It’s time to talk about the newest addition to the list of divisive DCEU movies. There’s no hiding the fact that WB is struggling to put this cinematic universe together. They have had only one critically successful film in ‘Wonder Woman’ and it does not look like they will be getting another with this new release.
So let’s get into it. Justice League is about the ensemble of DC’s greatest heroes. They must all come together and fight against the evil Steppenwolf. Basically, it all goes down exactly as you’d expect.
I’ll start with the good.
The DCEU was coming off of the momentum set by ‘Wonder Woman’. There were loads of potential for this movie and from an entertainment standpoint, it succeeded. I was delightfully surprised by the fun in the movie. Ezra Miller was a very good comic relief in many of the dark moments of the film. However, my personal favorite of the movie was Jason Momoa as ‘Aquaman’. Not only was he a physical presence on screen, but he was also a very good character. Much of his dialogue added comedy and contributed to the sense of fun. Luckily, the next installment of the DCEU is the standalone ‘Aquaman’ movie. I also feel that Ben Affleck proved again that he was a great choice for the role of Batman. Sadly, there is a large probability that we will not see him him in the role for much longer. I also felt that this movie provided the best use of Superman on screen. Yep, SURPRISE (sense the sarcasm)! He is in the movie. The flick gives him a great arc and he alone could make this movie worth watching. Another great aspect was the dynamic of the team. Every character brought an element and they all came together in a compelling and fun way.
Now, the bad.
‘Justice League’ is clearly the DC edition of Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’. All of the trailers had shown us that it would be the huge action movie we wanted. The plot moved exactly as you would expect. Take a moment to guess how it all goes down. Guess which characters show up at which points. Then guess how it ends. Yep, that’s exactly how it happened. The movie was terribly predictable. It felt like a very generic hero movie. If it weren't for the fun team, there would be no point in seeing the movie at all. While our heroes were compelling, the villain fell totally flat. However, we have seen many times before that a film doesn’t need a strong antagonist to succeed. Sadly, it was more than just a matter of being weak. The CGI made Steppenwolf look like nothing more than a video game cut scene. This was a consistent problem in many of the visuals; a problem that a big budget (way too big of a budget) action movie should not have. Another problem I had with the film was that it felt a little short. Yes, two hours is certainly a lot of time for a film but I felt that it wasn’t enough time for all of these characters. Too many scenes felt like they were cut shorter just for the sake of shaving off a little bit of time. It seemed like the studio said, “no more than two hours,” so they made sure that it fell just a minute short at an hour and fifty nine minutes.
Overall, I had a very fun time at the theater. Despite all of the flaws, the heroes kept me very entertained. Comic book movies, good or bad, all require one key element; fun. If nothing else, this movie gloriously succeeded on that level. I believe that the film deserves more credit than it has received. Sadly, its poor opening weekend numbers do not bode well for the future of the DCEU. Hopefully WB will find a way to iron out the flaws and give these fun characters the films that they deserve.