Justice League Review (2017)

Justice League

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

At the beginning of the XXI century, the history of the Earth changed forever, when the first person from another world appeared on it, thanks to his unearthly forces and noble aspirations, who became a symbol of hope for peace and justice. Growing up in a family of simple farmers, Clark Kent early discovered the superhuman principle in himself and devoted his life to saving people and the safety of the planet, which became his second home. But there were those who treated the real living god with apprehension. A young millionaire and technical genius Lex Luthor managed to create discord between his frightening abilities Superman and ruthlessly cutting out crime Batman, and in the battle the latter almost managed to kill an invincible rival. But the defeated god managed to prove his humanity, reminding Batman that he also has a mother, and Clark Kent with Bruce Wayne, as well as the beautiful Amazon Diana Prince, who appeared effectively from a century of waiting, joined forces to defeat the one created by the intoxicated Lex Luther from the remains Superman’s adversary, General Zod, a creature, a monster nicknamed Judgment Day. But Superman did not survive this battle, sacrificing himself for the sake of new friends.

The world plunged into mourning and anarchy reigned everywhere, prompting the United States government to such risky adventures as the creation of the Suicide Squad. The appearance and disappearance of the Super-Human opened the eyes of the world to how vulnerable the planet is to the dangers lurking in the depths of space. If the battle between Superman and Zod alone claimed more innocent lives than 9/11, then what happens if it happens again, and the only one who could stand up for humanity is dead? ..

Gotham millionaire and at the same time secret crime fighter Bruce Wayne believes that there is no point in relying on governments, and takes the initiative into his own hands. He begins to travel the world in search of unusual people and, with the help of Diana, finds a schoolboy whom a lightning strike accidentally endowed with the ability to move at the speed of sound, a person who lives under water and commands sea creatures, and a young man who lost his legs and arms in an accident, but received due to contact with alien technology, the partially metal body.

Batman begins to form a team very in time: after learning about the death of a Kryptonian, an ancient warrior nicknamed Steppenwolf returns to Earth: the right hand of the mysterious Dark Side, he wants to replay the battle that was shamefully lost several thousand years ago, when his army of demons was defeated by the united forces of the people , Atlanteans, Old Gods and the Green Lantern corps, and he lost the object of his worship and at the same time the main weapon: some Mother Cubes, creating and destroying artifacts that can terraform the planet in a matter of hours. Steppenwolf appears on the Amazon island hidden from the world, easily defeats the army of warriors and steals the first cube. Wonder Woman’s mother sends a signal to her daughter, and Diana understands: it’s time to act … and the Justice League will have to fight first.


Don’t confuse The Avengers with the Justice League. Never. Tony Stark will never meet Batman. Thor is not Aquaman. Superman doesn’t live in New York, and I don’t know which is faster – Flash or Mercury. Probably both are equally fast. But never mind. The Avengers and Justice League worlds are two different worlds in cinema, originating in the world of comics, from two different publishers, Marvel and DC. The Avengers is Marvel, Batman and Superman is DC. Spider-Man, X-Men and Deadpool are Marvel. But Wonder Woman is DC.

In cinema, there is an unspoken competition between the two publishers.

For ten years, Marvel has managed to create a series of films that has become the largest and most successful in history. There are more films about Iron Man and his friends than stories of Star Wars, Harry Potter, or the adventures of the hobbits. This is a real movie series, each episode of which is structured according to a similar formula, but differs in its atmosphere, characters and topics raised. As a rule, almost all Marvel films are popular with viewers and, a little less often, critics. This created a feeling of elitism among the fans of a rival company, – they say, “Marvel is all jokes and a cliches all alone, but here everything is dark and realistic, Nolan is a genius!

The modern DC film series begins with a biblical reimagined story of Superman’s origin as a metaphor for the descent of God’s son to earth and his struggle with himself and his past. “Man of Steel” was an unusual, sometimes meditative and thoughtful, film about the search for oneself as a person who can burn a refrigerator with his eyes or lift an oil rig with his hand. The sequel to the story, Batman v Superman, showed the world’s reaction to the first super-hero through the eyes of Batman, who lost loved ones during the battle between Superman and Zod and vowed to stop the Man of Steel, seeing him as a threat to the very existence of mankind. The most successful and soulful film in the series, “Wonder Woman”, went back to the time of the First World War and showed the history of the formation of Diana, who, as a naive and inexperienced girl, escaped from the island after the man she saved to go to war and stop her. Suicide Squad explores the flip side of a world without Superman and reveals the history of those that Batman once imprisoned, and proves that even the most inveterate criminals can do their best. Finally, Justice League returns the focus from the minor characters to the major characters and confronts them with a new threat.

