I’m not sure why I rushed to see this movie. I hated Batman v. Superman, I hated Suicide Squad, and I thought Wonder Woman was just okay because it was an okay movie.
Maybe I just wanted to hope for the sake of hoping. It’s not like I hate DC; I mean, when you boil everything down, DC’s superheroes are superior to Marvel’s. But Warner Brother’s/DC movies are simply not good.
So now I sit here, back from the movie, about to write about the first DCEU movie I actually liked. I honestly wish I could say that I loved it, but unfortunately, the film has some glaring imperfections. All I can say is that this is the most entertained I’ve been from a super hero movie since Civil War.
Oddly enough, every time I think about something I really enjoyed about Justice League, it reminds me of something I didn’t like about Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, for the hell of it (because I know no other reviewer will do this), I’ll compare the two right now.
For instance, Justice League actually creates interesting dynamics among all of the superheroes (as opposed to just repeating relationship cycles and giving Hulk a voice).
Every single character has a relationship dynamic that took so little effort to effectively establish. This was not only refreshing to see, but it made the entire spectacle easy to watch despite the poor start to this movie. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that later. Not only that, but there are definable power dynamics between all the heroes as well (instead of just all of them having the same god-level powers).
Lo and behold, when you give your characters definable dynamics, relationships, and powers, the fight sequences are actually more engaging (instead of just filler in between funny moments). In all honesty, there wasn’t anything extremely special about the fight sequences, but because the film was so successful in getting you to care about these characters, they just seemed like better fight sequences.
Speaking of which, the movie only has one comic relief character (instead of having all of them be comic relief characters). The Flash was the only one that was constantly goofy, and at times, he’s a strain on the story for trying to always be funny, but for the most part, he was fine. Every other character has “funny moments” too, but they were organically created from their actual characters. This allowed the movie to have effective highs as well as effective lows.
Justice League finally seems to have learned from its predecessors: the valuable lesson of don’t-waste-my-time. Though there are moments of that, it seems like they finally got a hand on time management and utilized most of their scenes effectively. Maybe these were due to the edits and changes Joss Whedon made. I don’t know.
That’s all the great parts of the movie: time utilized effectively to create effortlessly consistent characters with definitive relationships and definitive power dynamics. Thus, the action was better too.
Also, this is the first superhero movie I have seen in a long time where the end credits scene was actually worth sticking around for.
Oh! Also, the Amazons are in this movie too, for only about 5-10 minutes, but they are utilized exceptionally better than they are in the entirety of the Wonder Woman movie.
And now, as I’m a reviewer, I will also touch on the awful stuff… and yes… this movie has some awful stuff.
<Some of you may consider this a spoiler. It’s not. But just in case you have sensitivities, skip the following paragraph.>
So, surprise of all surprises, Superman comes back. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but holy crap does he hop all over the uncanny valley in this movie. For some strange reason, Superman’s face is often computer generated, and it was often horrifically obvious. Some of the scenes were even worse than computer generated Princess Leia in Rogue One. I don’t know why they did this because there are other scenes where his face looks completely normal.
Also, the first fifteen minutes of this movie are complete garbage. It begins with the aforementioned horribly computer-generated face, and it then has an unbearably cheesy montage of people being sad. It may very well have been the biggest eye-roll I did all year. Then it cuts to Batman, and the scene he’s in doesn’t make too much sense, and then Wonder Woman has a battle scene with some bad guys, and she has this weird face all the time like she was squeezing out a fart.
Once they get over the first fifteen minutes, the film gets infinitely better.
There’s also a bit of lazy exposition… However, there is a bit where Aquaman exposits out of nowhere, and the reason he does so was absolute genius.
The villain in the movie starts out super strong and actually feels like a force to be reckoned with, but the longer the movie goes, the more he kinda fades into obscurity like the most basic of Marvel villains.
Also, I wasn’t a fan of how Batman was portrayed, but it’s not like Ben Affleck does a bad job, so I’m not holding it against the movie.
Also, I did find it funny the amount of Gal Gadot butt shots I found in this film. If I was playing a drinking game for Justice League, it would be a shot for every butt and cleavage shot that appears for Gadot (this didn’t happen in any of the previous movies….. Joss Whedon?) (I’m not saying this is a detractor in the movie, calm down).
Anyway, Justice League is grand. I wish I could say it was phenomenally grand, but that just simply isn’t the case. With that said, I’m actually excited to give this film a 6 out of 10. What’s really hilarious is that I gave Thor: Ragnarok, the exact same rating, but I was less excited about it. The reason? I’ve seen Marvel at its best, so I know these recent movies have been them screwing around.
This is currently DC at its best, and I hope, I pray they get better. I hope this movie does well despite the bad press, and I hope they continue to refine their movies and expand on the series in interesting ways.
You’ve finally climbed out of the hole, DC. I’m going to be rooting for you in the years to come.