Justice League (2017) Movie Review

details
Title: Justice League.
Universe: Worlds of DC (unofficially known as the DC Extended Universe).
Rated: PG-13.
Director: Zach Snyder.
Screenplay: Chris Terrio & Joss Whedon.
Story: Chris Terrio & Zach Snyder.
Release Date: 2017.
Runtime: 120 min.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science-Fiction.
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa and many more!
Budget: $300,000,000.
Opening Weekend: $93,842,239.
Box Office: $614,729,668.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10).

Also in the Worlds of DC:
Man of Steel (2013)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition (2016)
Suicide Squad Extended Cut (2016)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Aquaman (2018)

thoughts

The long-awaited live-action adaptation of the godliest team of superheroes out there is finally here, but is it what fans wanted? Following the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie looks to deliver the ultimate reunion between some of the best DC heroes and to put director Zach Snyder and his DC movies back on the podium. With the director having to step down from his directorship to deal with the loss of his daughter by suicide, director Joss Whedon stepped into his shoes and completed this project for the world to indulge these heroes’ adventure. However, Zach Snyder’s filmography with comic book movies has been often criticized for its gloomy and dark tone, and the world remained split in their appreciation of his cinematic vision. With Joss Whedon’s implication confusing everyone’s ability to point fingers at who to blame for their dissatisfaction, Justice League ended up being another DC movie by Zach Snyder submerged with mixed reviews and much more hate than it ever deserved.

What is Justice League about? As the world plunges in chaos and fear with the strong belief of an impending alien invasion now that Superman is out of the picture, Bruce Wayne finds himself investigating mysterious creatures known as parademons only to conclude that he needs to build an alliance by recruiting special heroes to stop these enemies from far away from bringing their own form of destruction to Earth. With almost 20 years of experience under his belt, Bruce Wayne seeks out the help of Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Barry Allen (The Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Victor Stone (Cyborg) as they all possess a particular set of skills that would spare the world from knowing its end. As the recruiting progress, the threat grows and the great Steppenwolf makes an appearance and unveils his plan to reunite the Mother Boxes to create the Unity, the one thing that would not just destroy worlds, but also transform them into his birthland.

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Let’s get it out of the way. I do not fall into the camp of those who found a passion for hating this movie. I’ve seen it more times than I could count—all right, maybe four times—and each time I found myself having a good time as well as an undying thirst for a fully unedited Snyder cut as soon as the credits rolled out. However, I will start off by saying that this movie could’ve been way more than what it was, but it was ultimately an excellent comic book movie. It has an extremely simple plot with an unmemorable villain—who never should’ve been the main villain in the first place—and heavily relies on CGI effects for a grand majority of its scenes, but the trepidation that comes with a lot of the action sequences is too overwhelming and epic to overlook. It is also worth mentioning that Clark Kent’s mustache controversy is indeed a ridiculous obstacle that was horrendously handled, but it doesn’t take away from any of the character’s glorious moments.

What particularly had me excited about this movie is the introduction of heroes that haven’t yet had the chance to be fully seen on the big screen, notably The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. While the CW Network’s The Flash, played by Grant Gustin, is loved by many, I truly admired Ezra Miller’s take on the character. In fact, the comic relief that his character brings to the table, as well as the shy, awkward and nerdy portrayal of Barry Allen, is truly refreshing and brought a smile on my face. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman was also fun to watch although he turned out to be quite useless far more often than not. I will never forget that one sequence where he gets slapped away right at the beginning and isn’t seen for the rest of the battle. Clearly, they didn’t know what to do with him there. Luckily for us, Aquaman recently got his own movie to fully explore his character and abilities. Finally, there’s the good ol’ Cyborg. Played by Ray Fisher, I believed his character would have a quintessential role in this movie since it was the case in the comic book story on which the movie is based on, but several modifications were made. His character still remained intriguing with his origin story explored but also his search for purpose in life.

Related image

Obviously, DC Comics and Warner Bros did not plan on ending their universe with Justice League since several other movies were queued to be produced henceforth, including Justice League Part Two. In fact, the Easter eggs planted in Batman v. Superman : Dawn of Justice and with Steppenwolf’s objective in Justice League, it was clear that the goal was to create the ultimate entry point for Darkseid to appear. However, what we instead got was a unidimensional villain whose utility is limited to being a practice run for the Justice League as they learn to work together and exploit their strengths to try and defeat him. It was, in fact, clear with the direction this movie took, without looking at the grand scheme of things, that several other movies should have been released beforehand to better develop certain characters and to give some of the key plot points much more emotional depth than what they got, especially regarding Superman. However, for what it is, it remained a fun comic book adventure that unfortunately had to suffer from the theatrical cuts by Warner Bros.

