Disney changed the cinematic landscape with their commitment to creating a connected franchise with no foreseeable end in sight. We can all agree that the Marvel Cinematic Universe IS the gold standard. More recently, Universal Pictures attempted to resurrect their once-famed horror collection, but in a directly connected way, with The Mummy (2017). The reboot did not live up to expectations critically nor financially, so the studio decided it’s a wrap. We focus now on Warner Bros. and their continued attempt at to gain a strong foothold on their ladder to success. The road so far has been uneven but took a huge turn towards legitimacy with the smash-hit Wonder Woman (2017). With momentum on their side, the DCEU is out to finally unite their franchise with Justice League.
If you haven’t seen the other DCEU movies yet, you may want to see those first before reading this review or seeing the latest offering because major events from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) front and center.
Superman aka Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is dead. In his selfless sacrifice, he has inspired an individual that he did not see eye to eye with in the past. Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) has now devoted his crime fighting “free time” to prepare for a bigger threat that he knows will be coming. In order to properly prepare for this task, he knows he cannot do it alone. With the assistance of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Bruce goes on an recruiting venture to bring some super friends into the fold. Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) are the ones targeted to help save the world. There is an immediate evil in the world and it will take a team to stand against Earth’s most formidable foe to date, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), an all-powerful supervillain who is looking to destroy our world as we know it. Who will remain standing at the end?
The biggest knock on this new wave of DC Comics movies has been its tone. While being “dark” was once the sexy thing to be, audience now crave a healthy dose of laughter in their superhero movies. Justice League really brings the formally missing aspect to the most recent offering. Ezra Miller, whom I was very skeptical of when casting was announced, simply slays the comical side of his character. He runs circles around his costars, pardon the pun. Jason Momoa gets in on the fun as well, along with being a complete badass. This is a complete departure of what most assumed prior to the announcement of his casting. These are just two that stood out, others were good as well.
Warner Bros. needs to be careful with their saturated special effects. Just like with some other fantasy/science-fiction movies of recent years, just because you have easy access to CGI, that doesn’t mean you should use it ad nauseam. Sometimes less is more. And that was my biggest complaint regarding Steppenwolf. I mean did Ciarán Hinds even get to provide any value?
With all of the inferiority bashing that Warner Brothers and DC Comics has endured their big screen renaissance of sorts, they’re finally trending in the right direction and reclaiming some of its super glory. Wonder Woman (2017) was a huge step forward away from the pits of obscurity. Now it would seem that Justice League will be able to ride some of that momentum towards a position of relevancy as the landscape of comic book heroes steadily becomes more entrenched in today’s movies and television shows. It’s great to see some of the most iconic characters of all time getting treatment they deserve. While not completely without its flaws, audiences can rest assured that they will be entertained. See Justice League in theaters right now and be sure to stay put until the lights in the auditorium come on. Patience will be rewarded.