hidden among men. The ultimate goal, per usual for villains, is to use them to conquer planet Earth.

Batman (Ben Affleck) feeling guilty for his role in Superman’s destruction paired with inspiration from the Man of Steel’s selfless act seeks out Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and asks for her help in creating a team of superheroes to go against Steppenwolf and his team of crazy fear-eating demons. They recruit The Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher) into their alliance.

Following after the success of Wonder Woman, DC had their work cut out for them. The cast is equal parts compelling and charming in their execution of the plot. Ezra Miller as The Flash has a wide-eyed quirkiness that is endearing and he gels perfectly with Jason Momoa as Aquaman’s gruff sexiness. Wonder Woman is excellent as expected, her screen presence is vivid and she takes the lead in most action scenes which is great to see.

 

Ben Affleck as Batman, who is responsible for bringing the team together doesn’t bring much character to the role. He gets lost in the background, which is odd as he is supposed to be the leader. However, a gag mid-script explains this lack of presence. The Flash asks, “What are your superpowers again?” To which he replies, “I’m rich”, pointing out that he is, in fact, best suited for the background action as he is more vulnerable to actual harm.

The overall cinematics are great in 3D and the action scenes will have you gasping out loud. The plot fails in part considering the length because they fail to fit in enough context but the funny banter suggests that the lightheartedness was intentional. Lois Lane makes an appearance in a moment that is supposed to be romantic, and we forgive the scriptwriter for fumbling here.

Justice League as a DC Universe film had its sights set pretty high considering it is supposed to be a launching pad for solo projects focusing on each hero. Their challenge was to show cohesion in the fight against evil while also giving each hero enough screen time to develop a proper back story for their sequel. In my opinion, they satisfied this goal to completion. I can’t wait for Aquaman (2018).

Verdict: 6/10

Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi, violence and action)

Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Directed By: Zack Snyder

Written By: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon

Runtime: 110 minutes

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

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