Justice League

November 27th, 2017

by Mark Villarreal – California State University

On a cold winter’s night when plans fall through you have two options: you either lay around until someone saves you from your apartment, or you become the hero; you save yourself. I grabbed my coat off the rack and flashed downstairs leaving my bedroom in all of its wonder. Walking closer towards Santa Maria Novella, my sanctuary in the heart of Firenze’s ghetto faded away into a sweet dream.

The Odeon (bright as always) invited me back into its arms. I think its becoming a second home for me. Its tragic, beautiful, and magical all at the same time. I could say I’m tired of seeing superheroes fly across the screen, or that CGI robots are becoming more of a cliche than french kissing in the rain; but the truth is that its not tiresome, its too old. What happened to the days when superheroes didn’t need a cape to prove themselves worthy of a flashy title and a big budget? ’Wonder Woman’ is an exceptional hero, but so are ‘Dorothy Gale’ and ‘Elle Woods’. I think in the modern age of film, superheroes are defined by their physical capability and not necessarily on their emotional resonance with society. Because when I envision a hero, I think of ‘Philomena’ or ‘Aibileen Clark’; individuals who against all odds achieved the impossible, exuded bravery, and proclaimed strength.

If Hollywood looked at what properly defines a hero, Justice League would be easier to review. So it pains me to say that Justice League is like every other superhero movie before it; entertaining, dumb, foggy, and exhausting. If only DC carefully assessed their films like the spectacular Wonder Woman, we wouldn’t be at this point. But life is short, the night is beautiful, film is a miracle, and I live in Florence. The good thing about sequels is that their original’s legacy can be improved upon, and hopefully that is the case with Justice League. Because seeing ‘Batman’ fight alongside every iconic superhero you read about growing up still gives you goosebumps. No matter how many flaws the film may have, it will always be a treat.

Walking through the lit up streets of Florence I often wonder what being good really means. If I am good in the things I say or believe in; if I am a hero in the way I want to be. We are often caught up in the superficial aspects of the modern age that being self aware and understanding your privilege often get’s lost in the mind. Putting your needs before someone else’s, standing up for what you believe in; thats bravery, thats good, and thats heroism. Coming from a self-proclaimed villain, I’m so much closer to what I don’t want to be.

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