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Justice League

Justice League: DC’s Magnum Opus Falls Flat

  • Ben AffleckGal Gadot...
  • Action & Adventure
  • Zack Snyder
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Justice League: DC’s Magnum Opus Falls Flat

Though not as disappointing as 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad, the fifth instalment in DC’s shared cinematic universe still manages to feel like a letdown.

Following the death of Superman (Cavill) in Batman V Superman, the world is still mourning his loss, with Bruce Wayne, a.k.a Batman (Affleck acting slightly out of place throughout) left feeling somewhat responsible. Teaming up with Diana Prince, a.k.a Wonder Woman (once again magnificently portrayed by Gal Gadot) to fight whatever crime they can in his absence, a bigger threat to humanity soon arrives in the form of Steppenwolf (voiced by Hinds); an ancient otherworldly being that has decided to return, after initially being defeated by the Amazonians, Atlanteans and humans some thousand years before, to recover three magical Mother Boxes.

Fully aware of the destruction that can be caused and that they will be needing an extra hand, Batman and Wonder Woman soon begin putting together a team of superheroes, including Barry Allen, a.k.a Flash (Miller), Victor Stone, a.k.a Cyborg (Fisher) and last but not least, Arthur Curry, a.k.a Aquaman (Momoa), to join their team. However, it soon becomes clear that Steppenwolf and his minions of flying Parademons are stronger and smarter than they look, leaving the newly-formed team of superheroes to wonder whether they will have enough combined superpower to defeat the monster and save the planet. 

Directed by Zack Snyder – who co-wrote the script with his frequent writing collaborator Chris Terrio before eventually stepping down after a personal tragedy to make room for director Joss Whedon to take over – the lighter and more humorous approach to the material is definitely step in the right direction for the franchise. However, aside from a few jokes – which unfortunately don’t always land where they’re supposed to – and a handful of enticing action sequences – especially the ones surrounding Flash and Wonder Woman – the film, as a whole, feels simplistic in structure and lazy in execution, with the story lacking substance, ingenuity and enough heart to leave a lasting impression.

One of the biggest drawbacks, however, is the fact that there are four new characters – including J.K Simmons as Commissioner Gordon – introduced here and while they are all seemingly interesting personas in their own right, the audiences will inevitably have trouble connecting to them having been given very little time to get to know any of them properly as live-action characters. However, regardless of this one seemingly major setback, the performances are not lacking with both Miller – the film’s main source for comic relief – and Momoa as the raggedy Aquaman, delivering engaging performances leaving Fisher’s Cyborg as the least interesting of the lot. Returning to please is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman – undeniably the true star of the show – whilst the story’s villain, the badly CGI-ed extraterrestrial being out to conquer the world, is perhaps one of the dullest antiheroes to ever walk the screen.

Although engaging in parts, Justice League is one big incoherent and loud mess that, unfortunately, has failed to utilise its undeniable superhero-star power in order to deliver an unforgettable cinematic experience that the fans have been waiting to see.

Like This? Try

Batman V Superman (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Wonder Woman (2017)

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Next up for the DC Extended Universe is Aquaman (2018) Shazam! (2019) Wonder Woman 2 (2019) Cyborg (2020) and Green Lantern Corps (2020).

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