Justice League (2017)

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The long awaited team up has finally arrived and it is safe to say that Zack Snyder made good on his promise.

It has been sometime since Superman sacrificed himself to save the world from Doomsday. While the world continues to mourn the fallen hero, Batman has learned something is truly coming after confronting a mutant-like alien. Using Lex Luthor’s notes, he discovers that there are three boxes that withhold powers capable of starting an apocalypse. The alien warlord Steppenwolf has arrived and has stolen the first of the “mother boxes” from Themyscira, the home of Wonder Woman. When Diana learns what has transpired, she goes to Gotham to meet Bruce Wayne.

Bruce and Diana agree that it is time to find those with abilities. Bruce first searches for Arthur Curry in a small Icelandic village. Curry is known as the Aquaman, who has the ability to breathe underwater and control the waters. Diana looks for Victor Stone, a former football star who has been rebuilt into a cyborg after a freak accident. Bruce then looks for Barry Allen, a young naïve kid who has the power of speed and becomes the Flash. Together, they attempt to stop Steppenwolf and when they learn he has too much power after stealing the mother box from Atlantis, the group will have to do the virtually impossible to stop him.

When 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was released, reactions were mixed with the big complaint being that it was considered too dark. Snyder made the promise to make this ultimate team-up movie he would inject more humor in the film and succeeds. The script, by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (who would take over for the latter part of production), has some funny one-liners that help bring in the necessary humor needed to complement the action and at times, tense emotional drama of the film.

It is safe to say that the film’s saving graces are Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman as these two take the lead with Batman questioning himself at times whether he should continue being Batman and whether he should take the lead while Wonder Woman, even after a century later, still struggles due to the loss of a loved one. The two truly prove themselves as the leaders of the group. Despite having some wisecrack one-liners, these two are the most emotional of the group. And those expecting a certain character will be quite surprised but it has to be seen to be believed.

Ray Fisher gives a really good performance as Cyborg, who struggles not only with his newfound skills, but how he could use them in terms of helping the team. Eventually, he does warm up and help the team out when it comes to some critical moments while Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is such a badass. His take on the character is exactly what fans may see Momoa as, a guy you would hang out at a bar and pal around with. Momoa even gets to have some humorous scenes in the film, including a funny laugh out loud moment before the climactic battle of the film.

The major comic relief of the film falls upon Ezra Miller’s take on The Flash. As the young naïve Barry Allen, Miller has good intentions but it is that young naivety that allows him to act like a fanboy of sorts when he meets Batman and even crushes a bit on Wonder Woman. In a pivotal scene in the film, the look on Miller’s face truly becomes priceless and will make the viewer crack up to the point where they may end up falling off their seat.

If there is only one issue in the film, it is that of central villain Steppenwolf, voiced by Ciarán Hinds. It is not that the character is a worthy villain, because his actions prove that he could be. The only issue is that compared to the likes of Marvel’s Thanos and Hulk as well as even BvS creature Doomsday, Steppenwolf looks a bit subpar and it just brings a bit of meh. Even his minions, which look like Killer Moth becoming mutated, look more convincing than the big baddie himself. Whether Snyder’s departure led to the rushing of getting the film completed to where they made Steppenwolf look not that convincing, it is ultimately a forgivable issue thanks in part to the overall story, based on Jack Kirby’s Fourthworld arc.

In conclusion, Justice League makes good on its promise of injecting more lighthearted moments. The core cast is wonderful, showcasing a variety of emotions while still keeping the humor in and despite the villain not looking all that convincing, it still makes up for a fun action ride. It truly is the anti-Batman v. Superman.

WFG RATING: B+

Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Ratpac-Dune Entertainment an Atlas Entertainment & Cruel and Unusual Production. Director: Zack Snyder. Producers: Deborah Snyder, Charles Roven, and Geoff Johns. Writers: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon; story by Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio; based on Fourthworlds by Jack Kirby. Cinematography: Fabian Wagner. Editing: David Brenner, Martin Walsh, and Richard Pearson.

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Ciarán Hinds, Joe Morton, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen, Lisa Loven Kongsli.

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