Movie Review: Justice League (No Spoilers)

By Angel

Movie Description: “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.”

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Story

I waited for this movie my whole life. I grew up watching the Justice League animated show and it’s some of the best storytelling I’ve ever seen. The quality of the narrative for the live action Justice League movie was immensely disappointing. The film opens up with camera phone footage of Superman as he has horrendous CGI on his face that was extremely distracting. The visual effects from beginning to end are atrocious, possibly the worst I’ve seen in a movie with a budget this enormous. It’s a real shame that I could notice the reshoots and the green screens.

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Batman gathering the team was rushed and never felt special. The story was convoluted with character arcs they attempted to set up, but never bothered to complete. The villain was awful as the motivation was extremely generic and the climax of the conflict was underwhelming, way too easy for these heroes, especially when a certain character returns. Speaking of a certain character returning, the way they re-introduced him was absolutely ridiculous. I wasn’t satisfied with how the majority of the characters were written.All around terrible production. I will say, there are seconds of this movie that were freaking amazing, but they lasted for seconds.

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Cinematography

To me, great cinematography is when the visuals are contributing to the storytelling. A film should SHOW us what’s going on rather than tell us. When it comes to analyzing cinematography, simply, I ask myself, “Was this film nice to look at?” Then I can choose to get in depth and look for whether colors were symbolic, placement of characters in the frame, composition, lighting, shadows, and point of view.

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Was Justice League a nice movie to look at……no. I love that they decided to go with a brighter and lighter style to give more color to this superhero movie, these heroes are colorful and therefore the cinematography should reflect their personalities. The decision to change the entire color grading in post-production didn’t look or feel right especially with Snyder’s desaturated and overly stylized filmmaking. The visual effects also made it hard to watch and I still can’t believed the studio approved this for viewing.

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Performances

Cyborg was perfectly written, I didn’t expect to love his character the way that I did. I loved his character evolution as someone who saw himself as a curse and turning that curse into a gift by accepting himself. That’s really inspiring and I wish the whole movie reflected that idea as they all came together to support one another as team to save the world. Some of his lines really connected with me emotionally.

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Wonder Woman was my favorite character. She’s a leader full of compassion and strength that Gal Gadot perfectly embodies. She is to Wonder Woman as Christopher Reeve’s is to Superman. The negative thing I have to say about how they handled her character with a few moments in the film is when they sexualized her. For example, there’s a scene where Flash somehow falls and lands completely on her body, that was jut distasteful and practically a spit in the face to the character.

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Ben Affleck does not want to be Batman anymore and you can tell with his acting in this movie. He brought so much rage and intensity to the role for Batman v Superman and that was completely abandoned with his performance here. Remember Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men Apocalypse, well that’s exactly how he handled the acting, like he was obligated under contract waiting to get this over with. The writing for this Batman did not match the personality of the character either…. *Batman gets thrown* then says, “I think something’s bleeding.” You have got to be kidding me.

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The Flash was one of the best parts of the movie, but not because of his powers, just his enthusiasm to be around the team. It made me feel like a kid again watching the show and always wanting to be part of the Justice League, but I didn’t love this interpretation of Flash because he’s a legend on his own, not a scared super fan. The Flash is intelligent, cocky, sarcastic, and brave. Ezra gave the appropriate performance, it just wasn’t my ideal portrayal of the character.

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Aquaman was the weakest link. Jason Momoa was asked to play himself and was given no depth to really showcase the power and confidence of The King of Atlantis. We’re introduced to him as he’s in a rebellious state and I just thought that was lame.

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I don’t even want to talk about Superman. I just felt like he was so disrespected in this movie it’s so infuriating to me especially because he’s The Godfather of all superheroes. Just because he said, “Is this guy still bothering you” during a fight does not mean he is written correctly. It made no sense how he just all of a sudden changed personality or received cheesy dialogue, a personality that didn’t even feel authentic by the way. He didn’t even look like he was physically there most of the time because of how bad the CGI was. Thank goodness I have the 1978 classic, but I just need to see another great Superman movie again in my lifetime.

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Music

Danny Elfman ruined this soundtrack, I never thought I would ever write that. Elfman is one of my favorite composers and has created several legendary themes, but failed to add anything special here. He eliminated Hans Zimmer’s phenomenal score from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman because he claimed that these heroes only have one theme. I think that was close minded of him, especially when these characters will continue to live on with fresh and unique interpretations. My favorite soundtrack played at the beginning of the movie and it unfortunately had nothing to do with Danny Elfman.

Message

The lessons I got from Justice League: Working as a team contributes more help, hope never dies.

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Overall

I really hope DC course corrects their entire universe, especially since this was a financial box office disaster for them. There is obviously something wrong and I think it’s their distraction of trying to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which they will never do unless they focus on one character at a time. They are expecting us to respond positively just because we are seeing these characters on the screen for the first time, but I’m not okay with that. I care a lot about these characters, that’s why I started rewatching the animated show so I could erase this movie I just saw.

Here’s to hoping that Zack Snyder can make his own director’s cut so I can see the pure original version. Justice League is a messy story, with horrible visual effects, poor dialogue, lousy music, cringe-worthy villain, and mediocre performances. I couldn’t have fun seeing a Justice League movie made this way, Warner Bros. was not ready to make this movie. I loved the theme and some character interactions. They need to Flashpoint this universe! Thanks for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed the movie. My rating for this movie is 6/10.

Grade: D

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