Film Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE (USA 2017) ***

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Justice League Poster
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Director:

Zack Snyder

Writers:

Chris Terrio (screenplay by), Joss Whedon (screenplay by)  »

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE is the d.c. comics team of superheroes (conceived by Gardner Fox and first appearing in the 1960 comic) who join together to battle super villains. The seven original members were Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  These members rotate and have also included lesser known action heroes like Atom and Plastic Man.

In JUSTICE LEAGUE the film, the league is made up of the leader, Batman (Ben Affleck) , Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa)and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) formed to honour Superman (Henry Cavill) after his death.

The story takes place months after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Superman dies.  As the world mourns Superman’s death, the Justice League is formed by Batman to face the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf (an unrecognizable Ciaran Hinds) and his army of Parademons, who are on the hunt for three Mother Boxes on Earth.

Considering the (critically not commercially) disaster of all the films so far in the D.C. extended universe excepting WONDER WOMAN, director Snyder plays his film safe so it cannot be crucially panned.  The story is left simple and straight forward so nothing can go wrong.  Batman forms the league, the league fights the villain and wins and the film ends.  The mood is kept relatively serious with humour in the form of a few punch lines thrown in periodically.  Of all the superheroes, Wonder Woman has the most screen time and jokes about her sexiness (kept non-feminist) plentiful.

Of the new superheroes, Ezra Miller (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN) puts in some fresh life as The Flash with his cute schoolboy looks and humour.  In the other hand,  Cyborh turns out pretty boring, as he complains of his super powers half the time.  Aquaman has little screen time, perhaps the filmmakers just whetting audience’s appetite for the new upcoming AQUAMAN film by James Wan.

The dialogue ranges from good to plain awful.   Good: When Batman is asked of his superpowers, his reply is :I am rich and wealthy.”  The awful:  words to Wonder Woman: “You smell good” followed by  “I have smelt you before.”  But one should expect better writing for a $300 million blockbuster.

The fight scenes at the end are executed with the expected pyrotechnics (nothing really stands out) that likely cost a big bundle.  Of the $300 million, $25 million went into 2 month of re-shoots and into the post-production digital removal of Cavill’s moustache which he had to sport for his MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 6 role.

At a massive cost of $300 million, the film should make a profit considering the success of the other films in the D.C. extended universe and the huge fan base.  Never mind if the film critically bombs.  Anyway, Warner Bros. has already had a swell year with hits like IT, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE and of course, WONDER WOMAN.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cxixDgHUYw

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Movie Review: BATMAN V SUPERMAN (2016) #BatmanvSuperman

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batmansupermanBATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (USA 2016)

Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Gal Gadot

Review by Gilbert Seah

Before the film starts at the press/promo screening of BATMAN V Superman, director Zack Snyder appears on screen practically begging the audience not to give away plot points and spoilers to the rest of the world in order for them to enjoy the film. True to word, there are a lot of spoilers that could be revealed but this latest multi-million dollar effort is so bad that no spoiler could have made the film any worse.

Snyder makes no qualms at reminding the audience that he directed the Spartan film 300. At the film start, after Bruce Wayne rushes into the dust from the rumble of a fallen skyscraper, a lone horse is seen on the screen. 3/4 through of the movie, a cop and a horse is again shown on the screen. Of course lots of muscled bodies like the Spartans in 300 are on display throughout the film.

One can tell that a movie is bad from its continuity. The car chase segment makes no sense whatsoever. The reason for the chase is zero. When it takes place, there are lots of overturned other vehicles, lots of explosions but the scenes could have be taken out of 4 different streets for all that matters. The editing is awful and continuity is non-existent.

At the promo/press screening the executive introducing the film touted the imax technology involved in the making of the film. 40% more images can be seen in the imax version. But in the in the imax version that I saw, only the last sequence and the Batman Superman fight was in full imax top to bottom presentation.

There is little to enjoy in this film – the main problem being that the film is all over the place and all the filmmakers seem more content with the special effects. Comic book fans will be flabbergasted at the way the filmmakers have taken liberties to change what fans deem unchangeable and a staple to the comic book fan base. The main premise for example, would be that if ever anyone would want to see Superman fight Batman? And who would care which one would win? A true comic book fan would cringe every time anyone of the heroes, Superman or Batman was hurt.

The plot of the film involves Superman and Batman questioning each others tactics in order to save the world. The reasons are superfluous and unconvincing. All this leads to a confrontation and fight at the film’s climax.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN is a very dark film no doubt. So was the recent DEADPOOL. But DEADPOOL was smart enough to be funny and tongue-in-cheek while the latter took itself far too seriously.

And there is the question of the villain and a few other loose ends. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is an odd one. Eisenberg seems to have sculptured his role from Heath Ledger’s edgy Joker before his death. Esisenberg does what he does best – speaking his lines at a thousand words per minute but in this film, with creepy twitchings. It is not what is expected from classic Lex Luthor. Eisenberg dons his long hair till shaved off bald when in prison. Aquaman and Wonder Woman make their appearances but for no real reason. It seem a total farce and they should have been better totally omitted from the script.

In one segment of the film, a character says that people hate what they do not understand, referring to the suspicion they have of Superman being an alien doing good but causing destruction of the planet. Audiences might hate this film for it is impossible to understand for its purpose or plot.

*****

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