The film had a difficult fate. Its director, Zach Snyder, author of 300 Spartans, Sucker Punch, and a very powerful yet unappreciated grim reading of superheroics, the great Watchmen, had to leave League … due to a family tragedy, and his work was continued by Jos Whedon, screenwriter of the film “Alien: Resurrection” and the animated film “Titan: After the Death of the Earth”, as well as the director of the cult science fiction series “Firefly” and the first such large-scale super-hero film gathering, the film “The Avengers”. The script was rewritten many times, the tone in the editing of the film often changed, and the special effects artists were struggling to meet deadlines (there will be no joke about Henry Cavill’s computer-erased mustache, which he was not allowed to shave off due to the filming of the new part of the adventure action movie Mission: Impossible “). But the film is finally out, and now the universe of Gotham and Metropolis also have their own “Avengers”.

And it’s not as bad as the critics lamented.

Yes, the story is not very logical, the motivation of the heroes is lame, the world lacks depth, and the villain is even worse than in most Marvel films – just a drawn guy in a horned helmet, voiced by a strong actor from Game of Thrones (still remember Mance the Raider? ), waving a battle ax, pompously proclaiming harsh, randomly generated platitudes and disappearing into some kind of teleportation beam, like in Star Trek (“Lift me up, Scotty!”) But the movie can be enjoyed if you focus on the characters and the chemistry between them. Moreover, it is! Batman is not at all smart or energetic in this film (it seems that even George Clooney’s version of Bruce Wayne, who does not understand what he forgot in the monstrous Batman Forever, was better), but Wonder Woman is still wonderful and feminine (which in battle, which in peaceful scenes – seriously, she is wonderful and smart, and the battle scenes with her are staged perfectly), the patlated-bearded Aquaman sternly moves in some reactive way in the water and in the air with a pitchfork at the ready and a bottle of product placement, teasing everyone around, Cyborg detachedly sparkles with cybernetic buttocks (and would you wear clothes if you were 90% robot?), and Flash watches “Rick and Morty” (our man!) runs cool at the speed of a bullet, electrifying everything around. Flash is the most convincing, lively and funny character on the team of this film.

The plot … not very sensible. The ancient evil returns to pile on the young good. You don’t think the ancient evil will prevail, do you? Superhero films, these distilled archetypal stories based on modernized myths, are all in one way or another similar, since the good old “Star Wars” of 1978. It’s only now that character development is often omitted altogether as an unnecessary detail. How have Batman, Wonder Woman and others changed at the end of this story, what have they learned, besides the fact that friendship is a miracle (rainbow, unicorns), and Superman will beat everyone anyway, don’t make Superman angry? No development at all. Only formal scenes like “he used to have anyhow, but now he has a real job” or “we congratulate the guy on body-positivism, he accepted his metal self”, everything ended well. Yes, and “Wonder Woman” has not gone so far from this canon, this is also a banal story of the heroine’s formation to a squeak on the teeth – but there her development was more explicit and thoughtful, there were ups and downs, self-acceptance and overcoming … changing the world … something like that.

Does this film add something to its universe? Yes, um, maybe yes.

Despite the primitive plot, uncomplicated dialogues, stupid villain, torn (really torn) editing and the general feeling of crumpledness of a two-hour film, the film still has some sense of integrity with the universe it represents. The world in which his action takes place is empty. People do not play any role in it. Even the extras. There are only heroes and antiheroes. Friends and relatives of the heroes. Minions of antiheroes are consumables, a chirping winged crowd drawn on a computer. There are no people, no living people left. I don’t want to think about it, I want to blame it on script simplification, but how can it be that only one family lives in an abandoned Polish Russian town, which the localizers have re-voiced in Polish? The idea of ​​”Let’s fight in a desert area so we don’t accidentally hurt anyone” even in Batman v Superman looked silly. Super-hero – the development of Nietzschean ideas of a super-man, there should be a contrast between a simple person and the one who was put or who put himself above him, there should be reflection … there was a lot of it in the “Guardians” of the same Zach Snyder, she was silent in “Man of Steel”, very strongly, with religious motives, rose in “Batman v Superman” (in the script, Lex Luther had some great, almost aphoristic phrases), but faded away to “Justice League”. Now this is just a funny movie about how five weak super dudes fight one strong, evil super dudes. No reflection about people, gods, changes that are coming with a new future … “BpS” made its way to the shivers where it nevertheless made its way, precisely with this.

