Justice League (2017) – It’s not all dude bro!
As always, let’s start with the trailer for Justice League, so you get an idea of what I’m walking about!
I love DC comics as a whole. I’m a big Superman fan, I’ve always loved the Justice League and all things involved around it. The Justice League cartoon is still one of the greatest cartoon shows to ever be on TV, period.
However, I don’t like the tone of the DCEU films. I’ve talked in length about Man of Steel over on the Dynamic Duo podcast, event talked in defense of it. I think Henry Cavil is a fantastic Superman, or at least he could be if they would just let him. I HATED Batman V Superman the first time I saw it, I thought it was a confusing mess with WAY to many plots going on at once and Snyder completely missed the point on Superman. I’ve ALWAYS thought the Batman vs Superman fight from The Dark Knight was dumb and out of character for both Batman and Superman. I get why it works IN THAT BOOK, but out of that book it holds no ground. Batman could not beat Superman. There’s just no way he could do it without a LOT of help. The whole “blast him in the face with Kryptonite gas thing in BvS, sure, I’ll accept that once. But Superman isn’t stupid, he’s not going to fall for it twice.
OK, Ok, I could do a whole book on my thoughts of BvS, but this is about Justice League! So Let’s get on with it.
If you want my thoughts without spoilers, I’ll say that I enjoyed it a LOT more than I thought I would. It was entertaining, charming, and most of all it got Superman right for the first time.
Ok, spoilers are incoming!
The movie suffers the same sort of “let’s show all the characters in cut to intros” that a lot of team movies suffer from. It’s not quite as blatant as the title cards and narration of Suicide Squad (which that didn’t really bother me) but it’s there. Aquaman for some reason has two intro scenes. I suppose the first is to show he’s a badass and doesn’t take shit from Bruce, and the second that he saves fisherman and is a good guy, and also a badass because he chugs whiskey then slams it on the ground by the water littering and putting broken glass into his ocean which what ap
pears to be a shot left in the bottle. While it makes for a cool visual, I doubt Aquaman, the savior of the seas, would smash a bottle like this.
They touch him him ‘talking to the fish’ a few times but never really explain in much. It’s shrugged off, and in one line Aquaman says ‘it’s more I talk to the water’.
That’s a pretty big departure from what his powers are. He commands sea life, not suggest through water. It’s minor I guess, but still a silly change to make. They should have just used the line from the New 52 Aquaman run. That would have made so much more sense that the whole water bender things. Speaking of water benders, I expected Amber Herd’s Mera to be in this a whole lot more! Granted she was pretty awesome while in it, but it was like a minute maybe 2 and that’s it. She would have made a pretty powerful ally against Stepenwolf. I also expected them to introduce Aquaman’s brother, or at least name drop him in the Atlantis scene but alas they did not.
Cyborg was more enjoyable that I expected him to be. I went into this thinking he would be a brooding cyber-jerk that was unlikable. I left feeling warmer towards him. He is not the Teen Titans Cyborg we all know and love, he’s more like the Cyborg from the New 52 run of Justice League. I’m still not fully on board with him being promoted from the Titans to the League, but it does play out well. He’s find of an all powerful character since he is essentially connected into everything computer device everywhere. Wort of make shim over powered. His only real weakness in the movie is he doesn’t understand or know how his ‘suit’ works.
Flash…what can we say about Flash. This is a hard one to fairly evaluate because Grant Gustin does such an amazing job on the TV show in capturing a Barry Allen that is a leader, yet has flaws, is likable, and really feels like the flash to everyone. I wont say I hated Ezra Millers Flash, because I didn’t. I felt his awkwardness was great, he had some really funny lines and he really felt like he was this curious kid that wanted to fit in. But that’s not how I ever pictures Barry Allen. That’s not how I read him in the comics, or ever saw him portrayed in any TV Shows. Honestly, he felt more like he was playing Bart Allen, Barry’s grandson from the future that became Impulse. Again, I didn’t hate it. It was enjoyable and beyond how they showed him running which just looked straight up weird, it was good. It just didn’t feel like Barry Allen Flash.
