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Justice League Movie Review (2017) | An Undercooked Meal But Not Insipid

Justice League movie is entertaining nevertheless a slight step down from all the standards DC had set in the past, and I am simply ruling Suicide Squad out from the squad. With Nolan nowhere in sight, it is quite apparent, we are not going to get the DC movie we all want. So we are not looking for Nolanish elements anymore frankly, but something to satiate that fanboy zest in us at least. Really, to be honest, we have learnt to make do!

The Justice League movie feels like an undercooked meal primarily because you don’t see your favorite superheroes getting proper justice. They get eclipsed a lot and feel helpless against an enemy they don’t understand. Whilst the movie packs in theatrics galore, at times you feel its CGI fidgeting (don’t even get me started on the moustache thing), and feel it galloping quickly towards an ending.

While there are directors who drench you ‘in the moment’ to let you feel the horror and the pain, Zack Snyder, on the other hand, runs away from it. He does the exact opposite of what he did with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice keeping all the gravitas at bay.

still of Justice League movie

The movie’s editing becomes really questionable towards the end, and you see it flailing and breaking into pieces. Most of the action scenes were already there in the trailers, and it feels like you have already seen the better parts of the movie in the trailers itself. With Hans Zimmer nowhere around for rescue, the music department badly gets affected too. Danny Elfman fails to impress much.

The good thing, however, is that the League gets formed. They have set their temporary HQ and are ready to take more projects.

When you look at the flick’s action bit, it’s all brilliantly done. Entertains you enough with some of the best parts hiding in the middle of the movie. The story is good too, well fabricated to keep you riveted at all times.

There are heroes among us. Not to make us feel smaller, but to remind us of what makes us great.

Let’s quickly move to the spoilers part because talking about it will give away the essence of the story.

Plot of Justice League Movie (Spoilers)

With BvS opening all gates of doom (forget that Martha bit for a minute) to allow villainous elements like Steppenwolf to step in, the story of Justice League movie was already onto something.

No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others.

So why is Steppenwolf really here? That’s what forms the basis of the Justice League movie story.

The Backstory

Batman tries to capture a Parademon flying around in Gotham who fed on people’s fears. As he vanishes, a trail of three boxes, paints itself on the wall, later revealed to be Mother Boxes. Steppenwolf and his Parademons are after these boxes who are trying to once again remake Earth, a failed attempt that was foiled thousands of years ago by the Amazonians, the Lanterns, the Olympians and the humans, who fought side by side. The mother boxes were separated from each other and placed at different locations.

Steppenwolf successfully retrieves the first Mother Box from Themyscira, as Hippolyta warns Diana of the impending danger. Diana approaches Bruce Wayne to brief him about it, as they try to contact other metahumans Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Barry Allen (Flash) and Victor Stone (Cyborg) in order to form a team to fight Steppenwolf. Curry and Stone refuse and Flash says yes without a second thought, the geek boy he is.

I eat a lot of snacks to fill this black hole. I’m a snack hole!

Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis where the second mother box is located forcing Aquaman to join the league. Stone agrees when he finds out his father Silas is kidnapped along with other S.T.A.R. labs employees.

Justice League movie stills Silas STAR Labs

With the help of Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) the League tags the employees to an underground tunnel. An epic battle ensues as they manage to rescue the employees, however, fail to defeat Steppenwolf and his army. The resultant fight floods the tunnel with water as Aquaman intervenes just in the nick of time to allow them to escape.

Failing to stop Steppenwolf by themselves, everyone agrees to Plan B of resurrecting Superman by using the third Mother Box that Victor had already with him. With a contingency plan up in Batsy’s sleeves, Mother Box is charged up by Flash to bring the Kryptonian back to life.

The Death and Return of Superman

While the DCEU’s version of the death and the return of Superman plays a little different, it isn’t entirely bad. While it sped things up with Doomsday, bringing him in and then killing Sups in BvS’s eventuality, the return of Superman was once again hastened. But to abate things down, his return is lathed with sheer badassery.

