reflection

'Justice League' is the film DC Comics fans have been waiting for since 'Man of Steel' was announced in 2010. It's been a long seven years.
Story
Direction
Acting
Cinematography

Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE A Reboot In The Right Direction

UPDATE: After a good night’s rest and some time away from the film I have additional thoughts. Scroll to the bottom.

‘Justice League’ is the first DC Extended Universe film where the audience can smile for all the right reasons, and leave with a twinge of anticipation moving forward.

Is ‘Justice League’ a flawed film? Yes.

Does ‘Wonder Woman’ have a more cohesive story? Yes.

That being said, what ‘Justice League’ brings to the table is a complete philosophical change to the DCEU. As comic book fans, we have an understanding of what makes a good adaptation. For comic book films, it’s the little details and the nods to other characters that can elevate average superhero movie. It’s the comic book formula; the reader wants a complete story, but they want to be compelled to buy the next issue. The dire need to read the next issue right now is part of what makes the medium of comics great.

The same can be said for the Heroic Age of film. With ‘Justice League,’ 15-minutes into the movie I wanted to see ‘Justice League 2’, maybe even more. The plot is simple: put the Justice League together, defeat the powerful bad guy, and set up the further adventures. Snyder’s film (with a hefty assist from Joss Whedon) executes just about every place in the playbook. Just about.

You don’t even need to watch the first films to understand and enjoy ‘Justice League,’ (which some might see as a relief). It would be an injustice not to watch ‘Wonder Woman,’ but it isn’t required viewing. Warner Bros., Johns, and Whedon bring drastic changes to the DCEU here, and they economically bring a great deal of setup and payoff to the table time and time again.

‘Justice League Unlimited’ is the Standard in the comic book world when it comes to what it means to be a hero and part of a team.

‘Justice League’ feels like a two-part episode of ‘Justice League Unlimited,’ and that is the greatest compliment I could give.

Yeah, the film does have its flaws. Besides Wonder Woman, the costumes just don’t work. Ben Affleck looks like he’s wearing a muscle Bat Suit he bought from the Spirit Halloween store. The helmet on the Flash suit makes Ezra Miller look ridiculous in action. The Cyborg CGI is just a hot mess. Jason Momoa should have been shirtless throughout the entire movie, but they decided to put armor on him. ‘Project Runway’ would have cut the costume designer in week one. Yet, all the actors handled their characters well enough to where the costume issues didn’t take you out completely.

Steppenwolf looks so much better than Ares from ‘Wonder Woman,’ but it’s still a giant CGI monster that serves as a massive disconnect between the audience from the film. We get lost in the green-screen muck that plagues the palette of these movies.

The simple plot, bad costumes, and CGI mess aren’t enough to take away from the successful accomplishment: it’s entertaining. In football, they call this an ugly win. But a win is a win. Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Superman did just enough to make this the best DCEU film to date. The Dark Reign is over!

Update

The beginning of the film sets the tone of this “reboot.” The cellphone footage of kids interviewing Superman establishes right away that this is a film about hope, not darkness. Danny Elfman’s Batman theme connects ‘Justice League’ more to Tim Burrton’s ‘Batman’ than Snyder’s ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.’ Elfman’s score also connects the viewer to ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ These are all good things.

There is also a tone of racism that mimics the current administration’s stance on immigration. This one scene reaffirms the need for heroes today, more than ever.

Civilians are mentioned and saved! Wonder Woman has a great opening scene defending innocent lives from a terrorist group in Paris. How Snyder and Whedon interpret, her power is simply incredible.

Ezra Miller and his facial expressions as The Flash are the highlights of the film. The is one aspect of the film where the actor, directors, and story are all on the same page.

The most significant and brightest tonal shift is the color of Superman’s suit. It’s only a slight difference, but that bright blue is iconic and inspirational.

Who knows, I might have more thoughts on film tomorrow. Stay tuned.


After you see ‘Justice League’ on the big screen, come back and leave your review in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

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Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE A Reboot In The Right Direction'Justice League' is the film DC Comics fans have been waiting for since 'Man of Steel' was announced in 2010. It's been a long seven years.