For my Justice League review I'm going to use a technique I was once taught about giving feedback to someone. Start with something positive. Then give them the feedback of what to work on. Finally, follow it up with something else positive. I'll warn you now that there may be a lot to talk about in between the positive moments.
I'm going to give Ezra Miller the award for standout performance in this movie. We already know that Gal Gadot is an amazing Wonder Woman, so her performance wasn't a surprise. Miller plays a younger Barry Allen, he's not a full on superhero yet. At one point he says that all he's done before is run by and push people. He brings a fun element to the movie that I really enjoyed.
Now...there were lots of times during this movie where I wondered why it was a live-action movie. There is so much blatant/bad CGI that it may as well be an animated film. And on ridiculous things. Why not actually go out to a farm and film Lois Lane walking through some corn? That would probably be cheaper and it would look a lot better than what we got here.
Steppenwolf gets his own paragraph on CGI. He was so poorly animated that there were times it felt like he was intentionally left off screen during his lines so we wouldn't have to watch his face and mouth move. I'm so thankful for this. Forget that he's a rehash of the big gray bad guy we've been getting in DC movies, he just looked like a bad CGI character. I'd honestly rather go back and watch the creepy Tarkin CGI from Rogue One.
Continuing on with Steppenwolf, there were massive holes in his motivations. I won't get into the details until our "spoilers" post, but there was so much about the mother boxes that he was seeking out that made no sense. And most of that was obvious right away. The more time I have to think about it, the more it bothers me. Lots of things happening with these boxes made no sense.
Let's get back to another (sort of) positive note. I'd say that roughly 60% of the jokes landed in this movie, but when they did I enjoyed it. The little quips that the characters had toward one another did have me smiling and chuckling more than once. There is a particular scene with Aquaman opening up that I enjoyed.
Speaking of Aquaman, Jason Momoa did play a decent Aquaman. He was waaaaaay too much of a "Bro" for my liking. I'm sure that lots of people are going to like his portrayal of the character, which is great, but it's not for me.
Let's touch on our other new character, Cyborg. I'm not even sure what the character's regular name is. This was another CGI mess. His dialogue wasn't particularly interesting. The acting was stilted because he had about three quarters of his face showing, and everything else was bad CGI.
Now for a little bit of a social aspect on this movie. There was a little bit of controversy online about the outfits worn by the Amazons in this film. A picture showing them in Wonder Woman in full armor, vs essentially bikini armor in this movie came out. While this was pretty bad, and I'd say a step back, the bigger thing that bothered me because it was throughout the movie were the shots used in Wonder Woman's scenes. I saw an early review that said her skirt had shortened by a few inches, which is true. That combined with plenty of "hey, should shoot her scene from ground level looking up or just straight at ass level from behind" was tacky.
We're almost there, I promise. As with any movie, there needs to be some tension among this new group. When we hit that moment in this movie, it felt forced. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince already know each other and have worked together, but let's take some cheap shots at each other because that shows us as a team struggling to work together. Ugh.
Finally, we'll touch on Superman. I don't consider this a spoiler because we all knew he was coming back. That much was teased during Batman vs. Superman. I won't even touch on the CGI removal of the mustache fiasco. I want to go another route. His dialogue was atrocious. And delivered even worse. I realize that this movie is supposed to be about hope, but he may as well have turned to the camera and just started shouting "Hope! Hope! Hope!" at the audience.
And now to finish up the compliment sandwich. The mid credits scene was one of my favorite credit scenes in any movie. There is a second post-credits scene that I don't think is worth waiting around for. But the mid-credits scene was fun, and played off of the events of the movie, while giving us some fan service.
Overall, this movie was soooo disappointing. I wanted it to be good, and I had some hope after Wonder Woman. And I totally get why we want these DC movies to be good. Their comics are so great, and the characters are so deep. But they just haven't translated well in the DCEU. If Warner Brothers continues to make these, then I hope a change is made (maybe Geoff Johns being in charge will help?). If it's a reboot, then so be it. But they need to get this back on track.
I was stuck between grades on this one. For now, I've settled on a C- (details on our grading system can be found here https://www.thefresnerd.com/how-we-rate-movies/)
CARLOS' ONE LINER REVIEW: Justice League is disjointed, rushed, and loaded with poor & distracting CGI; albeit with a few good character moments: D+ (I could maybe be convinced of C-).
Have you seen Justice League yet? What did you think?