Review: Justice League [2017] (Spoiler-Free)

a(n early-bird!) review by the Azure-Winged Magpie.

Well… it can’t get worse, can it?

I mean… it’s following up after Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman… and it was directed by two people. It’s a DC film. That means it’s gotta be good. No?

(◔ _ ◔)

…sigh.

No. None of this is good news.

It never is.

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OPENING THOUGHTS

I don’t like the Justice League. I mean, that’s not going to change what I think about the film, but I’m more of a Marvel girl. I like Batman, but that’s it. I don’t like the other heroes. Even the name sounds a bit unexciting. Maybe I just don’t like the ‘League‘ bit? I don’t know. I don’t even follow Marvel all that much, but their films have been a lot better than DC’s so far. I like Wonder Woman (and never ended up reviewing it), but I HATED Suicide Squad and BvS. Both of those two films ended up taking the “Worst Film of 2017” from both myself and the Crow. (Man of Steel was okay. I guess. Pretentious, tho…)

And then, we get around to the trailers for Justice League, aaand… no. I wasn’t impressed. There was something about about them that just felt… meh. It was all dark and CGI lights and just… looked bland and like it was trying too hard.

And then we heard the horrible news about Autumn Snyder. Zack Snyder left the film and Joss Whedon (from Avengers Assemble) stepped up to take the chair. A few months after Joss re-shot and re-cut the film, a new batch of trailers came out, and it looked… over-coloured. It was like they’d slapped colour filters over all the dark shots and everything looked garish.

If you’d asked me last week, I’d-a told you I wasn’t going to bother with this one. But I got myself a golden ticket and ended up going to watch it anyway.

I am really, really going to try and be as fair as I can to this film, since there’s actually a good bit to like about it, and I don’t want to just pile shit on it because I haven’t liked the universe so far.


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JUSTICE FOR… WHO?

WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS

The Good

Okay. So let’s get to the good: this film feels VERY different from BvS and Suicide Squad. It’s also really different from Wonder Woman, but in a slightly different way, and for reasons I’m not going to get into right now. But I can see how they’re trying to make things better.

The humour (looking at you, Joss!) is there, and is sometimes on-point. But remember Age of Ultron? That was where we all knew Joss had gone and jumped the Hulk. It just doesn’t feel as… right? Our funny-bunny’s the Quick Red Flash, and no… he’s not really that funny at all for most of it. He has some adorable bits, sure. I like what Ezra Miller’s doing. But he’s sold short by how stupid some of these funny scenes are. It’s like they’re trying to ram a brick up your nose with the word FUNNY written on it. It doesn’t always go through (if it does every time… you got some BIG NOSTRILS, you dope-head!).

The super-friends(!) are getting together all nice, but we never get enough on the three “new” folks to really care for them. The Flash is done to a tee (like I said earlier), but Aquaman and Cyborg just feel… like they’re not they’re not really ‘there’. Cyborg becomes important (like none of us saw that coming…), but I don’t think he was shown right. He’s a bit of a glorified IT guy for most of the film. There’s this one part near the end where he’s just kinda … doing something, and we’re waiting for him to get it done. And it takes.so.long. And I got a question: why is his story so left-out? I think the film could’ve done with a bit more detail. I think a bit more would’ve helped the film a lot.

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Don’t get me wrong. Ray and Jason do the best they can to bring their characters onto the big-screen, but it just feels like they’re being hammered down our throats instead of… y’know, actually being there and becoming important? (You know there’s going to be a big problem when my good section is getting like this…)

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is still the best character the DCEU’s done yet. She has some pretty stupid lines, but she owns the role. And I mean she OWNS it. Capitalise that O and everything. I really, really liked Wonder Woman, and in this film, Gal keeps proving to us why she is Wonder Woman. They could’ve done with a bit of better writing for her, but she does get the best bit of the deal.

I really hate Bat-ffleck. Like the Crow said, he’s the Punisher in a Halloween costume. But in this one, it looks like he’s kinda parodying his take on the Dark Knight a bit. I thought it was a good way to set up the ACTUAL Batman that we all know, but he’s still a bit ridiculous. I mean… did everyone forget again that he DOESN’T HAVE SUPERPOWERS?! If you thought Batman v Superman was bad with this, they haven’t learnt a single thing.

And Henry Cavill… oh man. There is a reveal that I can’t spoil right now that was pretty darned epic. I really don’t like Superman, but this ‘reveal’ got me excited. Not a word of a lie. That one bit was good enough to sell the character to me. I really wish they hadn’t plastered the “moustache” bit all over the internet, though. It was really distracting. If I hadn’t known, I might’ve not picked up on it. Some of the scenes had me cracking up because I’d already been told to look for it. But they did really good with how they brought Supes back into the mix. I was well impressed with his intro.

