Justice League Review
A Fast-Paced Thrill That Delivers an Energetic Superhero Spectacle
The DC cinematic universe has had a very rocky start. Each film has received mostly mixed reviews from audiences and critics, except for Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is the first film in the franchise that was liked by mostly everyone. It is definitely a sign that the franchise may be going in the right direction. Justice League, for the most part, shows that DC is on it's way to becoming more successful.
After the events of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) continues to fight crime in Gotham. After witnessing something he has never seen before, he believes that something is coming which may endanger the world. In order to defeat this enemy, Wayne must recruit a group of heroes who can come together as a team and save the planet.
The Justice League
The best part of this movie is by far the chemistry between all of the heroes. They are all perfectly cast and they play pretty off each other pretty well. The two standouts of this film, however, are Ezra Miller as The Flash and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Miller is very quirky and awkward, but he still has very heartfelt moments of humanity. He also has most of the comedic lines and he delivers them really well. He was very funny.
Gadot proves again that she is the perfect Wonder Woman. She does a great job at playing a character who has a ton of power, but still has a lot of humanity. She has a lot of great scenes with Batman and I thought their chemistry seemed pretty authentic. Affleck is great as Batman and Bruce Wayne again. He does a good job at being a cocky businessman at one point and then a conflicted hero.
Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) are both really good, but I could have used some more of them in the movie. Cyborg has an interesting story arc that helps to get the audience more invested in his character. Mamoa is a really cool version of Aquaman. He is a badass, surfer looking dude who shouts a lot of cool one liners, however, he does have some serious moments that work pretty well. His backstory should have been explained a little bit more. There is a new character introduced who is important in Aquaman's story but I didn't know who she was and it didn't have much to do with the rest of the movie. However, it does make me more excited for the Aquaman solo movie.
There are also a handful of good supporting characters. Jeremy Irons shows that he is a great Alfred. He is more of a cool, quick witted character than previous Alfreds have been. Amy Adams is good as Lois Lane, but her character isn't that interesting. She doesn't have a lot to do in this movie. J.K. Simmons is in the movie very briefly as Commissioner Gordon, but it does make me excited to see him more in a Batman solo movie.
The villain in this film is pretty underwhelming. Steppenwolf is a typical supervillain who wants to destroy the world simply because he is evil and he wants to conquer everything. He is very bland and there is nothing really to his character. I did like the design of his character. He does have a powerful presence, except I think that he could have been more effective if he wasn't completely CGI. It made him look like a video game character. Ciaran Hinds does the voice for him and he does have a cool voice. Also, the parademons that follow Steppenwolf around are not intimidating at all. They are all killed off very easily and are almost no threat.
The direction for Justice League went through some issues. Zack Snyder started out as the director and had to leave production due to family issues. Joss Whedon, who directed the two Avengers film, came in to take over. I found that it was pretty hard to tell that there were two directors who worked on this film, however, it is a bit obvious to tell where Whedon added some things. He is typically a more light-hearted director and he definitely added a lot of humor to this movie. The action scenes and a lot of the visuals definitely have Snyder's touch and they are well done. The action scenes are very exciting and energetic. There are a lot of moments that I thought were really cool.
However, I think the effects could be a little bit better. It's not that the CGI is terrible, but there is too much of it. After a while, I could clearly tell what was fake simply because I was being exposed to way too much CGI. Although, the best scenes in the movie are when The Flash runs and everything else around him is slowed down. They are really fun and look really good visually. I also liked the segments that are shot underwater with Aquaman. The underwater visuals are actually done really well.
The film is only about 2 hours long and I think it should have been about 15-30 minutes longer. It does feel like a bunch of scenes were rushed through. The pacing is really fast and while I was never bored, I never had time to savor what I had just watched. The movie just kept going and never really lingered on any specific moments that deserved some more time. While the pacing does provide a lot of energy and excitement to the film, I wish that it had slowed down at certain moments.
Justice League finally brought some fun to the DC universe. It definitely improves upon past mistakes while setting a new course for the franchise. I do still think that the effects could have been improved, some story elements should have been better explained, and the villain was pretty weak. It still provides a great adrenaline rush and reminds us why the heroes of this film are such iconic characters. I'm excited to see more films with these characters.
P.S. stick around for the post-credit scenes because they are awesome.