Miller, Fischer, Gadot, Affleck, Mamoa

MOVIE REVIEWS: Does “Justice League” Offer DC Redemption?

The one massive downside to all of these superhero movies is that, after a while, they all start to look the same.
Even the characters are interchangeable: Batman is the money/gadget guy (Iron Man) while Aquaman is the rebellious God (Thor). The Flash is the joke-cracking youngster (Spiderman), Cyborg is the half man, half something-else-entirely (The Hulk) and, of course, Wonder Woman is the beacon of goodness (Captain America). This doesn’t mean that Justice League is a bad movie. I don’t think it could be BAD with this cast and this much material (introducing the League, fighting evil AND mourning a dead Superman). No, Justice League isn’t a bad movie but it does feel awfully familiar. It also highlights a huge difference in the way Marvel and DC tell their stories and why the Marvel films are consistently stronger:
A well-defined, well-acted BAD GUY.
Thor: Ragnarok has Cate Blanchett’s sultry Hela while Spiderman: Homecoming gave us Michael Keaton’s relatable Vulture. Even Wonder Woman had a gaggle of interesting villains, and topped them off with the seemingly unstoppable Aries, but Justice League gives us a CGI creation named Steppenwolf. Sure he’s gigantic and terrifying, and searching for some power-filled boxes (kind of like Infinity Stones?) but he also feels lifeless onscreen, and therefore never very threatening.
All of that aside, Justice League is a fun movie to watch. I’m still struggling to accept Ben Affleck as Batman, but Jason Mamoa and Ezra Miller bring so much life and personality to Aquaman and The Flash. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg could’ve used more backstory but Gal Gadot is still perfection as Wonder Woman. Well, there were a few too many low-cut blouses and close-ups of her tiny, toned butt for my taste but…I get it. In fact, now I understand why Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice HAD to be so bad. Certain elements needed to be put into place for this movie, but couldn’t be given satisfying conclusions without giving everything away. In other words, I’m not sure that Justice League totally makes up for any past DC missteps, but it’s a pretty great start. (B)
NOTE TO PARENTS: Justice League opens with a frightening hostage situation and shoot-out, but otherwise has bloodless violence. Most of it’s death scenes are implied, rather than onscreen. There is some mild profanity and alcohol consumption, and the Amazons’ attire reveals far more flesh than before. Steppenwolf and his bug-like army are scary and might frighten younger viewers. I took my 10-year-old and 13-year-old daughters to Justice League and saw nothing that would be inappropriate for your average superhero-movie fan. In fact, both of my girls really enjoyed it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *