RATING: 3.5 out of 5
If you have access to the internet and if you care about these things, you’ll be reading a lot of negative comments directed at the movie Justice League in the coming days. But I’m not here to defend the film from those criticism because most of those are actually valid. (Relax lang DC fans, basahin niyo muna yung susunod!)
But that being said, “Justice League” is far from the terrible movie that all these critics are making it out to be. It won’t go down as one of the all-time greats, but it’s absolutely fun and entertaining. I’ve seen Marvel movies with better ratings than “Justice League” that I’d actually call terrible. (I’m a big Robert Downey Jr. fan but “Iron Man 3” was a flaming piece of dog shit in my opinion.)
If you’ve seen “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” then you can probably guess what the plot for “Justice League” was going to be. With Superman (Henry Cavill) gone and with a threat of an alien invasion looming, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) has to a assemble a collection of misfits with unique abilities. Along with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), he manages to convince Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to join them in their fight against Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds).
“Justice League” is a huge departure from “Batman v. Superman” in terms of it’s look and tone and you’ll notice that from the first scene alone. In the previous film, you’d have to squint hard before you can see Batman as he’s always operating in the shadows. Kaso nasa shadows na nga siya, ang dilim dilim pa ng overall look ng movie! For a superhero movie, it was actually a bit depressing. May permanenteng na kunot ng noo si Superman at Batman dun e. In “Justice League”, you can see Batman lurched on top of gargoyles and swing from building to building for a change. And he actually cracks a joke every now and then!
Taking a cue from some of the comments from it’s critics, “Justice League” tried to inject humor into the story with most of the quips and lighter moments coming from Ezra Miller’s The Flash. While most of the jokes are hit-or-miss, it’s a welcome change from the brooding and humorless tone of “Batman v. Superman” that director Zack Snyder insists on jamming down our throats even though we obviously didn’t want that.
The movie doesn’t have the benefit of origin stories for its characters so we aren’t as emotionally invested in their journey as we would probably be with the members of the Avengers. But I still think it does an okay job of familiarizing the audience with Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg. We only know their backstories in passing, but they’re portrayed so charismatically and the chemistry between them is palpable that we end up rooting for them anyways.
The drawback though is that with a running time of only 2 hours, the movie has to spend the first 30 minutes or so introducing us to the members of the Justice League that it doesn’t spend enough time in developing its villain. Steppenwolf as a villain is pretty uninteresting. Sayang ang voice work ni Ciaran Hinds because Steppenwolf is a very generic and one-dimensional villain. Ah talaga gusto mong sirain ang daigdig kasi wala lang kumag ka lang? Bago yan ah! He’s basically just an ugly looking tall alien with an even uglier looking helmet. (Hindi ba niya pwedeng hiramin yung helmet ni Surtur sa “Thor: Ragnarok”? At least yun umaapoy!)
Like most superhero movies, the weakest point of “Justice League” is the villain since a hero can’t be that heroic when the villain isn’t that threatening. In no point in the movie did I ever feel concerned about the heroes so much kasi hindi ko naman nafefeel na napaka-threatening nung villain e. It doesn’t help that the CGI for Steppenwolf was terrible. He looks like a video game villain, (pero hindi pa yung main boss ha, yung tipong boss lang sa gitnang levels na madaling patayin) rather than someone who destroys planets.
The focus of “Justice League” is really in its heroes. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is a joy to watch. Kaya kong manuod ng pelikula na ang title ay “Wonder Woman and Friends” kung saan nakatulog yung ibang members ng Justice League tapos pag gising nila natalo na ni Wonder Woman si Steppenwolf. Gal Gadot is just so effortlessly charming as Wonder Woman. Aquaman was actually cool and not obnoxious as the trailers made him out to be, The Flash had his funny moments, and Cyborg was given a role that’s central to the plot. This was a pleasant surprise because being the least popular among the group, I wasn’t expecting him to be given that much exposure.
But if there’s anything in this movie that I hated more than Steppenwolf it’s probably the movie’s portrayal of Batman. They managed to make Batman the least cool character out of all the members of the Justice League, a role which I already reserved for Cyborg months ago. (Mali ako, maling mali ako. Astig si Cyborg. Sana mapatawad mo ko, Cyborg.) He’s pretty much useless without his gadgets and he looks like he’s in a fat suit. Seryoso, panuorin mo tapos tingnan mo paano gumalaw si Batman. Pag naglalambitin siya sa mga buildings para siyang wrecking ball.
(Eto na yung part ng review na may spoiler pero siguro naman inexpect niyo na lalabas si Superman sa movie at some point diba?)
I particularly liked how they did the reveal for Superman. I was expecting it to happen near the end of the film so that battle with him was a bit of a pleasant surprise. It's also the first film in the series that didn't have me saying "pucha ang emo naman nito ni Superman e nakakairita” but instead had me look forward to the scenes where he’s in. In this movie, I think he was finally able to represent the “hope” that his “S” shield stands for. Pagbigyan na natin na nag amok siya and he tried to kill the members of the Justice League. Mainit ulo, bagong gising e!
“Justice League” is far from a perfect superhero movie but it’s leaps and bounds better than it’s predecessors. The movie might be flawed but it offers enough entertainment for the audience to enjoy. At the end of the day, isn’t that the reason why we watch superhero movies anyway?
Catch Justice League in cinemas everywhere!
Photos courtesy of WARNER BROS. PICTURES