You won’t let me live, you won’t let me die.

When Superman returns he is all whacked up, struggling with his memories, and he finds Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg right in front of him. He is already eyeing them as a threat, when Cyborg does an accidental friendly fire of reassurance. A war ensues as Superman delivers some of the best action scenes the movie has right then and there.

Flash vs Superman

That isn’t even the best part. It is when Flash is trying to move past Superman as Sups turns in slo-mo to look at him go whaaaaaat? Hands down the best scene in the movie!

When he finds Batsy and is about to shatter him to pieces, in those moments you realize how vulnerable Batman is.

Do you bleed?

It is as if in a way trying to justify all the ass-kicking Batsy did in BvS. It was like Zack Snyder decided to lift the curfew for Superman once, and said – “Go have a shot at him now Sups.”

But the contingency plan is what every Beast falls to – The Beauty. Read this interesting case study of Hulk and Betty Ross’s relationship in case you are scratching your head, why?

And another doomsday gets contained. He then flies with Lois Lane back to Small Ville to see his mother and to recover his lost memories.

Amidst all the chaos, Steppenwolf steps in and takes away the third mother box. That sneaky bastard!

The Final Clash

Locating Steppenwolf and his army in Russia, the rest of the team go all in. They fight the Parademons and try to ward off Steppenwolf’s plan of creating his own world by joining the Mother Boxes. While Steppenwolf was busy giving the Justice League a hard time, Superman joins the team and bashes Steppenwolf to pulp. Steppenwolf, for the first time, experiences fear himself, forcing his own Parademons to turn against him.

Remember how they sniffed fear? Well, no, right? That wasn’t shown enough.

He disappears into the portal he came from along with the Parademons as the Justice League rejoices in their debut victory as a team.

Wayne Manor is declared the Headquarters for the team’s operations as they carry on with their lives.

We have two post-credit scenes here. The first one showing the kick off to that one debatable race between Superman and Flash, leaving the audience once again fighting amongst themselves for “Who’s the fastest?” The second one is Lex Luthor‘s escape where we see him inviting Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson to make a legion of their own. You guessed it right Injustice League. That epic team of supervillains! \m/

Superman’s Justice League Movie

The way Superman is projected in the Justice League movie, it feels as if he was capable of handling things all on his own. None of the superheroes could do substantial damage to the main antagonist. It is true that the Justice League is incomplete without Superman but unfortunately the whole flick gets judged by his addition.

still of Superman in justice league movie

Whilst Batman goes suicidal at times, you can’t help but realize how ineffectual he stays for most of the parts. You wanted a good solid Snyder standalone tete-a-tete with Batman as was shown in BvS, but unfortunately, this movie becomes all about Superman.

Batsy, au contraire, does heroic things from his mouth sometimes slipping in beautiful advice like this one to a reluctant Flash:

Batman: Save one person.
Flash: And then?
Batman: Then you will know.

It was good.

Other Misses

While there were stories to be retold, something we had already seen the prequel stumble with, Justice League movie tries to do that all over again. Every superhero’s story that nerds already know about (not everyone) get subtly told. Aquaman’s tale however directly dived into it quite unconvincingly. I am guessing we have a solo movie on the cards, probably that’s why.

It’s good that we haven’t been including Green Lantern or the Martian Manhunter so far, or nothing could have stopped it from becoming a catastrophic hotchpotch all over again.

At the end of it all, however, you feel justice hasn’t been really done to your favorite characters. Batsy has been eclipsed way too much in front of Superman, and the Man of Steel literally shines out as everyone’s sole saviour, making every other superhero feel pointless.

Steppenwolf doesn’t create a memorable villain either. You will remember him as the guy who got his ass kicked by Superman. While we expected a lot of villainy from Steppenwolf, he had no master plan or surprises up his sleeves.

Steppenwolf in Justice League movie

With Steppenwolf’s dud trial, the movie seems like a stepping stone. That’s exactly what it feels like – a ladder to help you climb a gradually building universe. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you look at it in a positive way. At least we are building DCEU.

