It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of DC Comics. I have several issues old and new in my collection, including some from as far back as the 40s. But I’m not just a fan of the comics – I adore the TV shows, animation, video games, and yes, even the new DCEU movies. Man Of Steel was, in my eyes, a refreshing reboot that incorporated what it is to be a superhero in this day in age. Are they worshipped, or are they feared? Are they a god-sent miracle, or a threat to modern society? Not only did it raise some great points of storytelling, Man Of Steel had plenty of action and origin in equal servings. The follow up sequel, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, just got even better by adding more famous heroes into the mix, as well as even more infamous villains, and an exciting climatic battle. (You can read what I thought of Suicide Squad here, and the more recent Wonder Woman here). So, long story short, I LOVED Justice League. But why, you ask? Well, let me tell you right here…
I know a lot of critics have panned Justice League for its timing being “too short” and the feel of some big chunk of story being hidden somewhere where we can’t see it. Now, I would be the first to agree if I thought this was a problem (just because I enjoyed a movie doesn’t mean I won’t acknowledge its flaws). However, I thought the pacing of this movie was one of the best yet. I’m not a lover of looooong movies, and I thought the grounds of the story was summed up well enough, with the history and motives of the new big bad Steppenwolf told in classic flashback style through conversation between characters. The new heroes to the screen – Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash – each got a fair introduction that didn’t give too much away of their lives before the League (they will be getting individual solo movies like Wonder Woman, after all), but enough to understand their individual personalities and goals.
I feel the script and direction of the movie was very strong. It had me laughing, it had me crying. Of course, with the Buffy legend that is Joss Whedon involved in the screenplay writing, I expected no less, and I’ve always enjoyed Zack Synder’s action adventures (most notably Sucker Punch being my favourite non-DC production of his.) I love a movie that can take a look at itself in the mirror and see the funny side, and Justice League is definitely lighter in tone than the previous instalments in the DCEU. There was tonnes of humour, puns and all-important Easter eggs that made moments of this movie really special. The Flash was the centre of most of this with his social awkwardness, with Aquaman and Batman being quick to make quips too. With humour also came some moments of overwhelming emotion, which was aided by a stellar soundtrack, including the original 1989 Batman theme by Danny Elfman that got me feeling nostalgic, as well as a hint of the 1978 classic Superman theme.
I honestly don’t think there’s ever been a more comic-accurate Batman in movies than Ben Affleck. He just plays the caped crusader the exact way I picture him when reading the issues along in my head. The same goes for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, of whom I have praised heavily in my previous posts. It’s great to see Henry Cavill return as Superman – he has the charisma and charm of a hero while bearing the heavy burden of earthly responsibility on his shoulders. I was a little worried Ezra Miller wouldn’t do The Flash justice as I love Grant Gustin’s Barry in The Flash tv series so much, but Miller is completely refreshing and so much fun to watch, bringing a brand new side to this well loved speedy hero. Jason Momoa may not be the clean shaven, orange-suited blonde Aquaman of the comics, but what he is is a colossal Atlantean with great power and even greater presence that this team needs. Admittedly, I felt Ray Fisher’s Cyborg aka Victor Stone still has a lot more to give, as what we saw of him was post-accident that saw him transformed into half man/half robot by his father, so he comes across as cold as his surname, but at the same time being the league’s biggest asset in terms of strength, technology and intel, making him just as vital as Superman.
Was Steppenwolf the greatest villain yet? Well… no, not really. I even preferred Enchantress in Suicide Squad as the “big bad” to this guy. In terms of massive powerful badasses who try to cause the end of the world, he’s actually very average. Plot revenge, destroy the world, take over etc etc… I did however enjoy his parademon army, which made for ferocious battle scenes. I prefer the main threat to be a bit more realistic, such as how Jesse Eisenberg played a creepy Lex Luthor in Batman V Superman. Maybe it’s just the CGI that puts a barrier in the way of emotional connection, I don’t know… I just wasn’t overly sold on him. But that is literally the only major issue I had, and to be honest, it’s not really an issue, because when you realise that this movie is only the beginning of things getting excited for the newly founded Justice League, THAT’S when things get exciting! Sure, Steppenwolf wasn’t the best, but it’s laid down a foundation to pave the way for greater storylines, maybe even a glimpse into a future Crisis plot. THAT post-credit scene has got me so hyped for the next installment – I can’t wait to see what adventures await!
What did you think of Justice League? Who would win in a race, The Flash or Superman? Let me know in the comments!