Justice League, 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
Justice League is the critically disbarred film by Zack Snyder, which serves as the (theoretical) round-up of a trilogy that has suffered the same fate. This is the film that is the direct response to fanboys and critics alike, whom, if I may, have been nothing short of brutal as the DCEU tries to find its footing in its crucial fundamental stage.
Muchlike classics such as Predator, the film is a culminated effort born from attempts of trying to balance the grantificafion of the business side while sating the filmmaker's vision. Quite obviously, one has to be sacrificed here- and money always wins.
Even with the darkest cloud hanging over it, Justice League sees the Trinity rapturing into new grounds and owning whatever they beseige from the experience.
This is the action-packed, SciFi adventure you thought you'd do without, but as you sink into your seat gasping over the scenery and the new depths within which the characters dive, you thank whatever god has made you scroll past a helluva ton of discouraging tweet-reviews and got you in front of the screen to experience the piece of wonder for yourself.
This movie sets a milestone that no first attempt could ever dream of. I say first attempt because as has been established, the DCEU takes on the labels "dark", "gritty", "sombre", and so forth; contrasting its presupposed rival. If you had ever complained that DC/WB movies takes on this "grim" predisposition, then you'll be happy to know that the movie is lighter in tone. It takes a leap further by successfully revolutionalising the "fun" comic book movie theory by introducing balance to giggles and raw, emotional moments.
The heart is not sacrificed for laughs, and the laughs hold the ship steady instead of weighing one side down into the water. And this isn't one of those ships that needs saving, too.
The emotional backdrop of this film is what sticks the most. When the sentiment and emotion comes, it comes in flowing and isn't offhandedly intercepted by a quip. The scenery, the carefully hand-picked locations, coupled with the heart-stopping cinematography helped accentuate this rather fragile direction.
Batman is cultivated into a wholesome character in this one. Whereas the Batman in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice felt disconnected and simply stone-hearted, this Bruce Wayne comes full circle and considers the world from a more heedful and patient eye.
The emotion aspect seems more intentional this time. This is true for all characters introduced to us in previous DCEU films. Diana Price seems to still be suffering loses she encountered in Wonder Woman, and this makes the character feel like a developing, feeling human being apart from her reality as the all-powerful demigod daughter of Zeus, Wonder Woman. She's mourning, she's trying to move on and at the same time she has to show up for the people who've since put their trust in her as their protector. And, boy, does she show up and show off. Between herself and Barry Allen (The Flash), I was wholly entertained for different, though equally satisfying, reasons. The Wonder Woman in this movie is my favourite depiction of the hero on screen yet. She doesn't just kick butt, her poised, passionate expression while doing it will send waterfalls down your cheeks in an instant.
Speaking of Barry Allen, boy, oh boy! My boy Ezra Miller came through and proved to us that we truly and desperately need the solo Flash movie to happen a-sap! The Flash in the Justice League movie is a jittery, mumbling ball of comedic relief and I didn't cringe once at the team's attempt at comedy. I could honestly watch Barry do what he does for 2-hours straight. Hell, he even manages to jerk what seemed like a smile on Bruce's face for a little over a second and, chileeeee, I lived!
Aquaman aligns the rockstar vibe that has been teased in the trailers. If trailers are anything to go by anymore, anyway- as studios think its cute to tease certain scenes in trailers and then cut them out of the movie altogether. Not cool! But, let me quickly go back to Arthur Curry, his introduction is a jolting joy and though the character leaves much room to evolve, with the scenes he's afforded on screen he is determined to lure us via his Atlatian charm.
And, oh, Mera? QUEEN MERA!!! She's only had some 50-seconds or so on screen but, good god, I stan an unwavering queen!
Cyborg is the quiet storm. He is raw and poised. He is as loveable and natural as any of these characters can get, and he's better for it. I found myself quietly squealing with each scene he was incorporated in. He can easily assume the (co-)leading role of the group as the cinematic universe germinates into and explores new grounds. The suit is better than I had expected on the big screen. Someone needs to officially announce a solo Cyborg movie soon!
Steppenwolf doesn't establish new grounds as a villain, not as much as Man of Steel's General Zod did, but the time he spends on screen is simply breathtaking. I believed his lust for power and his need to fufill his destiny of the gods. His voice demands and shatters all at once, and his waste-tight poise only accentuates the true and total wrath in which he's capable. "For Darkseid!!!"
Earlier I mentioned the locations used, and this aspect of the movie is by far enough to afford the movie a Best Cinematography award at the Academies, afforded by the sharp, innovative way in which they were captured. In a perfect world where the Academies didn't overlook any movie that has even a particle of CGI for their more preferred biographies and docudramas, this movie would be leading in the more visual categories.
The imagery takes you to unknown territories that will have anybody's breath catch. Needless to say, the rumours of editing inconsistencies are utter BS. The palate used is reminiscent of an apocalyptic chaos you'd see in Snyder movies such as 300 and Sucker Punch, while at the same time being so inviting and enthralling that your only qualm is that the film feels shorter than its 2-hour run-time.
Justice League doesn't lose its mythesism and depth in its attempt to assimilate and play well with others. Muchlike Batman himself. We get get a grand gesture at what Zack Snyder himself could've really accomplished with this film had he not been faced with the tragic family event that occurred during the movie's production.
I'm very pleased, though, to say that even when we're aware of The Avengers' director, Joss Whedon, having taken over from Znyder it's not glaringly noticeable. In fact, the film has such a firm foundation from its initial filmmaker that it doesn't waver when a new captain comes aboard. It is balanced, it is tight, and though most might not be open to a lighter DCEU movie as yet, the movie makes you hopeful for the future of this othered cinematic universe.
I must admit that when I heard Danny Elfman's soundtrack before the film came out, I was utterly replused at his pure carelessness. The offering sounded as though he panned between scoffing and sighing all through making it. In the movie though, the score is more coherent and complements the respective scenes enough to not make you want to throw-up in your popcorn packaging. The opening composition is delightlightful as the screen reels through a couple of nolstalgic, emotional scenes to warm us up for the emotional, action-packed show-down we're about to encounter.
Guys, this movie is good. I'm not just saying this to have a distinguishing opinion, but as a genuine movie-watcher who actually likes watching movies no matter the camp/studio they're based. Justice League, though seemingly doomed according to some, is a true and satisfying wonder to watch. Especially when compared to its comic book live-action counterparts, which have honestly thrived by only fulfilling a portion of what truly makes a movie whole.
Listen, this could've easily been a whopping 10/10 movie (I'm not even exaggerating) overall, according to me anyway, had Snyder's vision been respected and nurtured. But I'm overly glad that what he had established before he had to attend to his family tragedy was so precise, so well-ploughed that it managed to get the entire film through the brutal tide that it was always destined to face. As of now, though, my score (if I may) ranges from an 8.5 to a 9.5 depending on whether we're criticising the movie from a third installment to the Superman story point of view, or from a stand-alone POV.
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