Justice League (2017) is an action-packed superhero reunion that relies heavily on CGI-effects to delivers its straightforward plot and entertaining banter.


EXHIBITA

Justice League (2017) is based on Geoff Johns’ Justice League: Origin comic book story arc.
P.S. There’s one mid-credit scene and one after-credit scene worth sticking around for!

Have you read any Justice League comics?
Have you seen Justice League (2017)? What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!

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44 comments

  • I enjoyed the whole Snyder Trilogy. Didn’t think Justice League was a fantastic movie (I was so un-blownaway by Steppenwolfe that it almost hurt) but it was a good movie. I’m also a sucker for anything with Amy Adams.

    That being said, I’ve only watched it once while owning it on bluray. I should probably watch the whole trilogy in one go some weekend to see how it fits together. Of the heroes without their own movies yet, I’d vote for Flash over Cyborg.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too enjoyed Snyder’s movie. In fact, I plan on re-watching his Watchmen movie to review it at some point early this year.

      Saw it at the premieres and then twice with different friends in theaters and once on blu-ray recently to do this review hahahah I think I caught all the possible Easter eggs with all these re-watch. And yep, Flash was definitely much more intriguing than Cyborg. I do look forward to their live-action adaptation of Flashpoint. If they ever do decide to go further with that project.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I watched Watchmen once, just to make sure my feelings on the comic book weren’t misplaced. Nope, I was still right, even in a different medium 🙂

        While I hope DC keeps making live action movies, I just don’t know if they will. Maybe if Wonder Woman 2 is really good? I just heard, on a youtube live stream, that Affleck and Cavill have declined playing Bats and Supes in any more movies. IF that is true, I don’t see the DCEU surviving as a cohesive whole…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I believe I’ve seen you mention your negative feelings for Watchmen hahahah I look forward to hearing your thoughts on them in due time. 😁

          Ahhh they still have a solid number of movies to produce. Just a couple of days ago we got a teaser for Birds of Prey for example. Check it out. We have Shazam and Wonder Woman 1984 (the sequel) confirmed for sure. Aquaman 2 is in the works. Yesterday we got the news that a solo Batman movie will be released in 2021 and it’ll feature a young Batman (so no Bruce Wayne). The fired Guardians of the Galaxy director will also be directing Suicide Squad 2. We got some fun movies to look forward to, no worries there. 😁

          Liked by 1 person

          • If they had Lynda Carter make a cameo in the WW:1984 movie, that would beyond awesome. Actually, I’d better go check to make sure she’s still alive….
            ……..
            Yep and still going strong in the music area. I’d watch WW:1984 for sure if she showed up.

            I’m keeping an eye out for actual confirmation that Afleck and Cavil are done, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

            Liked by 1 person

  • I gotta disagree with you on this one, man. I didn’t like it. Well, I liked it more than Aquaman, which I ended up walking out of.
    There were some moments in Justice League that were fun though, like the race between Flash and Superman. I liked those moments. But Batman is usually my fav and he absolutely sucked in this. That was huge let down for me.

    I didn’t know that about the director’s daughter. That’s so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaahh I love hearing from people who disliked this movie. I actually like Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, but mostly what he does in Batman v. Superman. I felt like they changed his character a bit more in Justice League in order to try and please critics/fans who wanted a less brooding Dark Knight….

      And yep… Really sad story regarding Snyder. He has also been cut off from any future DC Comic movie projects, so he won’t be doing Justice League Part 2 or any projects that was once planned by him. His next movie is something with zombies, last I heard.

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    • It is truly unfortunate. It has everything to do with the fact that Henry Cavill was also filming for Mission Impossible and needed to keep his mustache/beard for it. So Warner Bros and co. decided to CGI it off his face and it doesn’t look professional at all… You can really see the difference. 😦

      Like

  • Confession: I know close to nothing about the background of any of these films… I’m still trying to find a good path into the universe. I have a neighbor who is well versed in all things superheroes, and he has been helping me! Going to see Captain Marvel next Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have to admit I laughed a little when you mentioned ‘Clark Kent’s mustache controversy’. Of all the negative things I heard about Justice League that’s the one thing I remember the most just because of how strange it was to see something like that as a complaint in a movie. 🙂
    Great review for this film Lashaan. I enjoyed Justice League, I thought the introduction of Barry Allen was good, his scenes in this film were the ones that had me smiling despite the dark mood, but can’t say I loved it. Like you I think more could have been done with this, especially when it came to Aquaman’s character. I still need to see his solo film but I would have loved I see more Arthur Curry in Justice League.
    Again great review. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know right? It’s truly sad that the focus had to be on those things.

