Justice League Review
After seemingly not being able to get out of their own way, DC Films has finally made a movie to win my interest in their DC Extended Universe.
After the pathetic effort put into introducing the new heroes in Batman V. Superman, I didn’t think I would give a damn about them in this movie. Each one of them had a small subplot (something which should have been in previous films) that made me actually give a damn. The chemistry between the heroes is one of the surprising bright spots in Justice League. You can tell the movie was trying to make up for past mistakes. Despite some plot holes, questionable editing, and inconsistent CGI quality, Justice League will give you just enough entertainment.
Let’s be honest, the DC movie universe was rushed. Because of this, certain scenes in this movie don’t have the impact they should. One example is when all the heroes join forces for the first time. It simply doesn’t come close to the moment in the first Avengers movie. Marvel put the time in to build up to that moment to make you care. That’s not to say Justice League’s attempt was bad, it’s just now scenes such as those are held to a higher standard. What I did enjoy was the friction between the heroes when they were trying to form the League. These scenes were anywhere from decent to downright superb. Without spoiling too much, the scene where a certain superhero puts the fear of God in the Flash made me laugh my ass off.
Several months after Batman V Superman. The Gotham Knight is seeking allies to battle the imminent cosmic invasion. The opening scene of him trying to capture an alien drone (Parademon) was clever, but letting a criminal he used for bait go, seemed rather un-Batman like. With help from Wonder Woman, he recruits Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg to prevent the alien invader Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons from taking over the world. A surprised filled flashback scene shows explains how he was denied in the past.
Steppenwolf needed to be more established in my opinion. I would have liked to have seen this antagonist have a little more time to shine considering he is taking on the entire league. His machination of taking over the planet was rather generic. Unfortunately the combination of these two screams mediocrity. You’d think after all the comic book movies that have been made, there would be a more insidious plot. It’s plain lazy writing. When Joss Whedon took over as director, he chose to cut the movie time a bit. I’m hoping a director’s cut will be released so we can see what was left on the cutting room floor. Speaking of cutting, a few of the scene transitions seemed like it was done by a fourth grader. The jump from the end of the final battle to the group superhero pose was so poorly done it made me laugh.
Some of the special effects had me scratching my head. Justice League seems to deliver the difficult effects rather well, but simple things look suspect. I don’t understand how you can have Flash’s CGI scenes look perfect, but scenes such as Superman levitating, or Aquaman smashing into a wall look fake. What’s up with that? I doubt they couldn’t afford the upgrade.
The trials and turbulations of the Justice League face before the final battle is the shinning gem in this film. Flash (Ezra Miller) was by far my favorite character during this journey. He doesn’t act like the rest of the heroes. He’s afraid and has a humorous way of admitting it with his words and actions. When he is scared, his eyes will let you know. Every scene he is in pretty much made me want to see more of him. Though his abilities are amazing, he came across as the most “human” of the heroes.
I suppose movies such as these need a loner character, and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) without a doubt takes the bull by the horns. Some times less is more, and the movie gave me just enough about his connection to Atlantis to earn my interest for his upcoming solo movie. I didn’t care much for his “come at me bro” persona, but he had moments in the film that made him likable.
My least favorite character going in and leaving was Cyborg (Ray Fisher). It’s just a personal preference; I never really cared for the character in the comics. That being said, he played the character well with what he had to work with. He doesn’t get along with Aquaman in the film, and I think more interactions with him would have helped his character growth. He’s not boring, I just feel he needed more time to be established then any of the other heroes.
Once again Gal Gadot owns the Wonder Woman role. She’s the anchor of the group who has good chemistry with everyone. It was a nice touch for the movie to bring up the events of her solo film. She had a couple good quotes, and pulls a humorous prank on Aquaman that will make any DC cynic chuckle. She’s the DCEU’s golden goose, and I can’t imagine anyone else in that role.
Batman (Ben Affleck) is nothing to write home about. He’s not bad, but his character is different from how he’s suppose to be. Every time I see Batman in a live action movie he’s portrayed nicer than he really is. People need to realize Batman is an asshole. Heroes respect him, but they know he’s anti-social and doesn’t trust anyone. He wouldn’t be the person trying to get a team together, and he wouldn’t be making jokes either. There’s only one scene in Justice League that came close to showing how much of a dick he is. If you’re wondering how nasty Batman gets, he says something to Wonder Woman that produced a punch as a retort. The movie needed more of that, instead we are given a watered down Tony Stark.
Everyone and their mother knew Superman (Henry Cavill) was coming back to life, but the way it was done had me scratching my head considering Batman V Superman’s ending. It’s a minor plot hole which was really easy to avoid. It was nice to see Superman open up a can of whoop ass to save the day. I also laughed at some of his one liners. I can’t remember the last time the Man of Steel made me chuckle.
Justice League’s biggest flaw is also its most redeeming factor. The movie focuses so much on people who should already be established rather than the villain and his machinations. JL is the best movie in this DCEU, but there is a great deal of room for improvement.
DON’T FORGET TO WATCH THE TWO END CREDIT SCENES!!!!!!