Justice League Review

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As trendy as it is to bash DC movies, I have to admit in 2017, DC has improved considerably from 2016. They have addressed a lot (not all) of my complaints about Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad. Because of this, Justice League is entertaining enough for me to watch, but not enough for me to get pumped up for the franchise. I am not convinced they have “Found their stride” for a lack of a better term.

Watching Justice League, I noticed that they took a lot of the critical consensus from last year into account. That is admirable. The tone was not as murky and depressing as Batman vs. Superman, it is not overly zany and jarring as Suicide Squad. The character development still needs work (especially Cyborg) but it was miles better than Suicide Squad just to name a few critiques.

What I ultimately got out of Justice League was a basic plot that was easy to understand and mildly entertaining. It is the kind of movie you would watch to pass the time. Sometimes that is all a movie aspires to be, which I am fine with. Justice League has more ambition than that. The end product is not good enough be an outstanding superhero movie that you would expect or want. It’s just another superhero movie.

To put in perspective how ordinary it is, the villain is the most generic villain ever. He is called Steppenwolf and his movie is to destroy the world, Why? Who knows. I bet you have never heard of a movie villain like that before! He aims to destroy the world through the unification of three boxes that represent power. One box is protected by the Amazonians, another box is protected by the Atlantians and the third box is protected by humans.

Another thing about Justice League you may need to know is that it’s entirely the Superman show. Justice League shows you how omnipotent he really is. In Superman’s first fight sequence, it goes to show how insignificant the rest of the superheroes are. The rest of the characters have some form of inner conflict or vulnerability, but Justice League does not follow through with them, making them small insignificant in comparison to Superman. At least they all want to work together this time.

When I first saw Wonder Woman, I felt it was a great launching platform for a bigger movie down the line. Justice League is not that bigger movie down the line, even though it aspires to be. Nevertheless, it is a step up from BvS and Suicide Squad purely because it addresses a lot of what annoyed me about those movies. However, if you wanted an epic movie where well-developed superheroes united to fight a well-developed villain, well, you would want more than what Justice League gives you. ⭐⭐3/4

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The Lego Batman Movie: Deadpool for Kids… Sort of.

 

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The Lego Batman Movie is a unique entry in the superhero genre, not only because it’s a Lego animation but also sees the story in a kid-friendly, light-hearted manner. It’s such departure from other DC movies of Batman in that it’s hard to make a comparison of this movie to other Batman films. Instead, I will be comparing The Lego Batman Movie to Deadpool.

Both The Lego Batman Movie and Deadpool are inherently well written as the characters are witty, both movies wink at the audience with the breaking of the fourth wall and all the inside jokes and finally, both aim to give the audience a feeling of joy and fun while the superheros do their superhero stuff.

Lego filmakers Love Joy

Michael Cera as Robin and Zack Galifinakis as The Joker. The casting director is a genius

The plot: Batman is the poster boy for saving Gotham that all the children love him and sing his praises. Batman (Will Arnett) just laps it up and is arrogent (He brags to have a 9-pack. Yes, a 9-pack) . What we find out early on is the reason Batman is self-centered is because he is afraid of committing to a quiet, family life. Batman is on the mission to save Gotham once again from The Joker (Zack Galifianakis), only he cannot save Gotham on his own this time. He inadvertedly adopts a child (Michael Cera) who turns out to become Robin and they both try to save Gotham.

The bottom line is that The Lego Batman Movie succeeds in what it attempts to achieve. That is because it is so committed to a tone that aims to be lively, child-like and fun that it’s hard to not buy what The Lego Batman Movie is trying to sell. I was buying it for the majority of the movie. Like Deadpool, The Lego Batman Movie does this through fourth wall breaking, witty and funny characters and an arrogant, ego-driven yet charming main character.

The jokes: Faster than a Speeding Bullet

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Tylor Goodwin holds the world record of the number of jokes told in an hour with 571. The Lego Batman Movie might have beaten that record. That is not a good thing if you are trying to keep up

The Lego Batman Movie succeeds to a lesser extent than Deadpool due to the inability for the movie to control the barrage of jokes and the narrative pacing. The main problem with The Lego Batman movie is it either scattershot with jokes that move so fast that you couldn’t keep up or the momentum of the movie would slow down to a near halt.

The scriptwriters also decided that Batman should break the fourth wall five times per minute, which I grew tired of by the end as I was constantly reminded that I was watching a movie and therefore made it hard to suspend my disbelief. Deadpool had the perfect balance of breaking the fourth wall by dropping the intensity of fourth wall breaking considerably after the first act. In The Lego Batman Movie, the filmmakers didn’t get that memo.

The uneven narrative pacing and the overuse of jokes are the two main things The Lego Batman Movie could have improved upon and it did hurt my overall enjoyment of it.

The Running Gag: A Killing Joke

Barman: The guy that doesn’t so “ships” as in “relation-ships”. He is the Dan Bilzerian of life. Just swap women for fighting and they are a mirror image 🙂

Aside from that, there is not much else that is bad that I can think of. The story between The Joker and Batman in this movie are unique, especially the character motivations of The Joker. It somehow manages to work even if it shouldn’t on pen and paper. As always, The Joker wants Batman to hate him as much as the Joker hates Batman, only they make their own twist. It’s a romanticized story in a oddly comedic way where destroying Gotham is like courting Batman to take part in a hate relationship. I loved the angle The Lego Batman Movie takes with that and It was my favourite part of the film.

With all this in mind, I believe it’s the best movie DC has put their name on since The Dark Knight Rises. I still don’t believe it’s as good as a lot of Marvel movies, but it’s a positive step in the right direction in my opinion ***1/4