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The Justice League: What Happened to Character Development?

Spandana Janapati, Staff Writer

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SPOILER ALERT (kind of)

Science fiction, fantasy, and action. A combination of genres that concoct the best kind of movies with just the right amount of teamwork, fight scenes, and an overwhelming amount of emotions that will leave you feeling lost and confused days after. When you think of these three genres, you imagine a galactic space war (probably Star Wars, let’s be honest here) with huge machine guns and misfit protagonists and their band of friends running wild trying to save the universe. This is exactly what Justice League is. The film, directed by Zack Snyder and based off of a book by DC Comics, debuted in theatres on November 17th with a bang nobody was expecting. Justice League is about Darkseid Steppenwolf (the villain) who was brought back to Earth after the death of Superman to put the mother boxes together so that he could have revenge. Batman assembles a team of the best heroes he can find, which includes Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg and -SPOILER ALERT- Superman, in order to defeat Steppenwolf and save the world from impending doom.

 

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty details of the movie starting with the trailer, of course. The trailer started off with the devastating death of Superman and the world mourning his loss. Quickly, it moved on with some quite impressive slow fight scenes from Wonder Woman and a record number of explosions, letting viewers know that the movie was going to be packed with action. What I liked most, however, was the incorporation of humor through Ezra Miller’s relatable excitement in being a part of the Justice League as the Flash. I’m almost sure that that is how anyone would act if they got to save the world alongside Batman and Wonder Woman. As a viewer, I was quite excited for the real story.

 

 

Sadly, the movie was a disappointment. Maybe I was imagining that the movie would be like the Avengers, but it was far more disappointing. As someone who has seen Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, I have already been introduced to those characters and their background. But the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman were only introduced to viewers in the first 20 minutes of the movie, so they didn’t have time to develop their characters to bring more reality to the way all the superheroes work together as a team. On a side note, what happened to Aquaman and his, I don’t know, powers? I might not have read the actual comic, but I’m pretty sure that Aquaman does more than jump around stabbing things with his trident.

 

Also, the main plot of the movie was fairly confusing with a rushed intro into Steppenwolf’s character with no clear indication of why he wanted the mother boxes. The movie poorly illustrated what its main plot should have been, which was Steppenwolf’s revenge, and instead focused more on the resurrection of Superman. While I’m glad to know that Superman is alive and will be a part of the team, the movie made it seem like Batman was weak and unable to lead because he was second best to Superman. While the whole Batman vs. Superman is a huge controversy, I think that Batman’s character should have – to put it simply – grow a backbone. He has been a successful hero in the past, and he should have been able to lead or at least direct the team, since he was the one who came up with the idea to assemble a team of heroes. But no – he planned to resurrect Superman for a majority of the movie instead of actually stopping the villain at hand, which got viewers confused about what the whole point of the movie was.

 

Let’s not even get started with the family living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by Steppenwolf’s army just waiting for the Justice League to come and save them. What was the significance of this family? Did they move the plot along? Not really. Were they vital in bringing back Superman? No again. There was no purpose for the characters to be introduced other than the fact that the movie had to give the Flash something to do while the “bigger and better superheros” handled the real villain.

 

Overall, there was a lot the movie could have improved on, but the funny moments (thank you Ezra Miller) made the experience more tolerable. I don’t recommend that you watch this movie if you are looking for the Avengers in the Justice League. But if you just want to become more attached to Wonder Woman’s character, go for it.  

 

    

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