Montag, 11. Dezember 2017


Title: Justice League
Running Time: 120 min
Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons

Here we are. After four years of establishing their cinematic universe, DC is finally bringing their big superhero team-up to the silver screen. It's been a weird and rocky road so far. "Man of Steel" was deemed 'okay' by most people. Despite a small and vocal fan-base, "Batman V Superman" and "Suicide Squad" were shred to pieces by the media. "Wonder Woman" on the other hand was a critical and commercial smash hit. Then, "Justice League" was produced. Just before filming was finished, Zack Snyder dropped out due to his daughter's tragic death. Joss Whedon took over to direct the rest of the film and Warner Bros. Studios ordered extensive reshoots to match the final product with the lighter tone of "Wonder Woman" rather than Snyder's much darker vision. So with all this trouble in the forefront, how did this movie turn out?
The short version would be: Fine. The long version is a little more complex. A lot of the movie going experience depends on ones expectations. If you were afraid to see a "Batman V Superman" level clusterfuck, you will be pleasantly surprised. If you've loved all of the DC movies so far, you'll probably love this too. If you were expecting something completely innovative in superhero movies, you will not find it here. There is some stuff that works and some that doesn't.
The whole "getting-the-team-together" part actually works quite well. The reason these heroes come together certainly seems dynamic, and it is always fun to see a recruitment dialogue. In general there are some cool exchanges between characters. Wonder Woman making clear to Cyborg that she outsmarted him. Batman telling a self-doubting Flash, that he should just save one person. Aquaman being involuntarily vulnerable. It's like an extension of the one good piece of dialogue we saw in "Batman V Superman", where Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have a conversation in which they both insinuate to know each others secret identity. The conversations especially work because of the great cast. Each one of the actors fits their role well and gives a more than convincing performance. Especially Jason Momoa managed to get quite a lot out of one of the most laughed at superheros. And then there are some incredibly cool shots that look like they are taken straight out of the comic book panels. Flash's use of the speed force is great and when Superman fights him despite of it, it makes for a pretty memorable sequence.
But the movie certainly has flaws. A minor gripe is that it kind of ignores some of the things that were presented in"Batman V Superman". Although it is understanable that the film makers wanted to distance themselves from that disaster, it is odd to see believes or character traits contradicting what came before. Most noticable is the lack of care for secret identities (Aquaman for example casually identifies Bruce Wayne as Batman in front of an entire village). Other than that, though the film brings up a lot of intriguing plot threats and themes, it doesn't take the time to explore those thoroughly. A two hour run time for a superhero film might be refreshingly short, but when a movie has to set up so much, it is not enough. Another big issue is the way the film handles its female team member. Gal Gadot is once again fantastic in the role. But next to the unpleasant feeling that her skirt got a little shorter, there are too many low angle camera shots that very obviously only there to showcase her butt. And a quick Flash-fell-inot-her-cleavage joke wasn't missing either. In the wake of the #MeToo-debate it is especially painful to witness this recent cinematic female icon become sexualized after all. Too me, this was more upsetting than the final battle being so CGI-heavy.
But in the end, there is fun to be had with "Justice League". While other DC outings have almost been offensively bad, this one is not worth having strong feelings about. It's fine. Imperfect and yet showing some good approaches to steer this cinematic universe in a better direction, you should watch this if you've loved DC so far; if you want understand upcoming continuity; or if you want to see some superheros do some bad-ass superhero fighting.

For Fans Of:
Man of Steel (2013)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Batman Forever (1995)
Superman III (1983)
Transformers (2007)
Suicide Squad (2016)

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