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'Justice League' a messy attempt at a superhero showdown

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, November 15, 2017 | 04:56 pm

Batman and Wonder Woman are back to save the world again. But the evil appears too much for the two to handle, so the pair enlists the help of three other heroes: the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.

The heroes will be facing a returning Godly evil named Steppenwolf, who once attempted to rule the earth. With the help of his army of fear-seeking parademons, Steppenwolf may be the heroes’ greatest threat yet. However, to accomplish his conquest to shape the world in his image, Steppenwolf needs to collect three Mother Boxes. 

One box is under the sea, where the Atlantians protect it; another is in a secure cave, where the Amazonians preside; and the last is in the hands of Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father and the head of S.T.A.R. Labs. When the boxes merge, they form the Unity – a weapon that can endow its user with limitless power to conquer the earth. 

With a re-enthused fan base after the critical success of its Wonder Woman movie, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is trying to keep its fans happy by adding more comedy and action to its movies. Will this give the DCEU the edge over the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

The two-hour film juggles the responsibilities of introducing three major characters, weapons of mass destruction called the Mother Boxes, a changed world without Superman and a menacing villain. Although the film manages to do all of this, the film forgets to build up the tension and the villain for the finale, leaving the viewer unable to empathize and root for the heroes, as they barely have time to form a connection. It also seems like the movie serves simply to build up to other films in the DCEU, instead of fleshing out the characters and focusing more on this movie as an independent piece. 

Read also: After 'Suicide Squad', here's what to expect from 'Justice League'

The shining light in this messy movie may just be the interaction between the characters. Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman’s (Gal Gadot) relationship that fluctuates between being cooperative and annoying each other, becomes the movie’s emotional anchor. The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) geeky personality and Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) one-liners are the strong comedic points of Justice League that left viewers laughing. Cyborg’s (Ray Fisher) apparently strained relationship with his father Silas Stone (Joe Morton) also pulls at our heartstrings. Unfortunately, these scenes are too scarce in the movie as a whole.

Watching the movie in IMAX 3D lets the audience see the movie’s full visual detail more clearly as well as allowing the images to accentuate its style better for the viewers. The movie’s music was enhanced by the surround sound of the IMAX theater, which also immersed the audience’s senses in the scenes through the loud cracks in fights or the subtle violin strings in emotional scenes. 

All in all, Justice League shows the slow yet noticeable positive progress for the cinematic universe. As a stand-alone film, it is as fun to watch as superhero movies can be, but is not so memorable.

But as a piece of the DCEU as whole, it is certainly up there as the best in their roster, with Wonder Woman still on top. (ezr/kes)