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Review: Justice League

Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg have finally teamed up. Our superhero J.P. reviews the long-awaited “Justice League.”

(L-r) EZRA MILLER as The Flash, BEN AFFLECK as Batman and GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman. (Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE
Warner Bros. Pictures
Opened: Friday, November 17, 2017
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

  • Directed by Zack Snyder
  • Produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns
  • Screenplay by Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
  • Story by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder
  • Based on Justice League by Gardner Fox
  • Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons

Studio Synopsis:

Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes the first-ever big screen epic action adventure “Justice League,” directed by Zack Snyder and starring as the famed lineup of DC Super Heroes: Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

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. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

The “Justice League” screenplay is by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, with executive producers Jim Rowe, Ben Affleck, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Daniel S. Kaminsky and Chris Terrio.

The behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Fabian Wagner (“Game of Thrones”); Snyder’s frequent collaborators, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, editor David Brenner, Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson (“American Hustle”) and visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin; and Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“Kong: Skull Island,” “United 93”) and Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (“Wonder Woman,” “Chicago”). The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman (“Milk,” “Men in Black”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual Production, a Zack Snyder Film, “Justice League.” The film is set for release in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX on November 17, 2017. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

J.P.’s Take:

RAY FISHER as Cyborg (Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics)

It appears DC may be running hot on the heels of Marvel’s great superhero match up, “The Avengers,” as the “Justice League” shows some promise. Looking back on what some would consider utter failures (“Superman vs. Batman,” “Suicide Squad,” and the Henry Cavill vehicle, “Superman”), fans are hoping this would redeem DC’s cinematic universe. Well surprise, surprise.

Plot aside, I’m giving it credit where it’s due and that would be due to the star power it boasts. With well-known faces such as Ben Affleck in a beefed up and somewhat beat down Bruce Wayne/Batman and the now stellar Gal Gadot reprising the Amazonian heroine Wonder Woman, you’d find that there is chemistry here. When the pair is given the motivation of protecting these three powerful “dibbuk boxes” so to speak, they waste no time forming the bravest and willingness heroes ever known. They do so with vigor and genuine investment in their roles.

In terms of storyline, this is where fully activated brains cells are not required, as they practically give you a villain Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds), whose name is actually cooler sounding than his reason for being a hardcore villain. He is paint by the numbers evil with the typical impetus of taking over the universe or enslave every being in it proves to be ho-hum.

JASON MOMOA as Aquaman (Clay Enos / TM & © DC Comics)

Director Zack Snyder and his crew of EFX wizards threw in everything, plus the kitchen sink, with the screening being filled end to end with eye whopping visuals. You’re met with a nearly euphoric glow of lights as lightning buzzes around The Flash and Wonder Woman’s shiny cuffs give off an explosive blast. The action sequences are handled with expediency and prove concussive in execution. And, of course, you’ll find advanced machines being utilized, aiding the super posse in their crusade for justice.

Just like the plot, you’re given a crash course in the origins of the characters and how their powers formulated. Wonder Woman and Batman are joined by a group of unlikely heroes that fit the bill. Jason Momoa gives a gruff rendition to a version of Arthur Curry/Aquaman, which in the comics was a majestic soul. Ezra Miller gives a comical A.D.D quirkiness to Barry Allen/The Flash. Ray Fisher brings a dejected yet perseverant spirit to man-machine Victor Stone/Cyborg. You’ll also catch J. K. Simmons as a comic book stylized Commissioner Jim Gordon. In the background is Amy Adams reprising Lois Lane, Billy Crudup as father to Barry Allen, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent. Rounding on the cast: Joe Morton joins the crew as Dr. Silas Stone and Jeremy Irons returns as Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler and right hand man Alfred.

Although you won’t find a compelling saga as with the likes of “Lord of the Rings,” however, you’ll experience moments of real heroism, tongue and cheek moments, and even poignant situations I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome which you can thank writers Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, and even Joss Whedon for the melding of stories. This even has me looking forward to DC’s next outing. And like Marvel, they threw in a couple of end credit scenes that will, of course, spark the next journey for DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

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Posted by a member of the “Sidewalks Entertainment” and SidewalksTV.com staff.