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Justice League Review

Josh Relyea, Editor

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On November 17th, the highly anticipated and long awaited comic book adaptation
Justice League was released into theaters worldwide. There’s been quite a bit of controversy
surrounding this movie as this current franchise of DC comic book films known as the DCEU
(DC Extended Universe) got off to a bit of a rocky start. The first film in the franchise was Man
of Steel, which was pretty mediocrely received. Then, came Batman v Superman: Dawn of
Justice, which was very poorly received, followed by the critically slammed Suicide Squad. To
give you my quick thoughts on those films, I would say that Man of Steel was a flawed but
entertaining comic book flick, Batman v Superman was very middle of the road, and Suicide
Squad was just a total mess of a film that I found very hard to enjoy. It seemed as if audiences
everywhere should have just given up hope on these films being of a certain solid quality, and I,
for one, was about done watching these movies. However, this all changed when Wonder
Woman, one of the best comic book films I maybe have ever seen was released into cinemas
in June of this year. Not only were fans impressed by the film, critics were enthralled by it as
well. Now, I thought to myself: if Wonder Woman was as good as it was, then Justice League
has at least a chance of being good as well. I still had my doubts, however. Zack Snyder was
back to direct it after he directed both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and those films
did not turn out in the way that I believe most people (including myself) wanted to turn out.
Also, when I heard that Snyder stepped down from post production on the film to deal with
some personal matters putting director Joss Whedon in his shoes, I started to become a bit
concerned.

It wasn’t because I think Joss Whedon is a bad director, but it was rather the fact that there was
a chance that the final product of the film could result in two different directors’ visions, which
I believe can sometimes bring a film way, way down. So, how was this movie? It’s okay!
As many problems as I have with this film and think it could have been way, way better, I,
overall, had a pretty pleasant experience watching it. To start off with the good, let me just say that it was a lot of fun
to watch this team of heroes work together on screen for the first time in any film. Just like in
Batman v Superman, I still continue to believe that Ben Affleck is an amazing Batman, as he
was one of the saving graces of that film and definitely a positive of this one as well. Also, Gal
Gadot was fantastic again as Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa was very cool as Aquaman. I
thought that Ezra Miller as Flash also had some fun moments here and there as well, but I had
some problems with his character and Cyborg’s character that I’ll get into a bit later. To
backtrack just a little bit, what I was stating before about my concerns for Joss Whedon to
direct this film in post-production was actually nothing to worry about at all. In fact, I think some
of the best scenes in this movie were directed by him and if you’ve seen films such as The
Avengers (also directed by Whedon), it’s pretty clear when a Joss Whedon scene is present in
this film from the way it might be put together. Now, let’s get into the bad. First off, this movie
has maybe one of the most cliché and basic villains in a comic book film of recent memory,
who goes by the name of Steppenwolf. I thought Steppenwolf’s motivations were completely
standard and unoriginal and I never once felt threatened by his character. The script and story,
at several points, is also quite weak. Certain plot points either occur too quickly and feel
rushed or you simply just don’t find them very believable. As I was saying before, I had some
issues with both Ezra Miller as Flash and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. I not only found both of these
characters incredibly thin in terms of development, but I also didn’t find them particularly
enjoyable. For maybe the first half of the film, I thought Flash was quite amusing and provided
some comic relief, but in the back half of the film I started to become a bit annoyed by his
character and didn’t find him very funny, as some of his dialogue felt very forced. As for
Cyborg, I thought Ray Fisher was very wooden in character and in development, and I couldn’t
have cared less about the fate of his character. Overall, Justice League was a decent watch.
As you can tell, I definitely had some issues with it, but I’d be lying to you if I were to say I
didn’t find any enjoyment in it at all. If you’re a fan of DC and have been pushing for their films
to improve in quality, I’d say give it a try.
The Student News Site of Bishop Hendricken High School
Justice League Review