by Brandon Matzke
Well, this film exceeded my expectations. But then again my expectations were extremely low, ever since last year’s Batman V. Superman. Look, despite my disliking of almost every DC movie since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, I am a DC fan. And a Marvel fan. I have a foot in both worlds. So, I’ll try not to make this a biased review. Now, let’s look at Justice League.
For one, this is an entertaining film. Much more so than the borefest that was Batman V. Superman. The action feels energetic (especially with Ezra Miller’s Flash) and it’s more abundant (which was exactly what this DCEU needed). Speaking of Ezra Miller, let’s discuss his take on the Flash; I could tell he genuinely enjoyed making this film. He was charming, fun, and just felt good to watch. Now, onto the negatives..
Zach Snyder’s directing. Look, I feel bad about “bashing” this man since his family crisis, but I genuinely do not like his style of directing. I honestly think he’s one of the worst directors working today. He gives every frame so much unnecessary bleakness, makes everything too dark, or just makes everyone in his films a whiny little jerk. Thankfully, his influence decreased drastically compared to Batman V. Superman, but when it shows, it shows. Everyone except for Ezra Miller (who really does look like he’s having a good time) looks bored out of their minds, especially Ben Affleck as Batman.
I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of “Batfleck” as fans have called him. I do know Ben Affleck can be a great actor (just watch Argo, Good Will Hunting, or Gone Girl for evidence), but he felt like he was the exact opposite of what Batman should be. He never came off as intimidating, or charming, or smart; he just felt bored.
And the writing: I like Joss Whedon, but I felt like the script was almost identical to The Avengers at times. Like, shot-for-shot identical.
And the CGI? For the weird insect things, it looked fine. But CGI Batfleck gliding through the air? Ha ha, no. What this film should’ve been was an event. Marvel nailed this “Cinematic Universe” thing perfectly: build up characters, hype up their crossovers, and make the big crossover feel like it’s own thing. This film barely builds up it’s characters (trying to make Aquaman cool, I guess), it barely feels well-deserved at this point in it’s “universe”, and it just felt like it was supposed to build up other films in this franchise!
I don’t have much hope for this DCEU. I only decided to see it for three reasons. One, I liked this year’s Wonder Woman. I hoped DC learned from their mistakes. Two, I told a lot of people in the school I’d be seeing it. And three, because the little boy in me always wanted to see a Justice League movie. And now that I’ve seen it, I’ll say this: it wasn’t worth the wait. I give Justice League a 5/10; it’s not downright awful, but it had so much potential to be better. On the bright side, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Christmas draws nearer every day, and I plan on seeing Coco for my next review.