By Ryan Keating-Lambert
The long-anticipated Justice League is finally here, and it’s totally fine. Amidst all the negative criticism and predictable Rotten Tomatoes backlash, it’s still a fun and entertaining ride.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman (Ben Affleck), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa) unite to take down ancient supervillain Steppenwolf and his horde of flying demons.
The film has a promising start and more or less picks up exactly where both Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice left off. It’s a decent first half filled with informative backstory and character introductions. There’s a fantastic action scene of Steppenwolf making his grand entrance into Themyscira. Those Amazons really are kick-ass.
Both Batman and Wonder Woman, aka Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince head up the team and recruit the others. Not surprising as Batman has the technological means and power, and the success of the lovable Wonder Woman movie earlier this year means that Gadot’s part has really been beefed up. She’s a great leader and continues to show off her Wonder Woman wisdom and charisma here too.
Newcomers Cyborg, and The Flash are both interesting characters with a decent amount of screen time. Cyborg is the brains, and Flash is definitely the humour. Aquaman however, despite his ‘dudeness’ and all round Jason Momoa charisma that has rubbed off on the hero, is reduced to little more than a few grunts and ‘woohoos’ by the explosive finale. A little more dialogue could have gone a long way there.
Affleck’s Batman is still brooding and damaged but nowhere near as much as the emotionally taxing Batman v Superman. The character has been given a slightly more playful comic book sense of humour which does wonders. Perhaps this was a result of the disastrous reviews of BvS, or a result of director Joss Whedon (The Avengers), who stepped in after director Zack Snyder encountered family tragedy.
However, it’s at the halfway mark where Justice League loses it a little. With the predictable resurrection of an old hero, which may or may not be Superman, things go a little awry once again.
Is it Henry Cavill that just seems so awkward in the role of the wholesome Metropolis hero? I don’t know, but with Superman’s return comes all of the tedious Martha / Lois Lane drama that you probably hated in BvS, with which Justice League’s overall more comical approach, just doesn’t mesh well at all.
This film does feel like more of a comic book than previous DCEU outings, and that’s a good thing. It’s more exhuberant and a hell of a lot more entertaining. There’s even a reference to Burton’s original Batman, and composer Danny Elfman even reprises parts of the original score. Is Marvel better than DC? Well yeah, it probably is. These films do have more memorable soundtracks though.
It feels like the DCEU is heading towards a more fun-loving universe if this is anything to go by. Let’s hope they continue to get it right. People are tearing this one apart, but maybe that’s just become the fashionable thing to do these days. Rotten Tomatoes seem to have a jaded love or hate approach towards everything.
Photo: Justice League Official