Justice League

The 462nd film I have seen in theaters…

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A bit messy, but otherwise fun, adaptation of the Justice League

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Superman is dead, and the world plunges into chaos. Crime is skyrocketing, people have lost hope.

With the Earth losing its most powerful protector, the evil Steppenwolf of the planet Apokalips sees an opportunity to reclaim his glory. 5,000 years ago, Steppenwolf attempted to destroy the Earth using 3 powerful devices, the motherboxes. The Humans, Atlanteans, and Amazons banded together to stop him. Each took possession of a motherbox, to prevent them from ever being joined again. After Steppenwolf defeats the Amazons and seizes the first box, Batman and Wonder Woman unite The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman to stop Steppenwolf and save the planet. This is a bit beyond them though. It is really a job for…SUPERMAN! But…he’s dead. Let’s see if they can fix that.

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Ben Affleck returns as Batman. I do not understand the hate. I think its just that people don’t like Affleck: the man. His Batman might be the best take on the character and he still has the best bat-suits since Keaton. He does good work here, and I hope the rumors of him leaving the role are unfounded. Seeing Batman drive the Batmobile into action against Parademons as Elfman’s 1989 Batman theme played was awesome to behold.

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I loved Man of Steel. I thought it was an excellent look at Superman just starting out, trying to discover his role as protector of Earth. Batman Vs Superman was a dark story which showed Superman having to fight another hero and be the victim of a massive smear campaign by Luthor. He rises above it and lays down his life to stop Doomsday. After the disorientation of being revived from the dead, Clark smiles. A lot. He’s been through the ringer, literally died, and now has a new outlook on life. He has become the Superman we all wanted him to be. A lot of fans wanted him to be fully formed in MoS, but I am glad they gave him this arc. The red underpants are still missing, but they did brighten the blue and red of his suit. Danny Elfman’s choice to use the classic John Williams theme again was a good move.

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I am not sure what more could be said of Gal Gadot. Her turn as Wonder Woman is universally praised. The writing, and acting, of Diana perfectly embodies what the character should be. She continues this work as the strong heart of the Justice League, all while we discover that she is still dealing with the fall out of the events of WW1, and the death of Steve Trevor. She has spent a century hiding her true self from the world. This movie ends that. Wonder Woman’s time has come.

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Ezra Miller’s Flash is like no other take on Barry Allen. The basic story is there, the modern version at least. Where Miller innovates is playing him as a young college student, timid, a bit geeky, and incredibly awkward. He is a source of comic relief in the film, and I was pretty impressed with the results. The slow motion scene of him and Superman was the best in the film. The mid-credits scene where we ACTUALLY get to see Superman and The Flash race each other on screen was little geek’s dream come true.

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Right on! Jason Momoa gives us an incredible Aquaman! He’s a tough, hard drinking, badass warrior that also happens to be half Atlantean. His “biker-esque” take on Arthur Curry was a bright spot in the film.

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Amy Adams, whom I adore in any film, returns as Lois Lane. She is not front and center this time, but plays an important role in re-acclimating Superman to his life.

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The incredible actor, Ciarán Hinds, is buried under suspect CGI as Steppenwolf. I kinda wish they stayed closer to the comic design for him, but he was okay as a bad guy. Essentially a cartoon monster that hits things, which is alright for a comic book.

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Jeremy Irons is back as Alfred. He stays mostly in the background, doing some support for the team as they go into battle. He’s a good take on the character, playing up Alfred’s military background. Michael Gough and Caine are tough acts to follow, but he is up to the task.

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J.K. Simmons debuts as Commissioner Gordon. Properly mustachioed, he is a good choice for the character. I will miss him as JJJ over in Spider-man though.

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Connie Nielsen returns as Queen Hippolyta, Diana’s mother. She has an excellent battle scene against Steppenwolf on Themiscyra. The Amazons are given another excellent showing in this film.

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Rounding out the main cast is Diane Lane as Martha “Ma” Kent. She is a bit down on her luck as the Kent Farm has been foreclosed. Combined with the death of her son, things are not so hot for Ma Kent. She has some great scenes and she definitely adds to the emotion when Clark comes back.

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I was an early fan of Man of Steel, seeing a lot of the “Post-Crisis” Superman in that film.  I enjoyed Batman v Superman, but thought the Blu Ray extended edition was far superior. Suicide Squad was a disspointment. Wonder Woman was fantastic. Justice League is the best of these films not named Wonder Woman, lol. Like Batman v Superman, this film needs an extended edition.

The story was WAY too rushed. It needed another 30 minutes to breathe and develop it’s characters. There was a lot of dodgy CGI in this as well, fairly surprising considering its 300 Million dollar budget. The action scenes, I enjoyed. Some are saying they are a muddled mess, but I had no trouble following the action.

Elfman’s score is okay, great at the big moments when he uses the classic themes, but was otherwise overpowered by the sound. The mix on this was terrible. When the Batman or Superman theme plays, it needs to soar. It was lost in the cacophony of battle noises.

At the end of the day, this is a fun movie. Seeing all these heroes interact was worth the price of admission. Ignore the critics. While this is no “Avengers”, it is a good movie. 7/10

DCU Ranking

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Justice League
  3. Man of Steel
  4. Batman v Superman
  5. Suicide Squad

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