Justice League Review
Justice League is definitely a fun film and a love letter to DC fans, but it is riddled with problems that are very hard to ignore. The worst problems with the film is definitely the weak villain, Steppenwolf and the abruptness of the plot. Steppenwolf's motivations are explained through a short expositional statement from Diana. But no one in the audience really cares about Steppenwolf because at the end of the day, everyone knows that the Justice League will solve the problem. And therein lies the issue; DC Comics have always had a more realistic, gritty narrative than other comics. The film should make the viewer feel like their favorite heroes are at risk every second they are in the fight.
Bringing Joss Whedon into the film was a fatal mistake. While Marvel fans love Joss Whedon for his work on the Avengers films, the light-hearted tone that he forces onto Justice League was severely off-putting. Make no mistake, DC Comics have their own brand of humor, but sometimes the humor in Justice League fell flat. This was especially evident with Ezra Miller's portrayal of Barry Allen/The Flash. Allen was used for comic relief throughout the film, but as Justice League went on, some of Allen's jokes fell flat. There was a silliness to the humor that has never been present in DC Comics. At the end of the day, the silliness of the jokes caused the film to seem like the butt of the joke. It became more of a filler film, a stepping stone for fans while they wait for Aquaman, Wonder Woman 2, and Flashpoint.
The abruptness of the film is Justice League's disadvantage. No matter how much someone loves the DC and its superheroes, it was strange to watch a film that jumped straight into the team film, without introducing half of the characters first. Warner Bros. and DC Comics would have benefited from charting a course similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and taking the time to introduce these iconic characters in their own films. They were on the right course, with Man of Steel and Wonder Woman, but they blinked and hesitated. And that was a grave mistake.
It's not all bad, of course. As stated above, DC fans will definitely be satisfied with the portrayals of their favorite characters. Superman fans will rejoice because Superman is finally represented with the respect he deserves and when he does appear, it is well worth the wait. While Ben Affleck is not fully comfortable in the Batsuit, he excels as Bruce Wayne and his interaction with the other members of the Justice League is spot on. Gal Gadot's Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is a fan favorite after the marvelous feedback for her standalone film, Wonder Woman. And while Diana is just as dazzling as in Justice League as in her own film, she was frustratingly powered-down. After watching Wonder Woman and seeing what Diana is capable of, it is frustrating for the viewer not see Diana at her full power capability.
The new characters—Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash—shine in their roles as well. While the silliness of the Barry Allen/The Flash was off-putting, Ezra Miller shines in the role and makes the audience excited for his standalone film. His Barry Allen is incredibly endearing and charming. The new take of Aquaman was a very welcome change. But at times, especially near the end of the film, it feels like the viewer is just watching Jason Momoa do what he regularly does. Ray Fisher as Cyborg is a lovely surprise. While Cyborg is not the humorous character many fans know and love from Teen Titans, the serious take on Cyborg was a welcome change in the more light-hearted film. Justice League presents the horrific viewpoint of Cyborg and his fear of turning into a machine, with nothing human left. Fisher's portrayal of Cyborg and his eventual acceptance of his powers is excellent.
The inclusion of mid- and end-credit sequences is a step in the right direction. End credit sequences are vital to any major film franchise; they give the audience something to look forward to, or at least make the viewer leave feeling good, which is majorly important. How the audience members feel when they leave a film influence how they view the film overall. The mid credits scene was a fun love note to DC fans and the end credits scene makes anyone excited for the future of the franchise.
At the end of the day, the film isn't perfect. After all, they can't all be Wonder Woman's. But it is an improvement from Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad and leaves viewers excited for the future.