Film Review Justice League

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ezra Miller, left, and Jason Momoa in a scene from “Justice League.”

Associated Press

DC managed to make an entire film about some of its villains, and yet it couldn't get a decent one for its first superhero team outing.

Granted, comic book movies love their apocalyptic storylines for every plot device, but it seems as though someone in the planning stage could have voiced concern over a 10-foot-tall, completely CGI monster who has almost zero range of facial expression.

The "Lord of the Rings"-esque cave troll subplot in "Batman vs. Superman" was easily one of the worst things about that movie, but apparently learning from mistakes isn't a strong suit for DC.

And unluckily for "Justice League," it's not just that having a CGI monster army makes things boring to watch (or care about), it's also that the movie did it poorly.

"Justice League" may have some of the worst CGI of any post-Green Lantern DC movie. It's obvious when the cast is standing in front of a green screen, and whatever money the studio threw at the film to erase Henry Cavil's mustache in re-shoots clearly wasn't enough in the awkward close-ups of Superman.

The only saving grace - and potential glimmer of hope in this franchise - is the team dynamic (or at least among those with discernible personalities). Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) are the bright spots in the film. Both characters are fleshed out with a variety of emotions - something surprising for the Flash since his standalone movie is still in limbo - and the movie did a good job in illustrating how both of them fight (even if the people the Flash saves should really have whiplash).

It's a little harder to relate to Cyborg (Ray Fisher) given the somewhat robotic nature of the character, and it takes some time to get used to Jason Momoa's surfer-like Aquaman.

It's also getting clearer that Ben Affleck likely doesn't want to be part of this franchise anymore. His Batman was all over the place with his peculiar facial expressions underneath the cowl. It also doesn't help that the studio doesn't seem to have an idea as to how to make Batman useful in a super-powered team, save for being their chauffeur and money man.

At one point, Batman watches another character get brutally attacked and does nothing. Sure, it's a plot point for another character to come to the rescue, but I don't think I've seen Batman ever use any of those handy gadgets on his utility belt, except for his grappling hook.

As for the plot itself, there are a number of questions about which I'd be more concerned if I liked the movie. It doesn't explain how or why the villain is transported from one area to another, why the separated "motherboxes" hadn't been destroyed earlier or why any of this is going on.

Considering the film made an overbearing amount of effort for characters to voice their concerns or thoughts in some of the worst dialogue I've heard, it could have also used some time to explain some things.

Although, that could have made the movie longer, and I'm rather glad for the brisk two-hour runtime, by comic book movie standards.

This could be a rough patch that a lot of introductory movies face when they're setting up a bigger story - which this movie is certainly doing, even if it's through a throwaway line and in the end credits scene. I just hope future films look more like "Wonder Woman" and less like this one.


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