‘Justice League’ needs some improvement but is a step in the right direction.

‘Justice League’ needs some improvement but is a step in the right direction.

‘Justice League’ needs some improvement but is a step in the right direction.
November 29
00:18 2017

“There are heroes among us. Not to make us feel smaller, but to remind us of what makes us great.”

A Justice League movie is one I have been looking forward to since I was at least five years old. I’ve been a fan of these characters since I was a child, and my love for them has continued into my later years. Needless to say, a lot was riding on this film for me. I had some pretty strong expectations for what I wanted this film to be.

I can say that the film delivered on aspects regarding these characters very well, but as a film itself, it has some glaring issues.

I might as well start this review positive, so I will be the first to say I am a strong supporter of what DC is trying to do with their own cinematic universe. I may have been burned a couple of times with two of their previous films, but earlier this year, DC delivered a hit with their “Wonder Woman” film and — for the most part — some of that momentum has flooded over into the “Justice League” film. It may not be a huge, crashing tsunami of momentum, but instead, it’s more of just a single, very strong wave.

l cannot say the film does not have good aspects to it because it certainly does. Seeing these characters being united together on the big screen for the first time ever just brought a rush of pure nostalgic joy to my still five-year-old heart. The characters work their best when they are interacting with each other as the team they are supposed to be. This is the Justice League of my childhood, and seeing some of my absolute favorite characters of all time finally together in their first live-action film together just almost made me forgive all its flaws.

This film is the first time we are introduced to three of the five members of the League in the DC Extended Universe with The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. Unfortunately, most of their backstories are just merely touched upon, and they never go fully in depth with these three. Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman both give incredibly committed performances to their roles. Ezra Miller as The Flash almost stole the whole movie for me. He was the standard comic relief character, but Miller has so much charm and charisma in his performance, you couldn’t help but love him.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck’s Batman prove yet again they are two of the best parts of the DC Extended Universe. They had their films to delve into their respective backstories, so there was no need to explain them again. The film embraces this, and we are given some truly fantastic moments of pure comic book bliss with these two. Almost all of their scenes seemed like they were pulled straight from their respective source material and wonderfully put onscreen. It was like I was watching one of their comic book issues come alive before my eyes.

The performances of all the actors are not the issue with the film, though. Everyone is great. The issue are within the character development of The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. The film just merely only mentions their origins with a passing comment or they are presented with only a very short sequence about them.

This is the studios fault, though. Warner Bros. restricted the film to be under two hours to make sure it was not overly long. The original cut was supposed to be 140 minutes, but an inordinate amount of footage was cut. Most of the cut footage was indeed backstories to the characters mentioned above.

Another flaw the film has is the villain. Steppenwolf is the big bad guy this time around, and his only goal in the film is to collect the “mother boxes” that are stuck in various locations — which link back to our titular heroes in some sort of way. Unfortunately, Steppenwolf is nothing but another disposable villain. His motives are clear, but I was hard pressed to really care about him. I had hoped for a strong Justice League villain, but he was nothing more than a stepping stone to a much darker villain to come.

Forget Enchantress, forget Lex Luthor and now forget Steppenwolf because — unfortunately still — the best villain DC films has presented us with are their very own editors.

If you can look past the technical issues which plague the film, you are undoubtedly sure to have a fun time with it. Most people are only going to this film to see the Justice League in action together, and it more than delivers on that front.

It seems like I may be bashing the film too much but know I had a blast watching the film. My overbearing nostalgia and love for these characters almost made me forgive its flaws. As a fan of these characters and DC overall, I really enjoyed watching film. As a film fan, however, its issues are shockingly and unfortunately erroneous.

After the colossal success of “Wonder Woman” earlier this year, “Justice League” just about continues DC’s hot streak, but if some improvements were made, it could have reached the level “Wonder Woman” came to. I definitely want to see more of these characters in their standalone films, so I can say “Justice League” is certainly a step in the right direction for this franchise.

“Justice League” is really just a mixed bag for me. When the film is exhibiting its strong points, it’s really good and a ton of fun. When its issues start showing, it gets pulled back down to reality. I can wholeheartedly send you to the theater to watch this and not feel bad about it because you are bound to have a good time, but just know its flaws are certainly prevalent.

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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