Justice League (2017) – Zack Snyder

Hitting blu-ray this week from Warner Brothers is the latest superhero effort from DC, and it isn’t everything we hoped for, but perhaps its the Justice League film we deserve.

DC has been playing catch up with Marvel for the last decade, despite the fact that they were the go to people for superhero movies in the late 70s and 80s. Starting with Man of Steel, the DCU has been shaky at best, achieving success with Wonder Woman, and floundering and disappointing a lot of fans with Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Now, with the fourth film in the DCU, Warner has decided to go all in and bring the League to the screen in their first team film.

Snyder, who was going through some terrible personal issues at the time seems unable to even bring his ability to create iconic images to the film, and lacks his visual style, to say nothing of his usual lack of character arcs and story.

While it’s great to see the DC trinity, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck) on the big screen the film feels inherently flawed, and rushed. The computer-generated images which dominate the film are obviously fake, and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is jarring every time you see him because he just doesn’t seem real.

Following the death of Superman in the previous film, Batman seems to have forgotten how he felt about things, and realised that Superman brought hope to the world. Now, with the world being threatened by an alien assault led by Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), Bats goes looking for a team to take on the baddies.

Pairing with Wonder Woman, they recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg and Flash (Ezra Miller) and then come up with a fool-proof plan, resurrect Superman to help fight the attackers.

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There’s no real sense of stakes, even when the film tries to sweep out and offer us the occasional action sequence, and it became hard to get invested in the story. And while we’re talking about the action sequences, lets talk about Amazon island. Wonder Woman created a world, and outfitted the women who inhabit Paradise Island in appropriate armour. In this film, all that is thrown out the window and the designs take a huge step backwards. It’s a little disappointing.

It’s obvious where a lot of the reshoots of the film took place, after taking in the success of Wonder Woman, more material with Gadot was added, and of course there was the hoopla involved in Henry Cavill’s moustache having to be digitally removed.

Sure, we’re only four movies into the DCU, but it may be time to reboot it, and take their time and do it right. I’ll always see movies with the Big Three, but I want them to be good.

That being said, the extras on the blu-ray are very enjoyable. There is a look at the history of the Justice League and its origins in the comics, and honestly, that could have gone on for another hour and a half easy – I wanted all the details!

There are looks at the tech of the League, a look at Cyborg, Aquaman and Flash, a breakdown of how some scenes were created, a couple of deleted scenes. In fact all the extras are smart, enjoyable, and could easily have been expanded into full length docs.

I’ll continue to settle in for each and every DCU film, but that doesn’t mean they’re all great. But for comic book fans, this series will continue to be a must have, as it adds to the history of the characters, and for the first time, a live action Justice League is on the screen.

Justice League is available from Warner Brothers and DC Films today!

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