Movie Review: Justice League

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Rating: 3.5

Plot: Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman tag together a team of superheroes to fight the enormous supervillain, Steppenwolf, and in the process also bring back Clark Kent from the dead. 

Verdict :

- DC's all-star "Justice League" fails to live up to expectations.

- The film is dark and broody (typical of Zack Snyder), but fails to impress with its humor.

+ Being fast paced and relatively short, it keeps viewers engaged.

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Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, JK Simmons

This epic match-up of superheroes from the DC universe was a long time coming. Ever since the success of Marvel's 'Avengers', it was a matter of time before DC superheroes got their own movie. Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill headline this DC Comics' reply to the Avengers.

The movie begins with a reminder of Superman's death, while Wonder Woman is busy dispatching terrorists. Meanwhile, Batman discovers insect-like creatures flitting around Gotham, feeding on fear. It turns out that these insects (parademons) are foot-soldiers in the army of Steppenwolf. The towering villain plans to convert the entire world into his home planet, with the help of three "mother boxes" that are held in safe custody on Earth.

While the Amazons are charged with protecting one box, another is given to the Atlantians and the third is buried secretly. Steppenwolf storms the bastions one by one, while Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman work on assembling a team to thwart Steppenwolf's plans. They are joined in this endeavor by Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Victor Stone (Cyborg) and Barry Allen (The Flash).

Batman and Wonder Woman feel a bit dated and fatigued from their own earlier battles while the new heroes add a dash of freshness to the plot. 

Ben Affleck's middle-aged, gruff-voiced Batman feels like he's still hung over from the last movie. Gal Gadot is impressive and Henry Cavill does well as Superman despite limited screen time. Amy Adams and Diane Lane, both fantastic actresses, add some weight to the story as Lois Lane and Martha Kent; their interaction being one of a few bright spots.

While laboring under the loss of Superman for most of its duration, Justice League somehow feels buoyed by a very successful 'Wonder Woman' that came out earlier this year, and Gal Gadot's impressive performance in it. Wonder Woman's multi-layered script kept tensions high amidst a World War, but here, Zack Snyder fails to reignite those same levels of excitement and catharsis.

Snyder did receive some flak for his earlier films 'Man of Steel' and 'Dawn of Justice' and it looks like he has attempted to address some concerns. Mindless violence seems to be tempered with the occasional human touch - like when the travails of a young family of four are slotted amidst the hacking and chopping of the climax. Yet, it doesn't feel enough to lend a lease of life to this movie.

Humor has been a strong point for superhero movies in recent times, with Wonder Woman and Thor Ragnarok doing a fine job of balancing laughter with gloom. Whatever banter and clowning are seen in Justice League, however, feels hollow and inadequate. The Flash, who is tasked with the burden of eliciting laughs, comes off patchy and misses his mark on quite a few occasions.

It feels like the movie takes itself too seriously and that is where it goes wrong. Despite a good star cast, very average humor, disjointed editing, lack of backstory and an excessive amount of CGI weighs this flick down. 

Yet, being clipped to just 2 hours and maintaining a fast-paced narrative help salvage some of the shortcomings, just tipping it over into watchable territory. 

Two post-credit scenes, one of which reintroduces Lex Luthor, are worth the wait if you've managed to sit till the end. 

3.5 shors out of 5

Reviewed by: Gaurav Sashittal

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