Thursday, August 6, 2015

Justice League War: Part One, the review

Let me get this out of the way, I'm an old school fan of DC Comics, though I understand cinematic versions and updated versions (new 52) of the characters are out there and applied to modern adaptions, but their spirit should be placed into all media. What I'm saying is when my memory of the past comes into place I'll give you my nostalgia, then my understanding of the character within the film. Again most creative teams want to make their version of the characters or use their dream team or their favorite characters from their favorite creative team. This can be seen as successful with the TV series X-Men from 1992 and Teen Titans from 2003, so I can't blame them for being ambitious in trying to have lightning strike twice.



When I first saw that DC Animation was coming out with a new Justice League movie I was excited. The cover was interesting and the designs well crafted, also an updated version of the team would be a fascinating advancement to the DC Cinematic mythology. Though I've been fooled by covers before, I saw the trailer and was more interested since it reminded me of the Superman: Unbound flick, so I grabbed the film and started up this madness.

With some films I have a threshold of patients, though there was a lot of gorgeously designed and beautifully animated parts of the film, but it came with a price. I stopped enjoying the film and sporadically found parts interesting or entertaining. It took me fourteen minutes and forty-four seconds to want nothing more than to eject the film and move on with my life, though this is the nostalgic part of my brain. The acting was great, though their were roles that didn't match the actor's voice nor the character, nostalgic or otherwise it wasn't masterfully casted, but the cast was amazing. This is the problem I was talking about where they had an idea on paper that was ambitious and interesting, though didn't get the desired execution.

Something that bothered me through out the film was the Animation acting, it didn't match the actor's acting, so if there was something said with emotion it wasn't shown. The storyboard artists (or Animators or Revisionist or Director) seem to have underplayed the emotion of scenes. Though my problems are with the acting during character development and dramatic moments, but action and fluidity of movement were amazing. The choreography is perfect, the balance from scene to scene, punch to punch is just gorgeous. Effects and physics created were beautiful, the skill for the control of the camera is beyond impressive. In a lot of animated movies the creative teams give the illusion of motion, but never play with the weight that the camera moving can imply. Though from time to time the over use of awkward CGI plays into effect and looks out of place, but at other times blends well into the environment.

Comedy was on point in this film, maybe the best gag was with Green Lantern being punched in the face by Darkseid then his minions beating the hell out of him. I'm a big fan of physical comedy and with WB animation there's been some amazing mastery of this genre of humor recently.

The over all feeling was like a gritty version of the "Super Friends", though the awkward tension between characters felt out of place, since they all know that each other are heroes or trying to help people in some way. In life there are moments when meeting people that are new becomes clumsy and trying, this is a film that the viewer knows all of the characters are caring (it's even implied in the film) and would try diplomacy before punching a face. The movie was more like disagreements of turf from some sort of appointed officials, it felt really petty or like the creative team was told actions made better cinema.

Another piece of unneeded immaturity is with all the male characters making awkward teenage romantic advances toward Wonder Woman. When all the heroes start to attack Darkseid it feels more like the Mortal Kombat video game rather than an adventure in the DC Comics realm. Lots of cursing, not sure if they thought that it would make the film more realistic or if they felt that it would make the characters more dark.

Mother Boxes and boom tubes! Love that this was mentioned and used in an interesting way!






Sorry, there's just somethings that swing in out of nowhere and I have to praise those that did it right.

Though the way the army is taken from the battle is poorly handled, they are literally just sucked backwards into the portal to Apokolips. At this point in the movie it feels over used, like cutting the fabric of time and space will cause no effects to the world or universe. The battle continues till Batman finds a way to free hostages on Apokolips and allows Green Lantern to take lead on the offensive for the rest of the team.

After yielding Darkseid's onslaught of the City the group grabs his Mother Box and Cyborg is able to have his Mother Box communicate with it and stop the attack on the City. Using the Motherbox to just grab people from out of nowhere (Deus Ex Machina) they rescued hundreds of people, though thousands were taken from all over the world in different locations from different Mother Boxes. A Mother Box can teleport someone just about anywhere through a boom tube, though most of the time it will be Apokolips (New Genesis is a great place too). It's great to see that this ability was used, though it felt like a red wire on a bomb, cut and everyone is saved. It was too simple for a film that had so much mythology in it, so much potential, and desire to create a film franchise that the ending felt unfulfilled. Also it ends without the name of the DAMNED team being said, they're named by Captain Marvel as the "Super Seven", then credits. I mean, not one of these Justice fighters can think of something that they fight for to name themselves, it's like they have to talk to their agents or P.R. reps to figure out a P.C. name for this group of people that help save lives. Though this reaction to not having a name just solidifies this team has none of the spirit of the original source material.

This is not a film for the old fans of the characters, this is for people that like the new versions of the heroes with none of the history. That's not saying that this is wrong, they are trying to start a new fan-base, a group of people that like edgy versions of characters that they grew up with or their parents grew up reading and watching. It was not a film that I would highly suggest, though for animation study I would show it for understanding how to push emotion and weight in action, in short "what not to do" in a film. Like I stated in the beginning the film for me was too long and focused on too much and too many stories at once, it felt like heads were butting behind the scenes on the direction of this movie. Also this film felt like a reboot movie, not like an original idea, as if to improve on a feature that could have been bettered with modern involvement. Though this is a team that I care for the most, this was not that team in spirit, but I do hope they will try again to capture my favorite Justice Fighters.


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