Release Date: November 17, 2017
Director: Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon
Writer: Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon, Chris Terrio
Cast: Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Jason Momoa, Connie Nielsen, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Ezra Miller, Amber Heard, Henry Cavill, Diane Lane, Kiersey Clemons, Billy Crudup, J.K. Simmons, Ciaran Hinds, Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, Daniel Stisen, Ray Fisher, Erin Eliza Blevins, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Michael McElhatton, Samantha Jo, Joe Morton, Andrea Vasillou, Suan-Li Ong, Eleanor Matsuura, Tina Balthazar, Alexandra Ford, Tessa Bonham Jones, Lara Decaro, Taylor James, Marc McClure, Paulina Boneva, Julian Lewis Jones, Bern Collaco, Jolie Stanford, Sam Benjamin, Adam Collins, Gem Refoufi, Samantha Schnitzler, Conny Stadler, Lynne Anne Rodgers, Jazz Peters, Karen Bryson, Jim Sturgeon, Karl Farrer
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 121 minutes
Production Company: Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment (as RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC), Lensbern Productions, Warner Bros.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Budget: $300,000,000 (estimated)
Ever since the launch of the DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe) with Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder in 2013, the studio behind it all being Warner Bros., has been off to a rough and troubling start. While I loved MOS nearly from head to toe, it was quite divisive among critics and fans across the world, not delivering on expectations that viewers had of Superman. In addition to that, I thought it was extremely premature for their next film to be Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, jumping the gun, and not letting their characters develop properly over time, like other similar comic book franchises. BvS was received even worse, and with Suicide Squad being another embarrassment, which I absolutely despised it, appeared Warner Bros. shared universe was heading down the toilet. Fortunately for everyone, Wonder Woman (2017) was a breath of fresh air directed by Patty Jenkins, that not only pleased the majority but catered to female moviegoers across the land, claiming that a female-led superhero film, could be just as entertaining as a male-led film, if not better. Though with the release of Justice League coming up next, Zack Snyder was still attached which still rubbed many films fans the wrong way. Though from certain circumstances, Joss Whedon joined the fold with his directing, and writing talents, and added his own flavor to the mix that in the end birthed a hybrid film of the two masterminds delivering something quite entertaining as an end result. While Justice League is not perfect (no film is), it does exactly what it needed to do by bringing light to an already dark situation. It took the visual composition of Snyder and blends seamlessly with Whedon’s dialogue creating a film that I’m most proud of as a comic book fan. As far as the characters are concerned and their interactions, I couldn’t be happier.
It's difficult to disclose which aspect I enjoyed of the film the most between the characters and the action, but I'll start with the former. Every single superhero did a fantastic job. I look forward to reading the comment sections in forums to hear debates from all fans on who stole the show. Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was already a strong character in her solo film that was released earlier this year, and in this film, she's even stronger morally, and physically. I wouldn't advise talking trash to her, because one character did, and she let them know that wasn't the way to talk to a lady who was more than pleased to see. Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) is a born leader that rallies the team, and seeing him not waste time to do so was a wonderful way to set the tone of how serious the inevitable threat was. We get to see him be a master detective and showcase new toys he developed with the billions of dollars he had at his disposal. When he was recruiting, he talked the hero talk, but when engaging Aquaman, that conversation became so down to earth as normal people, that really made you relate to both characters more than you would think. Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) looked amazing in his costume full of armor with his legendary trident. I couldn’t think of anyone better to fill in those shoes, and he did so with perfect precision. Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) was one I was most surprised with. His character was so cool, collected, and reserved. There was a humble nature to him, that still spoke volumes. His powers deeming from an accident really affected his personality, and he reacted in a way that any sane individual would, and even though his mannerisms were subtle, it was a perfect introduction to his cybernetic makeup. Every character involved had a funny line or two, but of course, Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) had the funniest throughout the entire film. His charisma was adorable as the little kid on the team but was still able to take things seriously when necessary. Even during the heat of the battle, why some instances seemed comical, they also felt genuine and realistic. Him not being used to going into battle with large threats had the perfect reaction in the film, which made me appreciate his character and casting even more. Of course, there's a ton of more characters to discuss, but I want to avoid spoilers so you'll be surprised.
