Movie Review: Justice League

Note:  Yes, this is incredibly late.  I know that.

Justice League is the latest movie in the DC Extended Universe, which started with Man of Steel.  It stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavil Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa and Ray Fisher, amongst others.  It was directed by Zack Snyder, with an assist from Joss Whedon.  It came out in theatres on 17 Nov 17 in North America.

Justice League takes place after the events of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, with Superman dead and Batman and Wonder Woman looking for the three super beings that were being watched by Lex Luthor,  They suspect a new threat is  coming, and they will need to work together to stop it.

The threat comes in the form of Steppenwolf, a New God from the planet Apokolips, who, with his army of Parademons, intend to conquer the word and turn it in to a hellish landscape like their home world.  This was not Steppenwolf’s first time trying to conquer earth:  thousands of years ago, an alliance of humans, Atlanteans, gods, Amazons and aliens (Green Lanterns) forced him back.  They managed to capture his doomsday weapon and separated it into three parts called Mother Boxes.  The human champions, the Atlanteans, and the Amazons were all  given a box to hide.  The one that the human champions took had been lost, however, only to be discovered in the present, which drew Steppenwolf back to Earth.

Now. Batman, Wonder Woman and three untested heroes; Arthur Curry, the Aquaman; Barry Allen, The Flash; and Victor Stone, Cyborg must face a god and his army from beyond.  Steppenwolf doesn’t see to care, because with ‘No Kryptonians, no Lanterns,” he believes the world will fall.  Can the heroes stop him?  Or will they need to find away to bring back their fallen protector?

This movie has been the subject of a lot of debate. With Warner Bros trying to fast track a “Shared Universe” for its DC Entertainment superheroes as was done for Marvel they seem to want to jam a lot in these movies.  While I believe Man of Steel was necessarily darker to give us a Superman who is not perfect, Batman v Superman was consumed with its darkness, trying to mimic comics from twenty to thirty years ago without the shared history between the characters that fueled those stories.  Wonder Woman was the highlight of that movie and she wasn’t even in the title.  Her solo movie proved that there is room for levity in these “serious comic book movies” (as had been shown in the Marvel movies.)  They have seemed to have learnt that lesson.

The acting was overall good.  Ben Affleck, despite was most want to believe, is a good Batman.  He has some pretty fully interactions with Aquaman when they meet and is less murder-y with the crooks of Gotham (the Parademons dont’ count as that is an invasion) and Affleck plays the weariness of years of crime fighting well.  I want to see more Bat-Fleck in a solo outing to get that history.  Gal Gadot is perfect as Wonder Woman.  SHe represents Wonder Woman in a different way than in the past, playing up the warrior/Amazon side of the character.  And that accent…mmm.  Lynda Carter is still my #1 Wonder Woman, but the more I see Gal, the more I like her in the role.

Out of the rest of the cast, Jason Momoa is the favorite..  His Aquaman is a bad ass, echoing his comic book series during the mid to late 90’s.  The character of Aquaman is frequently the butt of jokes but Jason Momoa’s version may change that, if his solo film is handed right.  Ezra Miller’s flash is much different from what the character has been protrayed as in the comics (and the Flash TV series), being a computer/tech whiz and a fast talker (with fits, in a way)  His Flash suit is great, though and he grew on me as character.  CYborg, played by Ray Wise seemed to have the less character development, but needed it the most.  They touched upon how his father used a Mother Box to save his life, and his reluctance to team up, but he needs to be fleshed out.  Let’s not forget about Henry Cavil who plays Superman who… is dead.  Yes.  Best portrayal of a corpse since Weekend at Bernie’s?

Supporting cast wise, we have Amy Adams back as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Ma Kent, and Connie Nielson as Hippolyta.  J.K. Simmons portrays Commisioner Gordan, making it two comic book supporting characters under his belt (first being J. Jonah Jameson in the Rami Spider-Man trilogy), and Jeremy Irons comes back as Alfred Pennyworth, who seems a bit less sick of Bruce’s shit.  Steppenwolf is played by Ciarán Hinds, who used motion capture to portray the villain.  Steppenwolf’s look is based on his more recent incarnation, which, admittedly is better than the green outfit he wore originally.  I prefer the redesign Jack Kirby did for the Super Powers toy line, myself.

I found the movie good.  I think is it a step in the right direction that the DCEU must take, as long as the suits don’t mess it up trying to reproduce Marvel’s success without the effort and output.  We still have the issue of Eisenburg as Lex Luthor (who they yet to get right in the movies) but perhaps they could recast?  Make the Luthor we saw Alexander Luthor Junior?.  We at least have Aquaman to look forward to and I hope the positive changes for this franchise follows that movie in its production.

Still, while DC‘s products do better on the small screen (Batman:TAS is better than any Marvel made for TV cartoon and the Arrowverse is doing well compared to Agents of Shield) Marvel is the king of the box office.  Warner Bros can change this, but they got to put in the work

 

Justice League is in theatres.

3/5

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Author: xcalibar25

One man on a never-ending quest against mediocrity.

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