N.B. Yomi's Justice League Review
So I saw Justice League, and to be honest I thought it was a good action film. Was it a good Justice League movie? Well no, but that's based on my own bloated expectations made by my love for The Avengers film and The Justice League cartoon. But I'll express everything I found wrong in the pros and cons after the summary.
In the wake of Superman's death, Batman and WonderWoman rally a team together. We meet Barry Allen trying to find a way to clear his dad's name of the death of his mother. We get to meet Cyborg lamenting his cybernetics, and Aquaman helping a small town of poverished people. From there Batman met with Barry and Aquaman to recruit them. He succeeded in recruiting The Flash, but not Aquaman. WonderWoman met up with Cyborg, and offered him to join them before he refused and left. Meanwhile, the amazons dealt with the "Mother Box," before it opened a portal that summoned SteppenWolf. SteppenWolf proceeded to lay waste to the Amazons, before he stole the Mother Box. SteppenWolf made his way to Star Labs where he retrieved the second box. SteppenWolf attacked Atlantis and took the mother box from there after thrashing Mara(Aquaman's soon to be wife) and Aquaman. His efforts put Cyborg's dad in danger, which gets Cyborg to join the team, as he rescues his dad. This also motivated Flash to actually be a hero, as he wasn't very brave initially. From there they used the mother box to resurrect Superman, before it back fired as Superman attacked them. After he wailed on Batman, WonderWoman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg, Batman summoned Lois Lane to calm him down. After Superman calmed down, he returned with Lois to his farm in Kansas, and SteppenWolf stole the Mother Box they used to resurrect Superman. From there SteppenWolf used the Mother Boxes to bring ruin. From there The Justice League united, fought him, and beat him. How? WonderWoman smashed his axe, and he got scared which caused the para-demons to attack him.
Now with that done, as opposed to stating pros and cons, I'mma just explain what I liked and didn't like about the film. Hopefully it'll be easy to follow...
A diatribe of what I liked and didn't like about this film
I admittedly didn't care for the opening, though I understood why it was done, but the fan backlash towards the tone of Man Of Steel and BatmanVSuperman rubbed off on me. As a result the moment this film started out with that downer intro my immediate reaction "Oh lord, not this crap again..." Another aspect that added to my dismay was the trailers of the film came off as:"No really, this'll be a more lighthearted and fun superhero film, we swear!" I enjoyed what followed however, where WonderWoman thwarted a bomb threat. It felt authentically like WonderWoman, and it was neat to watch. I also enjoyed Batman stopping a thug all street level vigilante style, but that enjoyment was ruined when Batman was attacked by a para-demon. This ruined the film at first, because I immediately thought they were gonna fight Darkseid in the climax. Which is a no-no, because once your protagonists fight a God in the first film, there's nowhere else to go but down. Now given the numerous DC Villains, Warner Bros. could've made that work, but it'd be hard to top Darkseid, unless they used Gog, but that's a stretch. However this was salvaged for me when the amazons monitored the mother box, before it opened a portal that brought forth SteppenWolf. Seeing SteppenWolf made me breathe a sigh of relief, as I sadly associate the para-demons with Darkseid, so to see them with other New Gods(Granny Goodness and Kalibak not withstanding...) is different for me. Moving on, I enjoyed SteppenWolf's fight with the Amazons, as it felt intense, and gave an idea of how imposing SteppenWolf is(sadly that's all he has, but we'll get to that...). I also liked how Batman and Barry met, but I HATED how Cyborg was introduced. Granted Cyborg has lamented the disposition his cybernetics leaves him in, but this felt off. And the idea that his cybernetics are evolving Krypotian tech bugged me, because I thought after Superman sacrificed his life in fighting Doomsday, people would get over the whole "Krypotians are a dangerous menace" mentality. And I hated the fact that this film's production team gave AquaMan mommy issues, as I tend to prefer AquaMan as either an angry environmentalist or a high spirited adventurer. And we get one of those traits shows up, and I'll address that later. I HATED Diana interaction with Cyborg as she tried to recruit him. Cyborg's moping annoyed me to no end, as it didn't feel in line with his character. I also didn't care for AquaMan's refusal to join the team because it seemed directionless. However I get that's what they were going for, given AquaMan lamented with Mara in Atlantis that he didn't know where he belonged. I didn't enjoy how Superman was frankensteined to life with the attempt to make Flash useful by having him recharge the Mother Box. In fact I get why they gave Flash a lack of confidence, so he could have a character arc. My problem was while Flash was upbeat and humorous, he just seemed absolutely inept until the climax. I enjoyed final climax of SteppenWolf vs. The League, as I enjoyed seeing the League fight off the para-demons, while we got AquaMan enjoying the thrill of the action. That's the only time we get a glimpse of AquaMan being a high spirited adventure, as there's no build up to that. I enjoyed Superman's upbeat attitude after he was resurrected, despite how forced it was... I enjoyed seeing Flash and Superman save people during the climax. I hated SteppenWolf was beaten, as WonderWoman smashed his axe, and the para-demons tried to eat him as he got scared, before he was teleported back to his home planet. Which leads me mentioning how I hated how SteppenWolf served as merely an obstacle for the League. After seeing characterization for Marvel villain's like Iron Monger, Loki, Hela, and Ronan The Accuser, and Hell even Zod had a character!!! Why, oh WHY was SteppenWolf robbed of his character.
Now with that finally done, on to the conclusion...
In giving it some thought, I figured out why despite everything this film did wrong. I just accepted it for what it was, because it FAILED my expectations, but I enjoyed the cast and the characters they played. The thing is like I said at the beginning of this, my expectations were set up by the 2001 Justice League cartoon and The Avengers. BUT I expected the set up would be similar to the Justice League cartoon, in how HawkGirl, John Stewart as the new Green Lantern, and WonderWoman's characters were established in their introductions. Basically after the Flash, Cyborg and AquaMan's introductions, every moment of their time should've further elaborated on their personalities. All we get is that Flash is socially awkward, and he stays that way throughout the film. Cyborg is bland, and yeah he eventually stops moping, but he just reacts to everything around him. But at least they show off that Cyborg's tech savvy. And AquaMan is a stoic reclusive nomad, and we only see his high spirited adventurous side during the climax.
Like I implied there came a point when watching this film I was like:"All right movie at this point, I'll take whatever I can get." It was a good action film, but not a good Justice League film. And regarding the pacing, it would've helped if the film started out with a dower tone and slowly escalated to a light hearted tone. During this escalation we could've gotten character development, and interactions that developed their relationships. We also could've gotten development for SteppenWolf, as from what I've heard he was originally written to be a slave of Darkseid trying to earn his freedom by offering worlds to Darkseid. That would've been awesome and would've added weight to how he was defeated with the para-demons attacking him.
At the very least this film is sadly a Six out of ten... Which to me is good, but not good enough.