JUSTICE LEAGUE Spoiler-Free Review - Does This Messy Movie Set The DC Films Universe On The Right Path?

Justice League is now in theaters but with so many conflicting reports about its quality, it the DC Comics adaptation worth your time this weekend? Hit the jump to find out whether it soars or sucks...

Reviews Opinion
My first thought after coming out of Justice League was really quite simple: what the f*ck is up with Henry Cavill's face? Of course, we all know that the answer is him being forced by Paramount Pictures to keep his Mission: Impossible 6 moustache during the movie's reshoots and the CGI used to hide that is not good. Some will notice it more than others but if you're looking for an indication of the new scenes which were added to the movie, then keep an eye on his face (all bar one scene features him looking normal, an indication that just a single sequence wasn't reshot as even the entire final act features the Man of Steel's derp face). Let's not get bogged down in that, though, as the real travesty here is Steppenwolf. The CGI villain looks horrendous and while there are some scenes where he's not all that bad, the video game level of special effects do nothing to help a character who is pretty underwhelming regardless. There have been worse comic book movie villains, that's for sure, but had he looked better, that probably would have helped!

Let's get to it, though. Justice League is not a bad movie nor is it a great one but I think it's fair to say that you'll enjoy it. It's a rather straightforward affair; the team assembles, battle the bad guys, and save the day but I could just as easily be talking about The Avengers there, so that's no bad thing. It's clear that much of what Snyder was planning has been left on the cutting room floor and Whedon's fingerprints can be felt all over the place. That's both a good and bad thing as some scenes benefit from his touch and others feel totally out of place in a Zack Snyder film. Ultimately, I think his version would have been better and it's a shame we'll never get to see it regardless of whether that's down to the tragic death of the filmmaker's daughter or the studio wanting to drastically lighten the tone.

In terms of performances, everyone is pretty good. Maybe it's my imagination knowing that Ben Affleck is pretty much done with Batman now but it feels like he's phoning it in here and he's nowhere near as good as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gal Gadot once again shines as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller is an interesting Flash (I prefer Grant Gustin, personally, but it would be wrong to not acknowledge the fact that he steals the show here; he just doesn't feel much like the Barry from the comics), and Jason Momoa is great as Aquaman. While his appearance varies in quality from scene to scene, Ray Fisher delivers a solid turn and gets a lot across in a small amount of time as we see him agonise over his new form as Cyborg. Ciaran Hinds' Steppenwolf is ok but it's not an overly impressive performance and I think there are probably better actors who could have been chosen as the villain. Ultimately, this is a strong ensemble and Henry Cavill is really good in his scenes as a Superman who feels a lot more like the version we all know and love from the comic books. 

Justice League is a fun, breezy affair that definitely isn't forgettable but doesn't quite match the rest of this year's superhero offerings. The scenes clearly shot by Snyder are nothing short of excellent and those added by Whedon are of mixed quality (his dialogue is definitely welcomed but the humour isn't great at times). Danny Elfman's soundtrack isn't good and doesn't mesh well with much of the action, while there are a lot of scenes and characters which could have done with more time to breathe. On the plus side, the visuals pop off the screen and Justice League needs to be seen on an IMAX screen because only that can do these heroes true justice. It would be far too easy to get bogged down in these relatively minor faults, though, and I feel it's important to stress that Justice League is actually a really good comic book movie and a minor step in the right direction for the DC FIlms Universe. What comes next will be interesting but this is a must-watch for any fan and I'm confident in saying most of you will love it.

While it's sad we'll never get to see Zack Snyder's uncompromised vision for Justice League, this marks a solid debut for the team on the big screen and while it has its flaws and is a little messy, make no mistake about it: this is a win for DC. 


Panther
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