Justice League I normally don't like reviewing movies as soon as they're released, simply because I don't like to spoil what happens for people who haven't seen them yet. But in the case of the brand new Justice League movie, well, I just couldn't help myself, not one little bit, due to the fact that I've been following this cast of characters for most of my life.

The Justice League On Amazon

Being a comic book veteran I obviously have a vested interest in them, and would honestly like to see this group of heroes portrayed as authentically as possible. Now please don't get the wrong idea. I'm not one of those compulsive egghead's who'll moan over the most smallest of mistakes. It's just that I would like to see them showcased in the best possible light, for the sake of respect, for both the characters as well as the people behind them. 

So with all that said, what did I think about this new Justice League movie? Personally, I thought it was a pretty good film and a lot better than some of the others released previously. In spite of its many flaws its a charming film, adorable even, and tries its best to remedy some of the mistakes made by the other parts of DC's Cinematic Universe.

Now, where the story is concerned, the overall plot follows a fairly pedestrian three act structure. Act One establishes the characters and its basic premise. Act Two reintroduces a blast from the past and cements its final focus. And Act Three is your usual bog standard, 'beat-up the bad guy and save the day', type of scenario. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, although, on a narrative level, the story itself doesn’t try to do anything outstanding in terms of originality or spectacle.

Justice LeagueCome to think of it, it's pacing was a little bit off as well. On a couple of occasions, at least two that spring to mind, you will notice that a dangerous scenario was quickly put in place and immediately rectified, which, to me, kind of made the whole thing seem pretty redundant and disposable in retrospect. Along similar lines I can say exactly the same thing about the overt use of CGI. Sometimes it was pretty blatant and very heavy handed, which either signified a problem with the editing or a reshoot that needed to be made.

Having said that though, I did enjoy watching the Justice League movie, as I was able to look past these flaws and enjoy it for what it truly is, that being a fun and adventurous film about a group of heroes coming together to take down the bad guy. To a certain degree it felt more like a character piece than a full-on action adventure, which again, isn’t a major flaw, merely an observation, and goes to show that a film can be told if you fill it with enough personality and charm. Now talking about personality, in order to not spoil the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I thought it would be a jolly good idea to go over some of the main characters featured in it instead. So without any further ado, here, check this out…

Justice League
BATMAN:   Ben Affleck’s depiction of the Dark Knight was a marked improvement compared to his previous performance on the 2016 sequel, Dawn of Justice. In this movie he's allowed to show more sides to Batman's persona by turning him into a redemptive figure who’s on a quest to rectify a past wrong. I also liked Ben’s gravitas and quiet stature when it came down to commanding a team and giving orders, even though sometimes it was backed up by Jeremy Irons who does a splendid job at playing his sardonic English butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

WONDER WOMAN:   Gal Gadot continues the trend set by the 2017 Wonder Woman solo film by playing every boys wet dream and every girls ideal alter-ego. Obviously Diana is portrayed as a beautiful and elegant lady who isn’t ashamed to stand her ground against those who oppose her. But more importantly than that, she's also a maternal figure of hope that’s both charming and nurturing without seeming forced or contrived. I particularly liked her interactions with Bruce and Victor because it showed both sides of her personality in a very realistic and natural way.

THE FLASH:   Ezra Miller’s version of the Flash isn’t entirely in sync with his comic book counterpart. Not that this is a bad thing, dear reader, if anything, he comes across as the most relatable and down to earth member of the League. It’s just that in this interpretation of Barry's character, he doesn’t seem quite like the man he's meant to represent. From my point of view he's more like an amalgamation of two other characters published by DC: The first being the Jaime Reyes version of Blue Beetle, especially when it comes down to handling his new powers; and the second being his own grandson, Bart Allen, AKA Impulse, who’s someone that has a very refreshing quality that's both naive yet impish at the same time.

Justice League
AQUAMAN:   Just like Ezra Miller’s version of the Flash, Jason Momoa’s version of Aquaman seems like two other heroes published by DC Comics. In this case, however, one of the versions he’s channelling is none other than an older version of Aquaman himself; most notably the Peter David version first published in the 1990s. Back then, Arthur Curry / Orin was a more nomadic figure who sported long blond hair, a shaggy beard, a harpoon for a hand, and an attitude that was one part renegade, one part fallen angel. Funnily enough, this brings us quite nicely onto the second character I presume Jason was channelling, namely, Lobo, the interstellar bounty hunter from the planet Czarnia. Rock on, baby!!!

CYBORG:   Ray Fisher’s depiction of Victor Stone felt more authentic than most of the other characters featured in this film. Now if you’ve picked up any of the Marv Wolfman and George Perez issues of The New Teen Titans, circa 1980, you can clearly see the Vic of old in Ray’s portrayal of him. Back in the day he was a cold and distant character who never really wanted to interact with others until the Titans brought him out of his shell, more specifically, Garfield Logan, AKA Beast Boy / Changeling. I wasn’t too keen on his CGI extensive costume though, as it seemed a little too bulky at times, fake even, and I hope a more streamlined design will be used in the future (preferably the last one we saw him in).

Justice League
SUPERMAN:   Yes, Superman does return in this movie, and thank God he does too! Otherwise we wouldn’t have seen Henry Cavill playing a more upbeat version of the Man of Steel. Not completely upbeat, mind you, because when he first comes back from the dead he’s... uhhh... how can I put this? Not in his right frame of mind? But once this dilemma is eventually put to bed, Henry is able to physically channel the late, great, Christopher Reeves, within his performance.

A NOTABLE MENTION:   In closing I would like to mention J. K. Simmons (who played Jim Gordon), Amber Heard (who played Mera) and Amy Adams (who played Lois Lane), all of which did a really good job in this movie. So much so, in fact, that I would’ve liked to have seen more of them in it! Each of their performances can be defined as supporting at best, and I hope to see more of them in any up and coming sequels. Ciarán Hinds, on the other hand, who played Steppenwolf, did the best with what was given to him. Even though his character was slightly imposing at times, menacing even, unfortunately he wasn't given enough motivation or back-story for people to relate to.

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR (Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the film yet):
  1. The phrase, 'Do you bleed', gets a sequel.
  2. A stray Green Lantern ring.
  3. Exploding penguins.
  4. References to the previous movies in the DCU.
  5. The only family in the village.
  6. Boom tubes!!!
  7. A brief glimpse of Barry’s love interest.
  8. Numerous references to the New Gods.
  9. The Danny Elfman theme tune from the Batman Animated Adventure, as well as the Superman theme tune by John Williams.
  10. The Hall of Justice shows it's face.
  11. Gorilla (Grodd) sign language?
  12. There's a brief glimpse of Crispus Allen interacting with James Gordon in the GCPD, who was once known as The Spectre.
  13. STAR Labs / STAR Labs / STAR Labs.
  14. In Gotham you will see the Janus building, previously owned by Roman Sionis, AKA, The Black Mask.
  15. An end sequence featuring someone called aLex and someone called Slade.

JUSTICE LEAGUE THE MOVIE JUSTICE LEAGUE THE MOVIE Reviewed by David Andrews on November 20, 2017 Rating: 5

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