Justice League Review

So here it is, the first live action spectacular of DC’s biggest superhero team. Helmed by Zack Snyder (with a little help from Joss Whedon), ‘Justice League’ is big, bold and a little messy, but still an enjoyable ride all in all.

The plot follows a team of superheroes that includes the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman, who are brought together for the first time to take on the evil Steppenwolf, a supervillain hell-bent on destroying and re-structuring the Earth using the three Mother boxes. It is the most simple and generic of superhero plots with Steppenwolf being a bland paint-by-numbers supervillain. But it’s difficult to do much else when it comes to these big superhero team-ups, especially when it’s the first time that they are brought together and despite the genericness it is still well played out, if somewhat rushed and has a fair amount of humour mixed in, as well as some good character moments.

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In fact it is with the characters that the films shines through most. They are all backed up by some solid acting, with the heroes interacting really well with each other as well as having their own interesting little moments. The Flash played by Ezra Miller was a particular highlight, however Aquaman seemed to be very underutilised and I think he had the least amount of screen time. Granted he does have a solo movie coming out next year, so that could be a reason why, but it still would have been nice to see more of him on screen.

The same could be said though about every other hero, as the problem with doing a film with so many big characters is that it can be difficult to spread the focus fairly and so while there are good character bits, they are very fleeting and you’re left wanting more of them. As I mentioned, the film does feel a little rushed and its 120 minute runtime flies by pretty fast, so while its obvious they wanted to make the film concise, there are definitely a few things, including one big event in particular that could have benefited from having more time dedicated to them.

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The films other main issue is its climax. Now the film does have some decent CGI and good action sequences but the climactic battle is a bit of a mess. There are good moments in it, but it really bothered me visually. Nearly all of it is made of CGI, which usually isn’t an issue, but here it just looked ugly and cluttered, which took me out of the film a little. I understand the aesthetic they were going for but considering their massive budget, the execution was certainly underwhelming.

It’s a shame cause the film does actually have some good visuals outside of that one scene. It’s not completely consistent, but there is some nice camerawork to be appreciated here and I think all the character & costume designs look pretty cool.

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Despite its flaws though, I still enjoyed the majority of this film, it has some strong character moments, a solid musical score and some pretty good humour and action. It’s not fantastic by any means and doesn’t match up to ‘Wonder Woman’ or ‘Batman v Superman’, but it is better than’ Suicide Squad’ and is overall a decent offering that has enough there to keep you engaged and entertained throughout.

OVERALL: 6.5/10 – AVERAGE

Reviewed by Eric Hart (Blazinhart).

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Wonder Woman Review

The DCEU output for many people has been a disappointment, I personally really liked Man of Steel and Batman v Superman but will admit that Suicide Squad was a mess (albeit still a fun one).

The DCEU output for many people has been a disappointment, I personally really liked Man of Steel and Batman v Superman but will admit that Suicide Squad was a mess (albeit still a fun one). So for many, Wonder Woman had a lot to prove as part of the DCEU, but not only that, it also had the weight of potentially being the first successful mainstream solo female superhero movie hanging on its shoulders.

Well I have some good news. Wonder Woman is a success and is indeed a great movie that is sure to be liked by many. It is a glorious spectacle that is engaging throughout and a total heap of fun.

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The story concerns a WW1 Pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who crash lands near the island of Themyscira that is inhabited by the Amazons. There he meets Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and uses her help to try to stop the war. It’s a fairly straightforward story that has a number of typical superhero tropes and isn’t all that unique but is executed incredibly well. It has a good amount of dramatic and emotional weight and there is a fair helping of humour woven throughout that never feels forced. The film even has some thematic depth to it, portraying a message of love whilst questioning human nature and the idea of war.

One thing in particular that really makes the movie is the acting. Gal Gadot is a perfect fit as Wonder Woman, whether it be her charming naivety when experiencing the real world for the first time or her fierce determination in battle, Gal embodies the role and is fantastic. The other stand out is Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, he’s a man full of charm and he especially shines through in a couple of scenes at the end. There is one scene in particular towards the end between the two that I feel elevates the film and has an emotional impact. The rest of the performances are solid enough, but not really noteworthy.

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Action is also nicely spread out throughout and features a lot of fun and awesome moments with a couple of sequences that really standout including one that happens on the WW1 battlefield. There is also a fair number of slow motion shots used, which in a lot of films can usually get a little tiresome, but that’s not the case here, as they are used mainly for some of the epic moments of action that are a complete joy to watch.

Visually, the film looks good overall. There’s a nice contrast in colours between the bright vibrancy of Themyscira island and the dreary, muted tones of WW1. There is a lot of CGI used throughout which is consistently good, nothing outstanding but works well enough and the cinematography is very solid.

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Finally there is the score which is great, the Wonder Woman theme makes a return from Batman v Superman. The theme is definitely one of the more unique and best superhero themes going today and is integrated well into the rest of the score. It is teased in little bits throughout until hitting full on when Diana Prince first runs out onto the WW1 battlefield as Wonder Woman. Its a theme full of potency that really hypes you up.

This is certainly the best film of the DCEU so far, it may not offer much new to the superhero genre but it’s execution and charm make for an enthralling experience. I watched this at the midnight screening where I went in feeling a little tired but came out feeling pumped and if a film can perk me up like that, it’s certainly a sign of it being something great. A marvelous achievement for DC, director Patty Jennings and everyone involved.

Story – 7.5/10
Acting – 8/10
Visuals – 7.5/10
Sound – 8/10
Entertainment Value – 9/10

Overall – 8/10

Review written by Eric Hart (Blazinhart).