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And here’s another question: why aren’t the team still fighting? They do have bits where they scuffle with each other, but they’re all quick to go: ‘OH, WE’RE A BIG, HAPPY FAMILY NOW!’ Those bits were actually so much fun. They could’ve become stories that could’ve become important some other time. But it’s all left down to a couple of seconds all the time. You can see the Snyder here. He does like his little clips. Joss coming in might’ve not helped that. I know there were re-shoots and stuff, but the film does have that same problem every film that’s been re-done halfway through by two people always has. You can see it.

It’s not as bad as like a Suicide Squad, or a Rogue One, but you can still see where two different chefs have tried to make the same meal. It doesn’t work. WHY is Hollywood making this a habit? Sure, Zack had a serious IRL issue that made him step away, but Ayer didn’t have that for Suicide Squad. Everywhere I look, this thing keeps popping up. It’s beginning to get annoying. If Joss was brought on, why did he re-do something that was almost done so much?!

It makes the film look dumb. Don’t do it. I don’t like Zack Snyder’s films, but this whole Frankenstein-business with films has got to stop.

Yeah, I guess if you really don’t care about an actual good story, this film should be a great lot of fun. But it really doesn’t even deliver on that one. And that was just me talking about the good. This film needs at least 30 more minutes, and needs a lot of ‘splaining to do to be good. As it is: it’s the kind of film who just thinks that its audience is going to love it because: SHINY! SHINY! (If that’s your thing, go for it!)

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The Bad

Okay. My ‘GOOD‘ bit weren’t that flattering. But let’s talk about the bits that didn’t really work…

First [BIG SPOILER IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A SUPERHERO MOVIE BEFORE]: Who, when, thought that the Justice League wasn’t going to win…?

Come on… show your hands!

(◔ _ ◔)

…right. Didn’t think so.

Let’s talk about something that’s REALLY been grinding my gears: Steppenwolf. Um… who is this guy? Oh. Right! He’s just the BIG CGI GUY FROM SUICIDE SQUAD WITH A DIFFERENT NAME!

I mean… serious-talk, now. This guy looks like a videogame boss just kinda dropped into a live-action film. I just never feel he’s around at all. He just looks so… fake. It isn’t really that much of a surprise that the only people we follow proper while they’re running around crazy and all from the big apocalyptic DOOM that the villain’s bringing is one family.

ONE FAMILY.

That just took me out of it. After all those epic CGI doom and gloom bits, you stick us down to this one bunch of people? You’ve just kicked your scale over. I don’t feel the big bits any more. They’re all just fake filters.

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Trying too hard

This film is too joke-heavy for its own good. It tries too hard to be serious at the same time. It does everything too fast. If there weren’t better superhero films out there, this would’ve been awesome. The only problem is that it’s trying to do too much too nippy while there are better team-up films out there.

I would never watch this again. it’s a one-time-and-done kinda movie. I can’t blame the actors for what’s going on, but it’s so badly stitched-up and dumbed-down that I can’t get on board with this shit.

It’s nowhere as bad as Batman v Superman, but only just above Suicide Squad. That can’t be a compliment. But… here’s the thing. I don’t think DC can do a team up like Marvel can. DC’s done the best superhero films of all time. They’re just so weird to put together in an ensemble film that they’re just better off done one by one. DC’s trying to catch up too much to Marvel. They should’ve just built things up like Marvel did. This is too much, too soon. I mean… the film’s just about two hours long. HOW did they EVER THINK that they could introduce three characters we’ve only seen a few seconds of each, AND a character from a separate film (I can’t count Wonder Woman from BvS), AND introduce a NEW villain that no one who doesn’t read the comics has ANY idea about in UNDER TWO HOURS?!

It just doesn’t make any sense…

Calm your heels, DC. Give yourselves time. Do your own thing. Stop making these legends so stupid. And stop insulting your audience.


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CLOSING THOUGHTS

See… this is kinda the reason we do things anon.

A lot of other reviewers are saying good things about this film because they want their perks for golden tickets and all. I hate that. When I put my butt in a seat for this, I really, really was trying to be clean-slated and all.

But I can’t be right now. There’s a good film in here, somewhere, someplace, but Justice League turns out to be a big ol’ mess. It’s trying to do SO MANY things at once because DC’s fallen behind. WHY don’t they just do something… new?

WHY did they have to do a Marvel. That’s their thing. DC had the Dark Knight films, the original Superman films, the original Batman films, and now even the Wonder Woman film under their belt. There are some good films there. But they had to smash them all together ’cause that’s what Marvel’s doing.

Stop. Rewind. Try something different. You think it’s a safe bet, following something that works. But while Justice League is deffo going to be the highest-grossing DC film ever, it doesn’t make it a good film.

Yeah, yeah, it’s dumb fun and all. But does anyone remember when films used to be good? When just shoving fancy CGI and going ‘duuuuude!‘ wasn’t enough? I’m disappointed with this one. They’re trying to go for people who don’t give a shit about anything other than fancy videogame graphics. I’m not angry at the fact that they couldn’t do better. I’m just disappointed that they thought this was the way to go.

Again.


HARWOOD

FINAL RATINGS

THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 2.5/10


Here’s the official poster:

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6 thoughts on “Review: Justice League [2017] (Spoiler-Free)”

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