Justice League (2017) Review

Justice League has finally been released. It is the fifth entry in this DC movie universe. It is no real secret that this film had a lot of problems before and during the production of this movie. I wasn’t a big fan of Batman v. Superman but I didn’t hate it. I remember leaving the theater with the feeling that I needed to see the movie again because I was more confused than anything. It’s clear that the negative reception to that movie greatly affected this movie. So what did I think about this movie?

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Justice League is good. It’s not great but good. The problems with the movie are there from the beginning with some of the choppy editing. It’s no secret that there was a studio mandate that this movie had to be two hours or under. The movie does achieve that but at the cost of some fundamentals. The plot was always seemingly paper thin with a simple alien invasion story. But with a lot of edits, the character building elements aren’t as fleshed out and ultimately hurts the film.

The actual Justice League team does work though. Seeing Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash is a joy to see. Each character does get a chance to shine. We are already familiar with Batman and Wonder Woman and their characters are expanded on here. Batman is now more self aware of what a jerk he has been and trying to redeem himself after the debacle with Superman. Wonder Woman has come out of the shadows and becoming a much more well known hero around the world. The Flash is probably the next to get the most development as he super speed makes him look like he has ADD. Being the one hero without actual battle skills, it was always a relief to see him get flustered at some of the going ons. His more goofy elements are balanced out with serious scenes with his incarcerated father. Cyborg is the most dour and rightfully so as he is no longer a man and doesn’t understand himself. He never gets too serious as you understand his frustrations and he is quick to help out as soon as trouble hits his door. Aquaman probably gets the least screen time out of the five. There is a quick exposition scene where you understand his backstory but that is a lot left on the table.

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Then there is the Superman of it all. It’s no secret that Superman is in the movie. Without giving much away, he is not in that movie that much. He’s also not in the movie too little either. The movie does get a kick in the pants once his character becomes much more of a focal point. We see varying degrees of Superman. We see a scary Superman that pretty much solidifies everyone’s fear of this alien. Then the Superman we have all wanted Henry Cavill to be finally shows up and it is a sight to see.

As mentioned earlier, the plot is a bit of a mess despite being a simple story. It would be interesting to see as to what this movie was actually like last year before all of the changes. It would also be interesting to see if they had delayed the movie to accommodate the changes more. There are a lot of characters moments that could have been elaborated on. This definitely could have worked for the villain; Steppenwolf. A fairly generic bad guy who only has one mode and that is world domination. That may be fine but there could have been some more character put into him.

Speaking of Steppenwolf, this is another problem and that is the CGI. A lot of the graphics looks rushed and shoddy. These are especially evident in the scenes that had to be added or reshot. There were some instances that took me out of the movie. None that were ever too bad where I couldn’t enjoy the film but still noticeable. Just another reason as to why the movie should have been delayed.

But what we are left with is an uneven but enjoyable film. It does have a lot of problems. When I left the theater I did not leave with the same feeling that I did when I left Batman v. Superman. I instead left with the feeling that I wanted to see it again because of how much I enjoyed the movie. Better yet, I wanted to see where they took these characters in future films. If you have a film universe, that is arguably a win.

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SCORE: 7.5/10

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Justice League Trailer Takeaway

First thing first, no Superman. We all know that the Man of Steel is in the movie and probably more than a cameo. They even brought Henry Cavill out at San Diego Comic Con 2016 to show that he was in the movie. We know Lex Luthor and Lois Lane both play important roles in the movie. We even see a brief shot of Lois Lane looking towards the sky. Maybe she’s looking at her returned love. Who’s to say? But I can commend Warner Bros. on playing coy about Superman.

But other than that, I think it was a good trailer. We see how Batman is the one to bring the team together. This was hinted at in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. We still don’t know the extent of Wonder Woman’s role in forming the team. She really does not play that much of an element in the trailer. Instead it mainly focuses on the three new heroes who were introduced in cameos in BvS.

The Flash was always going to have the hardest time. The superhero already has a hit television show on The CW. We even see that they have the same origins with the father being in prison after being falsely accused of murder of Barry’s mother. The way that The Flash’s powers work in this universe make him much more faster than any other live action incarnation. Plus Ezra Miller is the total opposite of what Barry Allen traditionally looks like and younger as well. He does look much like Robin than Allen but he looks to be Batman’s sidekick in the movie.

Cyborg is the one who gets the least amount of screentime in the trailer. I figure this may be due to the heavy special effects nature of his character and these shots might not be done. But we do get a sense of his abilities and what he is capable of. In BvS it looked like a Mother Box (powerful tools used by the New Gods…it’s complicated) helped form him into what he is now. We know that the forces of Apokolips play an important part in this movie as the main antagonist but it makes you wonder what Cyborg will function as.

Aquaman looks to be the life of the party. The one who gets off on the thrill of battle. Nothing cooler than seeing Aquaman ride on top of the Batmobile while Batman can only smirk. There is a quick shot of Mera in the trailer as well. It is known that a Mother Box resides with the Atlanteans but we do not know Aquaman’s status with Atlantis. It will be interesting to see his dynamic with Batman as he seems to grate on Batman at best.

