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Justice League Review:

 Comic book geeks and superhero fans alike have been waiting even drooling over the thought of having a Justice League movie hit the big screen. Well, it’s here and this time, director Zach Snyder does not disappoint!

Since Superman (Henry Cavill) died the entire world is still in deep mourning. Everyone except for the criminals. Kal-El’s untimely demise is a new opportunity for criminals around the world to wreak havoc, but they are not alone.  Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), an Apokoliptian general, and member of Darkside’s Elite, who once tried to claim Earth as his own some thirty thousand years ago but was defeated is now back to what he wants – Earth.  To complete his task, he needs to find three ancient weapons known as mother boxes.  After his defeat, these well-guarded weapons were divided amongst the Amazons, Atlantians, and the humans and hidden. For thousands of years, the mother boxes have laid dormant.  However, with Superman’s death, the mother boxes have now awakened.  Steppenwolf begins his search to find the mother boxes to reclaim the earth again. This time, there is nothing that can stop him, or so he thinks.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), has a gut feeling that something alien is going on, but he just hasn’t figured it out yet.  He enlists the help of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to help recruit a new team that will ultimately face this new alien threat.  Bruce is tasked with two recruits: first, the Scarlet Speedster himself Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), who is more than happy to accept Bruce’s proposition, even before he has a chance to proffer it. Second, the recluse bad boy himself, Author Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), which proved to be a little more difficult than he expected. Eventually, Bruce accomplished his task. Diana is sent to recruit Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher). This proves to be more of a challenge as he is still coming to terms with his new body and more importantly, he questions Diana’s intentions. He doesn’t trust Diana. Victor finally comes around and together they set out to defeat Steppenwolf and his paradaemon minions once and for all. It didn’t go so well.

The team regroups back at the Batcave and brainstorm about what to do next. While Flash, Cyborg, and Curry are executing their assigned tasks, Bruce, still gripped with the guilt that he caused Superman’s death, pushes Diana to become that leader. She is unwilling to accept the role as she is still dealing with her own personal losses, but they come up with a wild idea that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

Ever since Director, Zach Snyder has taken the helm of the DC universe, he has had marginal success - Not really having total disasters, but not really knocking it out the park either. His last movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was met with mixed reviews. It was a dark-toned, jumbled mess with a lackluster final battle. The plot and subplots were unclear and seemed rushed as if the writers decided to throw in everything including the kitchen sink. Whether it made sense or not.  To make things worse, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War was releasing soon, so the pressure was on. Snyder failed, badly. 

With the need to make J.L. correctly, Joss Whedon, who is credited with the success of several Marvel Studio productions, was enlisted to help with post-production duties. With his inclusion, J.L. is everything Batman v Superman should have been. While there are some scenes that were unclear at first, they were all tied up nicely into one cohesive flowing movie. Thank you, Joss!

New comers to the franchise Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa are a delight to watch. Miller had small cameos in Suicide Squad and in Batman v Superman.  He shines as the young awestruck kid from Central City and brings a comedic flare to what would have been a serious film. Fisher plays the struggling Victor Stone/Cyborg perfectly. The pain, anguish, and confusion he displays while coming to terms with his new body was spot on.  Momoa’s bad ass Author Curry/Aquaman comes off as a recluse, hell-bent on doing his own thing and could give two shits about man and his problems, ends up having a heart of gold. 

What really surprised this writer, is the performance of Gadot.  Gadot stepped up her game majorly J.L.  Her role as Wonder Woman was more prominent and upfront instead of having a supporting role in the background. Hell, it better be, Wonder Woman is a founding member of the JL. She better get some action and lots of it! After all, she is more than a pretty face- She’s Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Watching J.L. will put you in the mindset of another similar superhero movie where they must join together to fight the forces of evil.  Hell, if you close your eyes, you won’t be able to distinguish the two.

Overall, J.L. is fun and engaging. The action sequences are way better than previous movies where they have been set against a dark backdrop. Not here, each battle is bright and easily seen. Each character gets their share of the action against the bad guys. While there is no mention of the other original Justice League founding members Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter, the movie still flows well. 

Grade B

Stick around for two post-credits. The second will blow your mind!


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