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Sunday, June 23, 2024
The Observer

‘Justice League’ review: too much too soon

Dominique DeMoe
Dominique DeMoe

What you think about “Justice League” will probably depend on what you expected from the film. If you go into the movie theater expecting to see a well-rounded film with both an engaging plot and complex characters, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you’re looking for explosions and CGI, this is just the film for you.

I won’t bother going into too much detail about the plot of this film because it doesn’t really matter. A bad guy wants to destroy the world, and it’s up to the Justice League to stop him. Among the new characters we meet is the Flash (Ezra Miller), who provides some of the more lighthearted moments in the film. Fifty percent of his jokes are cringe-worthy awkward puns, and the other 50 percent will make you genuinely smile. Next, we’ve got Aquaman (Jason Momoa), whose rugged version of the hero seems like the only creative license taken with the characters. Momoa manages to give us more consistent laughs than Miller, and his charismatic performance made me more excited for the solo Aquaman film than for the second “Justice League.” Finally, we’ve got Cyborg (Ray Fisher), for who we are given the most backstory about, and whose powers — besides Superman’s — seem most essential to defeating the bad guy. His serious and brooding character seems more complex than the others we meet, but he still often feels like an extra in the film whose potential is not fully utilized.

And of course, there are the big three who we’ve met already: Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) — who I don’t think anyone actually believed was dead. As in “Wonder Woman,” Gadot gives life to any scene she is in. Unfortunately, too many shots focus on Gadot’s cleavage or butt — in one shot her leather clad butt takes up almost the entire screen. The other Amazons are also wearing notably less clothing than they had on in “Wonder Woman.” “Justice League” loses something when it over sexualizes the women, particularly Wonder Woman. It’s less uplifting and inspiring; it becomes just another bro-y action movie.

Louis Lane’s (Amy Adams) quiet moments with Clark Kent/Superman give the film some surprisingly tender moments. In comparison to Superman’s calm demeanor, Batman seems like a moody teenager — though that could also be because it seemed like Affleck regretted taking this role throughout the entire movie.

In general, the problem with “Justice League” doesn’t seem to be with the characters, the casting or even the massive amounts of CGI. The film simply lacks depth, and the dialogue is hollow. The audience never really becomes invested in the plot or the characters. The movie feels like it is just going through the paces of a superhero action movie. In the Marvel movies, “Iron Man” set the stage for the entire franchise, and there was a slow build up to “The Avengers” which allowed us to become invested in the characters, which hasn’t been the case for the DC Universe. It seems like they are trying to play catch up to the Marvel Universe when they need to worry about creating their own cinematic universe and characters. The DC movies have all the pieces to make really good films, but they are rushing through the best stories.

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: Joss Whedon, Chris Terrio

Starring: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot

Shamrocks: 2/5