“Justice League” stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, and J. K. Simmons. Released on November 17, 2017, the film has Batman and Wonder Woman assembling a team of meta humans to prevent a catastrophic threat.
The film is directed by Zack Snyder, who also directed films such as Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Sucker Punch. It is the fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe. After starting off rough with the recent Superman reboot, an epic matchup between God and Man, and a team of dangerous criminals, the people behind the DC cinematic universe have finally found its footing with the critically acclaimed Wonder Woman solo film, which was released during the summer. Now we shift our focus to the most epic superhero team-up since 2012’s The Avengers to see if they can continue that successful trend while learning from their mistakes along the way. Like Marvel’s The Avengers, the Justice League is another superhero team that I’m familiar with in terms of the animated shows. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman teaming up with the other heroes like Green Lantern, Aquaman, and the Flash? While my expectations were pretty high for this film, I was also curious to see how Zack Snyder can make this work, especially since Cyborg, the Flash, and Aquaman only made brief appearances in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice without having their own solo films first. Heck, even Ben Affleck’s Batman didn’t get his own solo film before Batman V Superman. So it would be interesting to see if this film has the heroic qualities to impress DC fans, introduce the other members of the Justice League to newcomers, and, more importantly, deliver a fun action-packed experience. To be honest with you guys, I’m leaning towards the latter.
With the world now dealing with the tragic loss of Superman (Cavill), Bruce Wayne (Affleck), who is now fueled by Superman’s sacrifice, decides to “lighten up a bit” (Get it?) and attempt to keep hope alive by forming a team of unlikely heroes. There’s Wonder Woman (Gadot), princess of Themyscira, the Flash (Miller) with the power of super speed, Aquaman (Momoa), who lives in the sea, and Cyborg (Fisher), who is half man, half robot. But when a vicious alien named Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) makes an unexpected visit to Earth to search for the artifacts known as the Mother Boxes, the five heroes must learn to work together as a team to save the world. What I liked about Man of Steel is how it showcases the meaning of hope as well as the portrayal of people expressing their differences to the world. Batman V Superman took a somehow different approach by showcasing people’s concerns over others’ different talents and how they used them. For this film, they brought back the theme of hope that was introduced in Man of Steel. As far as storytelling goes for Snyder, it’s usually style over substance, which may not impress those who wanted storytelling to come first. There were plenty of moments in the film that could’ve been developed better to match the impact of its realistic themes, including the main characters. They do manage to describe the characters through dialogue a few times, but for those who are unfamiliar with these heroes and their origins, it’s not enough to make them more investing. However, if you’re hoping for a fun and action-packed Justice League film, then I think you’re going to get exactly what you want. Yes, my fellow readers, I’m very happy to say that this is the most fun I had in a DCEU movie since either Woman Woman or Suicide Squad (mostly the latter). What made this film fun for me were, obviously, the characters, the chemistry between the cast, and the tone. The main cast did such a nice job portraying the members of the Justice League. Ben Affleck as Batman? Solid. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman? Looking fantastic as always. Henry Cavill as Superman? Good upgrade from last time. Jason Momoa as Aquaman? A-OK. Ezra Miller as the Flash? Oh man. He’s got to be the best part of the film, in my opinion. Ever since his first appearance in the film, I was immediately hooked by his personality and his humor was absolutely priceless. As for Ray Fisher as Cyborg, he did all right. A little stiff at times, but tolerable at best. In terms of the tone, I can definitely see the difference between this and Batman V Superman. It tried to include plenty of light-hearted moments while maintaining the realistic tone that was introduced in Man of Steel. Most of the critics I heard thought that the tone was inconsistent, but I thought Zack Snyder handled both the tone and the humor well enough to entertain kids and adults. Yes, the film actually got the right amount of humor, in my opinion. Something that a lot of DC fans have been looking for since the beginning of the DCEU. There were a few scenes that actually made me laugh my butt off, mostly from the Flash himself. You'll know what I mean when you see them for yourself. It also didn’t get to the point where the humor leans towards the goofy side, so if you’re not a fan of silly kid-friendly jokes, then this film might be for you. The visuals in the film still have their usual blend of murky colors and an overabundance of CGI like the ones in Batman V Superman, but they also have a blend of lighter colors to maintain the film’s main tone. Of course, like most superhero movies, the action sequences were a blast to watch. Going back to the story, aside from its troublesome development with the characters, the film has a couple of plot holes that I might have spotted throughout my experience. Maybe those are the things that could be addressed in the Extended Cut? Then there’s the main villain that the Justice League are uniting against, Steppenwolf, who is portrayed by Hinds through motion capture. First off, this guy is downright ugly. Secondly, he’s a thinly-written villain. There’s absolutely nothing about Steppenwolf that makes him stand out compared to the other comic book villains that I really enjoyed, like Loki and the Joker. So, don’t expect anything too special about this guy. Trust me.
Overall, “Justice League” relies on the cast, the visuals, and the light-hearted tone to provide a fun, yet imperfect, superhero team-up experience. However, the storytelling and its bland villain signal the fact that the makers of the DCEU still have a lot of work to do. It’s not as great as Wonder Woman in terms of the execution of the story, but I would say that they finally managed to find the tone that they’re looking for. Fingers crossed that they fix the rest of their issues soon. I would recommend it to those who are fans of the Justice League, especially the little kids, and to those are in a mood for some entertainment.