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Justice League Movie Review: DC's Catch Up to Marvel's Avenger Falls Short on Grandeur, Script

A still from Justice League.

A still from Justice League.

Watch Justice League for all the five years of excitement and to see the team standing against the sunset- a scene that will definitely bring the cartoon series nostalgia back in some form.

"Hope is like car keys, you think you've lost it but if you look for it it's always nearby..." these are the lines by none other than Superman which opens Justice League and half an hour in the film you get to know why. Throughout the film you keep the faith that the grandeur which was promised is 'somewhere near' and it does show up, just not in the manner you expected.

DC has been building up to this gathering of superheroes since Man of Steel (2012) and gave a rather sad glimpse of it in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, and later in its most successful film Wonder Woman. However, the build-up fails on many levels ranging from character introductions to the script and the big, CGI mayhem that they like to call a climax.

However, despite it jaded treatment of 'good over evil' and a predictable storyline, the film isn't a complete failure. Justice League lies somewhere between Dawn of Justice, DC's first multi superhero starrer that became a meme of how not to make a comic book adaptation; and ceiling-breaker (of notions and box-office) Wonder Woman.

The film has an adequate amount of high-spirited larks: no more, no less. If fans get excited about it, that's mostly because they’re excited about getting excited. Yet the movie can't be called a cheat as it provides enough entertainment for a viewer enjoy this lighter, funnier, high school-ish reunion. However, hardcore comic fans will feel the pang of disappointment while laughing at Flash's (Ezra Miller) goofy antics.

The film can be called an act of franchise penance. It gathers up around half a dozen comic-book immortals and lets them figure the threat out and form a team with bombastic action and old-school 'great men' humour.

The director, once again, is Zack Snyder, though Snyder parted ways with the project in March following the tragic suicide of his daughter. About four-fifths of principal photography had been completed, and the post-production process (including the rest of shooting) was overseen by Avenger's helmer Joss Whedon —an unusual choice, given that the Avengers from MCU series competes directly with this one.

Key moments from the film includes a soft-rock rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows, all as a way of dramatizing how badly America has been doing since Superman was killed. From there, it’s on to Batman fighting off an alien metallic beast, which turns out to be one of Steppenwolf’s army of Parademons — and Wonder Woman foiling a terrorist attack by slowing herself down to bullet time to knock away dozens of shots, as Gadot maintains her rock-steady killer gaze.

Now that Superman is no longer around, it’s fallen to these two to assemble a league of superheroes, even if, by now, we’ve been through these ritual assemblages once too often — in every Marvel film that you can name.

There's Cyborg (Ray Fisher), the haunted man-machine, a former athlete who was rebuilt by his father (Joe Morton) after an accident into a cybernetic weapon who appears in a hood (literally and metaphorically). There’s Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the tattooed Neptune with attitude who’s an amphibious master of the oceans, as well as the group’s token roughneck brother. And there’s The Flash, who can move at lightning speed and is the group's youngest entertainer who bears a certain burden of keeping the tempers of others in check by his millennial intelligence and innocence.

Steppenwolf, who threatens to achieve total dominion over everyplace and everyone, has gathered three ancient boxes of pulsating energy known as Mother Boxes. They are boxes. Bursting with light. And great power. It all plays as more than a bit arbitrary, given that their power, like Steppenwolf’s, is metaphysical, while the climactic battle is more rooted in the corporeal — lots of gut punches and swinging broadswords and limb ripping.

It's a disappointment that despite being the most critically celebrated superhero of them all, makers fail to utilise Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman to its full potential. Maybe it's time they realise that only this fierce woman has the caliber to take the franchise ahead without much help. Also, a standalone Flash film is going is anticipated after the hilarious debut of Flash. This man can give DC's it's very own Homecoming.

Overall, Justice League is like a baked cheesy- potato dish, which has no nutrition but you can't resist its temptation. A decent follow-up to disastrous Batman vs Superman, the film still has hope to get better, only if they let Wonder Woman to lead and not any other way around. Watch it for all the five years of excitement and to see the team standing against the sunset- a scene that will definitely bring the cartoon series nostalgia back in some form. Oh and also for the 'promised hope', that is lying somewhere inside the series; we just need a Patty Jenkins to find it and execute in next one.

Rating: 2.5/5