Critics and fans are mixed whether Justice League is the movie to save the DCEU

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Critics and fans are mixed whether Justice League is the movie to save the DCEU

The Justice League made their first official big screen appearance Thursday, Nov. 16
photo by: By Warner Bros. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Justice League made their first official big screen appearance Thursday, Nov. 16 photo by: By Warner Bros. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Christopher Kathman

The Justice League made their first official big screen appearance Thursday, Nov. 16 photo by: By Warner Bros. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Christopher Kathman

Christopher Kathman

The Justice League made their first official big screen appearance Thursday, Nov. 16 photo by: By Warner Bros. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Christopher Kathman, Staff Writer

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The first official theatrical appearance of “Justice League” made its debut Nov. 17, accompanied by mixed reviews. Because of the switch of directors late in the game and the critical failure that was “Batman v. Superman,” “Justice League” needed to be shaped into a better movie that audiences would enjoy.

The story was interesting at times, but dull at others. The basic rundown is that Batman and Wonder Woman have to gather a team of heroes to prevent the destruction of Earth from a villain named Steppenwolf and his army of “Parademons.” The parts where they are gathering the team was actually very interesting but also a bit rushed. The story behind Steppenwolf and the Parademons didn’t feel very fleshed out and slightly disappointing.

The shoddy special effects, story, end cut, and switch of directors with different final views created a slightly incoherent film. After a tragedy in Zack Snyder’s (the original director) family, he left the project and handed the director’s chair over to Joss Whedon— the head of many Marvel films— to complete the film. Justice League began filming before “Batman v. Superman” came out in theatres and before the mostly negative feedback of the dark and gritty tone. So after Snyder left, Whedon was brought onto the project to make it a bit more lighthearted and more to the tone of previous Marvel films.

There was a lot cut from the final film in order to ensure an under-two-hour final running time. Many plot lines that strengthened other characters’ (including Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash) backstories were cut in order to conform to the set run time. Some of the computer-generated imagery feels very unrealistic and nearly unfinished In a few scenes. It was blatantly obvious that they couldn’t make it back to the original locations for reshoots, and settled for lackluster green screen effects that were subpar for the films budget of 300 million dollars.

The characters and the actors behind them did an amazing job overall. Ben Affleck, who played Batman, did a really great job. His interactions with the team helped with the overall atmosphere, and made for some great inspirational and comedic moments throughout the film. However, in some fight scenes—because of him being powerless— the viewer feels like he was unable to make a dent on the enemies like Aquaman, Flash, or Wonder Woman could. Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, did as everyone expected: amazing. Jason Momoa as Aquaman was very entertaining. Although the trailers made his role seem much more substantial, the final product left us with less than we wanted. His interactions with the rest of the cast made for some funny moments and really brought some charm to the movie.

Cyborg looked boring and uninteresting in the trailers. However, the movie actually made him an interesting character, despite much of him being cut from the movie all together. The Flash was one of the most comedic characters in the movie, and it worked. Every single interaction with the cast was a pleasure to watch and his comedic timing was on point. Lastly, Steppenwolf — who was voiced by Ciarán Hinds— was a very disappointing villain. It felt like another large, gray, dull person for the good guys to punch and defeat. But even though the villain was disappointing, as long as the lead cast can take a front seat during the movie and entertain us, the villain can take a back seat.

Some scenes from the movie were changed to conform to the the light hearted feel of the movie during the reshoots. In one scene, Wonder Woman is saving hostages from a group of bank robbers. In an early trailer, we see the bank exploding, while in the final cut, it is nowhere to be seen. Many Cyborg scenes were cut from the film, including scenes of him finding out the backstory of the Mother Boxes. One scene that was featured prominently in the trailers was a scene of Alfred telling someone that “They said you’d come,” and fans were speculating who Alfred was talking to. But in the theatrical release, the scene disappeared.

Overall, “Justice League” was a flawed movie, but managed to hold its own with the amazing and hilarious character interaction, some stunning action sequences, great performances, and two amazing end credit scenes that are worth the wait until the very end of the film.