‘Justice League’ Movie Review: DC Gets A C+ For Effort [Spoilers]

DC’s Justice League just premiered, and it was indeed a big test for the hero-centric franchise. Now, DC fans worldwide can see their favorite superhero team in action. The question is: did they enjoy what they watched?

Plot

The exposition of the movie was split between giving the audience background stories of the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman while introducing the central conflict of the film.

So, when it came time to reveal the big bad, Steppenwolf, it felt a bit rushed. Steppenwolf’s background was not clarified. Wonder Woman does not explain much about the big bad. The audience is left to wonder who he is or what his powers are.

The Amazonian elaborates more on the three boxes Steppenwolf is trying to collect. The history of the boxes is shown through a scene that honestly had a Lord of the Rings-vibe. Based on Gal Gadot’s explanation, the three boxes or unity — or Mother, as the big bad calls them — are pure power, much like the Infinity Stones.

By the middle of Justice League, things get a little muddled. The second part of the movie is split once again. On one side, the Justice League superheroes try to save the world from Steppenwolf’s plans. On the other, Superman is learning to accept his death and revival at the same time.

DC tried to tie everything together by the end of the movie, but the last act was ultimately anticlimactic. Superman pretty much undermined everything that the first and second act tried to build up. He also overshadowed the other superheroes in the film. By the end, it felt like Superman could have saved the world from Steppenwolf on his own.

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Character Relationships

Characters from printed works are almost always portrayed differently on the big screen. Similarly, DC characters each go through different struggles and exhibit different parts of their personalities based on their situation. Knowing where a character stands is important for the audience to know his/her motivations.

For example, the Bruce Wayne portrayed by Ben Affleck is quite different from the one we see in The Dark Knight. These two Batmans have different motivations.

In Justice League, the audience knows where Superman and Wonder Woman are in their respective timelines because of their standalone movies. Superman is the beacon of hope for people all over the world. Wonder Woman is full of heart and in Justice League, and she acts as the heart of the group by giving everyone the attention and support they need.

To a certain extent, where Batman stands in life is understood as well. Fans know that Affleck’s Batman is older but not necessarily wiser. He is in a dark place as shown in Batman v Superman.

However, the audience knows very little about the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. So it would be hard for anyone watching Justice League to see what drives these characters. As a result, these characters seemed a bit flat and underdeveloped. This causes their dynamic with the more developed characters in the movie to feel a bit inorganic and awkward.

While watching the movie, the audience can see and probably feel a closeness between certain characters because the actors playing them are close. The superheroes’ dynamic with each other didn’t stem from the characters relationships, but the actors playing them.

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Conclusion

According to SlashFilm, Rotten Tomatoes may have slipped up and released the score for Justice League prematurely. Based on Twitter screenshots, Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie 48 percent and later changed it to 51 percent.

Rotten Tomato’s score may have been low because DC tried to do too much with Justice League. There were just too much information and background to cover to set the story. As a result, the single movie felt like two or three movies crammed together.

Regardless of the how the plot played out and how the characters’ dynamics felt sometimes, however, it was still a fun movie to watch. There were still a lot of really good fight scenes, especially between Superman and the other superheroes. It was also awesome to visit Themyscira again. Although, the Amazonians’ fight scenes seemed to have lost some of its finesse and elegance in Justice League compared to those in Wonder Woman.

One thing the movie did well was balance comedy and sincerity. Justice League’s comedic balance may be thanks to Joss Whedon, who finished the film when Zack Snyder had to take time off to deal with a traumatic event, reported Collider. Whedon has always known when to pull back a joke or let the audience feel the severity of the moment. This was evident in Justice League.

In general, DC tried it’s best with Justice League. It wasn’t a horrible movie, but it wasn’t outstanding either. It was, if any, the second-best movie in the DC film universe after Wonder Woman.

[Featured Image by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images]