Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot
Release Date: March 13, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
The fifth entry in the ongoing DC film universe (or the DCEU) and the long awaited team-up fans have been anticipating, ‘Justice League’ rejoins Batman (Affleck) sometime after the devastating events that concluded ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ now with a newly restored faith in humanity. But when disappearances lead to demon like flying creatures appearing and the threat of mankind’s end altogether looming, Batman attempts to enlist the help of other metahumans and heroes Wonder Woman (Gadot), The Flash (Miller), Cyborg (Fisher) and Aquamann (Momoa) to try and tackle the threat. As the seemingly unstoppable Steppenwolf quickly tears his way through the most powerful forces on earth, this unseemly team of heroes will have to find a way to work together and fight the hardest battle of their lives if they hope to stand any chance of saving the world; and even that may not be enough without the help of Superman (Cavill).
Credited as being directed by Zack Snyder (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel) who directed a large share of the film’s initial content and also featuring a fair amount of scenes (and various reshoots) directed by Joss Whedon (Avengers) following Snyder’s departure as a result of tragic family circumstances, from a final screenplay by Chris Terrio (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Joss Whedon which was reworked from an initial story/script by Terrio and Snyder respectively, and while both Snyder and Whedon do highly competent jobs at the helm of ‘Justice League’ for their parts, their visions do tend to clash somewhat frequently as well. The film features a cast comprised of numerous returning individuals from previous entries in the DC universe along with some newcomers and includes Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them), Jason Momoa (TV’s The Red Road), Ray Fisher (the upcoming third season of TV’s True Detective), Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), Diane Lane (Man of Steel), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Amber Heard (Machete Kills) and more, the majority providing overall solid performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Justice League’ brings some of your favorite DC heroes together for the team-up film so many have long been awaiting, and while the film does deliver some noteworthy action sequences, a solid setting and some quite enjoyable moments, it also has a few too many problems that can’t be ignored and sees a drastic change in tone and style that never quite fits into the established world. Those familiar with my feelings on the previous installments in DC’s ongoing film universe including my love of ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ probably won’t be too shocked that ‘Justice League’ is easily my least favorite of the five films in the series thus far and also without question the most problematic, especially when it comes to combining so many new key characters into the storyline and trying to allow ample time to flesh out the backstory of each considering three of these new characters have only been granted a mere few seconds of screen time in the universe prior. It suffers from an obvious clash of interests (and directors) and after a fairly serious and somewhat bleak tone leading up to this point (something many have complained repeatedly about yet I found to be perfectly fitting) it just doesn’t feel at all organic to have some of these characters start getting sillier or cracking jokes once the biggest threat they’ve ever faced is at their doorstep; if anything one would imagine these individuals taking on a more serious attitude toward the events and not one that’s substantially more happy and carefree. Fellow diehard fans of the DC Comics universe altogether, as well as those that enjoyed the previous entries in the film universe will definitely want to make a point of giving ‘Justice League’ a watch at some point, although it may be best to go in with your expectations in check just to be safe. Those who have been following the recent DC Extended Universe films that preceded ‘Justice League’ but haven’t been overly fond of their tone and style on the other hand just might end up enjoying this one far more than most of the previous entries as a result of its goofier and far more lighthearted tone and approach.
Overall, ‘Justice League’ serves up some stylish and impressive action sequences and a number of solid and memorable moments throughout, yet also falls victim to the change in directors and their accompanying visions, as well as the short runtime with so many new and important characters to establish and a far more goofy and joke-fueled tone and mood which feels painfully unnatural following the pattern set by the previous films within the world. Albeit fairly disappointing for fans such as me who were loving the direction the DC film universe was heading, ‘Justice League’ is nonetheless recommended for fans of the franchise as well as anyone who caught the previous four entries beginning with ‘Man of Steel’. Fans of the series will likely still find the ride worth their time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least, although those that didn’t catch it in theaters may want to check it out before dropping the funds on a blind purchase just to be safe.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Justice League’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a sharp and detailed presentation that consistently delivers aside from a few mild imperfections such as a touch of video noise in a few moments. It holds up admirably even during the numerous fast moving and darkly lit sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to be negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty solid high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should largely please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to consistently send action effects, vehicle activity and characters zipping (or flying) throughout the various channels, along with plenty more, and always still making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds fantastic around every turn and contributes plenty of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Justice League’ includes a pretty decent collection of bonus content that fans of the franchise should enjoy. Included on the release is ‘The Return of Superman’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length) which features two brief Deleted Scenes from the movie, in addition to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Road To Justice’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Heart Of Justice’ (approximately 12 minutes), ‘Technology of the Justice League’ (8 minutes), ‘Justice League: The New Heroes’ (12 minutes), ‘Steppenwolf The Conqueror’ (3 minutes), ‘Suit Up: The Look of the League’ (10 minutes) and 4 ‘Scene Studies’: ‘Revisiting the Amazons’ (3 minutes), ‘Wonder Woman’s Rescue’ (3 minutes), ‘Heroes Park’ (5 minutes) and ‘The Tunnel Battle’ (3 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
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