Justice League review

Malcolm Durfee-O'Brien

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DC’s new film “Justice League” was released on November 17th, 2017 and seeks to redirect the franchise after the critical failures of “Batman V Superman” and “Suicide Squad.” Unfortunately, the film fails nearly every attempt to make it unique or enjoyable.

The story of “Justice League” is boring and disjointed. The plot is one of a generic superhero movie in which the villain is seeking objects of power for world domination and the heroes must stop him because he’s evil. This plot could have sufficed should the film have interesting characters, unfortunately there are too many of these characters introduced to make any of them interesting and each personality is so poorly defined that their beliefs change for seemingly random reasons. The film jumps clumsily between these characters in an attempt to create a coherent story, but fails as the film’s genre seems to change scene to scene. It also introduces new plot points without any tension or build up and also has entire characters and scenes that could have been cut from the finished product. A major component of a good superhero movie is that of an interesting and threatening villain. “Justice League” lacks an interesting villain, he is introduced in one of the aforementioned plot points and is given backstory in a heavy-handed monologue from Wonder Woman that serves as an exposition dump, one of many in this film. These characters are also dumb, as shown with a whole sequence when they decide to risk one of the MacGuffin devices in order to potentially resurrect the character of Superman.

The film’s acting is usually acceptable though laughable at times. Gal Gadot’s performance as Wonder Woman is as charming and effective as it was in her standalone movie, though her character is given some of the worst dialogue in the film. Ben Affleck is fine as Batman, though he does deliver some of his lines in an awkward way. Ezra Miller starts out awful as the Flash, seeming to not understand the gravity of his dialogue, however his performance improved greatly and became one of the highlights by the end of the film. This is a good point to mention the acting’s greatest flaw, its inconsistency. Almost every actor seems to start the film out in a bored and uninterested mood and finishes the film enthusiastically, it can be assumed that this has to do with the reshoots that “Justice League” went through. Jason Mamoa is probably given the worst dialogue in the movie as Aquaman and has some of the dumbest lines in the movie. Ray Fisher really tries to portray Cybor well, but is unable to due to the character’s poor dialogue and relatively short screen time. Henry Caville plays Superman the way he plays all of his character and delivers his dialogue as if he’s reading a newspaper. Ciaran Hinds’ performance as the villain of Steppnwolf is acceptable but, again, suffers from heavy handed dialogue.

Dialogue is the primary flaw in the film, with little urgency being infused into the way the characters talk. None of the film’s characters seem concerned that the world is going to be destroyed and none of them seem to be interested in stopping the villain’s plan. This is also what causes the boredom, as the lines suck all tension and intrigue from the film. The film’s direction and lighting is by far the strong point, with almost every shot being gorgeous and every character well represented by the area they inhabit in the frame. However, very few of these shots form coherent scenes, with the director opting to create interesting moments instead of impactful and entrancing clips. These moments, though interesting, are awkward to sit through and drags the film down even more.

To summarize, “Justice League” is a heavy handed and boring movie with a dull plot whose characters are dumb and awkward and deliver awkward dialogue and show no interest in the world around them, though the film is gorgeous. I give “Justice League” a C-/10.

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Justice League review