Justice League (2017) – Movie Review

justiceleague

I went into Justice League, DC’S most recent grab at Marvel’s success, with trepidation. Other than Wonder Woman, each DCEU film has left me somewhere between “meh” and “ugh”. Even when Joss Whedon (Avengers) came in to help a grieving Snyder finish the movie, their exponentially different styles worried me, and that worry was mostly justified. Yes, Whedon’s wit does bring a welcome shine to the gloomy proceedings and, unlike Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, keeps this movie from being an all-out slog. Still, it’s an awkward epic that can’t overcome the franchise’s dark doldrums. Just like every other superhero movie ever made, a charisma-less and bland villain with limitless power appears, bent on destroying Earth because of “reasons”. Superman still dead, the world must depend on lesser heroes to save them. Affleck is still a pretty good Batman, Flash is light-hearted fun, Aquaman is kinda cool, Cyborg is dull and dour, and Wonder Woman is still the standout. There are still certainly some interesting moments between the characters, but they’re mostly overshadowed by superhero-ethic clichés, stupid drama, bad CGI, and nonsensical logic (why are these guys such quick allies?) There really is just so much that doesn’t work: specific jokes, bad visuals, interpersonal relationships, muddy action, plot predictability. The main problem, though, is that DC and Warner Bros. think, through their previous films, they’ve given us enough reasons to care about this universe, and they haven’t. The positives here, mainly just seeing these heroes together on-screen, have left me mildly curious about the future of the franchise, but only barely. Otherwise, Justice League is easily the worst superhero movie of the year.

 

2 out of 5 stars

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3 Days to Kill (2014) – Movie Review

I’m not quite sure what this movie set out to be – a serious CIA thriller, another Bourne/Reacher/Ryan attempt to duplicate what James Bond achieved and spawn a remarkable franchise, or a slapstick comedy that didn’t take itself too seriously, but delighted in the thrill of action and explosions in the same manner as films like Die Hard, Mr and Mrs Smith or This Means War did. But whatever its intention was, it failed.

Starting off as a set up to what could be a serious albeit cliched film – the journeyman agent, the one evil genius still at large, that one last job before calling it a day – the film quickly loses itself in a way that it never quite recovers from. With a wooden performance by Amber Heard, and scenes and dialogue that belong in a Robert Rodriguez film, 3 Days to Kill never lives up to the potential of what it could’ve been. Not quite action, not quite spy thriller, not quite comedy, and so many botched attempts at sentimentality that it becomes almost like a soap opera in its execution.

A solid performance by Kevin Costner, who’s gone along the lines of Liam Neeson in perfecting the senior bad ass role, but even Costner wasn’t enough to give this film plausability. I’ve watched it once and I think that was enough.

 

4 out of 10 stars

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