Reviews: heroes assemble – Justice League
Directed by Zack Snyder/Joss Whedon,
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Connie Nielson, Amber Heard, Ciaran Hinds
It’s superhero team-up action time, as Batman/Bruce Wayne along with Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman, try to gather up what heroes that they can in order to face down the impending arrival of Steppenwolf (no, not the classic rockl band), and his legion who plan to invade earth. They start to track down other hroes like Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg that were hinted at in the Batman/Superman movie when we saw Bruce secretly accessing Luthor’s files on meta-humans. Can uniting heroes save the earth? Well, you can’t save the world alone.
The Justice League cartoon, and Justice League Unlimited, hold a very special place in my heart, along with Batman The Animated Series, and the Superman cartoon. The reason is that after a car accident I was left house and mostly bed-bound with nothing to do but to watch those DVDs. It is where I got most of my love for the expanded DC characters and what drove me to the comics that I’m now hoarding in the tiny room upstairs that I refuse to put into any order. So going into see Justice League I was a fan, and it’s only fair you should know that before going further.
The film carries on from the small piece that was left out of the theatrical version of Batman Versus Superman, but was included in the extended edition. The scene was after the fight between Superman and Doomsday when Lex is found in the Kryptonian ship, and he’s kneeling in front of someone. If you don’t know this scene don’t worry, it was just an introduction, and plays no real big part in Justice League. Other than Steppenwolf, voiced by Ciaran Hinds, the threat also comes from his henchmen called Parademons. Old Steppy has been on earth before, but an alliance between different factions on Earth defeated him. This time he knows how separated we as a world have become. With no Superman on Earth to defend us, the time is right to unite the three Mother Boxes destroy the Earth and turn it into something that isn’t made that clear for non-fans. For fans we know that he wants to turn earth into Darkseid’s home planet.
Now, I’m no fan of Zack Snyder, I’ve made that clear before, and I didn’t want him touching Justice League, so when Joss Whedon took over to complete the film I did the Snoopy happy dance. Sadly I think that is my problem with this film. See people complained about how Batman V. Superman was overlong and not enough was going on to fill the time. I didn’t. I love long movies. But even though Justice League is two hours long, and you have to stay for the end credits, I don’t think it was long enough. There needed to be more content, more build-up.
So the characters: Bruce Wayne/Batman is Ben Affleck and I’m getting the feeling that his heart is no longer in the character, but he does a grand job and is still in my top two. Gal Gadot is back as Wonder Woman and seems to have slipped back into the role like hand to glove. Joining the establishment are Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. There are many other returning roles from the DCEU that you’ll know and some new faces for the future films. Mamoa is a great Aquaman and gives his own take on the role. Ray Fisher gives that tortured feeling that the fledgling Cyborg should have in his first outing, and I can’t wait to see the journey that he goes on in future films. A lot of people bitched their way through time since Ezra Miller was announced as Barry Allen aka The Flash, but I’m here to tell you that this movie version of the character works so well and that Miller almost steals every scene.
Don’t get me wrong I loved that in this bleak winter we’re facing that we’re getting pure summer blockbuster fun, a pure edge of your seat ride, but the footage that Snyder shot and the footage that Whedon shot and reshot, along with some strange editing choices, made the film less enjoyable. So I want to say that I’m going to watch this film forever, I won’t get tired of watching the film but I would love to see, and I can’t believe that I’m writing this down, a pure Snyder version that is longer. Whedon can do his thing but the mixture is not a good fit.
Justice League is far from perfect and the flaws speaks volumes, but I’m a fan and although I’ll point out the flaws to other people, I’ll still be going to see this film once a week for the whole time it’s in Irish Cinemas. It brings together characters that are instantly acknowledged and most loved and for the DC universe as a whole it’s a giant leap in the right direction. They need to work on the editing and pacing but seriously enjoyable and once you can look through the flaws, like we all do when we love a thing or even a person, then you’re just going to sit back and enjoy an enjoyable ride.