Justice League (2017) Review

Justice League (2017) Director: Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon

“I believe in truth– but I’m also a big fan of justice.”

Rating: 2 out of 5.

After first watching the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, I decided to go back and watch the originally released movie –a film which was rushed into production and troubled by Zack Snyder’s unfortunate family tragedy, a tragedy which allowed Warner Bros the opportunity to lighten the tone of the film by bringing Joss Whedon onboard for extensive re-shoots (earning the film the unflattering moniker “Josstice League”). And Justice League’s problems spill out throughout the movie –the dark and brooding scenes directed by Zack Snyder are clearly delineated from the campy one-liners directed by Joss Whedon. Narratively, the story is all over the place and confusing. It is clearly missing significant chunks of the story which have since been explained in Zack Snyder’s director’s cut re-release. On the positive end, the first few minutes of this movie are terrific in my view –they are filled with familiar elements of the heroic as Batman discovers a strange mutant “demonoid” species in the city and Wonder Woman prevents a bomb threat at a bank. However, moments later, we find Bruce Wayne suddenly arriving at a remote fishing village in search of the fabled Aquaman. How did he get here? What is going on? From here, the movie sadly runs off the rails.  

This is a two-hour movie (Warner Bros made a rule that no movies could last longer than two hours), and yet there was simply not enough time to explain everything –there are too many characters at play, including Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill whose moustache was cut out in an infamously sloppy bit of CGI work), Lois Lane (Amy Adams), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Alfred (Jeremy Irons), Martha Kent (Diane Lane), Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Mera (Amber Heard), and James Gordon (J.K. Simmons). There is too much biographical exposition needed in this film but all of it is quickly glossed over and we are forced to accept it without question –Cyborg is given a few minutes of introduction, the Amazonian backstory is forgettable, and the Flash is more annoying than compelling. And the mediocre, entirely CGI villain of Steppenwolf is hardly even a presence in the film. Unfortunately, this film was another wasted opportunity, a swing and a miss for Warner Bros.

The plot is one-dimensional and not really worth reiterating here. Suffice it to say, Batman spends the movie gathering a group of newly introduced characters with special powers in order to combat a mysterious alien threat to planet earth, until Superman is miraculously resurrected in ridiculous fashion (after being killed in the drab Batman v Superman movie). At any rate, everything about this movie screams bland and uninspiring. It is really unfortunate that Warner Bros could not manage to put together a coherent concept for uniting its popular IPs like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and so on. It seems their best bet going forward is to produce solo superhero movies, rather than attempting to mirror the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

1 thought on “Justice League (2017) Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s