By Jose Jara
DUET DIRECTING BY SNYDER & WHEDON DELIVERS JUSTICE TO DC TEAM UP.
By Daniel Guzman
The saying goes like this, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Warner Brothers has tried, tried, and tried again with very little luck at striking gold. Warner Brothers hasn’t fully delivered the goods with their DC comic movies ever since they jumped in the superhero movies era. Other than the Dark Knight trilogy, Warner Brothers has been desperately chasing Marvel films and has itself out of breath while coming up short with such movies as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad. This year, Wonder Woman brought hope that WB could create something that can be a huge commercial success, enjoyable for a mass variety of audiences, and also be ground breaking in having a female director & a female lead in a testosterone fueled genre often donned by male spandex. Warner Brothers needed to swing for the fences in Justice League in order to grow its DC franchise into successful spin offs. Did it succeed in doing this? Drum roll please…yes and no.
Let’s begin with the good. Let me first mention that the music in this movie was phenomenal. Joss Whedon scored brownie points in my book by replacing Junkie XL for Danny Elfman as the film’s musical score composer. Also, the song in the beginning of the film by Sigrid, “Everybody Knows,” pulled me into the visuals of the start of the film with her hauntingly beautiful voice, hypnotic sound, and poetic lyrics. Another enjoyable aspect of this movie was having a semblance of an introduction for the characters Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. The botched attempt that Batman v Superman duct taped together in presenting these 3 characters was smoothed over in this movie, finally giving their characters personality and life. Ezra Miller who plays the Flash steals every one of his scenes with his naturally excited funny demeanor. He reminded me of the youthfulness that Evan Peters brought to his character, Quicksilver, in Xmen:Days of Future Past. Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa, came across the screen as the guy having the most fun on set while playing the roughest, toughest Aquaman who can chug a bottle of alcohol and kick serious butt in and out of water. The best CGI done in my opinion in this film was invested in Cyborg’s physical appearance. The acting by Ray Fisher could not have been any better for an actor working with only a part of his face as well as his voice as the only contributions to his character. Though, I’m sure every other actor on set was probably jealous of the time it probably took him to get into his costume. Gal Gadot continues making a believer out of audiences that Wonder Woman rocks as the half god half Amazonian warrior princess, further assuring that her sequel will be awaited on with high anticipation.
Now comes the bad. The action scenes were a bit hit or miss throughout the movie. Most of the fight scenes felt uneventful since all the central characters never seem as if they are in any real danger of being really hurt, except for Batman. The only time that there seems to be real peril and harm coming to play to anyone in the film is during a superb action sequence where the Amazonian women warriors are fighting off the villain Steppenwolf. As for Batfleck, I hope Affleck will no longer put on his bat suit. I can’t see Ben bringing anything else to the table as the bat. Henry Cavill was probably one of the most horrible characters to have to put up with due to the overly distracting upper lip CGI that was a sheer horror to look at. Cavill’s disturbing fake mouth gave his performance a lifeless wooden feel. The lead villain, Steppenwolf, came across like a paint by numbers copy of a villain and was the second worst CGI creation of this film, other than Superman’s upper lip. There’s also many pointless dialogue scenes that were fillers with no real point for them, such as the scene with Amy Adams and Diane Lane stewing over life after Superman.
Even after all those swing and a miss moments, Justice League delivered what I believe will be a crowd pleaser for what it did do right. Not taking itself so seriously and adding a bit more humor than its predecessors were able to imbed in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman helped deliver a film that should bring more audiences back to other upcoming DC superhero films. Even though having two directors wasn’t the initial plan for the making of this movie, it seems that having both Snyder’s and Whedon’s influence in the direction of this franchise led to an experiment with a marketable product. Now, can this lighting in a bottle strike thrice? We shall soon find out in a theater near you.