Justice League Review – Spoiler Free
Justice League is the latest film to take place in the DC comics cinematic universe and follows on shortly after the events of Batman V Superman. The film comes directed by Zack Snyder who some may know as the director of Batman V Superman, The Watchmen or Man Of Steel. Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds and Amber Heard.
In the lead up to this film and then when it initially released, I had some mixed feelings of excitement, but also apprehension towards going to see it. As a big fan of DC comics and their stories for as long as I can remember, I have a great amount of care for the characters they’re making these movies about. Some of the films like Wonder Woman I feel were great, whereas the recently released Batman V Superman was only really average at best. With the release of Justice League, I really had no idea what I was in for.
Coming out of this film, I had felt that it certainly was much better than what we got with Batman V Superman, although some of the issues that film had with characters still linger in this followup. It wasn’t the quality we got from Wonder Woman though, which to me suggests I think that what they had there and the tone they went with for Wonder Woman is the direction the DC Universe should take.
The story sees us witness both Batman and Wonder Woman recruit a bunch of members to help them defeat a mad man named Steppenwolf who is super powerful and wants to destroy the world. This scenario leads to the recruitment of characters like Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. But will they be able to defeat Steppenwolf? With Superman dead (since the last film) are these heroes enough?
As a plot for a superhero film, this one is pretty much the standard scenario. Villain wants to destroy the world and rule it, our heroes must stop him. We’ve seen this before and there’s nothing innovative here. Steppenwolf maybe could have been interesting, but is really just like a point of complication for the heroes to come together and overcome. Justice League as a film has heavy themes of teamwork and with a bunch of heroes who like to work alone, it’s a tough ask.
But the film also has the theme of having a ‘heart’ which I think carried over from the Wonder Woman film. It was nice to see this trait be applied to various heroes in Justice League. It’s important to do because it helps to humanise the characters as caring people who are heroes in their world. I was happy to see our heroes in multiple sections of this film actually spend some time rescuing civilians in danger of dying. It wasn’t just about going after Steppenwolf and beating him up. A hero is there to save people and Zack Snyder certainly caught this aspect quite well. Our heroes in the Justice League care about those around them and are there as their saviours.
The special effects in Justice League are decent. If you’re going in there for just some action sequences, explosions, car chases, monsters and hero action then this film will have you covered. In some ways it is a little cgi heavy, but it’s decent cgi and I had no issue with any of it. The music also something interesting, it was nice to hear some of the old Danny Elfman Batman themes mixed in for certain scenes as well as the old Superman themes we all know.
The actors all do fine jobs in this film. I do think that Gal Gadot really was the stand out star of the bunch, with her presence seeming to brighten up almost every scene. Wonder Woman’s character is the best developed character of the bunch of heroes there at the moment and Gal Gadot does exceptionally well with her in Justice League. She’s certainly I think the biggest plus that the current DC Universe has at the moment.
I did enjoy Ben Affleck a little more than I did the last time and it seems he’s got a better feel for Batman. Henry Cavill who does appear in the film in certain parts, certainly made a big impact and I feel his Superman was much improved this time around. Jason Momoa was an interesting one and his Aquaman was good, he wasn’t annoying at all and I would certainly want to see his standalone film when it releases next year.
The tone of the film and the DC films in general is something I think they’re still trying to get right. There’s a strange balance one must have with superhero films and there’s some difficulty in making them in that these films can really be for kids, teens or adults to watch. While I don’t think that this is something for kids to see, the tone does constantly switch between something I’d think teens would enjoy more than something adults might like, it’s more for teens 14-17 to see. Whereas something like The Dark Knight trilogy I feel catered to an audience much older and I think this is what makes these films hard. Who are they for the most and what is the audience for Justice League? I know they want everyone, but I feel teenagers will enjoy this the most and will get the most out of the experience. If they’re going for that audience, I think they have the film that audience will enjoy.
Zack Snyder does well with the directing of this, it’s mostly an action film, with occasional dialogue. The tone is a little light, with characters saying funny one liners all throughout the experience, it’s not bad at all and some of the lines are funny. With so many characters to balance and also introduce into the DC cinematic universe as well, things seemed good enough to me. I feel that because they had so many characters to cover, there was a little bit of a missed opportunity to develop the villain as they instead favoured our heroes. That’s all fine with me though as I feel Zack Snyder in the end got a good group together and brought the ‘heart’ aspect into the Justice League and that’s what I wanted from this film.
Overall Justice League does have a few flaws, but does offer an entertaining action experience. The film has a nice meaning of caring for others above your own self and also the importance of a team. Gal Gadot was truly great yet again as Wonder Woman and both Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill have significantly improved and were much better than in the past. While the villain is quite lackluster, the variety of heroes, funny one liners and interesting banter between the characters was a joy to watch. I’d recommend seeing this film if you’re a fan of the comic book film genre or of any of the characters or actors appearing in it. While not an overly serious film, Justice League was a lot of fun to watch.