As far as the action is concerned, this film may be tied with the best in the entire DCEU. I loved the hand to hand combat in Man of Steel, and here in Justice League, it's just as good or maybe better. I was geeking out in my seat during certain moments when certain characters were projecting punches, kicks, and energy blasts. All characters whether good or bad was involved in the fight full force with no one sitting on the sidelines. The writing during these scenes clearly was thought through, having a story written into the action, so it wasn't just a brawl fest with every blow serving a purpose. What was also most impressive was the involvement of the Amazons on their lovely seclude island. From the trailers, their race is one of the first to encounter the evil villain SteppenWolf (Ciaran Hinds), and that action bit was pure platinum. While the Amazons weapons may be considered primitive, these master class warriors were still able to make significant use of them with one sequence involving just 1 bow, 1 arrow, and a rope. I was blown away. On a good note, it's towards the beginning of the film as well. SteppenWolf was super powerful, and he didn't mind knocking someone's block off. He was big, bad, and scary which is just the villain we needed to see. That axe he carried around delivered a lot of damage, and he never held any punches when a battle commenced. Don't let me forget about the action from the Flash either. Seeing him run near limits of the speed of light was such a visual treat. This dude was going so fast, at times you couldn't see him even when the film was in super slow-mo. Him dodging punches left, and right was just what the doctor ordered, and is one of the many times during the film, where you're smiling ear to ear. He wasn't even a master of his techniques either with him tripping up a few times, So that leaves even more for the future with his abilities that gets me even more excited as I'm writing this. Frankly, it's nearly impossible not to be satisfied with the action in the film, and I'd definitely want to converse with anyone who feels otherwise.
I could go on and on raving about all the good in the film listing everything that I loved, but now it's time to touch on the bad. The story of the film was a little lacking. Other than a bad guy wanting to take over the world, there's not much more to it. Then again, I'm still confused whether or not Steppenwolf wished to take over the world or destroy it, and that's a point that wasn't fully explained, or maybe it slipped my memory. Steppenwolf motivation of anger was misplaced as well. His introduction in the film was spot on, and there was a glimpse of his backstory which was great, but honestly, I wanted a little more from him in the present day. He was a powerful threat that could fight in the ring, but as far as his reasoning, the film provided a paper-thin explanation. While he looked cool from afar, and somewhat close, he looked horrible when the camera zoomed in on his face displaying poor cgi, It was either a rushed job, or the studio didn't care, but his face looked unfinished not being polished to respectable standards. Cyborg’s robotic costume was clearly cgi as well, but it didn't stand out as bad as SteppenWolf's face. I'm sure they can fix these issues in the next film, but here, it was rather daunting. I also wanted more from Atlantis. We got a small intro to the world under the ocean, but it did nothing for the viewers which should've contained much more development. The acting was outstanding across the board as well, besides one scene of dialogue between Wonder Woman and Cyborg. While Ray Fisher is a phenomenal Broadway actor, seeing Gal Gadot trying to emote sadness during this scene was a little cringe-worthy, to say the least. It's good that it was only brief, because in the remainder of the film she did a fine job, and also looked gorgeous in a white suit.
I went into this film Justice League with the expectations I would be slightly let down, and I’m overjoyed that’s not the case, at all! As a biased comic book fan, I’m very pleased with the outcome even with me admitting a few mishaps here and there.
The action made me pump my fists, geek out in my seat, and brought my childhood back to life while viewing. And even though the story could use more work, when the credits hit, I was beyond excited, salivating at the mouth, and couldn't wait to see even more. The team-up aspect seeing all the characters join together was near perfect, and made sense in every logical way, and is in the best part of the film. While you may not share my same sentiments, this is a far superior film that BvS or Squad, and while it may not be the best in the DCEU, it sure is my favorite.