The Final Verdict

Justice League movie might not be the best of DC’s work, but it feels like a satisfying comic read that fills you up with knowledge. The movie is saved mostly by its storyline which is like a nicely written tale if not climactic.

To be honest with you, there’s nothing like the animated movie edition of Justice League: The Complete Series, that made me fall in love with the league in the first place. You can order it from here:


While we will find some really good directors to helm our favorite characters properly, sometimes we won’t. But the good thing remains, we are chugging forward with our DCEU, even though it feels like a dodgy start.  It’s good that we have quickly picked up the pace.

I really hope solo movies do them all justice in the long run. Keeping fingers crossed.

Check out the trailer of Justice League movie:

Silence Movie Review (2016) | Ripping for the Faithful | Debatable for the Faithless

The passion project of Martin Scorsese finally comes to fruition. It took him 25 years to carve this beauty, and Silence Movie is in every way abounding with all the right emotions that we expected from it. The movie is based on the eponymous novel by Shusaku Endo and is about two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan to find Father Ferreira, their mentor, at the same time spread Christianity in a chaotic land where Christian priests are unwelcome.

The flick is a spiritual sojourn where it tries to quest for humanity in a place and time that objects to new teachings and principles. Japan was ruled by a tyrant then who was bent on uprooting any kind of alien dissonance from its soil. Religion being one of those major issues that stood at his cross-hairs. The movie is driven forward by powerful performances by Andrew Garfield, Liam NeesonIssei Ogata and Yosuke Kubozuka.

Direction of Silence Movie (Spoilers)

Scorsese is hands down one of the best in the business. And he keeps reminding everybody of that every now and then with his superlative direction. The movie captures minutiae of life, creates real tension forcing us to relive it as if we were right there surrounded by some serious agitation. It shows an inhumane past of Japan that one shudders at the very thought of leading a life in that era.

He recreates crucifixion so powerfully that it draws out instant pathos from you, crushing you under the weight of emotions. Even when he builds up dispensable characters, he makes them so concrete that it becomes really hard to part with when time comes.

silence movie character image of Shin'ya Tsukamoto as Mokichi

There are some brilliant diegetic moments scooched in, wherein Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) writes to Father Valignano (Ciaran Hinds) home and reads his thoughts through his letters. Then at times he speaks directly to God. They are so brilliantly written that you can’t help but empathize immensely with the protagonist.

The wait of your silence is terrible. I pray but I’m lost. Or am I just praying to nothing? Nothing. Because you’re not there.

Martin Scorsese also has that unpredictability quotient that we never see coming. We hope perversion relents, we hope heads wouldn’t roll but the fact is – you never know. The deafening silence of its melodrama is hard to fathom. You just keep hoping to hear a voice, throughout the Silence movie just like Rodrigues himself, but you know life’s like that.

Kichijiro’s Character

There is this unique character Kichijiro played amazingly well by Yosuke Kubozuka. You can’t help but wonder about his presence in the movie. His story runs parallel to Rodrigues’ hunt to find Ferreira and on more than one occasions he betrays him and his own people. He apostates continuously and bounces back to confess his sin. He is constantly asking for forgiveness from Rodrigues, who keeps forgiving him for his sinful acts.

At one point he has been compared to none other than Judas. His sins are terrible and when you really try to figure him out, you understand he is nothing but a common man who is just trying to get by when things go south. At the same time, there is guilt in him. He is truly sorry for his acts but ends up repeating his mistakes when a challenging time comes. Kichijiro is just a weak man caught in a wild place. He has suffered profusely and he suffers every second of his life with guilt.

Importance

If you notice carefully you would realize how he never leaves Rodrigues at all, always winding up at his door asking for forgiveness.  There is one scene in the end where Kichijiro tries to illuminate that flicker of faith back in Rodrigues even after he has apostatized.

I suffered beside you. I was never silent.

