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MOVIE REVIEW: A personal review of Justice League

November 16th, 2017 by Marc Comments

OK, so I saw Justice League last night and was wrecked when I got home, so this is the first time i’ve posted about it for any of you wondering what I thought.

And man, it’s such a mixed bag.

Let’s start with the bad.

The editing is wild; it’s so obvious that massive chunks of this movie are lying in an editing suite somewhere. But this gives me hope that we’ll get a BvS type ultimate edition in the near future.I know this annoys a lot of fans, but honestly, I love the idea that down the line we will get another version of this movie to enjoy all over again.

All that said, while it is messy, it’s nowhere near as bad as the theatrical cut of Batman V Superman which genuinely left me a broken man after it seeing in the cinema. For those who care, I think the Ultimate Edition is a contender for my favourite comic book movie of all time.

Steppenwolf, here voiced wonderfully by Ireland’s own Ciaran Hinds, is a horribly underwritten bad guy… honestly, I’m still not really clear what he was trying to do beyond colonise earth (em, like Zod before him), and the CGI on him was really, really poor. I mean REALLY Poor.


The good far outweighs the bad. Despite the fact that so much of it annoyed me, it left me feeling… exhilarated.

It does so much right: the opening scene with Batman and a thief was just perfect… it was the Batman I always imagined from my childhood, finally realised properly on the big screen: don’t get me wrong, I love Keaton and Bale’s takes on the character but this was the comic come to life.

The League themselves were fantastic. The intros to Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg were brief but cleverly detailed just enough to leave us excited for the standalone movies to come and and they all got a chance – along with Batman, Wonder Woman and, em, someone else – to utterly shine. We may not have known everything about them, but by god they brought the comic nerd in me some very happy moments.

See here’s the thing, all movies are a sum of their parts and, while Justice League is a mess in many ways – I’ll not/can’t deny it – the parts made the movie overall a very exciting, fun and satisfyingly emotional ride.

And as for a certain return, yeah, we all know they had to CGI out a moustache, but man, it left me feeling very very confident that, moving forward the DC universe onscreen will be a better, brighter place because, well, it had everything.

And, while many sites are saying it’s an obvious course correction, I don’t believe this to be true – I always said the DC universe would get brighter moving forward. I believe this was always the plan with Zack Snyder’s universe.

Watching Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition and this, I believe Snyder has created a trilogy that both deconstructed Superman: who he is, who he wants to be and who he ultimately will become because here, finally, all the fans who complained about the new Superman will have no choice but to say that the title of Superman wasn’t born into, it was earned… and this is a hero that we can all get behind now.

And as for cameos, other heroes and nods to bigger things in the DC Universe, it’s all in here: comic fans should keep their eyes open in the flashback battle with Steppenwolf’s army… there’s a lot flying around in there hidden and not so hidden.

And, one last thing I think I need to address is the score: Danny Elfman’s return to the world of Batman was one of controversy, especially after he announced that he would be using his own score from Batman (1989) and John Williams’ Superman score (1978) rather than the amazing scores created by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL for Man of Steel and Batman V Superman as his influences here.

But here’s the thing – firstly, there is nods and tastes of Zimmer and XL’s work in here, but – and I don’t think these are spoilers – by the end of this movie we have two very different heroes in both Batman and Superman and thematically it’s ok for them to have new (old) themes. When I heard the classic themes for both heroes I felt it was a masterful stroke and it took me back to seeing these heroes on the big screen for the first, very different time; it brought back some of the awe and, in the case of Batman ’89, I’d almost go so far as to say life changing.

Is Elfman’s score lazy? To a point, yes… but when it hits the right notes, it packs an emotional punch. Moving forward, I’m ok with my Batman and Superman having a more old school feel. Aren’t you? Isn’t this what some were crying out for, especially in Superman in the last two Snyder movies?

The movie is laced with fan pleasing moments, be it panels lifted right out of the pages of DC’s books, to nods, winks and outright homages to other worlds, characters and events. It has humour too… there’s more than a few genuine and natural feeling laughs in the movie. And no, I don’t believe they all came from Joss Whedon.

As for standouts?

Well, Miller’s Flash was great, but so was Fisher’s Cyborg. Mamoa’s Aquaman was pretty awesome too… look, the movie is an ensemble piece and every hero had a role and a part to play; the other characters, especially Steppenwolf, were set dressing. Is this a complaint? I’ve often moaned about how poor the MCU villains are, so it would be hypocritical of me to say no; it is an issue… I believe there’s more great Steppenwolf stuff to be seen, I just hope it makes it to the home release.

Overall, it’s a flawed movie, but If you, like me, have just waited for a long, long, long time to see the Justice League realised on the big screen then you are in for a treat.

Just, look, just do me – and yourself – a big favour, go in without any expectation or idea in your head about what the movie is going to be, based on reviews or, even worse, opinions from people who haven’t even seen it yet – I’m looking at you, Twitter – and sit back, relax and try to have fun because I promise, if you do that you WILL have a blast and you will smile. A lot. Oh and you will stay right to the end – that’s a direct suggestion.

As a movie fan I’d give it three out of five for its flaws, as a fan of these characters, I’d say four out of five. I cannot wait to see it again.

And, just for the sake of balance, our man Andy did not love to so much… here’s his review

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….