Justice League (2017)

Justice League
Director: Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon
Writer: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
Based on: Gardner Foxteam-up of superheroes
Sequel to: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry CavillGal Gadot, Ezra MillerJason MomoaRay Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Ciarán Hinds, Amber Heard, Joe Morton, David Thewlis, Billy Crudup
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 19.11.2017

After the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Ben Affleck) tries to put together a team of superheroes. Diana aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is already on board, but the recruitment of other team members is more difficult. Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa) isn’t interested, Barry Allen aka The Flash (Ezra Miller) is very willing but also not easily pinned down and Victor Stone aka Cyborg (Ray Fisher) might even be dead. But when Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) attacks Diana’s home Themyscira to acquire an artefact, gathering forces becomes an even more pressing issues.

I expected bad things from Justice League and was pleasantly surprised by what we got. That’s not to say that Justice League is a good film overall, but at least it has its moments.

It is painfully obvious throughout the film that it was not only an unplanned cooperation between two directors, but that there were also extensive reshoots (made even more painful by Cavill’s CGI jaw to cover his Mission: Impossible moustache). To say that it is uneven would be putting it mildly. But given that the script already went through multiple re-write before it even started shooting, I doubt that a single director and no reshoots would have made much difference.

In any case the film we got is a narrative catastrophe that doesn’t understand the genre it’s working in. This is supposed to be a team film – a film about how the Justice League comes together. Team films need to fill two basic requirements to work: it needs to introduce each of the team members in a meaningful way and then it needs to show how the team is better together than each of its separate parts. Justice League does neither: it barely spends time with the new team members and doesn’t build the team at all. And the solution for their problem is basically a one person show. How you can misunderstand the film you’re making that much is honestly a mystery to me.

But even disregarding that, the plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and much of it left me befuddled. It mistreats its characters and leaves the – generally excellent – cast (I could even see Ben Affleck work the role of Batman if given half a chance) struggling.

There are some honestly funny moments in the film – most of them due to Ezra Miller who really gives his heart and soul, imbuing Barry Allen with chaotic energy and more charm than the script should have made possible. And at least it isn’t boring. But neither makes up for its massive faults.

Summarizing: yeah, well, basically what we’ve all come to expect from the DC movies: it’s a mess.

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