Teamwork Is Hard: Our Review of ‘Justice League’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - November 17, 2017
Teamwork Is Hard: Our Review of ‘Justice League’

You know, there’s something to be said for us all calming down just a teeny, tiny bit…

Yeah, Justice League which is out now, certainly isn’t devoid of some problems but that being said it actually does something that a lot of comic book movies forget to do these days and it doesn’t take itself all that seriously as it just winds down into a slightly disjointed and more than a little rushed affair that at least remembers to be fun somewhere along the way.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes; Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash; it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions unless they can pull off a miracle and get one more hero back into the fight.

It’s rushed and a little underdeveloped from a character standpoint, but Justice League never forgets its origins and dials back just a little on the over the top world destroying and allows for some entertaining zingers and moments where these beings tasked with saving the world actually get to take the piss out of themselves a little bit and have some fun while saving all of our collective asses.

While you can feel the 30-40 minutes that probably got cut from this at some point during production, Justice League has a flow to it that is fairly undeniable and it doesn’t mess around getting down to brass tacks advancing the narrative as quickly as humanly possible.

Things are more than a little sloppy at times as it does try to move a little too fast at times fighting against its nature as Snyder and his grander, darker vision of it all are still very much at the forefront but Joss Whedon’s influence (who was working as a script doctor on the film, had to step in after a tragedy in Zack Snyder’s family forced him to step away) is very strongly felt. 

It all gives the proceedings a certain lightness to them, easing up on the doom and gloom of the world coming to an end (again?) and it allows for the movie to not feel like nearly as much of an overly serious (and violent) character study that the previous Batman vs. Superman film ended up feeling like.  It’s trying not to be overly grim and make us believe that the heroes might not ACTUALLY save the day, and while I know that should be easier said than done, it’s very nice to see it executed properly.

To call character development with any of the people in this one wafer thin would probably the understatement of the calendar year as everyone who returns relies on their preestablished character traits and the new characters basically only get a zinger or two before they have to go save the world.  However that being said, that actually worked in the films favor this time out.  Batman just had to be grumpy and gruff, Wonder Woman is just quiet and noble (although it was a nice twist that she was basically taking more of a leadership role in the group then you’d expect given the two alpha males she is flanked by) and Ezra Miller as The Flash comes this close to stealing the whole damn thing with his awkward comedic timing that translates right off of the pages of a comic book.

The film is very much a ‘team piece’ and is clearly more concerned about setting up more solo and group installments along the way but in that it found an at least workable formula to make the whole mess work.  Justice League just wants it all to get back to basics and put some focus on the fun of these larger than life characters and their struggles of not only saving the entire planet, but the struggles of them actually co-existing with each other.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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