The above voice goes in the backdrop showing Kichijiro in the frame. It’s the voice of God speaking to Rodrigues once again trying to reason with him, telling him it was alright.

still of Yôsuke Kubozuka as Kichijiro in Silence Movie

Even though Kichijiro had been a sinful man he teaches Rodrigues one important lesson. That despite apostatizing and renouncing God, you can always come back to Him because He always forgives. Something Rodrigues wasn’t sure about after he had apostatized.

It was in the silence that I heard your voice.

The Silence movie ends the way it had started, in silence, with sounds of nature all around, implying silence is never there after all. That all you gotta do is listen.

You can order Silence Movie from here:

The Raging Debate

While at a time where religion was trying to spread its wings in every corner of the world, this might have seemed quite okayish to exist, but in times like today, it ends up becoming one of the most controversial chapters ever. If you look at the movie cynically, you realize what were Father Ferreira, Rodrigues and Garupe (Adam Driver) trying to do anyway? Weren’t they trying to spread Christianity, forcing a religion on people? Whilst the Japanese Inquisitor confirmed the existence of Buddhism in their country, weren’t they still bent on giving a country a taste of their own medicine?

Then you see what that Inquisitor was doing after all. Wasn’t he killing his own people in the end, trying to apostate a foreign guy? What kind of ruler does that? Okay, don’t answer that, a bad one, I know. But still people are being killed in the name of religion. Was everyone blind to that? Why are people so terribly blinded they fail to see what’s beyond religion?

Atheist Much?

If you drift further away from religion here, if you are an atheist, then the very idea of it would seem quite absurd. First of all, you are trying to force a religion on someone, then because of your ideals you are getting people killed. Hadn’t any of the foreign priests stepped on their land in the first place, the massacre could have been entirely avoided. Even Rodrigues confesses to that idea secretly when he tells Garupe about how he felt.

Then again what is a religion if not a set of code of conducts and moral values to keep people in check? We created it for our own convenience. Like Marvel and DC stories are in vogue today, it might as well be a religion for some. Okay leaving this ceaseless debatable thread open right here.

Signs of Faith

Then there is that insanity of valuing things like fumi-e that are mere stones and wood that are considered as gifts from God.

They value these poor signs of faith more than faith itself.

While to some this might sound justified, but to non-believers this is really hard to gobble. Your inability to step on a mere rock is getting someone killed. If there is an even an ounce of compassion in you for another fellow being, you would do it eyes closed. How hard is that to fathom? Isn’t compassion, humility, and fraternity above God? Does God teach you to make his idols and objects and demand of you to treat Him with such reverence? If there was a God He wouldn’t ask you to be so foolish. He would willingly ask you to step on Him if you can’t help it.

Does God teach you to make his idols and objects and demand of you to treat Him with such reverence? If there was a God He wouldn’t ask you to be so naive. He would willingly ask you to step on Him if you can’t help it.

I think that’s what happened to Rodrigues when he chose to listen. That voice of God was nothing but his very own reasoning for himself, where he accepted renouncing God with a heavy heart.

The Final Verdict

I understand the Silence movie was supposed to be watched keeping faith in heart. But for those who have none, if you really look at it, the amount of torture, killing and mass murder that happened in the name of religion is simply appalling. I guess, it could have been avoided too. It is as if killing someone because someone chooses to believe in Superman‘s existence, and that I think is highly unacceptable.

In a world where we judge everything by our own conscience, by passing everything on the belts of morality, I think a movie like Silence poses a serious question. Why are we so blind? But if you get under the skin of Rodrigues, a dogged guy who cannot be moved from his beliefs, you begin to feel for him. You begin to empathize and when you do, it is hard not to cry. There are blood-curdling moments strewn all across the flick that ensures you leave the theaters teary eyed.

Wicked characters like that of the Old Samurai played by Issei Ogata, provide a convincing spread on the Endo story. The Silence movie ends up becoming a really powerful wrap capable of existing sturdily on its own sans the God factor.

It’s just the doctrine that it fights for might not be the same for everyone out there.

You can check out the trailer of Silence Movie here: