As a fan of superheroes, there has never been a better time to be alive than right now. From Netflix and Hulu to big budget films, our heroes are coming off the glossy pages of comics and becoming flesh and blood. The one type of superhero films fans love are the ensemble team-ups. The best example to date is 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers. After the solo film build-up of the main players, fans were pleased to see Earth’s Mightest Heroes come together to defeat an alien threat.
Unfortunately, DC Films has stumbled out of the gates with their films; Dawn of Justice most notably. Despite this, the build to the Justice League was completely underway. After seeing the success of Wonder Woman earlier this summer, my hope was renewed for the team up. And DC delivered with an exciting ensemble film years in the making, but it still had its fair share of troubles.
Picking up months after the events of Dawn of Justice, the world is in mourning after the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) and plunged into chaos. Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) do what they can on their own to honor his memory. When an interdimensional threat arrives on Earth in the form of Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), the amazon princess and the caped crusader seek out others with abilities to join forces with them and save the world.
The film begins in Gotham City with Batman fully back on duty, but encountering an alien scout while on patrol. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman took down a terrorist group in London. Knowing the upcoming threat can’t be defeated alone, Bruce Wayne tracks down the aquatic swimmer, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and quirky Central City speedster Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) to recruit them. Diana encounters half-man, half-machine Victor Stone (Ray Fisher). Like Batman and Wonder Woman before, they are hesitant to fight, whether by choice or lack of experience. Once they encounter the gigantic monster-warrior, who is menacing with his axe, but also cliche with his lines, the five do their best to stop the beast. But they know it will require more help (I don’t think I have to go further into that). In the end, what mattered is that the hope was back in this universe.
Despite the short run time of 2 hours, it crams in a lot of action backed by a thin storyline. Like with Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad before it, this movie felt like too many hands were touching it. From director Zack Snyder to Joss Whedon, who finished up some rewrite work, and DC Films leader Geoff Johns, the movie just felt messed with. The editing could have been done better and I was hoping to have a longer run time in order to spend time with the new heroes we were being introduced to, especially The Flash and Aquaman. While some fans depend on comic book knowledge to understand these characters, it would have been more fair to them and the movie to expand their individual worlds as this movie expands the DC universe.
All the actors did a solid job with the superhero characters, understanding their motivations and how to be a hero. The new additions to this universe fit nicely, especially the performance of Momoa of Aquaman. He stole each scene he was in as the ripped, aggressive, and fun-loving Atlantian. It was obvious that Momoa had fun in each scene, erasing Aquaman’s history as the “useless character” of the group. Ben Affleck gave what I felt was a half-hearted performance, despite revealing a deeper pain in Bruce as the billionaire was envious of the life Clark had created for himself as a man and a hero, but also the weight of guilt of his end. Ezra Miller took a little while to get used to as the Flash, especially given the success of the CW television series, but he fulfilled the comic relief as the team’s youngest member. The chemistry of the characters was brilliant to watch.
Overall, the long awaited team up was worth the wait, but I can’t say that I absolutely love this movie. Despite the flaws in story, editing, and special effects, the movie didn’t have many slow moments and kept the audience in the action. The iconic shot of the Justice League near the end was epic. Two post-credits scenes sets up the future of this universe, making everyone eager for what’s to come. Like Dawn of Justice, it’s best to go out and form your own opinion of the film.
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