“Justice League” is the year’s most anticipated letdown


courtesy of IMDb

Trevor Tyle, Staff Reporter

Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” was one of the most anticipated films of the year, but it didn’t take long to become one of 2017’s biggest disappointments.

Riding off the success of “Wonder Woman,” it should’ve been easy for DC to fix the mistakes of films like “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” but instead it replicated them.

“Justice League” takes place in the wake of the events of “Dawn of Justice,” which concluded with the death of Superman (Henry Cavill). With a new, unforeseen threat to humanity on the rise, Batman (Ben Affleck) assembles a team of powerful forces—Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher)—to hinder the attack.

Despite the larger threat at hand, an alien warlord named Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), it is the internal conflict each of the heroes individually face that will ultimately test them, leaving audiences to wonder if they will save the world or destroy it.

While Snyder directed the film, he was not involved in its post-production and reshoots due to his daughter’s death. DC brought in Joss Whedon, who is responsible for Marvel’s “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” critical and commercial successes. Despite Whedon’s involvement, he was unable to replicate what made the “Avengers” so great.

For starters, the bulk of the movie is all over the place. Before the heroes actually team up, the film focuses on them all individually, bouncing around from character arc to character arc without providing anything that’s actually relevant to the story. Three out of the five main characters have yet to have a big screen debut, leaving many audience members either confused or unbothered by their presence in the film.

Unfortunately, the ending does not make up for many of the filler scenes in the film’s first half.

There is plenty of action, although it’s hardly exciting. The most interesting fight is actually among the heroes, with all of them against one, and die-hard fans of these films, they can probably guess who it is. Despite this, the tactic is old. (Newsflash, DC—Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” already did the whole ‘hero versus hero’ thing, and they did it better.)

The cast chemistry is also, for the most part, rather weak. There is little time for any of the major players’ stories to be properly developed, though all of them—sans the previously introduced Batman and Wonder Woman—need it. The lack of exposition is extremely detrimental to the film, as it leaves little emotional impact. While Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg all have immense potential, audiences still probably won’t care about them by the end of the film.

Gadot shines as Wonder Woman—probably the film’s sole saving grace—while the rest of the cast is pretty much just ok. Affleck’s performance is particularly questionable, as he wavers between scarily serious and laughably bad in his portrayal of Batman. He’s also kind of a jerk, which is the only consistent character quality he possesses.

In short, “Justice League” is a convoluted mess of a film with little substance. It’s choppy, occasionally boring and, for the most part, too incoherent for anyone to actually be entertained by it.

If you only see one superhero film this holiday season, go see “Thor: Ragnarok” instead.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars