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‘Justice League’ Is A Fun Flick

4 min read
© Warner Bros. Ent.

Hey everyone. So yeah after four films, Warner Brothers is now rolling out their newest movie Justice League, which is designed to be a starting off point for several DC comics heroes to have their own movies possibly while taking up storylines built in prior comic=based adaptations. The first three films, Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, were honestly not great films at all. While they were profitable, they were not as highly regarded either critically or fan-wise as they could have been Earlier this year though, we got Wonder Woman, which was both well made and set a new standard for female-led action movies. So many folks were hoping that the momentum and goodwill built by that high-quality movie would carry into this new Justice League movie.

We start the film sometime after the events of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The world is still in mourning after the death of Superman (Henry Cavill). His mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane) and girlfriend Lois Lane (Amy Adams) are still attempting to move on. Meanwhile, in Gotham City, Batman (Ben Affleck) is investigating the appearance of creatures called Parademons who’ve been popping up, as well as references to three small boxes that pop up in various places. Deciding these appearances are a prelude to a possible invasion foretold by Lex Luthor, Batman decides to contact the metahumans he learned of in files stolen from Luthor. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) confers with Batman and decides to help him after a strange, possibly related incident happens on her home island Themyscira.

Batman heads north to track down an interesting, boisterous man, named Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) who spends an inordinate amount of time swimming in deep cold waters and may have the ability to talk to fish. Later he meets an incredibly fast individual named Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), who’s been running around Central City in a red suit made to resist high amounts of friction. Wonder Woman meanwhile, catches up to a brooding young man named Victor Stone (Ray Turner) whose father (Joe Morton) gave him a half machine body capable of incredible weaponry and computational power, in order to save him following a terrible accident. In recruiting these people, Batman decides on a desperate plan to save Earth from the impending threat. But will it be enough?

In reflecting on the movies prior to Wonder Woman, I honestly wasn’t certain I would enjoy this movie, with all the behind the scenes shuffling at WB and the first films not being so good. The unfortunate departure of director / writer Zack Snyder due to his poor family’s tragedy added to the uncertainty. However, the coming of Joss Whedon to complete the project did restore some faith that this movie might be decent at least, as I’ve largely enjoyed his work on The Avengers, Firefly and other geek-minded ensembles. Largely, I was happy to see my faith was rewarded here.

© Warner Bros. Ent.

The story of the heroes assembling is actually okay, as everyone has to take on a powerful ancient villain known as Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). His design is not that great and we only get pieces of who he is so he mostly serves as a MacGuffin for greater things to come in future films. Still, the screenplay is somewhat lean compared to other comic-based movies, pretty much introducing us to these characters who’ve had no real screen presence before. In this respect, the movie is effective, as is the chance to learn more about the heroes we’ve already seen in prior films. The issue though is in assembling the various scenes together, things are a bit disjointed and events don’t flow entirely smoothly as they should. Also, Barry (AKA The Flash) is written in as comedy relief and some of those scenes are hit or miss. Many folks around me though seemed to enjoy those parts more than I did so I’ll chalk it up to individual taste.

The other issue I had concerned the visual quality of the movie. For some reason, the CG overall wasn’t quite a good looking as Wonder Woman which is strange to notice as I usually praise comic movies for having good quality there. On the other hand, unlike the first three DC Comics movies, we actually have a world in color, making it easier to connect to than a monochromatic one. As to the characters themselves, everyone is ok. Their interactions play out logically and not everything is hunky dory at first. Some of the humor does feel forced but it’s largely appreciated at key points. The dramatic interactions are about as effective.

Many of my friends found The Flash to be their favorite. For my money though I was happiest with how Superman was handled here. As a long time fan of the character, this was the closest I’ve seen anyone come to capturing the best aspects of the Kryptonian since Superman II with Christopher Reeve. Here, Superman’s heroism and nobility combined with his connection with humanity are seen as good things, which resonate more than just his ability to throw punches and set things on fire, though these are quite cool to see as well.

Bottom line, although it’s not as good as Wonder Woman I found Justice League to be a fun, effective and solidly entertaining comic book movie that remained largely true to the spirit of the source material, something I couldn’t say for the first three outings. I am honestly impressed they pulled this one off under the circumstances. I say go out, take the kids and form your own opinion though (like I do with any other flick) and see for yourself how decent this movie really is.

Grade: B / B+

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