The DCEU has had a rough time finding critical success. However it must be pointed out that sometimes critics do not get it right and this was one of those times. Of course most films are not without flaw but Justice League definitely served up a fun film with some much needed intros for the rest of the DCEU mainstays.
Early on it felt like it was going to become another Batman and Wonder Woman film but as the film began to develop it certainly became deeper than that. Each member of the team has their demons and will face those demons most likely but this was not the time for that. This was a time for banding together and saving the world and the team was up for the challenge.
The Flash has always been one of my favorite DC heroes and it always had me worried that a different actor was going to play him on the big screen than in the show. Ezra Miller is a fine young actor but the early previews left Barry looking childish and immature. The film did display some behavior of that nature but explained it away by having Barry not fully understanding his powers yet. He is still young, still struggling in life and still coming to terms with the idea that he is in fact a meta human. Barry was displayed as the Rookie of the team without a full grasp of what he can do or for that matter what he will do within the universe (multiple worlds included). For now Miller created a more eccentric Barry who for one reason or another before Bruce showed up was living in an abandonned building and was a one man crew. An important name in Barrys future was dropped several times and that was Star Labs. The decision to avoid inclusion of Star Labs baffled me a bit because of the overt name drops and the mention of the leader of at Star Labs. Any fan knows what that means in the larger world of the Flash so I am most definitely excited about The Flash resurfacing soon in the DCEU.
Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot continued to be the main focus with both of them doing a great job of Co-Leaders of the group. Affleck is definitely leaning towards The Dark Knight Returns style as an older aging Batman who is coming to terms with his own physical limitations and mortality. Diana Prince is probably the best developped hero thus far and is definitely a bad ass warrior. Arthur Currie will most likely get more development in his own film which makes sense to not waste time on most of his story here. His action scenes were fantastic and how cool was Amber Heard as Mera? Great job making us want more of the one hero whose film is near complete. Cyborg was unfortunately the one character who did little to help improve or hinder the film which ultimately makes him a throw away character who would serve best as an assist to the others moving forward and not a character worthy of having his own film before many of the others.
It is safe to say DC has taken the reverse Marvel approach and got the team up out of the way and will now venture back into solo outings which definitely cannot hurt in anyway. If you have been following DC for the past 20 years or more when you hear Ezra Miller talk about Flashpoint you know what that word means for the future. We know that the threats to this world will not stop and one of the Justice Leagues greatest foes was teased during the post credits scene (the other was a debated issue for years but real fans know who the real winner would be. Hint hint it’s the meta and not the Kryptonian).
No disrespect to Zack Snyder but bringing in Joss Whedon to help was definitely evident in the film. Whedon has a tendency to mix dark drama with even darker humour and that adds a layer of fun and complexity to some over simplified plots. Steppenwolf was a throw away villain in the same vain that Cyborg seemed like a throwaway member of the League. He was designed to be a strong foe but not one we ever felt was in danger of making a lasting impact on the world itself. There is definitely a sense of what is to come and there has to be more. The biggest flaw of Justice League was the two hour run time felt to quick and there was not enough investment in a greater fight. Justice League had so many characters that tried to break new ground and keep the fans excited but beyond the Flash most of them had pacing issues. It should have ended on more of a cliffhanger style ending which would set up for the next round of films.
Justice League better get strong reviews from early audience goers or the film may be in jeopardy of turning a profit which would definitely hinder the future of the DCEU and the strong stories that should be coming soon. The only problem with Justice League is that the effort to start a universe may come much later than it should have.
Zack Snyder tends to focus on the darker aspects of film making relying on heavy dialogue and old school noir style shadowing to create darker more brooding heroes. It is good to finally see a lighter approach that hopefully the film keeps moving forward.
This is not a film for those who don’t know the history of DC and what their heroes can do. It is a film for long time fans to get acquainted with their favorite heroes or new versions of their beloved characters.
Acting- 9/10- Affleck and Gadot were expected to keep up the tradition of being good in their respective roles and there was a scene that showcased the two of them well together. Ezra Miller stole the show as the best of the new introductees and I am definitely looking forward to more from him as Barry Allen aka The Flash. Everyone did the part right down to the minor roles and it gave a good end result.
Visuals- 8.5/10- Some of the CGI on Cyborg looked a little fake but the action scenes were top notch allowing us to see the strengths of each character on display in a badass action scene. The end fight was great and everything looked smooth and cool during the fight scenes.
Writing- 8.5/10- Zack Snyder once again was aiming for a darker more aggressive tone but the script ended up with some brilliant quips from Barry Allen and even most of the others had their light moments to shine with brilliance.
Overall Score- 9/10- It was one hell of an action movie with mostly great visual affects about my favorite team of heroes. What is there not to love. Sometimes the majority of critics just don’t know a great film when they see one. Take my word for it, Justice League is one totally badass bigscreen adventure.