Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
I'm not a big superheroes person, I've seen a few of the Batman films over the years as they've come out and whilst I enjoyed them enough, I never had any desire to re-watch any of them, though in more recent years I've been enjoying some of the Marvel films (again, not enough to chase them down, but Mr Eleven is into superheroes so I've seen quite a few). Then DC brought out Wonder Woman and I LOVED that film, so having her in this was enough to have me say OK to the pleading children who wanted to go and see this. I knew the basics of each characters background, however having it in the film is good, but did add to it feeling a little disjointed.
Some of the CGI was a off with the main villain, taking away some of his credibility. The creatures that he commanded couldn't seem to decide if there was just a few or hundreds, which also led to wondering why, when Steppenwolf was such a big baddie, did he stand back and do nothing to try and stop the Justice League before they came at him... The team end up meshing well enough by the end of the film, but it seemed a bit too forced at times, as they got to know each other. I did enjoy the film overall, there were some good action from Wonder Woman and some good comedy from the various team members, especially Flash and Alfred. A favourite moment was Diana using her lasso on Aquaman and pretty much all of Flash.
Stick around for an end credit scene with two of the team which is a fun little end to the movie. While it wasn't fantastic, it was still a enjoyable movie and one we now own on DVD.
Justice League follows on with the typical pacing that we have become accustomed to with DC after 'Batman vs Superman'; where they cram multiple movies worth of content into a single film, instead trying to sum up new characters in a quick 5-10 minute side story. Realistically, I would have loved to have had a Cyborg and Aquaman origin movie take place before Justice League, simply so that we get a better idea of the personality of each character beforehand, and so that we aren't wasting time in the culmination of the Justice League faffing about introducing new main characters, their backstories, and even introducing the movie equivalent of NPC's (read: here's a scene added purely to create a cool but unnecessary moment later in the film).
With so many big names, you expect a lot of character development and great acting, and the latter was certainly present. But when you include so many main characters in one film they don't actually end up getting a lot of screentime. And this leads to a disconnected feeling between the characters. In regards, to an authentic feeling of putting together a team for the first time, it's pretty much on point. But from an effectiveness standpoint (i.e. the ability to save everyone from a world-ending power) they certainly lack any proper cohesion.
Individually, the casting was brilliant. It wasn't until I was sitting in the theatre looking at a large picture of the Justice League, that I noticed how much more ethnically diverse they all looked, from their original comic book sources. The great thing is that I almost didn't notice; better casting, that is not only inclusive, but better representative of the world we live in. Batman and Wonder Woman have the best onscreen chemistry by far, which is certainly helped by their history in the DCEU so far.
I was apprehensive about how well Ezra Miller's Flash would work on the screen. The trailers made him out to be a wise-cracking awkward individual, and having seen several years of a successful TV Flash, I was unsure of how well he would fit. Fears were ultimately unfounded, with the Flash (and to an equal extent, Alfred the Butler) becoming a light-hearted and positive influence (and some brilliant comedic flair) to contrast the broody Batman and Cyborg characters. Still not a huge fan of his costume, but really it isn't a big issue at all.
But I really don't know what they were thinking with the villain, Steppenwolf. DC faced some backlash from the use of CGI in the villain Doomsday from 'Batman vs Superman', and yet they have upped the ante and increased the quantity of CGI in the film. All bad guys are faceless creatures, that provide nothing more than unrealistic cannonfodder. One minute there are literally thousand on the screen, then there are only a handful; the inconsistencies in strength and number of enemies really messes with your ability to truly understand the level of threat posed to the world or our heroes. Steppenwolf himself seems to be a rather lacklustre and uninteresting enemy (He seems incredibly weak compared to Doomsday who managed to kill Superman. Whereas Steppenwolf can't even lay a hand on him. Not to mention the fact that he doesn't even attempt to attack the Justice League beforehand, he only weakly defends against their attacks.
The tone of the film overall fits between 'Batman vs Superman' and 'Wonder Woman' in both quality and tone; lacking a strong, coherent storyline, but still able to convey positivity and some good vibes in amongst the doom and gloom. There is also some nice colouring choices (obviously helped by the large level of CGI in the film, where each character has their own colour profiles in their environment; Batman having dark and desaturated tones, compared to the bright, clear, natural brown and beige colours, or Steppenwolf's high contrasting darks, with bright, iridescent purples and orange.
This has fallen into the trap of trying to overreach. Trying to catch up to Marvel's Cinematic Universe, where they can throw multiple characters together, into any situation and reap huge profits. But they need to spend time introducing the characters first. Nevertheless, the film was enjoyable, and got more than a few grins out of my usual pessimistic self. It's certainly a step in the right direction, and I certainly hope the Justice League members all get their own standalone films out of this (even Alfred. I'd love to see where he got all that sarcasm and snark from).
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