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Justice League Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest smash hits at the box office like the brand new film from the DC Extended Universe, Justice League! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

It’s no surprise to say that this was one I’ve been waiting for. I didn’t love Batman v. Superman, so I definitely wasn’t as excited for this as I would have been had I loved BvS, but I still couldn’t wait to see it. I did love Wonder Woman which was released earlier this year. It’s still one of my favorites of 2017, and interestingly enough, I was probably most psyched to see Wonder Woman in Justice League. I love Batman as much as the next person, and Superman is one of the biggest and best heroes of all time, but I think it’s almost impossible to get enough Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman at this point.

Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher. When a threat to Earth and its inhabitants re-emerges through Themyscira, the mightiest heroes in the world must come together to save the place they all call home. After Superman’s death, it becomes the job of Batman to bring Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg into one team, forming the Justice League.

The feeling I had walking out of Justice League is the feeling I want every single time I walk out of a DCEU movie. I want to feel like I enjoyed the heck out of my last two hours while watching some of my favorite fictional characters be brought to life. Justice League gave that to me. I had so much fun watching this movie, and I think that DC has two wins on their hands in 2017. First off, they nailed the characters. For a while now many people have been talking about how DC needs to slow it down a bit and make a few more solo films before jumping into Batman v. Superman and Justice League, but this works so well as a team movie. Each one of the heroes is great alone, but together they become even better, and their chemistry is undeniable. What I loved to see was Flash finally done well on the big screen. As a whole, I think that The CW series has been one of the best network television shows of the 2010s, but seeing him done well in theaters is a whole new sort of magical experience for a long-time fan of the character. I see so much potential with him both as a solo character and as a team character, and Ezra Miller is perfectly cast as Barry Allen. I won’t say that Gal Gadot shined as bright as she did in her solo Wonder Woman movie, but she was still great, and owns this role. I’ve never watched the Linda Carter television series, so Gal Gadot has become the definitive live-action Wonder Woman to me, and the way she upholds the character’s values is really fun to watch. On top of being extremely well-realized, the characters feel perfectly balanced. Ezra Miller’s Flash and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman might have been the stand-outs, but every single hero gets his or her chance to take the spotlight. Batman and Wonder Woman have an exceptional moment together where they hit each other’s vulnerabilities, Aquaman has a great dramatic moment in front of the team, Cyborg gets a lot of attention and has a fantastic character arc, and Superman becomes the world’s biggest Boy Scout that we all love. Superman brings a certain level of hope and cheer to this film that no other comic book character, DC or Marvel, could bring. If you were complaining about Superman being too dark of a character in Man of Steel, get out and see Justice League because this is the Superman who believes in truth, justice, and the American way.

As much as I enjoyed Justice League, it does have issues. Steppenwolf is a really terrible villain, both visually and as a character. If this movie were the Injustice storyline being played on a PlayStation 4, maybe Steppenwolf would have been fine visually. We’d all say that the graphics look decent, and it looks fine for a video game, but in a movie like this, it doesn’t work. Steppenwolf doesn’t belong in the same visual universe as our characters, and sometimes his appearance took me out of the film. Also, there’s just about nothing to him. There are certain expositional scenes that are supposed to explain what he’s after, but at the end of the day he and the movie’s MacGuffin are so underdeveloped and flat that nothing about that storyline matters. Most of the controversy inside the Justice League was far more compelling than anything Steppenwolf brought to the table. Also, it feels like this movie was cut down from three hours to two hours. As a fun, big-budget superhero team movie, it might work, but story-wise it’s definitely lacking a little bit of depth and clarity. In no way is it as much of a technical and narrative mess as Batman v. Superman or Suicide Squad, but it does heavily favor character and can feel like it brushes story under the rug at certain points.

Overall, I think that Justice League is a perfectly good DCEU movie. It’s an absolute blast, and it nails all of its heroes. After hitting a home run with Wonder Woman earlier this year, DC once again gave me the same feeling walking out of the theater that I get when I watch a Marvel movie. In fact, in a lot of ways, I’d say it’s far more similar to a Marvel movie than any other DC movie. Though this is Zack Snyder’s movie, I think Joss Whedon was able to bring a lot of his comedic tone and character development to this film, and it turned out great! Gal Gadot gives a great performance once again as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa is awesome as Aquaman, and Ezra Miller’s Flash might be my new favorite character in the DCEU. Steppenwolf was an extremely poor villain to the point where the movie might have actually been better without him in it. If this film could have found a clever way to bring all of the characters together without a definitive villain, this might have been a better movie than we ended up seeing simply because the team’s internal conflict was infinitely more compelling than anything outside them. I also think that you can tell that a good chunk of story was cut out because some story points are a mess, but they definitely aren’t as transparent as Batman v. Superman’s story issues. Justice League follows Marvel’s tried-and-true formula of allowing the heroes to explode off the screen and leaving the villain in the dust, and it works for the most part. I’m going to give Justice League a 7.5/10.

Will you be seeing Justice League in theaters? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! If you do, be sure to stay until the credits are over. This movie throws it back to the old days of end-credit sequences when we were given a sweet, sweet taste of something awesome to come. As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm