I’m confident in saying that before any of the modern superhero movie craze started, a Justice League movie was top of the list of films I’d love to see. After the success of the MCU and the rise of the superhero film, DCs stuttering start to their films universe has been a painful one as a big fan of the source material. Nevertheless here we are, a Justice League film is finally in cinemas.
With no character rights issues like marvel had with Spiderman and co, DC is able to field it’s big players in their first movie and for someone who grew up on the Justice League TV show, just seeing these characters on the big screen brought to life by good actors is an absolute treat. Each actor, from the once again majestic Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, to the new kid on the block Ray Fisher as Cyborg, has bags of talent and hopefully it bodes well for the future.
Jason Momoa’s sheer screen presence turns Aquaman from a joke character to a legit badass, even if the character is pretty one note throughout, always cracking wise about the situation. Ezra Miller plays the Flash with a real sense of childish excitement, and he has some really great moments. I think this incarnation of the speedster is different enough from the Flash on TV right now that we can differentiate easily between them, which is a worry some had. As I mentioned previously Ray Fisher is really strong in his first credited role, not bad for your first gig in Hollywood, a key role in Justice League. Cyborgs a little to broody in this film for me, but I think the future will see the more light hearted character that we know from Teen Titans coming into play.
Whilst the actors are solid, the problem with these three characters is that they are just dropped in with no previous context. It does a good job of making you interested in seeing more, but in a 2 hour superhero team up movie not knowing 3 characters of the 5 man team advertised is a problem when we can’t spend much time with them.
Gal Gadot has proven her critics wrong, showing again she has the acting chops and the charisma to lead a film like this. She’s the DC universes shining light right now and this film highlights her again as a stand out. Alongside her is Ben Afflecks Batman, who was terrific in the last film, is decent enough. This time (crucially) he isn’t murdering guys left right and centre, but the actor himself doesn’t seem as interested as he had been previously.
Spoilers, Superman does have a role in this film. Henry Cavill is back in the role and he has licence to be a bit more cheerful now with Joss Whedon at the helm. Whedons effect is felt on the film, it has great moments of dialogue between the characters, and these are the best part of the film.
The villain of this film is the most generic, basic superhero villain ever. He is also a fully CG character. That combination means that the very basic plot is uninteresting and doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The heroes are the reason to watch Justice League, the villain could be almost anything and it wouldn’t have made a difference if this was the plan.
The films colour pallette is quite odd, in that you can see a clear change between Zack Snyder directed scenes and Joss Whedon’s ones. The film starts out dark like Batman v Superman and ends as light and fun as the Avengers, but the overall tone is consistent throughout. When you consider how troubled the production of this film was it’s a wonder its as cohesive as it is. Aside from the colours popping a little more later in the film, you couldn’t tell there’s been 2 directors.
Justice League is a great comic book movie if it was 2008. Theres moments in this film that will make you feel like a kid again seeing the biggest superheros combine and kick arse. Unfortunately it’s 2017, and in a world where we get 3-5 decent to great comic book movies a year, the flaws in Justice League stand out a little more. It could be said it’s very similar to the first Avengers movie, except that has multiple movies introducing every character so it didn’t feel as rushed together. I had a good time though, and it’s another step in the right direction for DC and Warner Bros.
Good for: those of you who have always wanted to see these heroes together. Theres a few pinch yourself moments and by the end of the film you’ll know DC is slowly trying to turn the ship.
Bad for: people becoming a little tired of the superhero films, this is as generic a plot you’re going to find. It also suffers from the lack of set up for 3 of the characters who have never been on screen before.
Verdict : 6/10 – a step in the right direction, but not a huge one.