We also see a lighter side of Batman in this. I was not a fan of the way Batman was in BvS. Talking about how “you’re not a man” and “men are brave” and all that. It was all a little too xenophobic for me. But this movie seems to have taken a step back. While Batman will probably not be cracking jokes, he does have a dry wit about him. This is apparent in most of his interactions shown in the trailer with Aquaman, The Flash and Commissioner Gordon. By the way, J.K. Simmons looks great as Gordon.

There is not much to the trailer other than mostly battle scenes which are good and bad. Hopefully WB does not do what they did with BvS and ruin all the set pieces before the movie even premieres. Justice League looks to be fluffy fun which is something that the DCEU can use at the moment. Remember The Avengers in 2012, there was not much in terms of plot when it came to that moment. This movie looks to be following suit as well as assemble the team (and possibly resurrect Superman) and kick ass. I honestly hope this movie does not suck.

Why Superman Should Stay Out of Justice League Advertisements

It is no secret that Superman will be in Justice League. Now if you do not know, Superman is “dead” after the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now we all knew from the instant that he died that it was going to be something that was not going to stick. Henry Cavill was brought out in front of the San Diego Comic Con crowd last year where director, Zack Snyder, even announced he would be in the movie. ¬†Paraphrasing, “You cannot have a Justice League without Superman.” and that is a very true statement. So why should they keep him out of the advertisements?

But other than one photo where Superman was shown with the team and a blink and you’ll miss it appearance in a behind the scenes video of the set, there is no indication of Superman being in the movie. This is a good thing. Thing back to when The Force Awakens was being promoted and advertised. Other than a quick shot of Luke Skywalker’s hand and some reused dialogue, there was no indication of him being in the movie despite everyone knowing that he was. This should be the case with Superman in Justice League.

When the set visit news from the film was released, there were two things that many noted. That Superman was acknowledged as being in the film but vaguely and the things from the third act were still kept secretive. It is not hard to think the two things being linked with one another. How does Superman return? When exactly does he return? Who plays a role in his return? These are all things that should be kept secret until the movie is revealed. Even in the plot synopsis it is noted how important Superman’s supposed death shapes the team. He cannot return early in the film.

Think about how special it will be when after about an hour and a half into the movie, we finally get to see Superman return. He certainly will not look the same as he did at the end of the movie. Henry Cavill has teased the appearance of Superman’s black costume that he wore in the comics after the character returned from the dead. The character also sported an infamous mullet, but who knows if that will carry over into the film.

Superman is the first major superhero and probably the most important. It has been noted that so far in the DCEU, he has not been treated the best. What better way to redeem the character by keeping him out of the spotlight to be built up in the film? That way when he finally does return, it will be all the more important and powerful. You can show him in advertisements after the movie is released because once it’s out, it’s out. Either way, it will be exciting to see how Superman returns and just how.

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I’m Now Worried For The DC Extended Universe¬†

With all the recent news coming out about the DC Extended Universe, I’m no longer in “wait and see” mode. I’m now officially worried about this cinematic universe. I loved Man of Steel and more ambivalent towards Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and have grown to really dislike Suicide Squad. So I am more about where this universe is going. But The Flash movie has now lost two directors and getting a page one rewrite. Ben Affleck has left directorial duties on the upcoming Batman movie. Suicide Squad was such a mess because of the studio being reactionary about the reception of Batman v. Superman. The DCEU is a ship that is moving but there is no singular voice and thus it doesn’t know where it’s going. 

I’ve already made my opinions about Ben Affleck stepping down as director known. The Flash losing another director and getting a page one rewrite raises some eyebrows. I can applaud the execs at Warner Bros. not rushing something as they tend to have been doing ever since the announcement of Batman v. Superman. But a complete rewrite of the script? Then there is the Shazam (aka Captain Marvel) splitting into two movies with Black Adam starring Dwaynr Johnson. 

Warner Bros. is in the business to make money. Makes total sense. But their biggest problem is rushing to a billion. Man of Steel didn’t make a billion so let’s scrap a pure sequel and instead let’s introduce a new Batman, introduce Wonder Woman and lay the foundations for Justice League while also paying homage to The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman. That’s a lot and probably the film’s biggest shortcoming. 

It has been said time and time again that there needs to be a central figure in charge of these movies. Too many cooks in the kitchen is what’s making these discombobulated. Is there hope for the DCEU? Of course. These are some of the most beloved heroes and villains in superhero fiction. But there needs to be action done and quickly to help right thr ship. 

Justice League Image Revealed…But What Are They Looking At?

2017 is upon us and that means it is time for more information about blockbusters to be revealed. Other than a set visit and certain images, not much has been revealed about the upcoming Justice League. We know the lineup, we know the villain and the basic plot. But with what is known, there are still a lot of questions especially concerning Superman himself. 

We see in this image that the team is leaving some sort of ship and are staring into a field. Well where was Clark Kent/Superman buried? In a field. Is this a subtle way yet not actually showing the team going to see the body of the Man of Steel? We know that Superman isn’t dead per se but his role in the movie is being kept under wraps. This is similar to the Luke Skywalker situation in The Force Awakens.

