Film, Review

Justice League: “A glorified WWE spectacle”

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By Rob Milarvie

Director: Zack Snyder

Plot: Shockingly, the Earth is in jeopardy again. After the death of Superman, the world is still in mourning. But Earth faces a galactic threat and Batman must gather Earth’s mightiest heroes to defend the human race.

Unfortunately, following tragic family events Zack Snyder had to leave the project halfway through production, with Joss Whedon, godfather to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), taking the reins. Whedon received a screenplay credit after directing re-shoots and his involvement is clear. However Whedon’s intervention is not enough to stop Justice League being the earliest of Christmas turkeys.

Heavy criticism has plagued the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) after their attempt to provide a brooding alternative to the upbeat brand of the MCU. And clearly with Whedon’s influence on the MCU’s branding, the DCEU are attempting to course correct. Whedon’s constant use of quips and entertaining character clashes and their own personal arcs are what shot the MCU into the stratosphere. Yet even with the levity and humour introduced by Snyder and Whedon, the Justice League’s astounding lack of charisma is a sight to behold.

In just two hours, the film tries to congest three new characters (Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg) and their back story, while exploring the power dynamics between this newly found group of superheroes. This cramming of new characters significantly hampers the narrative. To a layman the film traces each new hero into certain archetypes: the Flash is the comic relief, Aquaman the rock star/rebel, and Cyborg the walking plot device. Given they have not been introduced in their own solo, origin feature to establish their personality and explore their character, the film has to introduce that feature-length process… three times in a total of 30 minutes.

Similarly, the villain of this uncharismatic tale is the CGI drenched Steppenwolf, whose end goal seems to be a carbon copy of General Zod’s in the Man of Steel. The galactic threat to Earth is starting to wear thin and Justice League champions that cause for concern. Mainly as this shallow group of indestructible beings fight another indestructible being in a location devoid of human beings. Therefore the sense of mortality and threat is almost obsolete. Without any humans to save or the group’s understood weaknesses, the climax becomes a glorified WWE spectacle.

The Justice League staggers through its two hour run time, breezing over important character development to ensure the climax is another headache inducing clash of super beings. Each and every character’s purpose is to explain the plot to each other and move the film onto the next fight sequence. This rushed piece of film-making turns what could have been a promising premise into a tedious, languid and incoherent tale of indestructible heroes punching another indestructible villain.

About the author / 

Robert Milarvie

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