Justice League Review: The Surprise of the Year!
Here they are. The most famous superheroes in the DC universe, together in one movie. They must learn to work together as a team to battle, someone. A cartoon character who wants to do what? Destroy the world! How original, but hey, I didn't mind strangely. Compared to Suicide Squad, and Batman vs Superman, which were big, loud, and convoluted, back to the basics was exactly what this movie needed.
Ben Affleck is back as billionaire, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. After having a vision of the destruction of the earth, he sets out to find the threat that is secretly lurking out there in the world. He also makes it his personal mission to gather extraordinary people to help defend this planet from Steppenwolf, a Demi-God set to terraform our world into his. In his journey, Batman manages to garner the help of Wonder Woman, who is played once again by Gal Gadot. The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. The five of them must learn to work as a unit to defeat a threat unlike any of them has ever seen. They must find the Mother Boxes which are cubes made of pure energy that when placed together can cause destruction. This is what Steppenwolf is after and without the help of Superman, who died in BVS, they are needed more than ever to protect Earth.
Director Zack Snyder who previously wrote and directed Man of Steel, and Batman vs Superman, returned and filmed most of this movie before stepping down after a tragedy in his family. The studio then brought in Joss Whedon who wrote and directed The Avengers for Marvel, and after seeing the first cut of the movie and deeming it, "Unbearable." He scrapped much of the movie and reshot a good portion of it, injecting some fun and humor into most likely what would have been a bleak, and overstuffed affair. Making this movie a straightforward destruction of the earth picture usually doesn't make for a compelling story with depth, and with five characters, three of which were not established in any previous films, suffered little to no character development in this movie for you to care at all, except for maybe The Flash who was the comic relief, and his timing couldn't have been any more perfect.
DC is having a hard time finding the right balance between seriousness and humor. This movie was a slight step in the right direction, but two steps backward from Wonder Woman which is still the best movie in the franchise. That movie asked questions about human nature, faith, love, and war, while still being a superhero film and not taking itself too seriously. So while Justice League may be too simplistic for its own good, it is the movie that was needed to hit reset button moving forward. I was surprised at how much fun I had during the entire time watching it. It felt like a 1960's, Saturday morning cartoon, slightly teetering on the edge of campy and stupidity while never being insulting. I now eagerly await the installment instead of dreading it, but my expectations are still low.