Neil Bhamoo
Commentary

Latest iteration of DC superhero franchise has glaring inconsistencies in spite of stellar cinematography, well-timed comedic relief

The newest DC comics movie, “Justice League”, had good action sequences and fight scenes, but had a disappointing plot and lacked a reason to cheer for the heroes.

A large portion of time in the movie, especially near the beginning, was spent setting up the heroes’ characters and personalities, but it seemed rushed and unconvincing. The director, Zack Snyder, was likely trying to create a cinematic universe starting with this movie. However, there wasn’t enough time in this two-hour film to do that thoroughly and uniquely. For example, The Flash, played by Ezra Miller, had a goal of becoming a sort of lawman to prove that his father was wrongfully incarcerated. Unfortunately, this characteristic didn’t seem to affect The Flash’s actions throughout the movie whatsoever until the end, when he randomly got accepted to work at a crime lab.

Furthermore, the characteristics of the superheroes felt extremely similar to those of the heroes in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Batman, played by Ben Affleck, was just like Iron Man, not only because he seemed to be the leader, but also because he was always ready to sacrifice himself for the others.

Furthermore, he seemed to not be on the best terms with Superman, played by Henry Cavill, who was DC’s version of Captain America. Just like Captain America, Superman was the second leader of a group of heroes, one who had come back from the dead and was the more rule-abiding member of the heroes. These are only two examples, but the rest of the DC heroes seemed to have Marvel counterparts, and this made the movie feel a little uninspired.

Another big issue with the plot was the villain, who felt uninspired as well. Steppenwolf, played by Ciaran Hinds, was a villain wanting to collect cubes hidden on Earth. These cubes were holders of a power that would destroy the Earth if they were brought together. This plot point was never explained well. Steppenwolf’s motives were very shallow — simply to destroy the Earth because he was evil — and it felt like he was a character the audience was just supposed to dislike. There was no nuance in his character, and that made him a weak villain.

The dialogue was cheesy, and the movie tried too hard to make the heroes look cool. There were many meaningless obstacles, and they were almost always solved with minimal effort by one of the heroes. the Flash, the only hero who didn’t keep making corny comments, instead saturated the movie with sometimes unnecessary comedic quips, but these did provide a welcome break from the rest of the bland script.   

Despite the major plot problems, the fighting and action in this movie were very enjoyable to watch. Any scenes that weren’t action-filled or didn’t have The Flash felt extremely slow, but I felt as though the fight scenes, for the most part, were a reward for suffering through the rest of the movie. The action sequence near the beginning involving the Amazonians trying to protect one of the cubes was especially enthralling, and the amazing choreography and filmography made up for the fact that I had no idea what the cube was or why it was important. Unfortunately, the scenes involving the Atlanteans were lackluster, and there was a severe deficit of scenes involving Aquaman’s water-related powers, but he still had some awe-inspiring fighting moments.

Overall, I would rate the movie a 2 out of 5 because the plot, which is the most important part of a movie, was just so disappointing. The movie’s main redeeming qualities was the action, the great cinematography and Flash’s comedic relief.