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Randy reviews JUSTICE LEAGUE!


Randy here with my review for the DCEU's big team-up: JUSTICE LEAGUE!

"Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy."

SHORT VERSION:

Justice League is... well, the short version would be doing a disservice. Read below.

LONG VERSION:

There is plenty out there in social media to cloud anyone's thoughts when reviewing a movie, ESPECIALLY this one. Whether behind-the-scenes production drama, studio influence/interference, and/or judgement based on prior WB/DC films released, there's a lot out there to affect the sliding scale of whether someone “likes” or “hates” the film I've tried to go out of my way to clear myself of that noise.

I've been a comic book fan for 30 years. My first regular series I picked up monthly being Marvel's The Punisher and DC's Justice League. I let you know this because, just like the comics I first started collecting, when it comes to comic book movies, I am not a Marvel guy or DC Comics guy. I'm someone who just wants good movies of some of my favorite comic characters.

Justice League is okay. Neither an abject failure, nor a out-of-the-park home-run, the film is straight-forward serviceable, and accessible, with moments of humor, fun, and action.

It would be far easier to review if it was leaning in either direction. Instead, I'm left with a feeling of having liked what I saw, that nothing stood out as blatantly problematic, and that as I left the theater, I had no deep feeling towards it, either way. Ben Affleck is more comfortable as Batman, trying to find a balance between being the Dark Knight and a less grim Bruce Wayne-to mixed results. Gal Gadot has nothing to prove as Diana Prince, and strides through the film as the Amazonian she portrays. As she has in prior films, she owns the role. Jason Momoa is having WAY too much fun as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, though I think he's playing the future king of Atlantis more like a certain Norse god of thunder.

The standouts for me were Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg. Miller brings a nervous energy to Barry, always wanting to go fast, yet not sure if it's the right move. His honest vulnerability as someone unprepared at the world-ending level of heroics he's faced with is refreshing. Cyborg comes across with the sparsest of back story & motivation, yet Fisher was compelling to me, He did a great job balancing the coldness of someone who is more machine than man, yet never comes across as dull or boring.

Directed by Zack Snyder, and written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (story by Snyder and Terrio), the movie ebbs and flows in its energy, coming alive less than something this big should be. The rousing moments are telegraphed, though the appearance of one hero did bring a section of applause from my audience. It's trying to build to something with parts that don't all fit together. So rather than feel created & integrated with story & characters, the film is putting the parts together to get to the end battle. But Steppenwolf's goal of “unity” and destroying/reshaping the Earth is too impersonal and vague to make me care. HE is too impersonal and vague-and that's where a great MANY superhero films, Marvel and DC, have been stumbling at lately. The strength of a Villain's character is in direct relation to the heroes. Without a strong one, the other falters. Again, you can read about plenty of things that have gone on with the film, especially now that it has hit theaters, that likely affected what the final film is. Maybe I'll write about that one day. But I am judging it on what was on the screen, not any mythical version of that hypothetically could exist. Justice League should be a movie that strides confidently forward, but more often it stumbles & recovers, rarely finding it's best footing. That's really too bad.

But I'm hoping that we see more of these characters with these actors in place. I can see these next “wave” of DCEU films being about the characters and being smaller films, eventually getting back to another Justice League movie. I really hope I get to see that, because I really want to see more, good superhero movies... because I'm a fan.

WORTH PAYING: Afternoon prices, if you're a DCEU fan. Morning prices otherwise. WORTH MAKING TOYS: Mattel and Hot Toys figures are already out there!

NOTE: There are 2 post-credit scenes.

Let me know what you think of my review.

And here's the stars with their action figures!

Be seeing you! RANDY

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