Going into Justice League, I wanted to like it. Considering the DCEU has struggled to find success and aside from Wonder Woman, the critics have agreed. There have been plenty of issues behind the scenes such as retooling Suicide Squad with the creative minds behind the trailer, hacking the BvS runtime and story, Zack Snyder’s departure due to family issues, and their overall reactive nature to public opinion. The trailer showed a lot of promise, but then again … I fell for the BvS trailers. So I did my beat to temper expectations while still also holding the movie accountable. The end result?
I would give it 8 “Lord of the Ring copycats” out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
Following the death of Superman, the world has been rapidly falling into chaos. This is only worsened when Steppenwolf comes back to Earth for conquest. Batman and Wonder Woman have to unite a rag tag group of warriors in an attempt to save the world.
Directed by: Zack Snyder (and Joss Whedon)
Written by: Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, and Joss Whedon
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jason Mamoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Keaton, J.K. Simmons, and so many more.
Surprisingly there are a lot of strong points! The score was great, the chemistry was phenomenal, and the tone was perfect. I believe the world building and how they showcased plot points / characters was the true standout. Early in the movie, Diana tells Bruce about Steppenwolf and how EVERYONE had to band together in an effort to stop him. There are so many Easter eggs in that Lord of the Rings-esque scene that it was crazy: a Green Lantern, the other Greek gods, Amazonians, Atlantians, maybe some SHAZAM powered people, and several other characters. Showing Barry’s super speed was amazing / innovative while also careful not to mirror Quicksilver’s scenes from X-Men. His humor will end up being a strong selling point or talking point for most viewers. Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s strength was front and center; with formidable fights at that. Of course there is Batman as well, he gets to be a slightly more capable detective and strategist than in the prior movie. Steppenwolf seems to be getting a lot of flack from critics, but he was perfect for this movie and the heroes at this stage.
The CGI just seemed unfinished in a lot of the movie, which was another big issue I had with BvS. Maybe they are thinking more big picture or using different techniques, but it was fairly distracting. The special effects for Cyborg’s body and the location for the final scene were alarmingly noticeable. It doesn’t look like much was done or touched up after the trailers were cut.
Aside from that, there were some plot issues that I will go into further detail after my next viewing. Some non-spoilery examples would be the villain’s reasoning for taking over the bank or the general chaos caused by Superman’s death. He had only been around for a year or so and he didn’t stop crime completely or inspire that much hope … especially considering how quickly people alienated him in BvS.
This is a FANTASTIC movie and gives me hope for DCEU’s future. I even liked it better than Wonder Woman! The movie was quickly paced, wasn’t overly dark / grim, and fun to watch. It is definitely something you will want to watch on the big screen. Heck, I plan on watching it again Saturday.
I struggled with what to recommend for a little bit. The obvious answers are The Avengers or Lord of the Rings, but I wanted something a little less obvious, so I went with Fast Five. Similar to Justice League it saw the two main characters getting a team together for a task bigger than they could individually handle. It also helped bring new life into a franchise that many people were ready to give up on due to failed entries (I personally love them all except 2 Fast 2 Furious). If you have somehow never seen it, then shame on you! It brought the Rock into the series, had an unbelievably fun car chase with a safe, and also had Gal Gadot!