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Film/TV justice league

Published on November 20th, 2017 | by voxx

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Justice League

Out: Now
Cert: 12A
Length: 120 minutes
Rating: 2/5

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Henry Cavill, J.K Simmons, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds

Plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince (Gadot) to face an even bigger threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy that has the power to end the world.

‘Wonder Woman’ was a surprise addition to the DC Extended Universe. Less tonally serious and more quick witted puns were added to the screenplay, mostly coming from Chris Pine’s stammering Captain Steve Trevor. Granted, it had seriousness to the story when Diana Prince had to fight her way through the flanks of men during World War I, but mostly it was a fun adventure enlightened by the fantastic Gal Gadot and it was seen by many as the saviour of the DCEU. ‘Justice League’ sees her reprise the role as the titular heroine, and again she’s on top form using her sword (not the Godkiller) and Lasso of Truth to defeat a new villain which brings a threat to end the world. The question you’re probably asking is; does she standout above all the men in DC’s super-squad team up? Well, if Ben Affleck’s Batman had his way, then, sadly not. She’s stunning when it comes to battling but overall it’s Affleck who holds most of the clan together.

Thankfully, this isn’t a bad thing as he’s welcomed into the film with wide eyes from the audience; tonally his story is better, and much lighter than last year’s boringly brooding ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’, which now we can likely forget. And maybe it’s due to the lighter tone he’s given after the various re-shoots from Joss Whedon after director Zack Snyder left for a family tragedy. It’s not really surprising that Whedon comes with the lighthearted tone of the MCU’s super-team-up ‘Avengers Assemble’. He adds several in-jokes, and an obvious standout comes of course from Jeremy Irons’ Alfred: “Those were the days where one’s biggest concerns were exploding wind-up penguins”, suggesting that this Batman’s past is much closer to Tim Burton’s Batman than it is to the straight-faced antics of Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy; a notion reinforced by composer Danny Elfman (replacing Hans Zimmer) who here has a snatch from his infamous ’89 Batman theme. Obviously, re-hinting at the sillier past of the caped-crusader pushes the film away from Snyder’s earlier DCEU entries and gives it an entirely new tone mash up. Whedon’s involvement of the Avengers’-like plot does include an alien villain, but to be fair it would be tricky to maintain post-Nolan somberness when Bruce teams up with an Amazon princess, a half-human-half-cyborg, and a big hairy merman who brings a pitchfork to a laser gun fight and commands the ocean. Weird, right?

Sure, ‘Justice League’ is indeed some hokey stuff in terms of the super-team mash up and they each get their time on the screen, individually guiding the plot to follow their story in all this. First there’s Aqauman (Momoa) who only sees Bruce as guy who dresses up as a bat. His personality later transcends into sounding and looking like a rodeo clown. Next we get Barry Allen (Miller), a geeky guy who’s never really been in battle, etc. This is about as much of their stories it has to offer, and thanks to the mayonnaise plot the film suffers from several curses, one of which is the ‘too many characters, too little time’ curse. With five supers on the team, each with their own personality, they’re left particularly nondescript and only have a few lines before they have to battle.

It’s not all bad as Affleck can be forgiven for looking a little bit lost as the bruised world-weary Bruce. It makes sense that Batman would normally be excited by all this intergalactic, high-stakes idiocy, as well as being left behind during some of the action. Maybe next time he will get to play with some non-CG exploding penguins.

VERDICT: Fun and breezy at times, yet lumbered by the watery mayonnaise plotting offering little in the way of quality and reassuring a significant shortcoming of how forgettable it is.

- By Corey Denford


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