… But the film also has undeniable merits. In addition to the already mentioned chemistry between the characters and Wonder Woman herself, at times he has excellent humor (especially when it is not Batman who is joking, but The Flash – “Do-Stoevsky!”, A joke that you will not hear in dubbing), a very colorful picture, quite interesting and complex graphics and special effects for such an expensive project (in BTS they will probably show that almost everything in the action scenes was drawn and completed on computers), music and good camera work … the production of such a large, complex and expected film – wildly hard work of hundreds, if not thousands, of people and they did a damn good job to make the film as good as it came out.Production of cinema, mass cinema, expensive and universal, capable of recapturing its budget in the United States, and in Russia, and in conditional India and Taiwan – this is an incredibly difficult work of huge teams, where mistakes occur from time to time. a good and memorable film. What would the film be like if Zach Snyder had finished it himself and there would have been no such difficulties with the production …

In the pluses of the film, you can add some understatement. It is generally inherent in many films with elements of science fiction, when you need to think out and explain to yourself what you see on the screen, since none of the characters bother to explain something better than a couple of general phrases. How does teleportation (“boom-pipe”) work and where do Steppenwolf and his minions constantly go? Who were the mysterious figures following him during the flashback? What are Mother Cubes? Who is Mother .. who does the villain serve, who is this Dark Side, Darkseid? Why are they terraforming planets and transforming their inhabitants into mutating creatures that serve them ..? In Man of Steel, General Zod flew to Earth in Superman’s footsteps and used his hyper-mega-dubstep cannon (sorry, I can’t call it any other name) to change the composition of the Earth and its atmosphere, making it a second Krypton. This is a stretch – but convincing. Superman grew up here, his human-like body outside has adapted to terrestrial conditions over the years of his life, this is his home, but not Zod … But Steppenwolf, why should he disfigure alien planets, if he moves without a spacesuit, does not experience any breathing problems on Earth , even pompously speaks English without an accent … Transformers in Michael Bay’s films learned the human language in seconds, scanning the entire Internet – neural networks, all that, you can believe it. And Steppenwolf, stupidly waving an ax and stealing other people’s boxes, what did he do ..?

And yet, Mother Cubes … what are they? Quantum multidimensional computers, some kind of powerful molecular technology, something like nano-machines – or what? .. How do they work, what can they do at all – specifically? I understand that the amputee Cyborg found metal arms and legs, it’s all cool and cool, even convincingly shown for silly fiction, but I want to understand exactly how, why and why, how it all works. It’s 2017/18, a simple “Don’t cross the beams!” from “Ghostbusters” is not working now. So who is Mother, why Steppenwolf worships her, why does he and his master even want to conquer and enslave the Earth and all races (people, Atlanteans, Diana-Shurygin-Amazons) – simply because they are bad and they like destruction so much? This, incidentally, and “Marvel” also applies. Single-celled villains (“I’m angry, I’m stylish, I eat apples, listen to classical music and meditate, I will destroy everything, including the world I live in, because I like it”) – it’s not rolling at all. Why is Hannibal Lecter different in Silence of the Lambs? Rather, why is it impossible to create a complex and ambiguous image of a villain, intelligent, frightening and sympathetic at the same time, with convincing motivation and his own philosophy in mass cinema, albeit simple, fantastic and super-heroic?

So is it worth watching a movie?

If you love Batman and Superman as much as they love each other, and you can tell Catwoman from Catwoman, then yes, why not. If you’ve watched all the previous films in the series, are also waiting for “Wonder Woman 2” and want to see (almost) a new team of heroes in action – then this film may well brighten up a boring evening (with something energetic or alcoholic, it’s better to go this way) … But don’t get too high expectations – just accept everything that happens on the screen as it is. After all, there is Wonder Woman (and, girls, cool pumped up Henry Cavill). And the good message is that friendship is a miracle. Love ponies and watch a good movie.


Some Kind Of A Bullshit

Let’s hope Snydercut will be released one day…