What!? Another super hero movie back in the theaters when we just had Thor? Competition in the industries leads to many hasty decisions and this one was all about competing with Disney to bring in revenue and stop the juggernaut from ruling the theaters. DC’s answer to the Marvel success, whipping out Justice League to smash the box office in what is hope to be a redeeming film. Will this culmination bring us the film we’ve been dreaming of from the DC universe, or will it be another pale attempt to copy Marvel! Robbie K back to bring you yet another review on the silver screen saga. Let’s get started.
Casting: A movie relies heavily on a cast, especially finding those worthy of holding the mantle of our iconic heroes. Justice League’s director gets an A+ from me for the cavalcade of talent crammed into the new super team. While Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill are still not the best fillers for their roles compared to others, they did well in their involvement in the film to warrant applause. Gal Gadot reprises her role fantastically, bringing everything we loved in her stand-alone film and delivering it in spades to this installment in looks, demeanor, and kick butt fighting. However the highlights are Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller. Fisher has the chip on his shoulder, passively destructive role down pat, showing the struggles of new power. Momoa has that brashness/arrogance of a rogue who feels he is above the rules, who soon begins to understand the limits of the lone wolf. However, Miller was spot on for the role of The Flash, capturing all the charisma, comedy, and nerdism I’ve enjoyed with the modern telling of the fast hero. The cast works so well together, bringing the roles to life in a very entertaining manner that feels like the League of the past on Cartoon Network.
The Comedy: The hero movies are starting to shift from adventure to comedy genre for me, and Justice League took a major turn down this avenue. Much of the writing is well-timed, comedic goal, utilizing well-timed cursing, witty sarcasm, and a sharp edge banter that many love, especially when the characters fence with their insults. Of course, the Flash, has a major hand in the laughs, his geeky, naïve admiration of the heroes laying the groundwork for other comedic devices that involve both physical and mental qualities, seriously his face is hilarious. With this comedy laid out throughout the movie, one will find it hard not to chuckle quite a few times in the movie.
The Action: If you’ve read my reviews on previous DC movies, you know that the action is often weak for me when comparing to Marvel’s masterpieces. Happily, the comic book battles that hooked us from the comics have finally started arriving. Justice League, much like Thor, have a number of exciting moments that act as stepping stones to the excitement at hand. Much of these brief stints are more entertaining than some of Marvel’s skirmishes, able to grab the serious tone of DC and deliver a darker fight to ensnare us. The semi-diverse fights bring out the technology bangs, and really deliver an action-packed punch that much of this universe has lacked. Finally, this studio is getting things right.
Shallow Story/Characters: There is a reason Marvel divided their universe into multiple, single character focused stories, in that it builds up the characters for one to latch onto. With their failing enterprise, DC skipped a lot of steps to go directly to the group movie and as a result the character development is lacking. Enough ground work has been laid to get the gist, but Justice League has too many story elements in it to give that satisfying feeling of accomplished storytelling. With little mystery, buildup, and sometimes even challenge, this film’s adventure is a little rushed for this reviewer, culminating into a rather bleak, predictable mess.
Snyder-Vision: The slow moving special effects were great so long ago, and still have an emotional bite to them that really maximizes the kill. Yet Snyder can’t seem to listen to the audience members/critics, or is rebelling because he won’t stop overusing it. Justice League continues the trend of utilizing the tactic for nearly every exciting scene, sometimes in good taste, and often in more egotistical, eye-rolling displays of drawn out cinema. Hope you like seeing every detail at half speed, because you are going to have your fill.
The final battle: After all the preparation, all the little battles to tease you, one hopes for that defining climax that really puts the battle over the top. Justice League dropped the ball on this for me, not in terms of being lame (like Suicide Squad), but instead not being much different from the trailers. This final battle has had much spoiled in the advertising, and rather than building upon it, like the Avengers, the movie held little flare outside of the battle with the Steppenwolf. That gigantic army you saw in the trailers… doesn’t really do much, which was so disappointing with all the hype they placed. It was a good start DC, now finish with that bang we all want to see.
If you read other reviews, you’ll see this movie was panned, but this critic found much to enjoy in this movie. It’s fun, funny, and a rather good introduction to future team movies with an incredible cast to boot. Sure, it still has some rough story patches, and they haven’t quite understood the execution of a good finale (or the balanced use of slow-motion). Still, it’s the best movie of the DC universe for me overall, and a good comic book movie to boot. Naturally, I’ll recommend this for the theater, and implore you to enjoy the comedic ride and chaotic action at hand in what will hope be a starting point to the next wave of DC movies.
Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0