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?
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.
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.
From San Diego Comic Con 2017.
From San Diego Comic Con 2017. One conspicuously missing member whom we all know is in the movie.
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.
Three of the five (but really six) members ready for action
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.
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.
As you may or may not know, I was not the biggest fan of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. I did not hate the movie but I did not love it either. It was a film that I could see had great ambition but crumbled underneath it’s weight. It was a movie that had to serve many masters and that was ultimately it’s undoing. That being said, I still wanted to see what the future of the DC Extended Universe would bring. The ending of the film promised the beginnings of the Justice League, the premiere superhero team of the DC Comics Universe. Warner Bros. announced that the Justice League movie would be released in November 2017.
As of today, June 21, the film recently had a set visit and the news started pouring out. The synopsis of the movie was released, the villain was finally revealed, the crew were open (as open a crew member can be without burning bridges) about how things will be different from previous entries in the burgeoning franchise. One of the common complaints about Batman v. Superman was how dark and brooding the film was. I tend to agree with this statement on some level. I think there is a nice balance to everything and the film certainly had an odd tone about it. It made sense for a movie about Batman but a movie about Superman and the beginnings of the Justice League, it definitely didn’t work. So it’s interesting to see how the cast and crew of Justice League are really harping on the lighter tone of the movie.
The biggest hurdle in my opinion of Batman v. Superman was how it had to do so much in just one movie. It had to set up the future Justice League movie, introduce a myriad of new characters and be something of a sequel to Man of Steel. That was ultimately to the movie’s detriment. Now with the Justice League movie being filmed, the producers are quick to emphasize how this is a team building movie from beginning to end. There is a clear focus to this film and WB has seemed to reeled in its ambitions to be more manageable.
How much of this is course correction to the reception of Batman v. Superman? Was this always how this film was supposed to be? We will probably never know until years from now. But am I more excited for the Justice League movie now? Absolutely. So WB is clearly taking steps in the right direction and getting people excited for their films. It is an exciting time to be a DC Comics fan.