Nerdlocker Movie Review: Justice League


It’s movies like Justice League that make me wish that movies had one of two options and no middle ground, they’re great or they’re awful, JL is neither which makes this all the more difficult to describe. The first question I was asked about it and where I guess I could start is was it better than Batman v Superman? Yes, so much better. Is this the continuation of what Wonder Woman started? No. WW is in my opinion far superior to JL, in fact Wonder Woman was my favorite part of Justice League much in the same way she was the best part of BvS. The silver lining here is that this feels thankfully like a step in the right direction. It’s not there just yet but it’s found the right track and it’s beginning to build momentum. Maybe Wonder Woman can get behind this locomotive and push the stubborn bastard. Wishful thinking.

My initial reaction didn’t change much as I gave this more and more thought, the movie is quite simply, okay. It’s serviceable superhero action that presents nothing interesting beyond visual spectacle and even then the spectacle left me wondering a few things but I’ll get to that later. The heroes are introduced and thrust into this scenario of familiarity where a CGI bad guy wants to destroy our world and the super friends must band together and shoot their love into the villain’s heart. Oh wait this isn’t Care Bears? Oops. Steppenwolf, the designated baddie to our hero’s goodies (that sounds wrong) is nothing but one dimensional and forgettable. He needs a thing to destroy us all and the JL must stop him. It’s been done so many times this may be the most infuriating aspect of Justice League.

Beyond this the script is a mess but this was anticipated with two different people sitting in the director’s chair. Almost the entire runtime is given to sporadic, irrelevant to the plot, super scenes where the heroes show us what they can do. Batman is scary and scowls a lot. Wonder Woman is the female Superman. Aquaman can swim fast and is possibly an alcoholic. The Flash runs fast. Cyborg is moody and handy with an iphone or super computer. As jumbled and abrupt as these sentences are is exactly how these scenes play out. It’s as if Bruce Wayne is holding auditions and these are the finalists in this season of American Id… never mind. These scenes, while cool to watch, serve no purpose to the overall story of villain versus hero(es). Once our dream team is assembled (roll out!) we see some vain attempt at making this ogre that is strong appear to be far more intimidating than what actually stands before them spouting off typical bad guy jargon about destiny and kneeling before him and so on. You’ve heard this speech.

Where this may suffer most is in the runtime. It’s too short for what the story needed to be. BvS had two main protagonists and stretched for nearly three hours. Now, six heroes deep and the runtime barely scratches the surface of two hours, and this includes the end credits. It was because of the extended runtime of BvS that scared Warner Bros. into this mandate but in the case of so many characters getting their time to shine properly, they let fear and past failures dictate their crown jewel of superhero movies. And they dictated it right into mediocrity.

While each character in their own right is pretty awesome, together they match the overall tone of the film, kind of cool, kind of lame, uninteresting for sure. In fact it says a lot when (my opinion again, dammit I know) the best scene in the film doesn’t feature a single member of the JL. Steppenwolf attempts to obtain an artifact guarded by the Amazons of Themyscira who fight ferociously to prevent this. Very fun scene. Now back to the spectacle I spoke of earlier…

Much in the same way BvS did, the final battle is nothing but CGI background that is colored pink and looks nothing like the real world. The color palate is absolutely boring and bland. It’s like eating matzah bread. Have you ever eaten that crap? I had never actually known what nothing tasted like before I had a bite of matzah, I’d rather eat cardboard. Anyway…

Justice League is a fun time and for myself a one time watch. It’s good but forgettable. It’s like eating Chinese food, you’re just going to be hungry again in an hour. This movie will fill your senses but you’ll just want something else on the way home. It doesn’t feel like the movie that has been hinted at and talked about in the movies leading up to it. It’s another run-of-the-mill superhero movie. Not one scene truly stands out, only one character has a shining moment of badassery (I won’t spoil) and then the movie just kind of sputters out, end credits.

Rated PG-13 For: sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Runtime: 120 minutes
After Credits Scene: Two. One mid-credits, one after-credits
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams
Directed By: Zack Snyder / Joss Whedon

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 3/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 3 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Mixed on this one but probably not, not for me.

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard