Review: Justice League

Tom Capone, Contributing Writer |

“Justice League” finally brings the legendary DC comics team to the big screen. The film is another installment in a line of divisive DC films. While there is a lot of fun to have in the film, it ultimately suffers from the many rewrites and reshoots it endured during the production process.

One blunder is the computer generated upper lip of Superman himself, played by Henry Cavil. For those unaware, when the time came to shoot Cavil’s scenes, Cavil was also shooting “Mission Impossible Six,” which required him to have a mustache. He was not allowed to shave, so the producers of “Justice League” decided to remove the mustache with CGI. This can be spotted in almost every single Superman scene.

Another character that suffers from poor CGI is Victor Stone/Cyborg, played by Ray Fisher. The character of Cyborg himself is interesting, but it is difficult to get attached to him because of the poor visual effects.

The members of the Justice League have a great on-screen relationship, and this makes the film fun to watch whenever they are on screen together. Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman is great in the film, along with Jeremy Irons as his butler Alfred, who has some of the best one liners in the film.

Gal Gadot is still fantastic as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and is without a doubt the character future DC cinematic universe movies should focus on. Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen/The Flash and is the best of the newcomers to the franchise, giving the film some of its much-needed moments of levity.

Jason Momoa had probably the toughest job out of the whole cast. He had to play Arthur Curry/Aquaman, a character who has been the center of many jokes over the years. However, Momoa delivers a powerful performance that will end the trend of Aquaman jokes.

Danny Elfman was brought in to compose the score for the film. For someone who grew up loving the 1989 “Batman” theme, it was tear-jerking to hear it worked into the score for “Justice League” as well as hearing bits of John Williams “Superman: The Movie” theme worked into the film.

Despite the great cast and the joy of seeing them work together on-screen, the film suffers from being too short. The film feels incomplete as there is about 40 minutes of set up and backstory cut out of the film. Much of which was needed for the development of Miller’s Barry Allen, Fisher’s Cyborg, Momoa’s Aquaman, and the film’s villain, Steppenwolf.

Steppenwolf is reduced to a big CGI villain who lacks real motivation, other than simply wanting to take over the earth. There is a line that hints at a larger motivation, but anyone who is not versed is DC comics lore will not pick up on or understand what he is hinting at.

The film would have benefited greatly from including many of its deleted scenes to give backstory to its characters, establish the greater lore of the universe, and improve the pace of the film, which feels very rushed at times.

“Justice League” is the story of when a studio panics mid-production and tries to completely change a film after most of it is already shot.

Fortunately, the film is still fun for long time DC comic fans to enjoy, being able to see long time favorites on the big screen. There are solid performances in the film, mainly from the league itself. It is a good way to pass an afternoon.

But the horrible mustache CGI, poor villain, what feels like probably 40 minutes of backstory being cut, and poor pacing are too much to overlook. “Justice League” is a six out of ten.

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