"meh." That was my initial thought as the credits rolled and I turned to my friend, who is just as avid of a comic book fan as I am, with a puzzled look and said "That wasn't great. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It didn't give me that Avengers feeling." Now just merely mentioning Marvel in a DC movie review ignites a wrath within DC fanboys that burns with the fury of a 1000 Firestorms, but hear me out. When I left the theater after seeing the Avengers come together for the first time on screen I felt satisfied. It felt like a culmination of years of bad to good to great to bad again comic book movies all led up to this moment. For THAT feeling. Is that unfair pressure to put upon a company with three of the most iconic superheroes all time...probably, but dammit you've got Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman. Any movie with those icons should be better than just "meh." I'll hop off my soapbox now and put away my nerd cards and talk about Justice League just as a movie. Its choppy early on, but it begins to come together as the team does. The chemistry between the characters works and is believable. Speaking of the characters;
Ben Affleck is the best live action Batman on film we've ever had. He plays this role with precision. He understands the nuances when it comes to the duality of playing the role of Batman. Hell he even understood that duality when he played DareDevil. He continues that run in Justice League while Danny Elfman's score adorns him with the classic Batman theme. With all that being said I kind of want this to be his last movie. We're all aware of the drama surrounding his role as Batman. I would love for him to stay, but personally I'm tired of the back and forth and the non commitments. All its done is prolong a stand alone Batman film that let's be honest we've all been craving. Ben Affleck is wonderful in this film and it seems like great way to go out.
Gal Gadot owns this role and as the teams most senior member (cause she's been alive the longest) she plays it to perfection. My only gripe, which has nothing to do with her, but more to do with the writers. I felt as if they depowered her in moments when it was convenient for the film. She's the best fighter out of the team, the fiercest warrior, and you established her as a God in "Wonder Woman" stick to that continuity Warner Bros.
Ezra Miller as the Flash worked for me. He was the audience, essentially, reacting to all these heroes on screen. Not all of his jokes landed, but boy was his speed fun to watch.
Aquaman was pretty cool. They clearly went in a different direction from the classic "Super Friends" Aquaman that everyone thinks of and I think it paid off. There were a few scenes of him within the water talking to Mera that left a lot to be desired, but luckily we get to explore more of that within his own feature film next year.
Cyborg was a pivotal part to the plot and I felt the actor Ray Fisher did a really good job portraying the stoic Cyborg.
The superman of the DCEU has been a mixed bag for me, but I've never liked him more than I did in this movie. I didn't think his death was earned in BvS and I didn't think his resurrection was earned here either, but the moment he joins the team in battle was the best portrayal of Superman in the DCEU thus far.
Steppenwolf was voiced brilliantly by Ciarán Hinds and that's about all the positivity I can say about him as a villain. To be fair, the CGI wasn't great, and the writers undercut him by pivoting mid franchise and by nixing the entire Darkseid plotline for a whole new direction. Whether its a more simplified and less convoluted direction is besides the point. The creators undercut a villain they had teased in BvS to pivot last minute.
To wrap this all up, Justice League is choppy to begin, with great chemistry between the main cast, there are comic book fan out moments and a few awesome action scenes, an empty villain that felt like he should have built up to something more (Darkseid), and the end credit scene leaves a sense of hope for a new direction. At the very least I was entertained. Its time for DC/WB to actually pick a direction and just go. These heroes deserve it.
Wriitten by: Jeffrey Hemingway