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A Pop Culture Summary of the Justice League Movie

Over the rustling of chip packets being opened and soda straws being sipped comes the arrival of Justice League. It’s big, it’s loud and the critics have given it 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is a massive down from their previous smash hit, Wonder Woman, which has a 92% certified fresh rating. So what happened?

There’s no denying that the audience enjoyed what they were watching. The audience score is over 86% and that’s almost as high as Wonder Woman‘s which comes in at 89%. People on twitter seem to be up in arms about the low rating that critics have given it, and have started to accuse people of harboring innate grudges against Zack Snyder.

There is no denying that there was rarely a dull moment throughout the film. If we weren’t watching the league fighting alien bad guys, then we were watching them fight within themselves. There was a hell of a lot of punching, kicking, and swordplay but critics point out that it’s hard to find anything else. The heartfelt, personal moments that make a film memorable were lacking in content. Struggling against alien invaders was not, as we were lead to believe in the trailers, what Bruce Wayne was having trouble with. His problem was trying to get a team together and as a result of this, the stakes have never been lower.

The big traumas had all happened in the previous movies. Superman died, we saw Cyborg getting put back together and two heavy hitters tried to murder each other. Now the biggest problem is making them all work together because we all know that no one is actually going to die. Not on their first movie. However, the emotional tension that should have happened was hard to create when they spent so little time actually interacting with each other – you can’t pour your soul out when you’re repeatedly punching someone else in the face.

In the end, enjoyment will depend on what you personally like to see in a movie. Some people like punch-ups and some people like emotional development. It’s just a pity that the film couldn’t do both to an equal measure.

Characters

No one in the audience honestly thought that the Justice League was going to lose to the villain. No one in the casual audience even properly knew who the villain was supposed to be, nor who Darkseid – the new god who the villain was destroying the world for – even was. It was just a name drop and quite a subtle one at that. As bad guys go, this one was quite forgettable.

Having said that, the true heroes of the film had innumerable potential to be something great. The actors are all extremely talented and good at what they do, it was shoddy writing that failed them. Nonetheless, most managed to make the roles their own – Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher being good examples of this.

New introduction Ezra Miller‘s Flash certainly lightened up the atmosphere of the film, but it’s clear that some of his potential was wasted while he cracked jokes and wowed the audience with clever one-liners. His background with his father might have seemed a little redundant if you didn’t know his backstory, and little shallow if you were aware of it. Yet there is no doubt that he has managed to win himself a place in the audience’s hearts. It’s obvious that a standalone movie will be welcomed if only to learn more about him, but he doesn’t get a lot of character depth in this movie.

Fan favorite Gal Gadot was a pleasure to watch, but severely underutilized even despite the reshoots that they after the success of Wonder Woman. There were references to her previous movie riddled into the dialogue, but they often felt a little bit forced. Suppose that’s what happens when you have to quickly rewrite scenes. She had an amazing scene at the beginning of the film where she saves school children and catches non stop bullets with her cuffs, but apart from that, there is very little to showcase her belief in humankind.

Lastly, Ray Fisher who plays Cyborg had the most backstory in the film. Like Barry Allen (the Flash), we meet his father but unlike his team member, his father actually has a role to play in the film. It’s minimal, but he’s there. There is no denying that his character arc runs through the cycles extremely quickly but it’s better than some other characters who don’t really have an arc at all. Again, this is the fault of the writing but it was nice to see a new face being developed.

Controversies

Justice League started off being directed by Zack Snyder, did a 180 and went with Joss Whedon instead. A lot of people have blamed him for the changes in the Amazon’s outfits – they show a lot more skin and are wholly impractical. In some cases, the armor that used to cover the Amazon’s stomachs has completely disappeared. Their armors have small, unnecessary gaps that just serve to show more skin.

Looking at the evolution of Brooke Ence’s outfit here, we can see the drastic changes. Instead of her skirt covering the entirety of her legs, it now just covers a small section between her thighs. It’s not even a skirt anymore but a triangle. Furthermore, the leg armor seems to have disappeared. The shoes are impractical and her abs are on display. There’s no denying that she keeps herself in shape, but it doesn’t seem smart to go into battle with your stomach exposed. The armor of Wonder Woman exuded power, why couldn’t we have kept those?

Comparisons

Whether it be with their own movies or the products that Marvel put out, DC movies will always be subject to comparison. Justice League aired weeks after Thor: Ragnarok and so comparisons between them will be inevitable. However, many viewers are claiming that they enjoyed this movie more than their Marvel counterpart. Good on you Justice League, good on you.

 

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A seventeen year old IB student with a passion for books and speaking her mind.

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