Review – Justice League

The long awaited Justice League movie has finally arrived and I went to see it as soon as I could. DC has not had a great track record with the only movie in the DCEU that has had critical acclaim being Wonder Woman, however with Justice League they hoped to alter the course and have a box office and critical hit. In Justice League we have a world that following the death of Superman is faced with an alien threat that forces Batman and Wonder Woman to recruit other heroes to defeat the threat they are facing in order to save the Earth.

Coming into this movie I had a lot of mixed feelings. I had not enjoyed most of the DCEU films and had found them to be very flawed. The tone of the films was not a tone I enjoy and the portrayal of characters like Superman was in my opinion very disconcerting and removed from what the character should be like. Thus I was in a way very apprehensive about the film. That said I was also really looking forward to this film since it was about the Justice League, the premiere superhero team in all of comics with some if not the most iconic heroes of all time. I have always been more of a Marvel comic fan but the Justice League had me really excited.

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So, did the movie deliver? Well the answer is not a simple one. By no means is this a bad movie, it is fun and entertaining and I think it stands above the other DCEU films, except Wonder Woman. Yet despite this, I felt that it was lacking something and that it was not a good a movie as it should have been. Whilst I did enjoy the film at no point was I blown away by it, there was nothing spectacular that spoke to me or made me really excited.

The movie overall is fun and has a great pace. The interaction between the characters really work, Aquaman played by Jason Momoa was all kinds of awesome, the new Flash was great, Cyborg worked for me and Gal Gadot was incredible and remains the strongest asset that the DCEU currently has. I also found that they have improved the characters of Batman and Superman compared to the previous instalments. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the lighter tone yet still dark enough to make you feel the stakes. The action in the movie was also another bright aspect as it was well paced and shot.

However the movie had some issues. First of all the CGI was sometimes really bad. The moustache debacle with Henry Cavill is very noticeable and Steppenwolf (besides being a bad developed villain in the film) looks awful and fake. The other issue I had with the film was that it lacked a spectacular moment. The return of Superman should have been a monumental moment but it was somehow lacking punch, it did not feel as big as it should have and this can be said for most of the film. We had some of the greatest most iconic characters on screen together yet at no moment did it feel huge, it was just OK.

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A small pet peeve I had and it might be ridiculous is that they incorporated in a quick moment the Batman 1989 theme and John Williams Superman Theme. The latter especially is a favourite of mine and hearing it used so quickly and in a small moment only served to remind me how much better and epic it would have been if they had included it on the film.

Overall Justice League was a fun enough movie and good step towards a better future for the DCEU, they improved the tone and the action was great. That said the movie was lacking in “epicness” and that is something they need to work on. They need to work on that, on making the big moments feel bigger. Hopefully with the next DCEU movies they continue improving this and by the time Justice League 2 comes around we will be awed by the film.

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Review – Wonder Woman Film

Finally, after a long wait, “Wonder Woman” hit theatres in Spain and I quickly went to see it. I have already seen this movie twice and have had time to digest my thoughts and find myself ready to write about them. First of all let me start of all this by commenting on the fact that I was not a big fan of previous entries into the DCEU world. Yet despite my lack of enthusiasm for this film universe I was cautiously optimistic with this one, the trailer had impressed me and everything I had read, heard or seen about this movie was good. I was hoping this would be the film to finally have widespread critical and fan acceptance and to see a film that I would love. So after seeing it twice I can gladly say that I LOVED this film. Before I delve into an in-depth review of the film let me just warn you that there will be plenty of SPOILERS.

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Wonder Woman had everything I wanted on a comic book movie. It was bright and colourful (something with which I have struggled in past DCEU films), it had great action scenes, it was fun, the titular character was amazing and it had a great hopeful message. One of my biggest issues with movies like “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman”, was the dark tone bereft of hope. It is a tone that fits Batman but doesn’t fit Superman. Comic book characters, especially heroes and heroines are meant to inspire us, to show us that despite how hard things get to be, how awful things can get, we can still raise above it. This movie perfectly portrayed this message and I was happy to see it.

Themyscira was beautiful and everything I hoped to see in an adaptation of the comic books. I loved the setting, showing us a paradisiac location where the amazons are able to prepare for their goal. The amazons themselves were amazing portrayed as fair, intelligent women who are also incredible warriors. The battle scene at the beach with the German soldiers was incredible and inspiring, full of amazing set pieces and stunts. Watching that and thinking about the trailer we have seen for Justice League, I for one can’t wait to see the amazons fighting against the parademons.