Ben Affleck is a great grizzled old Batman. I enjoyed him in BvS, in Suicide Squad, and in this movie. He really hits on that “I’m too old for this shit” Batman really well. This movie really felt like a send off to his Batman. You could tell he was tired and done, that he can not do this much longer. It’s a shame to me that they built the Justice League on the back of an older Batman that never really get’s to build that friendship with Superman. That friendship is so important to who they are and to the league. They are very different characters yet they both confide in and trust each other almost explicitly. I honestly feel like we may have one or two more movies with Affleck and they he will be recast to someone younger. They will use the Flashpoint movie to reset things and keep this going. I’m ok with this, though I will miss Affleck as Batman.
Everyone loves Wonder Woman. Well, not everyone, but most people. I felt like her importance to the team wasn’t as high as it should be. Batman spoke on this some that she SHOULD be a leader that she has all this raw power and doesn’t use it, that she sat on it all those years. This movies spends a lot of her time building her up to be the in charge take no shit Wonder Woman we expect to see. I’m not upset by this, it’s done well and helps build her up as a character.
There were a couple of shots of her that I didn’t really understand as to why that angle was picked. One long shot of her from underneath that is very much an up-skirt panty shot that holds for an uncomfortably long time. Also there is the issue during the Amazon scene where some of the amazons are no longer in Armor but are in leather bikinis..to show off their….abs? I don’t know, just felt out of place in that world based on the Wonder Woman movie. That being said, holy abs those ladies where rock solid! I have always loved Wonder Woman, and Gal Gadot is amazing in this role. I hope she get’s to play this character for many years to come. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see them adapt Wonder Woman: The Hiketia by Greg Rucka. It’s seriously an amazing story that deserves the big screen treatment.
Let’s talk Superman. I saved him for last because he’s on of my all time favorite characters, and he constantly gets shit on by fan boys around the world. Henry Cavil is amazing. He looks the part and given the chance, he’s amazing in this role. Man of Steel I enjoyed, but it is just CGI Superman II with some parts that really go against what Superman is. I’m not even talking him snapping Zods neck. I’m talking about the Death of Jonathan Kent. The whole moral behind Pa Kent’s death is that Clark can’t do anything to save him, it’s onetime his abilities WONT help. Not a damn tornado that he could have saved him without anyone seeing. I could write a book about that…
Superman in Batman v Superman was more of the same. This dark brooding Superman that for some reason doesn’t want to talk. The ultimate edition did help a lot of this “why isn’t he doing _blank_ questions” but ultimately he could have stopped Batman in so many ways when he showed up for the fight to be like “dude, let’s talk, Lex is an asshole and has my mom, who’s name is Martha.” and avoided a pointless 8 minute fight.
Does it improve the DECU?
In Justice League we get a lot of things. We get a brighter colored suit, which looks amazing! We get a more hopeful and jovial Superman! He has the light hearted banter we expect of him, backed by knowledge, understanding, and humility for the human race. My FAVORITE scene in this movie is after he comes back to life (which the method they bring him back is a bit silly) he doesn’t quite know what’s going on and Cyborg accidentally attacks him (not in control of his defenses) and we see the raw power of Superman. Aquaman, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman are trying to subdue him and he is standing there, holding them off, like a wall that wont budge and isn’t breaking a sweat. And it is beautiful! Then Flash figures “Hey! I’m fast! I’ll run behind him!” not realizing that Superman is also extremely fast. When Superman turns his head and Flash realizes this the look on his face is amazing. Superman throws off the other three and starts fighting with Flash at Super Speed as they slowly fall away. Obviously Flash is a little faster, but it’s still a very well done scene.
Then he interacts with Batman and recites his own little taunt from BvS back at him “Do you Bleed?” and the pay off is great. Batman is always prepared, of course, and has the big guns to subdue Superman up his sleeve. Lois Lane. This works to the character of Superman. Their love is eternal and she would be the one who could calm him down and help him see the light. This whole scene I want to watch over and over. It’s amazing and truly captures Superman. From here through the end of the movie he is the Superman he should have been all a long. It’s amazing.
Although I’m still really pissed they killed Jimmy Olsen in BvS.
There are a bunch of easter eggs and cameos in this movie, like the Green Lanterns in the flashback fight with Stepenwolf, but I don’t care to get in to those. Go watch a you tube video if you want them all listed, there are a TON of them out there. Try this one from Mr. Sunday Movies.
The villian is pretty generic and has pretty generic motivations. “Must take over world for mother!” (seriously, what is the DCEU’s obsession with moms?) and he name drops Darkseid. I do wish they have some better motivations, but it works. It’s a comic movie, it’s fine.
I’m excited for the next movie.