Title – Justice League (2017)
Directors – Zack Snyder (300) & Joss Whedon (The Avengers)
Cast – Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, (Voice of) Ciaran Hinds
Plot – DC Comics beloved collection of superheros band together to stop the nefarious Steppenwolf (voice of Hinds) from ruining the planet.
“I miss the days when one’s biggest concern is exploding wind-up penguins”
Review by Eddie on 17/11/2017
You have to feel sorry for DC Comics.
Sure they’ve made more than a bucket load of cash with many of their releases, including of course this year’s box office behemoth and critical darling Wonder Woman, but overall the company has been living in the shadows of Marvel for a number of years now and have been late to the party when it comes to superhero team-up events until now.
Suffering a troubled production that saw original director Zack Snyder depart the project late in the piece due to a family tragedy and replaced by Avenger’s mastermind Joss Whedon, Justice League has had a far from smooth run to cinemas, that includes the fact we’ve never truly been properly introduced to its new main players, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg, with DC keen to get this ensemble together as quickly as possible.
Considering all of this, Justice League is not what I’d call a “bad” movie, in the sense that I’d warn everyone against seeing it, but this often jumbled and sometimes just not that interesting blockbuster is still far from the all-round winner DC would’ve been hoping for with Snyder and Whedon’s film lacking both a genuinely good story arc (new villain Steppenwolf is just generic baddie 101 or even worse) and any true memorable set-pieces or set-ups.
At what feels like a fairly brisk 120 minute runtime, Justice League is always on the move as we initially get to witness the first meetings between this collection of new friends (the highlight of which is probably Ezra Miller’s pizza eating Barry Allen/The Flash) but with so many people, so many different arcs to play out, Snyder and Whedon struggle to bring it all home and action scenes often feel haphazard, some scenes feel rushed or unwanted (a Russian family is given far too much screen time), while all the films colourful characters don’t get the airtime they perhaps needed.
After the middling response so far to his take on Batman, Affleck won’t be gaining or losing too many supporters here, the verdict is well and truly still out on Cavill’s take on Superman, while Gadot is once again great as Wonder Woman. Of the new cast Miller is a fine addition as the awkward Allen, Jason Momoa gives fans hope that his standalone Aquaman will be a lot of fun, while it’s surprising just how affecting Ray Fisher is as Cyborg even if his character doesn’t seem cut out to get his own standalone feature.
It’s a shame then that we don’t ever feel like this team is given the scenarios they needed to really gel together. There’s chemistry to be found here, even Cavill and Affleck benefit from the likes of Gadot and the new additions, their rather tiresome portrayals enlivened by the fresh, energetic nature of their co-stars but overall the film lacks an energy or pizazz that would’ve been the kicker to elevate this genuine middle of the road experience to something else entirely.
Final Say –
All in all huge fans of DC will be kept happy with this sometimes enjoyable, sometimes downright bad big screen culmination of hero’s and one badly CGI’d and generic villain.
Devoid of anything of true note and without a memorable set-piece, Justice League is unquestionably the poor cousin of The Avenger’s but with the talented cast involved, there is enough hope here to suggest that this band of hero’s have some room to grow into something special if all the stars align.
2 1/2 terrorised Russian families out of 5