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Liam’s Hit O’ Miss List: “Justice League”

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Even before “Justice League” was officially released in theatres on Friday, Nov. 17, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) had always been a hot topic. From the likes of a CGI “Green Lantern” suit, to Jesse Eisenberg’s horribly portrayed Lex Luthor, Zack Snyder’s cinematic universe has been routinely regarded as short-sided. Luckily, their most recent blockbuster movie, “Wonder Woman,” provided a change of scenery for the acclaimed failure of a franchise. Despite its poor blockbuster turnout, “Justice League” went home with the actual win.

It all started with one of the franchise’s first successful premiere,“Wonder Woman,” which came out this past summer. The critically acclaimed cinematic experience included a healthy mix of good old action-adventure with plenty of comedic relief added to fill in the gaps. It was beyond enjoyable and exciting; it left the audience wanting more from the company. But after such a success, fans were patiently awaiting the next film’s release (“Justice League”), to see if it could live up to such a success. And while it does have its flaws and faults, I can say that “League” succeeds.

“Justice League” begins right where “Batman v.s Superman: Dawn of Justice” ended: with Batman (Ben Affleck) finally realizing Superman (Henry Cavill) was a cool dude after all, and trying to deal with an ambiguous invasion to come. Batman knows that he must put together a team, and with the help of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), they track down The Flash (Ezra Miller), a young, super awkward speedster who is always getting into trouble, and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), the survivor of a fatal accident whose father brought him back to life (Frankenstein style) using some of Superman’s old alien technology.

Last to join the crew, due to his lonely and self-absorbed attitude, is Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), also known as Aquaman to comic geeks. All together, the five of them take on Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a terrible villain from space, who threatens to unite the Mother Boxes, which would have enough power to destroy the world. And, while they are still no match for the all-powerful brute that is Steppenwolf, the League must turn to the only other way they know how to defeat him: by bringing back Superman.

Although the road seems a tad curvy, and there are loopholes left unattended (like what happened to Themyscira after Steppenwolf made his surprise visit), the film ends up being one of the franchise’s best. The movie knows its strengths and weakness, proving that it learned from failures such as “Man of Steel” and “Suicide Squad.” The heart of this success can of course be credited to Wonder Woman. Not only is Gal Gadot an acclaimed actress, but she knows how to play the part. She shines in almost every scene she stars in, and it goes without saying that she is easily the heart of the DCEU. As for the rest of the team? Ehhhhh. All members, including Ben Affleck, don’t really stand out– they seem to be just there– standing in the wings, waiting for the next big action scene. Let me say, though, that Ezra Miller is probably the best counter to the seriousness of the movie. He is what this Universe has been longing for– a funny guy, who also is great at being a superhero, but doesn’t go overboard. Sure, some of his jokes don’t land, but that doesn’t make him horrible person, but quite the opposite. He provides the quintessential element, like the cherry on top of a nice cold ice cream sundae.

However, while also being a great movie, “Justice League” doesn’t go without its failures. In the home stretch of the movie, fans may notice a thematic shift. This is around the time Joss Whedon stepped in, and it’s highly recognizable– switching in and out between Snyder’s vision and Whedon’s. It gets so crazy at one point that you notice at least several scenes have been cut out of the movie’s trailer, despite high praise for the scenes. This makes the movie confusing and lack-luster. And the villain, Steppenwolf? What a great villain to add to the list (that DC and Marvel both share) of CGI villains with nothing interesting for them to do. It follows the same old rhythmic superhero method: villain shows up, villain wants something, villain gets it, good guy wins. There’s no point in the movie where I am asking myself, “Do you think they’ll all live?” because I already know the answer.

Yet, with its plethora of flaws, “Justice League” still stands out for the DCEU. And that’s because “Justice League” knows what it is. It knows it’s not too serious nor too comedic. It knows how to get the audience’s attention. The DC Extended Universe has learned from their mistakes and it shows. They no longer ask what they want from the audience: they demand it. And as that audience, we will listen. Because with great storylines and phenomenal actors/actresses, the movie will always be good. Maybe not great (that’s where cinematography and meaning step into play), but good enough to buy a ticket and see it again. That is why I give “Justice League” a total score of 8.5/10.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Liam’s Hit O’ Miss List: “Justice League””

  1. Isaiah Magana on December 1st, 2017 12:22 pm

    Justice league didn’t come close to being as good as wonder woman. In my opinion Wonder Woman is the only good DC movie so far. Justice league was ultimately a flop, they try to forcefully establish Superman’s relationship with Lois Lane, the villain is cliche and uninteresting, and the whole glowing box thing was the least original thing of all time. it seems like all of DC’s success is coming from all the superhero hype that Marvel has been creating since 2008’s Iron Man. The introduction of the villain was sloppy and upon seeing him I was hoping it was some kind of origin or flashback, but no we actually had to deal with him. Superman was devoid of all personality or any kind of relatable motivation whatsoever. They try to humanize him in the beginning of the movie with the cell phone footage thing but it doesn’t work at all, he’s a sociopathic alien who has a crush on a human. That’s his character arch. His dialogue was so cheesy i actually laughed at some of his lines that were intended to be serious. Amazons in this movie were made into sex objects compared to in wonder woman where they were cool. Which makes sense because they were designed by a woman in Wonder Woman and designed by a guy in Justice League. The cinematography was really bad too, there were lots of ugly CGI environments and there was no sense of space. during the fight scenes i could feel my eyes glazing, probably over there was no sense of urgency. Once Superman came back he was really creepy and he started fighting everyone and it seemed like a rip off of civil-war

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Liam’s Hit O’ Miss List: “Justice League”