Movie Review: Justice League

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I’ve always been a big comic book movie fan but I’m at the point now with DC where, while I know I will end up watching the latest hot garbage movies they’re peddling, I refuse to go to the theaters and pay out the nose for them. Which leads me to last night, when I realized Justice League is now on HBO (s/o to my parents for giving me their login).

If you’re not familiar with Justice League, just know they are basically shitty Avengers. Here’s the trailer for the movie:

Alright so we’re all caught up now, right? Great. Okay, I’ll lead off with my score (0-100) and then give my take on the movie. Note: if you don’t want SPOILERS stop reading now.

So I gave this movie a 41/100.

I don’t want to do a full run down on the movie so here are some quick thoughts:

  • Ben Aflek / Bruce Wayne / Batman is the driving force getting the Justice League together which I hated, (i) because I don’t like Aflek in this role and (ii) because, while Aflek is the biggest Hollywood name in the movie, I think Gal Gadot / Diana Prince / Wonder Woman is the real face of this franchise with Henry Cavill / Clark Kent / Superman the number two. Superman is dead / MIA for most of the movie. I think Wonder Woman should have had the most screen time with Batman more to the side.
  • Speaking of screen time, the rest of the Justice League – Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg – are criminally underused. I’m pretty sure the the Flash’s name is Barry but I have no clue about the other two.
  • Aquaman – We never really saw Aquaman use his powers. He swam fast. He stopped a flood for like 15 seconds. He was pretty strong. I really like Jason Mamoa and he had a few brief moments that I thought were great but other than that he was a complete non factor.
  • Cyborg – Who is this guy? Throughout the movie there’s mention of a vague accident that caused him to be part robot (mostly robot?) but that’s it. It was bizarre having this backstory referenced but never explained.
  • The Flash – There’s some backstory here with his dad in jail but that’s it. The Flash serves as the comic relief. I think it works okay but there are definitely scenes were it feels forced.
  • Batman is such a joke in this and the movie knows it. He was like the hockey pad Batman from the Dark Knight.
  • Honestly, I know everyone made a big deal about the CGI job the studio did trying to remove Henry Cavill’s mustache, but I really didn’t have a huge issue with it.
  • The villain, Steppenwolf, is also pretty rough. We have no clue who this guy is or why he’s trying to destroy Earth. He’s like a stereotypical video game boss that’s tough to beat at first and just keeps repeating the same basic lines over and over like “Haha you’re too weak to defeat me!” It’s fine for video games but not so much for blockbuster movies.

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    Just Steppenwolf catching a missile. NBD.

Okay, so everything above points to how flimsy these characters are. I just want to go over parts of the plot just to show how thin the movie is overall. With Marvel, we’ve been teased about Thanos coming since the first Avengers movie came out in 2012 and we’ve seen the power of the infinity stones for about a decade now. This was all built up over time so audiences can see the power of each individual stone and really feel how important they are within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. D.C. took things in a slightly different differection. In Justice League, Steppenwolf is trying to collect three boxes on Earth that are basically D.C.’s version of infinity stones.The first box is in Wonder Woman’s homeland and guarded by the amazons. Steppenwolf comes down has a decent fight scene where he ultimately is able to grab the box and teleport off before hundreds of women warriors pounce on him. It was a tough fight but he made it out with box #1.

The next box is with Aquaman’s people in the sea. It’s guarded by one person. One. Honestly, I think anyone could’ve just swam over and nabbed it. This is supposed to be a matter of life and death. Don’t you think one of the amazons would’ve dialed up the ocean to let them know Steppenwolf would be coming for box #2? Anyways, he’s got two boxes now.

The Justice League gets the third box and throws it in some water, which Flash electrocutes, in order to revive dead Superman. Shockingly (pun intended), this works but they left the third box off to the side once Superman comes to life and Steppenwolf just waltzes over, picks it up, and takes off – no problem.

If these boxes are so important you’d think there would be a struggle to get to them but for ⅔ of them Steppenwolf swiped them without a hitch. There was no sign of a struggle. Their importance is kind of undersold by how easy they were to get.

This post has turned out to be a lot longer than I anticipated so I’ll try to wrap up quickly here. At the end of movie, the Justice League heads into battle and it’s not going too well until Superman shows up and beats the daylights out of Steppenwolf without even really trying. It was like Mike Trout facing your high school’s third best pitcher.

I thought this was a rough look for the movie. First because, even though Steppenwolf was a terrible villain, the tiny thing he had going for him was that he was super powerful and represented a challenge for some of D.C.’s best heroes.  That all went down the drain pretty quickly because he looked instantly powerless against Superman. Second, and more importantly, I think one of the things that makes the Avengers work so well is that they have to team up and work together in order to defeat a threat bigger than themselves. In this case it was Superman > (Wonder Woman + Aquaman + Flash + Cyborg + Batman). It makes you question the point of teaming up at all. Did you see the featured image for this post? It’s the movie poster that says “You Can’t Save the World Alone.” In this case, Superman definitely could’ve saved it alone. Just sayin’.

With all that said, I’m still biased towards of comic book movies and I thought there were some fun parts, which is how I ended up with a 41/100. If you’re a fan too and have the chance to throw it on in the background I think you should go for it but just don’t expect a Marvel like event.


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