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Justice League: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

justice league review

Justice League is the fifth movie of the DC extended universe and was released worldwide on 17th November 2017. It is faring poor at the box office and the tomatometer rating of top critics for Justice League is only 24% but is Justice league really that bad?

Directed by Zack Synder and partly by Joss Whedon, Justice League was supposed to revive the DCEU after the abysmal performance of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. To understand how successful was it in doing so, lets dive into the good, the bad and the ugly of the Justice League.

Justice League: The Good

Humour

We don’t often say this about DC movies but there was some good humor in Justice League all thanks to Joss Whedon. There were some great funny moments between Flash and other characters, between Superman and Flash, and when Aquaman was under the spell of the lasso of truth. The funniest of all however was when a little girl takes out mosquito killer to fight parademons. 

Superman


Superman was the best part of Justice League. One of the biggest problems with Superman in the Man of Steel movie was that he was a whining crying indecisive baby. Throwing a character in a moral conflict is only good when the audience can resonate with it. However, they solved this problem in Justice League as we are not bored with “To kick ass or not to kick ass” of Superman. Instead, we get to see the raw power of Superman. He literally defeats every single Justice League member when he is first brought back to life. We even see Superman’s eyes follow Flash when he is running at superspeed. Also, this very raw power of superman is what defeats Steppenwolf.

Justice League: The Bad

The Story


Most of the times, the story feels rushed. There were three new character introduction (Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg), introduction of Steppenwolf and the story of mother boxes. All of these happens in the first 45 minutes of the movie. The big problem DC is facing is that they are making team up movies before introducing the characters in their standalone films. This might work when in the team up movie, you spend at least 10-15 minutes on the introduction of that character. The scene where Steppenwolf acquires the mother box from Atlantis (the underwater city which was introduced for the first time in DCEU) is completed in under 3 minutes. All of this could have been solved, if Warner Bros had stuck to their original 2hr 50min run time.

Where are the human characters?


The big difference between Marvel and DC movies is that Marvel movies are grounded. Yes, Justice League is a superhero movie but does that mean all the humans on earth magically disappear. Except for one scene of Jim Gordan and couple of scenes with the Russian family, there are hardly any human interactions. Earth is faced against its biggest threat but you don’t see a single human. It's like, there was this big threat that Batman discovered, he called in the team, they destroyed the threat and all of this happened without humans being aware of this. Look at the first Avenger film and then watch Justice League, you’ll understand what I mean (i.e if you haven't already).

Role of characters in the final battle


In marvel movies, you see this coordination among the heroes. Every character has a specific task that serves and carries the story forward. For instance, Iron man was supposed to restrict the Chitauri within a certain perimeter, Thor was supposed to light up the portal, Hawkeye was supposed to keep a bird’s eye, Hulk was supposed to smash every chitauri and Captain and Black Widow were supposed to fight on ground and help civilians.

In Justice League, Cyborg was supposed to separate the mother boxes, Flash was supposed to help civilians (maybe; there were no civilians) and all the rest of them were just fighting Parademons and Steppenwolf randomly. There was no strategy or a battle plan. The heroes were just fighting and failing and then Superman came and overpowered Steppenwolf. Justice League fails to give sufficient importance and “things to do” to all of its heroes. Also, how exactly would the story be different if there was no Wonder Woman?

Powerless Heroes


The best thing about the movie is also the worst thing about the movie. Superman!
In showing the raw power of Superman, other heroes were overshadowed. When it comes to the final battle, we see very few good action sequence of anyone other than Superman. Aquaman kept taking the beating. Wonder woman failed to impress. Batman was fighting parademons? In a nutshell, everyone other than Superman failed to impress.

You never feel there is a threat

Batman goes around assembling the heroes because there is an imminent threat coming; Steppenwolf. The issue is that not for a moment in the movie, you feel that there is a threat. There was no time spent on explaining the threat; the league battles Steppenwolf twice. They lose once and win the final battle. This is the most basic three act story you will ever see. We see this every tuesday on Flash TV show. There is a new villain - heroes fight the villain - they lose - they realise they need something else to defeat the villain - they acquire that something, they fight the villain again - they win. It is a monodimensional story. We are not made aware of the consequences. Yes, the world will end. But just saying that doesn't impact the audience when every other movie we see has a world ending consequence. The threat has to be multidimensional.

Justice League: The Ugly


Colours


This is a standing problem of all the DC movies. The colours in the movie are just the worst. During the final battle, the sky's covered in orange. What’s wrong with an open sky like in marvel movies. Where did the orange come from? And it doesn’t even look pleasing or add to the tension. All it does it make the movie feel fake. Marvel movies with all its superhero element is grounded and feels real; something that could happen. I get that Batman and dark goes hand in hand, but does 50% of the movie have to happen in dark?

CGI


The point of CGI is to make things that aren’t real appear real. CGI in Justice League feels artificial be it Cyborg’s suit or the tree roots like thing growing out of Earth during the third act or any other thing.

Steppenwolf


Seriously, Steppenwolf is one of the worst super villain and that is not a character flaw. It’s how the movie is shot. There are no scenes from the perspective of Steppenwolf and hence it is very difficult to understand what he is doing and why he is doing. Also, he is able to defeat the Amazons, the Atlantians, and everyone else and in the end, Superman single handedly defeats Steppenwolf. The powers feel very imbalanced. What the movie lacks is a backstory of the villain; where does he come from? What is his relation to the mother boxes? How did the mother boxes end up on Earth? How and when did he found out about them? And so on.

Justice League was suppose to resurge the DCEU. I can’t believe even though Justice League wasn’t as good, it was still better than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. There are a ton of things that didn’t work for the movie but the humour in the movie and the display of raw power of Superman made audience feel good. One good thing that came out of this for DC is that people are now familiar with Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg and would have less apprehensions to watch their standalone films.

Verdict


Justice League is a good entertainer but fails to impress when viewed critically. DCEU has not been revived but the hope is alive.

The Flabbergasted Indian rates Justice League C+



  

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