Justice is Finally Served in the DCEU
Holy schnikes, Batman! I just saw Justice League and I had a blast. It gives me hope for the future of the DC Extended Universe. Funny, action packed and yes, flawed, Justice League is a thrill ride I’m ready to take again. Here is my (mostly) spoiler free review.
Coming to this, I still had a bad taste in my mouth after the trainwreck that was Batman vs Superman and the at least tolerable but still messy, Suicide Squad. I went in with less than average to low expectations like I believe many fans did. After being burned twice with the aforementioned DC offerings and hearing of the production troubles(Director Zach Snyder bowing out with Joss Whedon stepping up more, Amazon costume blowback, reshoots), I think it was expected.
But I am happy to report that I found myself cheering by the end. Ben Affleck reprises his role as the world’s greatest detective, Batman and honestly I don’t want to see him go. For months, he has been teasing that he wants to find a “graceful and cool way” to leave the Bat behind. Of course, the wording leaves lots to interpretation and there’s no solid info on when that may be especially since he “contemplating” doing the solo Batman film by Matt Reeves.
For now, he flexes his muscle along side Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, Aquaman(Jason Momoa), Cyborg(Ray Fisher) and sure to be film favorite, Barry Allen aka The Flash (Ezra Miller) to fight Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), who is hellbent on overtaking the earth. Pretty standard superhero plot. And you know what? I’m ok with that. I want my superheroes to be engaging and bad ass and that’s what I got. Gone are the dark and broody Batman and Superman from BvS. We get witty, joke cracking incarnations of both and it’s refreshing.
Momoa’s Aquaman also has some choice moments that also lighten up the characteristic dark moods and overtones that we’e seen from DC. Cyborg gives is the teams more serious character as he is dealing with his coming to be after a lab accident. He even he has his shining moments with the team. But it’s Miller’s Allen that really stole the audiences’ hearts. A hyper, bright, star struck kid who doesn’t quite fit in with society but finds a home with the League. I hate to do the comparison but he is to the Justice League what Spiderman is to the Avengers but in my opinion, infinitely better.
Yes, there are some issues with the film. Most notably some CGI effects. Those are mostly with the big bad, Steppenwolf and yes, Cavill’s mustache. Steppenwolf just comes off as cartoonish at moments that take you out of the action. The pacing is a bit off as well. It feels a bit hurried. It can be hard to introduce, give proper backstory to and get on to the grander storyline when a movie is running less than 2 hours. This is due to WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara practically mandating it have a shorter runtime in response to the plodding 151 min that was BvS. This is a reactionary measure that makes us feel cheated. I feel fairly confidant had we been give another 20-30 mins more, we would have gotten a more cohesive, fulfilling story.
And let us not forget the Amazons in the their less-than-protective outfits. Less armor, more leather. There has been a major outcry that this is a step back from what we saw with Wonder Woman. From the Amazon actresses’ mouths themselves, it has been said that the fighting style of Amazons is more acrobatic. These outfits allow for that flexibility.
I also have heard some theories for the reason they are in more revealing outfits is due to the fact that it’s summer and it makes more sense for them to wear this at this time. While I don’t really buy it and it does feel like a disservice, from what I saw in the film, it is not nearly as bad/skimpy as we have been led to believe in articles. I’m hoping this was due to creators coming to their senses and listening to public complaints. Either way, the Amazons were their normal badass selves and many of the outfits were the body protecting armor that we saw in Wonder Woman.
I find all these issues forgivable as I never once found myself bored or yearning for a laugh ala Batman v Superman. I enjoyed the team’s chemistry and while it has a pretty standard superhero plot, I found it more enjoyable than the one from Suicide Squad. The fighting scenes were action packed and everyone has their moment to shine. In my opinion, the post credits scenes alone are worth the price of admission. So make sure you stay until the very end.