‘Justice League’ fails to live up to hype

Photo courtesy of Justice League the movie

By Davi Hori

“Justice League” definitely has its high moments of entertainment but unfortunately not enough to justify the $300 million budget spent on producing the film.

The film is one of the most expensive films ever made, falling in the same list as the Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter franchises. However, the film grossed a very unexpected and disappointing $96 million during its opening weekend here in the US.  

“Justice League” is a roller coaster ride but not the best ride. It delivers sporadic moments of excitement and rapidly slows down in between those exciting moments. This cycle continues throughout the entire movie. Applauses would fill the room and then and the next moment heads were shaking.

With an all-star cast carried by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Gal Gadot, anyone would believe that this would be an automatic movie making success right? Well not necessarily.

For starters the lack of character build-up for the star-studded ensemble made each character’s introduction feel rushed, which ultimately caused director Zack Snyder to ineffectively convey the importance of each character. It affected the way the relationship and dynamic of the Justice League team was perceived.

On the other hand, it would not have been practical for an overly used computer-generated imagery film like this one to be longer than the 1 hour 50 minutes. It is ironic that the movie was so expensive to make because the CGI looked very poor, mostly because Henry Cavill, the actor who plays Superman did not look like himself in the film.

“Justice League” is the fifth installment of the DC Extended Universe franchise. The film starts off right after the second installment of the franchise, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” back in 2016, following the death of Superman which Bruce Wayne, aka The Batman, feels responsible for.

While the world mourns the tragedy, the villain, Steppenwolf decides to take the opportunity to come back to Earth to search for Mother Boxes, combined energy that poses a catastrophic threat to the world. Batman is then motivated to form a team of superheroes which includes Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg.

Batman is played by Affleck who has previously been heavily criticized about his ability to portray the character. Affleck isn’t a “bad” Batman but he isn’t a good one either. Batman is supposed to be tough, but his portrayal in this particular film showed Batman as a weak and uninteresting character with subtle moments of humor, emotions, and strength however, extremely limited.

Lois Lane played by Adams was another disappointing casting call. Adams, a very talented, multiple-time Oscar nominee for movies like “American Hustle” and “The Master,” lacked the ability to shine and create chemistry between her character and Cavill’s. In her defense, Adams was limited to the cheesy dialogue demonstrated in this script.

Gadot was praised for her role by critics in “Wonder Woman” as Amazonian warrior, Diana Prince, which made more in the opening weekend compared to “Justice League” but only cost half as much to make. She did not disappoint in Justice League however, with the shared screen time, she was naturally overshadowed.

Jason Momoa, the actor from Hawaii, famously known for his role in “Game of Thrones” as the Dothraki leader, Khal Drogo, plays Aquaman. His role, probably the least important out of all the justice leaguers had the potential for more. His character had humor, personality, and the obvious sex appeal that can never get old in any film but that will have to wait until his standalone film, “Aquaman” next year.

It’s not all bad though. The soundtrack for the film was amazing. They even included the Batman theme song from Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” film.  The soundtrack is definitely worth paying attention to.

The most significant highlight of “Justice League” is the random punch lines and humorous jabs thrown out by The Flash, portrayed by Ezra Miller, known for his role in the blockbuster  “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to indie film “ Perks of being a Wallflower” alongside Emma Watson.

This young and talented actor is a “breath of fresh air.” He single-handedly kept this film above water and when the applauding and laughter occurred from the audience, the scene included Miller. Stay until the end credits as Miller justifies his ability to entertain.

Ultimately, “Justice League” is not worth paying the hefty movie prices. If fans feel invested to this franchise, wait for Redbox.

 

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