Either way it is a nice image of the team before the one key member returns. Justice League will be released in November. 

Sequel to ‘Man of Steel’ Announced

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Today a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel was announced to be in active development at Warner Bros. This isn’t a complete surprise as it was announced somewhat quietly back in 2014 when Warner Bros. revealed what their movie release schedule was going to be. All that was simply announced that a sequel would be released but with no release date scheduled at the time. However as time moved on and even Henry Cavill who plays Superman did not seem to know if there would be a sequel to the movie, it started to appear that there would not be one. It was not helped by the fact of the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. While Cavill will be appearing in Justice League, it is a reduced role and who knows what the future holds for the character.

So while now a sequel has been announced, it still has no release date. But apparently this movie is a “high priority” for the studio. This does make sense as even though Man of Steel under performed compared to expectations, it was still a hit movie. Superman will always be a solid performer as he is a worldwide known character and for decades at that. The movies so far may never break the $1 billion mark but the movies will always be solid performers. That is also not to mention that merchandise sales will always be solid as well.

A sequel to Man of Steel may have been unexpected news. But if the DC Extended Universe is going to continue, it makes sense that the adventures of the flagship hero of DC Comics would continue as well. Henry Cavill has been on record as to how much he enjoys playing the character and how he wants to play the character for as long as he can. Can anyone fault him for playing the most iconic superhero of all time. There are two unannounced DC Comics movies for 2018 and 2019. Expect one of these to be filled by this sequel.

‘Justice League’ Trailer Reaction

The first teaser trailer for Justice League was revealed at San Diego Comic Con 2016. To say that I was pumped is an understatement. The Justice League is my favorite team in all of comics so even though I was not the biggest fan of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I am all about second chances. To be fair there is something uneven about the trailer and that is probably because they are only about halfway done shooting the film. But it still does a good job of establishing what the second DCEU film in 2017 will be about.

Bruce Wayne/Batman and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman are assembling a team. We see Bruce Wayne encounter Arthur Curry/Aquaman and Barry Allen/The Flash. These two quickly establish what the tone will probably be in the film. The interactions between Bruce and Arthur are more tense with an of levity in them while the interactions between Bruce and Barry are more lighthearted. Barry immediately jumps at the call to join the team while Arthur does not. This is highlighted in a humorous scene between Bruce and Diana where they joke about Arthur not wanting to join the team.

One of the biggest complaints about Batman v. Superman was how dour the film was. This film seems to be rectifying this as well. Though things seem to be very serious such as Bruce’s narration as to why he’s assembling the team, most of the characters seem to be more lighthearted about the events. I don’t expect this to be the tone throughout but it is nice to see. Not everything needs to be serious especially when it’s just characters interacting with one another.

There isn’t much in the way of Batman and Wonder Woman as we have seen those characters. We do get to see more of the new characters such as The Flash and Aquaman and Victor Stone/Cyborg. The film goes out of its way to differentiate this Flash from the television counterpart. Whenever he uses his super powers, he seems to create lightning storms in his wake. We see Arthur Curry and Bruce mentions how he likes to come and help the village that he is visiting. So we establish that Aquaman is a man of the people but it seems like he will be the hardest member to join up. There is not much of Cyborg, probably because he requires a lot of CGI work but we do get a taste. His interactions show that this a man who is now mostly machine. His voice is bordering on robotic but there is some humor again played up between he and Batman.

Of course there is the elephant in the room. Where is Superman? It is no secret that he is in the film. I won’t spoil the events of Batman v. Superman but he was left in a peculiar predicament and none of the characters know about that. So what brings him into the film? This is all exciting as there is no Justice League without Superman.

Has the DC Extended Universe had some problems? Absolutely. But let’s attribute them to growing pains. It seems that with Wonder Woman and Justice League, things are finally getting on track. The future of the DCEU looks bright. There is no star more important to it than the Justice League.

Analyzing The New Justice League Costumes

 

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  • The Flash – The Flash’s costume looks to be some sort of spandex with plates of armor on top of it. It’s not a pure armor suit as he does need to be able to move. But even though he is the fastest man alive, he can still be hurt and thus needs the extra protection.
  • Superman – There is something that tells me that this is a placeholder image. This is the same suit that he has in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. As we know from that movie, he was left in a peculiar incident. From what we know about the movie, Superman’s role in the movie is being kept a secret.
  • Cyborg – This is what one would expect from a character called Cyborg. The sleek but sharp design is reminiscent of the look in the Transformers movie. He still has all the trademarks that Cyborg has had since his introduction in the 80’s.
  • Wonder Woman – This also looks to be the same suit that she has in her solo movie. If anything the suit does look to be brighter but there isn’t much difference in her suits between any of the movies.
  • Batman – While the suit in Batman v. Superman was more fabric, this suit looks to have more armor elements in it, particularly in the abs. Either Ben Affleck is less bulky or the suit is more form fitting as he looks to be slimmer. The cowl is also slightly different.
  • Aquaman – From his brief appearance in Batman v. Superman, the costume doesn’t look to be too different either. The other major difference is that it seems to be another set of armor underneath the golden parts.