Justice League is the 5th entry in the DCEU about a group of heroes, including Batman, Superman, the Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman, who together must fight to defend earth from Steppenwolf, a member of Darkseid’s Elite. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Jason Mamoa, Ray Fisher, and Henry Cavill.
First off I will admit that I was one of the very many that did not enjoy Batman Vs Superman last year, but I absolutely loved Wonder Woman, so I was very optimistic at what this film could offer. The first thing I noticed about this film was how lighthearted it was. The film contains a very solid story that I feel could’ve worked with a darker tone to it that you might imagine from Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. It has a good story that holds together and is consistent enough to keep you interest for the 2 hour run time.
The film has great action sequences that run about the entire third act it seems like, but does have many others thrown in throughout the film. If you are a fan of Superman you will love this movie. This film brings back Superman in the best way possible and showcases him in the best way imaginable. The best aspect of this is they don’t introduce him too early in the film where he would shadow some of the other characters which I think was a good choice.
With an ensemble film like this it would be hard to imagine someone who didn’t get stuck in the background. Often times the two who really felt like were stuck in the background were Aquaman and Cyborg. They do a great job portraying the characters but often times feels like they’re only a tool for certain scenes. As many of you may have seen Spider Man Homecoming this year there was one phrase from that movie that has sort of made me remember the character of Ned, “The guy in the chair”. The guy in the chair was essentially his way of wanting to help out Spider Man without being a part of the action. In Justice League, Cyborg feels a lot like “The Guy in the Chair”, he often times gets left in the background and is only used for what is usually tech stuff, finding out locations, calculating things. Whereas during the action sequences he really didn’t do much. The CGI done on Cyborg can be very noticeable at times and may be a bother to some viewers.
Towards the beginning of the 2nd act the film introduces us to a family where the battle with Steppenwolf takes place. At first I didn’t think much of it, I figured they were introducing where the battle was taking place and where the final part of the film would be, but as the film continued they kept cutting back to them over and over and over again where I finally began to question it and wondered why the hell these characters mattered. I assumed they wouldn’t show us these characters unless they used it to its advantage, but they didn’t. They were easily disposable and forgotten quickly.
The major flaw that I think this film had was the villain. Steppenwolf himself was something I have been waiting to see for years. As a comic book fan of DC (and Marvel), this was someone I was very excited to see. By the time this film was over I was kind of disappointed by how underwhelming he was. He never really made me question whether our heroes were gonna make it out alright because other than being tall and having a dark, brooding voice, he wasn’t really the kind of villain I felt could destroy the world. It felt like he was more of a smaller villain that would’ve led up to a bigger villain (which is obviously the case), but if I’m honest he never really gave any reason for us to really care. I was unimpressed and felt like they could’ve done better.
From what I understand Snyder and Whedon were given a mandate that the film could not be longer than two hours, hopefully we can see an extended cut when it hits blu ray. Overall the film is a lot of fun but does feel rushed at points with setting up the characters that we don’t already know. The film gives us some great characters and some that just fall flat. The action sequences are great and are quite the spectacle. I’d say the film was much better than I expected and I hope to see the following installments. I give Justice League a 6/10. The film releases tomorrow, go check it out!