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Hope Returns for Justice League

By Daniel Donnelly ‘2019

Staff Writer

 

Released on November 17th, Justice League a film produced by Warner Brothers centers on DC superheroes coming together to face an alien invasion that threatens the planet. The plot of the film follows Batman unifying several superheroes against what he believes is an upcoming threat after the death of Superman. Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg must join forces to combat the evil Steppenwolf and his parademon army. The villain of the film Steppenwolf wants to obtain three mother boxes that when unified have the power to alter the earth. He has an alien army at his disposal that he uses to search for the mother boxes. After he obtains all three the Justice League and a recently resurrected Superman bands together to stop him and revive a sense of hope across the earth.

The best part about this movie is its characters. The actors really nail the characterstics of their superheros. Each member of the Justice League brings a different dynamic to the team. Aquaman is the cynical troublemaker of the team. He doesn’t like being told what to do and is the most pessimistic member of the team. Wonder Woman is the glue that holds the team together.  Flash is the youngest member adapting to his powers and doesn’t grasp his potential yet. Cyborg, half man and half machine is withdrawn and distrusting of people. Batman helps bring the team together and also finances their equipment. Finally, Superman provides the optimism and the hope for a better future.

Having the cast each bring a different component to the team really made them feel more realistic. Overall, the cast had great chemistry that really improved the film by making fantasy more believable. The film’s director Zach Snyder really knows how to craft an entertaining battle sequence between the heroes and the main villain, and held viewers attention with exciting action scenes.

The greatest weaknesses of the film is the overuse of computer generated imagery (CGI) in the settings. This film is seeping with CGI from over the top visualistic big battles to the expansive scenes. Warner Brothers even used CGI on superman’s face which made the character look goofy at times. The story’s transitioning is rushed and problematic. Most of the film cuts from one big scene to another without allowing time to develop its characters. Those who are unfamiliar with superheros, may be  turned off by the film due to the crammed storyline and lack of character development.

This is the first film where we see characters like the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg and the little character development they receive crammed into one film, competing with other plot elements.  Overall, most viewers may feel lost if they are not familiar with the history of the characters and what they represent.  Another weakness worth noting is that some scenes in the film were shortened in order for Warner Brothers to keep the film under two hours. The removed scenes may have added to the character’s appeal and made for a stronger story line. One last weakness of the film was its villain who was generalized as a predictable stereotypical villain and not very interesting.   

Although the film suffers from its overuse of CGI that might turn fans off who prefer realistic effects, it’s still worth seeing. In the end, this film is a step in the right direction for Warner Brothers DC’s cinematic universe and a step up from previous films like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. The more optimistic take on the film make us appreciate what the director and film makers were trying to achieve, an overall more hopeful superhero film. In this film, Superman is resurrected and helps the team defeat the main villian, there are no casualties on the side of Justice League and good overcome’s evil.

Not everything was perfect, most of the film’s jokes were flat but the casts’ chemistry and portrayal of the characters will win viewers over. Due to various reasons including the mixed tone, the film was panned by critics and received a crushing 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. Based on the polling scores, Warner Brothers has their work cut out for them in adjusting and improving their franchise moving forward if they want it to become a critical success. Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed this movie and how well the actors nailed the roles that they portrayed. The action scenes were epic and the lighter tone was an interesting change of pace from the gloomy feel of the previous films.