Movie Review: ‘Justice League’

by Ian Sarmiento

With the recent premiere of the latest DC movie “Justice League” the producers have finally answered some of the most important questions in the history of the DC Universe: “What is brunch?”
In the new film “Justice League,” directed by Zack Snyder, we take a first look into the lives of the super-powered misfits as they band together and save the world.

First, what everyone wants to know: is it better than “Batman v Superman”? To put it simply: Yes, but it still falls short in several aspects.

The story is too complicated for even a generalized audience. There are numerous references to previous DC films that were difficult to understand even if the viewer had seen every movie.
The movie did manage to succeed in its portrayal of characters. The new Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) is hardcore, the Flash (Ezra Miller) delivers his signature one-liners and we get to hear Cyborg (Ray Fisher) say ‘booyah.’

Right from the beginning, most would expect the characters’ backgrounds to play a role in the movie. We expect them to work through their own character flaws as a team, only to bring them closer together. However, this wasn’t the case.

For example, Barry Allen, also known as the Flash, goes to visit his father in jail twice in the movie. Other characters discuss Barry’s past, and we’re given scenes that give us more insight to his background. Yet none of this is used set up any kind of development for the character. By the end of the movie, most viewers would have forgotten the information.

The villain was also problematic. We learn that the villain is using “mother boxes” to conquer each world, but these MacGuffins are never properly defined. The villain is also given background in the form of several (confusing) flashbacks, but that information ends up having no bearing on the plot. By the end I still hadn’t learned his name (partly because the dialogue was difficult to understand) and had to ask a friend what it was.

There were a lot of unnecessary elements in the film and none of them had any significant impact on the story as a whole.

The dialogue was also hard to hear and difficult to follow. In a specific scene, one character delivers a lengthy monologue, and at the end of it Flash says something like “I didn’t hear a word after the first sentence.” It’s supposed to be a joke, but it perfectly described how I felt for the majority of the film.

Finally, the cinematography: A close-up can and should be done for dramatic effect, but eventually it started to feel like “Justice League” was made up entirely of faces. The movie never gives the audience a chance to look around and see how the surrounding impacts the atmosphere of the scene.

The transitions from scene to scene were too fast. There are times when our heroes are travelling, and before the audience has a chance to be immersed in one environment, the characters find themselves in a new location in the next cut. The editing made the movie feel rushed and added to the overall confusing experience.

There were a lot of cool special effects that made the movie interesting, and the final fight had its own unpredictability to it that made it an interesting scene individually. The use of the characters was necessary and the set up for the future Justice League and tag team movies is something to look forward to, but overall, there’s a lot for DC to work on and think about.

Was “Justice League” better than “Batman v. Superman?” Yes, but that isn’t a high goal to begin with.

Ian Sarmiento is a freshman electrical engineering major and an Arts and Entertainment reporter for Cedars. He enjoys playing the piano, watching anime, and buying swords and knives so he can pretend to be a ninja.

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