Justice League Screen 9 articles

Justice League


Justice League Poster
  • A blockbuster with more studio notes than script (underlined: “Be more Marvel”), Justice League attempts to inject some levity and rock ’n’ roll into Zack Snyder’s dinosaurian version of the DC Comics-verse; in many cases, it ends up with the worst of multiple worlds . . . The “new and improved” model looks claustrophobically like an overpriced TV pilot, and not in a good way. Say what you want about the tenets of brooding, art-school-fascist superhero worship, but at least it’s an ethos.

  • The end result is, at best, a rushed mess that sees the poetic ambitions of Snyder's previous DC films replaced with the banal grinding of plot gears and obligatory character exposition . . . Such dreariness is consistent with his past DC films, but it's still difficult to square how much Justice League wants us to look up to its superheros with the way the film underlines how little they enliven the world they protect.

  • Sadly, the script just makes Diana a timid wet blanket, passing on her previous role of being surprisingly fresh to Ezra Miller’s hyper-caffeinated Flash, who is plainly Whedon’s favourite . . . It’s an even messier saga than Dawn of Justice, with a tiresome and whiskery macguffin in which three magic boxes must be brought together for evil, then prised apart for good.

  • Where to lay the blame for Justice League’s just OK-ness? The movie is a jumbo-sized blur — not terrible, just underwhelming even amid its desperation to impress us — but that’s probably neither Snyder’s fault nor Whedon’s. Each superhero’s personality emerges distinctly, as if accompanied by a checkmark.

  • The movie arrives on the big screen with a heavy air of compromise hovering about it. Often it betrays an initial intention to follow on from Dawn of Justice’s weighty reckonings, and add up to a mythic-scale song of rebirth to counter the previous film’s death trip. This aspect is borne out not merely by Superman’s eventual resurrection but by a climax that pays off in the perversely beautiful sight of alien flowers blooming amidst devastation, capping the motifs of revival and synthesis.

  • Unfortunately the action scenes (whether directed by Zack Snyder or Joss Whedon, who reportedly reshot parts of Justice League after Snyder left the project) all feel the same. Each one is so quickly edited and full of useless visual information that it feels like the movie is operating at maximum intensity; but since the intensity level gets turned up so high so early on, the film becomes monotonous.

  • These off-kilter rhythms actually lend the film a pleasant unpredictability. As does the humor, which often sits uneasily next to the moodiness, but is somehow fast and witty enough to work. As the awkward novice, The Flash often winds up as the butt of jokes. Aquaman sits on Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth and winds up confessing all his insecurities . . . The actors actually look like they’re having _fun_, which somehow both undercuts and enriches the gloom.

  • For a film about a band of heroes trying to stop extraterrestrial demon-beasts from wiping out humanity, "Justice League" is light on its feet, sprinting through a super-group's origin story in less than two hours, giving its ensemble lots to do, and mostly avoiding the self-importance that damaged previous entries in this franchise.

  • Mr. Snyder remains regrettably committed to a dark, desaturated palette that borders on the murky, and this movie’s chaotic, unimaginative action scenes can drag on forever. But the touches of humor in “Justice League” lighten the whole thing tonally and are a relief after the dirgelike “Batman v Superman,” which he ran into the ground with a two-and-a-half-hour running time.

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