"has great character moments and interactions and shows that DC listen to what works and what doesn’t"
Bringing together the juggernauts of the DC Universe has been no easy task; we had the lacklustre Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that divided audiences, that was followed up by Suicide Squad which was essentially an elongated music video. The shining light was the release of Wonder Woman, which gave us hope for the future, and that future is the subject of my review today - Justice League.
Justice League follows Bruce Wayne aka Batman as he recruits heroes to form the Justice League, aided by Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman and loyal butler Alfred as they fend off Steppenwolf and his Army of Parademons who are looking to create the Unity with the Mother Boxes that are on Earth to reshape the World.
I was looking forward to seeing Justice League for a few main reasons; Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck’s grizzled and seasoned Batman and the appointment of Joss Whedon to the Director’s Chair following Zack Snyder’s departure following a family tragedy and I wasn’t disappointed.
I had a lot of fun with Justice League, it wastes no time in setting up the threat and getting the team together and one thing that is evident from the outset is that it’s a much brighter film, following the trend set with Wonder Woman.
The characters of the Justice League are superb, the film doesn’t work as well as it does without the camaraderie and chemistry between the principle characters of the Justice League; Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa), they all have a chance to shine, with the standouts for me being Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash and Aquaman.
Another strength to the film is the music, expertly crafted by Danny Elfman, with inclusions of the themes he created for Batman in 1989 and John Williams’ Superman theme from the 1978 film makes an appearance too.
There is a lot to like about Justice League some of which I consider spoilers, unfortunately, like with many Superhero films, the villain is a weak link, Steppenwolf’s menacing and you understand what he’s planning and his motivations, but I would have preferred an in camera villain, rather than a CGI creation, although being voiced by Ciarán Hinds is a definite plus.
Having Joss Whedon at the helm to finish the film was an inspired choice, he’s had success with comic book ensembles before and his writing and directing of female heroes is exemplary, so the film was in safe hands with him and his future in the DC Universe is bright, Batgirl is around the corner and I can’t wait for that.
Whilst Justice League is not the best film that the DC Cinematic Universe has to offer (that’s still Wonder Woman in my book), it is a definite step in the right direction; embracing the comic book history whilst creating something exciting and engaging for both fans of the comic book genre and those that aren’t as familiar with the source material.
Justice League shows that DC do listen and will course correct, however clocking in at just two hours, with the mandated order from the powers that be, the film does feel truncated at times, and I believe it would’ve served the film better had there been another 20 minutes. Justice League doesn’t drag, it has a good pace to it, but some scenes feel a tad disjointed and with the mandate, the creativity is taken out of the creatives to a degree; it becomes less about making the best film possible and more about a runtime that will allow for more showings at the Cinema.
Overall, Justice League has great character moments and interactions and shows that DC listen to what works and what doesn’t, Justice League continues the promise made my Wonder Woman and takes a step in the right direction.
Oh and stay for the duration of the credits, there are two post credits scenes that you won’t want to miss, I won’t mention what they are, but you’ll thank me later.