In the latest installment of the DCEU, Zack Snyder brings Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg together to take down Steppenwolf before he can bring an end to human civilization.
The general consensus of Justice League has been, “It was better than I expected” and “Not a great movie, but not terrible.” I don’t have an opinion that differs from those thoughts. While walking out of the theater, those were the exact thoughts I had. Sorry. I enjoyed Justice League much more than Batman v Superman, so that’s a plus!
This movie picks up not long after the events of BvS and it is highly evident. Black flags draped over buildings, huge newspaper headlines, in some ways, though, it was overkill for those of us that sat through the previous film. It also gave away a big moment that came later.
Snyder suggests through these visuals that the world hasn’t been the same since Superman died. While that might be true, there isn’t a good portrayal of the chaos that he wants us to believe is going on. We only see something is wrong when Batman encounters a parademon in Gotham City. Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio don’t give us a reason to care that the world is in danger, outside of this movie’s villain
Speaking of our villain, I have to say that he is biggest glaring issue with Justice League.
Sure, Steppenwolf was going to take over the world, but he didn’t really have the presence you’re looking for in a villain. I didn’t have a reason to be worried about who he was. In fact, his comic book origin is much more impressive. There should have been more of a play at bringing Darkseid into the DCEU, too. Granted, that would feel like a rip-off of Marvel bringing in Thanos, but it would have at least gotten us excited for what is planned. (And to top it off, making him a 100% CGI character was a terrible idea.)
Now that I’ve started talking about characters, it’s time to examine who we got in this movie.
The idea that Batman needed to put together a team of meta-humans seemed lost. Did Superman sacrificing himself in BvS really affect him that much? If so, it wasn’t that obvious to me. It served the general plot, but it was hollow. I happen to like Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the character, but I do have to agree with the opinion of Ben DeBono from The Sci-Fi Christian: he has nothing to do in this movie. Yes, he assembled the team and felt the need to sacrifice himself (which was not needed, period), but that was it. He was there to bring in people who were unfamiliar with the rest of the team.
I know a lot of people raved about her solo debut into the DCEU, but I wasn’t blown away. It was the best movie so far in the franchise and it did a good job introducing her while showing the strength of women. It just wasn’t a fantastic film. That said, I really do enjoy the character of Wonder Woman. For me, she’s the real glue that holds this movie’s team together. I vote she’s the leader and I really hope Gal Gadot returns to the role.
Aquaman is the first character in the film that we don’t get to meet beforehand. That, unfortunately, makes character development difficult. (That’s also an issue I have with the next two heroes.) While I haven’t seen Jason Momoa in much other than his stint as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, I did enjoy the majority of his depiction of Aquaman. The worst parts were the “surfer dude” persona that seemed to seep in every once in awhile. I’d like to see an Aquaman solo film to flesh out the character more, though.
Obviously he was written to be the comedic relief for the movie. Unfortunately most of his lines are dropped into the trailer. That makes him less funny than he probably could be. Again, character development issues. There wasn’t any time to make Barry Allen anymore than the jokester. I like Ezra MIller in the role, but he definitely could have been utilized better.
Cyborg is my least favorite member of the Justice League here. We get it. You’re not happy that you’re 95% robot, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your personality. I’d like to watch an edited version where they remove Ray Fisher’s depiction and throw in Khary Payton’s Teen Titans Go Cyborg in.
I only watched this one time, by myself, so I’m sure I’m not being objective when it comes to Superman’s inclusion into the movie, but did anyone not know he was going to come back? Considering most of the opening shots in the film plastered the fact that he was dead – including the black flags draped over buildings – was an instant indicator that he was returning.
I’ve never been a fan of Superman, but this movie didn’t do anything to help my lack of fandom. It did the opposite. It made me feel like even a team of superheroes couldn’t survive without the perfect warrior that is Superman. Bleh! I would seriously love for someone to explain him to me. It felt that he was brought in only to save the day.
Also, having Superman come back ever-so briefly as a villain-type character…? That whole scene didn’t work for me. It felt like a way to shoehorn Lois Lane into the movie. Ugh.
All-in-all, I didn’t find Justice League to be terrible, but I did find it forgettable. Warner Bros and Snyder simply rushed the development of the characters and threw way too much at the wall to see what would stick. Not much did, unfortunately. I wanted more from this movie so badly. Even though I am a bigger fan of the Marvel brand, I want to see DC succeed outside of Batman films. What they need to learn is that they can’t create something great out of nothing, which is a lot of what we’ve been given. I have very little hope for the future of the DCEU franchise and that’s incredibly sad. In the end, Justice League gets a 2.5/5 for me.
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