      Thanks, Beth. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. Barry Allen really did alleviate a lot of moments throughout the movies. I do hope they give Ezra Miller the chance to shine in a movie of his own. Hope you enjoy Aquaman when you get the chance to check it out though! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh man, you’ve really got a soft spot for DC right there… 8/10 😀 Good review!
    It was such a weak movie for me, especially compared to what MCU does these days (e.g. Infinity War) – even Age of Ultron had been much better, in introducing new characters, in forming relationships between them, and in driving the plot. I appreciated Aquaman’s role in it, small that it was, because it seemed that only Momoa had enough of cool in him not to act wooden. The villain was so bad and underdeveloped it hurt, but most painful experience was Affleck’s Batman. “What’s your superpower? I’m rich” must be the worst exchange in DC movies history… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • We often differ on movies, and I tend to be the one praising what Ola scorns, but here I have to agree… I’ve seen it only lately, when it got to HBO, and I consider it a wasted evening. What she said, plus a general feeling of a chaotic screenplay… movie did not make much sense for me and firmly confirmed my belief that Marvel is vastly superior when it comes to live action.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hahahaha I understand! 😀 It is not the most complex or well-structured movie out there, that’s for sure. Too much post-editing occured as well and it is why I wish we had the full unedited version to compare it with. Marvel’s movie will not top Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy however. That’s the only place where I’d disagree. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • You have the right to be wrong about it 😉 Seriously, though, I want more DC versions of superhero movies, there we could see more creative freedom and less executive meddling.
          I see the Nolan movies not as part of DC movie-verse, but as something separate and definitely better than what we get from DC now.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ola! Hahahahahaha I do indeed have a soft spot for DC, but I can remain critical when necessary, all right?! 😀 I don’t draw comparisons with Marvel’s universe considering how many movies they got to do to develop so many details, relationships, world, etc. The heroes in Justice League definitely weren’t complex in any way possible, but I didn’t feel like the focus of the movie was in the individuals. The one who got the most attention in that regard might have been Cyborg who didn’t feel like he belonged anywhere not did he feel alive, until his little mission to seperate the boxes with Superman where he felt alive. That’s the most “character development” we got in this movie to be honest hahahah But again, I’m 1000% certain that someone else could’ve done an EVEN more impressive movie than what we got, but what we got was still fun for me.

      In fact, that “I’m rich” exchange made me giggle when I first saw it in theaters… Of course… The more often I see it, the more awkward I felt about it. 😉 At least you won’t be seeing Affleck as Batman in the 2021 solo Batman movie to come (based on official news announced a couple of days ago), as the movie will focus on a younger Batman! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😉 Yeah, comparison with Marvel might be a bit unfair – but it was more along the lines of what can be accomplished within the genre… Marvel paved the way, so to speak, so not making MCU’s mistakes seemed an obvious thing to do – I just didn’t realize that DCU was so bent on making their own mistakes, and even inventing new ones just for the fun of it 😛

        Thank gods for that! Affleck didn’t event fit the suit, his cheeks kept puffing out in a very hamster-y way…

        To be honest, though, I think it will be very difficult to beat Nolan’s take on Dark Knight. I’m not a fan of the trilogy’s finale, but the first two movies, especially The Dark Knight, are the absolute top for me, and probably will remain that way 😉
        Have you seen Shazam’s trailer, btw?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, Nolan’s trilogy remains the golden (or platinum) standards for me. 😂 I wouldn’t put any Marvel movie on top of it—which is what I was telling Piotrek.

          I did see it. It is the first DC movie in the DCEU that has me SUPER skeptical ever since that trailer dropped. It’s giving me Batman & Robin (1997) vibes and that’s not a good thing. I do hope it proves me wrong and is actually fun… but I feel like it’ll have dated comedy tones or something that would simply not be my cup of tea, especially in terms of comedy. 😩

          Liked by 1 person

          • yeah, exactly… Though I’d argue some Marvel movies are better than Batman Begins and Dark Knight rises 😉

            Shazam trailer just puts me off big time! It’s like Batman & Robin with Adam Sandler…

            Liked by 1 person

  • Super write-up Lashaan! Like you, I’ve seen Justice League a few times and I’ve never come away from it not having the feeling I’ve been entertained. It may be rough around the edges and suffered somewhat from the behind the scenes production issues but I enjoy it for the characters and the straightforward comic book action/plot.

