Before we go in to a more in-depth review of Justice League, let’s summarize it in a couple lines.
Justice League is basically the result of Zack Snyder directing a script written by Joss Whedon and centered around two-thirds of DC Comics’ Trinity of Batman and Wonder Woman. (The other guy does show up but not until the very end and seemingly only to defeat the film’s bland forgettable villain.)
There are three immediate questions this film will raise – how does it compare to The Avengers, which characters stand out among the ensemble, and where does it rank among the recent slate of DCEU movies.
So let’s take those three questions and answer them in order.
First, there is no comparison to The Avengers although Whedon’s touch does help raise the film from what was return to the doom and gloom of DCEU movies. The Avengers benefited from years of solo movies and character development and audience investment. The Justice League is cobbled together on the soaring stardom of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, a trio of characters that haven’t had a standalone film yet and good ole reliable Batsy.
Which brings us to the second question – who stands out. That is, of course besides Wonder Woman who is once again fantastic in this film.
Fans of the TV version of The Flash may have a hard time adjusting to Ezra Miller’s film version, especially with the back story retread of Barry’s father being imprisoned for murdering his wife. The film does a nice job of moving away from that introductory scene to use Allen as the comic relief while also satiating Snyder’s love of slow-motion cinematography.
Aquaman had a lot of potential to breakout in the film, but instead comes off as a grumpy loner in the beginning and then later transforms into a wild bro-dude. Jason Momoa does his best with what he’s given but that character really needed to get fleshed out more.
And then there’s Cyborg. While crucial to the film’s conclusion, his backstory drags on throughout much of the first half of the movie. While Justice League serves as an assembly of a handful of DC’s top superheroes, it also seems to serve as an origin story for Cyborg, and at times a bit too much. Some of what is shown could have been saved for the 2020 solo movie unless DCEU is planning on going the Marvel route of grouping characters into origin movies to create pseudo-solo films.
As for the film’s villain, there really isn’t much to say. Bland, forgettable, and boring. One can only hope his presence in this film is a tease for what is to come down the line from DC.
Which brings us to the third question – where does this film rank among the DCEU movies.
We’re discounting Micheal Keaton, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale and for sure George Clooney’s Batman movies here.
Justice League was vastly better than Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman but no where near the joy of watching Wonder Woman. At the moment, it can settle in comfortably as the second best modern DCEU movie for now.
I say for now as there will of course be more DCEU movies coming down the pipeline. Aside from Wonder Woman 2, we’ll get Aquaman in 2018, Shazam in 2019, Cyborg and The Green Lantern Corp. movies in 2020 along with Superman and Suicide Squad sequels. In addition to all the rumored films in development, the end credit scene seems to hint at two particular solo films that could be moving forward at WB.
I won’t divulge what that scene involves for now. Just sit until the credits are finished and then enjoy the stinger. We’ll discuss it in a week or so after the film has made the majority of it’s money.