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The acting was great throughout the movie. I was surprised at seeing Robin Wright play such a physical role but she was splendid in it. She portrayed the toughness and physicality of the character beautifully and added great gravitas to the cast. The supporting characters were great in general and I loved the portrayal of Ares done. However there has to be a special mention for Chris Pine and Gal Gadot who had an amazing chemistry throughout the movie. Chris Pine was great in his role, playing perfectly his character and giving us great moment and Gal Gadot in my opinion owned the character. She was able to perfectly show both the toughness and vulnerability as well as the naiveté and idealism of the character. She has given us a perfect Diana Prince and a perfect Wonder Woman and I can’t wait to see more of it.

Patty Jenkins did an amazing job in shooting this film. Many of the scenes are beautiful and the action is shot perfectly, allowing you to feel the intensity of the moment without missing a beat. I also loved all the nods to the first Superman film (the glasses, the revolving door and the bullet scene in the alleyway) and how she was able to subtlety introduce them. She has done a great film and I hope that this opens the door for more female directors filming comic book movies.

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However the greatest thing about this film was the titular character.The character was amazing and inspiring and very similar to the essence of the character in the comics. She was shown to be as this idealistic warrior who is naïve but full of love and willing to fight for her ideals to the utmost. The message she gives is cheesy, but comic book are and will always be cheesy. I loved that she was fighting to end a war, to stop the violence, and doing so in the name love. I fell in love with the character throughout the film as she fought in a war, but also against gender roles and against an internal struggle. Throughout the film we see the character develop and grow but still remain true to herself. In my humble opinion she is one of the best character adaptations from the comics seen in film.

The already iconic scene in No Man’s Land was great. Seeing a female superhero charge the lines and have this amazing action moments was incredible and inspiring. Both times I have seen that scene I have become emotional and have seen it with a huge grin on my face. This film has finally given us the female superhero we deserved, a strong, feminist women who is able to change the course of history. Scenes like this are awe-inspiring and will be remembered for a long time.

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“Wonder Woman” was a beautiful film. It is not perfect, no film really is, and does have some flaws (the third act is a bit weaker than the rest of the film) but it was a great movie, with an amazing protagonist who I hope becomes the inspiration for many. “Wonder Woman” has certainly inspired me and the message of love in the movie is beautiful. Hopefully this movie, which is killing it at the box office, will be the first of many films with heroine protagonist and action films starring women in active roles. After watching this movie I am a bit more hopeful for the DCEU and I will with a bit of luck be able to see a sequel of this movie as it is more than deserving. “Wonder Woman” stands now in my top 10 comic book movies of all time and I can’t wait to see Justice League so I can see more of this wonderful character.

Wonder Woman: 9/10

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Review – Justice League Trailer

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So after a long wait and a lot of hype being created by Warner Brothers the trailer for the “Justice League” is out. “Justice League” will come out on November of this year and for the past few days we have seen small teasers of the characters before finally getting the first official trailer of the movie. Now before I talk about it let me state that so far I have not really enjoyed the DCEU films so far. I thought “Man of Steel” was good but “Batman v Superman” was very average and Suicide Squad in my opinion was downright bad.

That said I enjoyed very much this trailer. The action looks good and the most important thing is that they seemed to have listened to fan feedback and have changed a bit of the tone adding a bit more fun in the dialogue and in the action. The films so far have been too dark and gritty. Dark and gritty does have an important role to play and it is great that they are darker than those of the MCU but in movies like this we also need a bit of light hearted moments from the characters so that we can relate to them.  Being dark fits the character of Batman but for others such as the Flash this would not be a good fit so it is great to see that they are changing their approach for this film.

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The trailer so far has me excited for this film. The characters, except for Cyborg who looks a bit shoddy (but the CGI will probably be fixed, hopefully…), look great and the trailer gives us plenty of epic moments that seem to come straight from a comic book. I especially love Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa who seems to have really taken to the role and might be one of standouts of the film. I was really happy that they have not shown Superman in the trailer. We all know that Superman will be in the film (probably towards the end) but they need to keep some surprises for the actual movie, something they did not do for BvS. The standout moment of the trailer in my opinion was seeing those two armies clash. Seeing the amazons and others clash against the parademons was pretty cool and the interaction between the characters seems to be fun and epic so far.

My only gripe with the trailer is the use of the colour palette by Snyder. I understand he loves to do that as he does it in almost all his movies but I honestly miss seeing some bright colours, especially considering that they are fighting such an evil destructive force led by Steppenwolf. The use of brighter colours could have given us a better contrast between the heroes and the villains. Brighter colours would also highlight better the awesome costumes being worn by our heroes especially Flash and Wonder Woman. It would be a very welcome addition to have a bit more colour in the film.

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That said it is a very minor gripe and overall I thought the trailer was pretty good. I am excited to see this movie but I will admit to being cautiously optimistic since with other entries of the DCEU I loved the trailer but not the films so much. I truly hope this film and that of Wonder Woman knock it out of the park. As a long time comic book reader I want to have a great MCU and DCEU.