    At the end of the day it’s not as successful as Avengers but Justice League left me with a thirst for more from these amazing DC characters (Batman and Superman are the absolute comic book titans for me, above any others – DC or Marvel) and I just hope that we eventually get a stronger JL sequel that everyone loves…and come on, can we get that Ezra Miller Flash film already?!

    P.S. How do you feel about the now official exit of Ben Affleck? Have you heard the rumours that we may be seeing Henry Cavill don the cape again?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simple and straightforward is right! It was a nice teaser to great things and it has plenty of potentials, but it’s nowhere as bad as it is claimed to be. And you’re right, it really needs a stronger sequel or at least better exploration of each character’s strengths and weaknesses. Maybe even more loyalty to source material. The extra cutscene found in the bluray with Superman’s black suit was a nice teaser too! I wish they had a better plan for it all, like the recent animated Superman movies.

      I am sad that Batfleck isn’t going to be a thing anymore, especially when he made me believe in Batman v. Superman that he could be the best Bruce Wayne and Batman we’ve ever gotten… Ever… He just needed one solid stand-alone movie to prove it and he would’ve made it on my top 3, rank 1. I do hope they find a REALLY good young Batman though… And not some sort of hip hop artist and flopped actor to play the role just because he “might” have the looks for it. 😦 It would indeed be cool to see Henry Cavill again, especially under someone else’s direction (instead of Zach Snyder). It might give us something pretty refreshing and something to calm down the haters!

      Like

        • I like to split it in two, the Bat-ranking and the Wayne-ranking.

          Batman-wise: Kevin Conroy > Christian Bale > Ben Affleck > Michael Keaton > Val Kilmer > George Clooney > Adam West

          Bruce Wayne-wise: Kevin Conroy > Michael Keaton > Ben Affleck > Christian Bale > Val Kiemer > George Clooney > Adam West

          Clearly, our love for Kevin Conroy is immutable. The animated Batman will always be the best version.

          By the way, did you watch the Lego Batman movie? Or is it too comedy-oriented and not your cup of tea? 😛

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ah no, I like a good bit of comedy if it’s done right and not forced – I did see Lego Batman and enjoyed it very much, all the nods and winks to the history of the character were great and Will Arnett is perfect for that particular take.

            This may surprise you but I am actually a fan of the 1960s Adam West series (and movie) – of course I’ll always favour the purer ‘Dark Knight’ version of the character but sometimes a bit of the ‘Light Knight’ is good just for pure goofy entertainment!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Welp! That’s definitely news to me hahaha I never saw any references to the “Light Knight” on your blog or in any of our conversations in the past so I just assumed that maybe you only appreciated the “darker” Batman introduced since Nolan’s trilogy hahah

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              • Well I’m planning quite a few Batman posts over the course of the year with it being the 80th anniversary and that’ll include a review of the 1966 movie. Obviously I’ll always prefer the more faithful darker take on the character but you can’t deny the importance of the Adam West series in cementing Batman’s place in pop culture.

                Liked by 1 person

  • hehe I’m sorry to always be that person in the comments riding on the hate train, but yeah, I’m totally on the hate train. To be honest, for me the movie suffered from the change of direction and sloppy/choppy theatrical cut, but that really wasn’t what killed it for me- my main issue was that it failed to capture my attention (even with all my favourite superheroes stuffed into it) and I ended up totally bored. A huge part of that comes down to the fact it had a lacklustre villain and plot- but also I didn’t feel invested in the heroes (and again, these are the superheroes I like the most). I also thought it was a shame cyborg didn’t have more of a central role and as much as I like Mamoa, aquaman was as exciting as a damp squid 😉 I am glad you got more out of it though- again, sorry to always be that grumpy person/primate in the comments 😉 Awesome review! I think you were very fair when it came to addressing both sides here 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahahah no worries, I do appreciate the honesty and will always be happy to hear your thoughts on it. I do know about your thoughts on these DC movies lately and I doubt I’ll ever find compelling arguments to change your point of view. For a while. Hahhahaah It really was a super simple story with characters that never really looked to be more than what their names claim them to be. The villain was a poor decision, especially when they should have looked to make it much more epic for such an important superhero team. Cyberborg plays a much more central role in the comic book story and it was sad that they didn’t take that angle for this movie, and Aquaman was a bit too underwhelming, although he brings some minor comic relief. This movie, the whole universe, could have, without a doubt, been done differently. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with this kind of story-telling for a little bit. My hopes are in the stand-alone (not part of the DC universe movies) Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. I think it’ll be the most refreshing of all the upcoming movies by DC. Thanks for reading as always! 🙂

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