Thursday, November 16, 2017

Justice League Review: Justice is Served as a Superpowered Blockbuster!

In 2013 a new era began for Warner Bros and DC Comics. It started with the unique Superman reboot-Man of Steel. Three years later two icons clashed in the polarizing (and very much underrated) blockbuster Batman v.Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now a year,and two additional releases, later DC's shared universe continues with the long awaited team up film: Justice League. Directed by Zack Snyder Justice League marks the first time that DC's famed superhero team unites on the silver screen. Now to say that Justice League did not have an uphill battle to contend with would in fact be an injustice. Not only did the movie have to deal with changes in production but it seemed that every critic, journalist, blogger, YouTuber and moviegoer was gung ho on dissecting this blockbuster with the precision of a disgruntled surgeon. Regardless of what others may think it is in this Film Adventurer's opinion that Justice League is,without a doubt, a superhero movie through and through.

Taking place after the events Batman v.Superman the plot to Justice League deals with Batman (Ben Affleck) bringing together Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) in order to face an alien threat that is bent on destroying the world. You know how it goes: a great evil threatens the world and a group of unlikely heroes come together to save together from certain doom. When putting like that it seemed that Justice League followed a very simple concept, and truthfully this statement is quite true. Was this a poor choice on the story's part? The answer to this question may vary but I do not believe the film's straightforward narrative was a bad thing. It may have been broad but the story was exciting and it turned to be an adventure with a decent pace. Yet this not to say that the plot had no dimensions to it. One of the most intriguing aspects to the movie was how it was able to expand on the cinematic world of DC Comics. Seeing the likes of Atlantis or the start of Flash's journey gave the plot a captivating element that made me eager to see more. The only issue I had with the plot was that its direction at times was a little too straightforward. Although the movie did its best to clarify on plot points the broad narrative did hold the story back and took the impact away from certain moments and twists. Despite its merits and shortcomings I felt that the most compelling thing about Justice League's plot was that it was as much of an ending as it was a beginning. The story brought the plots of Man of Steel and Batman v.Superman to a full circle while also being the start of a new adventure for this franchise; and that certainly gave this tale of heroes a defining trait.

The cast to Justice League was quite the highlight for the film. The ensemble of superheroes were a formidable group as their individual characteristics were as impressive as their chemistry together. For Batman and Wonder Woman their progression felt right as it gave them new directions that was natural for both characters. Meanwhile the new heroes almost stole the show away from their  established peers. Both Flash and Cyborg were equally impressive with their distinct characters and the solid acting from both Miller and Fisher. As for Aquaman he could have had a little more more development, but he was solid addition to the film and this was thanks to Jason Mamoa's raw performance. As for Superman(Henry Cavill) he did not have the development of his fellow League members, but the Man of Steel’s presence was definitely there and Cavill's performance gave the movie (and the franchise) some of the character’s best moments to date. As for the supporting cast they certainly did their jobs. The likes of Lois Lane(Amy Adams), Hippolyta (Connie Nielson), Commissioner Gordon (JK Simmons), Mera (Amber Heard) and especially Alfred (Jeremy Irons) gave a sense of variety to the movie that was worthy of any superhero film. As for the movie's villain I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). True he was not the most dynamic antagonist but there were elements, namely Ciaran Hinds' performance, that gave Steppenwolf the edge to standout; and for what it was worth I felt that this type of villain was appropriate to face the newly formed Justice League.

When it came to factors such effects and action, Justice League managed to do well for itself. The film's cg could have been stronger in certain areas but I felt that right sense of spectacle. I was particularly impressed with how well the effects Cyborg turned out as it blended the cg and practical effects better than expected. The cinematography, on the other hand, was stunning as it use of colors gave locations like Gotham City distinct looks, and created images that felt like they were ripped right out of the comic books. The film's action was effective. It may not have had the definitive execution of its predecessors but the action still worked by featuring moments that were both creative and thrilling. The score by Danny Elfman was also a surprise as the music enhanced the scenes and gave the film a superpowered and remarkable composition. I was also pleased to hear the soundtrack feature several tracks from DC’s past films. I will not deny that my nostalgic senses tingled when the main theme to 1989's Batman played during the movie’s climax.

Justice League may not have exceeded my expectations but it still ended up being a pleasing cinematic experience. While the film's execution held it back, I cannot deny that the  likes of storytelling, characters and atmosphere gave this blockbuster the push it needed to soar. It may not be the most dynamic superhero movie, or the most groundbreaking film, but Justice League was an empowered blockbuster that indeed did justice to its name, its genre and the standards of this Film Adventurer.

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