The 9th Soul

Movie Review: Justice League (2017) – They Should’ve Kept The BEARD!

Posted in entertainment by Fated Blue on November 20, 2017

Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide SquadWonder Woman, now we have the fifth installment in the current DCEU in Justice League.

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Gotta be honest with you, I completely shut off everything about the film. Trailers, interviews, ads, early reviews, EVERYTHING. I didn’t want to be spoiled, I didn’t want to expect anything except a superhero movie with Batman and Wonder Woman in it.

And I got it.

In my opinion, the movie is worth watching if only to know where the series is headed. It’s an enjoyable film – relative to BvS, everything is enjoyable – but they badly needed Patty Jenkin’s storytelling magic. I was really surprised at how Joss Whedon’s style of quips and comedic scenes influenced Snyder’s directing. Snyder is 100% faithful to the source material and Joss, Joss just wants to have fun. And you can tell the film did try to be light and funny, but I think it was trying too hard to the point where I think they should’ve just shelved half of those quips in place of great dialogue.

For the most part, I think Batman’s lines were too forced or based on common jokes about him. I think we got like four scenes where Bruce Wayne reminds everyone he has a lot of money and a few scenes telling us he’s got contingencies and Plan B’s set up. And I don’t know…I think they developed Bruce Wayne well here, but the Batman we have now is nowhere near as fierce as the Batman we saw in BvS.

I think they watered down Batman’s darkness too much that he doesn’t look as intimidating than he’s supposed to be. It definitely wasn’t Affleck’s best Batman peformance.

Where did THIS Batman go?

Then again, we have to keep in mind that this isn’t a Batman film, and in that context we can forgive the franchise for making Batman take the backseat.

So Batman took the backseat (like way, way back) for the other members, was it worth it? I would say yes for Wonder Woman, Superman, and Flash, maybe Cyborg, but not really feeling it for Aquaman. I don’t know, I just feel like Aquaman needed a movie before this.

I can sympathize with Wonder Woman and Superman even without watching their first films (even with the whole Steve Trevor subplot sprinkled here and there), I don’t need to have a previous film with Flash and Cyborg to understand where they’re coming from, but Aquaman…I just don’t feel him. They gave him plenty of awesome things to do in this movie, but the motivation and backstory is lacking. Even Alfred was more interesting than Aquaman despite only having a few scenes.

Okay, so the film maybe didn’t give the characters enough depth, the story needed a little more push, and they focused way too hard on keeping it light (and bright too!) for perhaps a younger, Millennial audience.

They also sort of not pick a more iconic villain, or at least try to have a better recurring villain than Lex Luthor not unlike how the MCU is milking Loki so bad with the Thor franchise. The CGI in this film too…they need to hire whoever does the CGI for the MCU for sure.

The movie had a lot of cons, so where did it succeed? The film succeeded in making about the Justice League.

The film, while flawed in story and character depth, never flinched on the concept of unity and being part of a team. With the Avengers, you know they’re all badasses on their own, but they insert the whole “We’re a team” part way too late in the movie and you’re like “Oh right, they’re a team. How convenient was THAT timing?”

Then we have Justice League showering us with teamwork and friendship from the get-go.

I can take Batman not being the badass (like he usually is in the animated franchise) if it means I get to see everyone of the League represented properly. Still, it would be appreciated if Batman had more angry moments or more time with other bat gadgets.

Other things I love include:

  • Easter Eggs – Snyder just loves putting them everywhere. Definitely appreciate the 1989 Batman theme and the “explosive penguins” dialogue.
  • Action – I just love seeing my comic book superheroes fight baddies and the film excelled in that aspect with Snyder leading the charge.
  • Superman’s true strength and revenge – I’m not Superman’s biggest fan, but I gotta say he showed us what he can REALLY do in the DCEU. Even Flash’s speedforce wasn’t enough. And man, that dialogue with Batman. ”You won’t let me live, you won’t let me die. Tell me, do you bleed?” That is just badass dialogue right there.
  • Post-credits scenes – Yeah, they ripped this off Marvel, but Marvel ripped it off other films too! The thing I love about the TWO scenes were the nod to the classic argument of who is faster between Supes and Flash, and the villain I needed to see for the next Batman film.
  • Loyalty to the source – Snyder will break before he bends the source material.

The first Avengers film was better, but you get a sense of hope with the Justice League and will make you watch the next installments in the DCEU franchise if you’re fan. If you’re not a fan, stick with Marvel. At least that franchise is a safe bet.

Overall rating: 7/10

I’d rate this higher, but they need to fix the character depth issue and story. I know, the film is already two hours long, but this film is the first of probably few live action adaptation of the Justice League on the big screen! I don’t mind 30 minutes more of great dialogue and story. I’d sacrifice half the quips and jokes for that no question.

And to be quite frank, this year’s Wonder Woman is still the standard to beat. It’s definitely a notch or two above Batman v Superman in terms of storytelling, but I think it’s a notch below for character development. In the context of a team of superheroes, I guess they did okay for character depth.

PS: I have questions regarding Superman’s resurrection. Like, does everyone now know he’s Clark Kent or??? Speaking of Clark Kent, how would he live his daily life? Will people at work be all “Hey Clark! Thought you died last year, what with all the funeral rites we provided.”

And I seriously think Superman with a mustache or beard looks badass! No reason to edit it out if it will come out like this:

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They can just add some 30-second scene where he lasers his beard off. Put it in as a post-credits scene for all I care! It adds to the comedic affect without even trying!

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