The Overlook Journal

Justice League: Movie Review

By: Xavier Rogers, Staff Reporter

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Released on November 17th, 2017, Justice League was directed by Zack Snyder, the director of the previous DC blockbuster Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Joss Whedon, the director  of 2012’s The Avengers. The film finally brings together Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Superman, the Flash, and Aquaman for their silver screen debut as the titular superhero collective. DC fans will likely rejoice to see Ben Affleck (The Accountant), Gal Gadot (Furious 6), and Henry Cavil (Man of Steel), returning to their roles as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman respectively. People will instinctively compare this movie to The Avengers, although I’d urge against doing so. Marvel Studios spent a decade connecting their movies and crafting a signature style that audiences would become enamored with. DC is in the process of creating a style separate from Marvel’s, and have differentiated its films by taking a more mature approach. The methodologies of both companies are vastly different, which means that any fan going in to this film expecting have the same experience as a Marvel movie will be thoroughly disappointed.

Justice League definitely feels like a DC film. It has its flaws, but its biggest strengths lie with the protagonists. Batman, Wonder Woman And Superman were established prior to this film, however Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman are given a decent amount of backstory and memorable personalities. The Flash was definitely a highlight, as he acted as the comedic relief for the entirety of the film. Everything about him was goofy (I mean, his main reason for joining the team was to make “friends”), yet it felt endearing rather than annoying. I also give this film props for making Aquaman a cooler character, because instead of talking to fish, he’s killing aliens with his trident and shouting one liners while charging into battle. As one of the most experienced members on the team, Wonder Woman acted as the glue that kept everyone together, which was made for an interesting team dynamic.

While the film’s characters are great, it definitely had issues, one being the by-the-numbers plot. A being named Steppenwolf leads an invasion with his army of alien henchmen, in an effort to take over the earth for his master Darkseid. Cliché plots can be overlooked if the villains driving them are entertaining, but Steppenwolf isn’t a good villain. He doesn’t have much of a personality outside of “I want to conquer earth”, which reduces him to a plot device used to get the League to band together. Batman isn’t bad in here, although I wish he was more proactive. As the only member without superpowers, the amount of aliens he can handle at one time feels less impressive when compared to the dozens that his peers are fighting simultaneously. As a master strategist Batman is needed, although in combat he feels like a weak link.

And last but not least is Superman. He had previously died in Batman V Superman, however the League finds a way to resurrect him. Superheroes die and come back to life all the time in comics, however without spoiling how he returns, the events that occur do feel a bit forced. Despite this, Superman is a high point for the film, and is a part of some of my favorite scenes from the film. It isn’t a perfect movie, but the heroes are likable and the action scenes are great. Steppenwolf is weak as a villain and the plot is bland, however they aren’t the movie’s main focus. Justice League has enough going for it that I’d recommend it to any fan of comic books and people who love the experience of superhero films. I’d rate this movie a 7/10.

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Justice League: Movie Review