Justice League: A League of it's own?
After years or even decades of waiting for a real adaptation of Justice League post the rumored George Miller involvement only to end up in development hell, the wait is finally over! Here it is! Justice League everybody.
I was a bit skeptical after watching the silly trailers with cover versions of The Beatles' "Come together" and now David Bowie's "Heroes" if that wasn’t bad enough, the dialogue felt uninspired and silly leaving me to believe that Josh Whedon 's input will destroy all of Zac Snyder's contributions. ( Y'see, Snyder abandoned the project after his daughter's suicide.) As doubtful as I was, I at least owe it to DC and myself to see the official debut based on their ensemble superhero team and now here we are.
Justice League is the "sequel" to last year's Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice where Batman gathers a team of super powered individuals to fight off an impending menace from beyond. Needless to say, that there are a good number of scenarios that correlate from the previous film thus making JL the spiritual sequel.
Justice League suffers from schizophrenia, one part its dark and nihilistic then gradually shifts to humor and quirky banter and this the result of two different chefs preparing a dish.
It’s practically obvious that one can tell which did what Zac’s material compared to Josh but in my honest opinion, despite a few flaws, I enjoyed Justice League for what it was than what it could have been! The world has a giant hole in its heart after the learning of Superman's death and in the loss of America's "beacon of hope" segments of society falls into despair. (There were even a few topical jabs thrown in during the intro but I won’t spoil it for you.)
Bruce Wayne has been keeping tabs on mysterious flying insect like humanoids-Para Demons giving him a much need motivation for uniting a team in order to prevent the earth's destruction.
As with Marvel's Avengers, Justice League bears a great amount of similarities to the 2012 hit.
Instead of Infinity Stones, the Mother Box serves as this film's MacGuffin, Steppenwolf is DC's answer to Avenger’s Loki while the Para Demons, fodder are reminiscent to Marvel's Chitauri.
(We all know who the main baddie will be in the sequel!!!)
The pacing can be uneven at times but forgiving, however Steppenwolf is an extremely dull villain. He lacks the sinister charisma of Tom Hiddleston's Loki or the conviction of Guardians of the Galaxy's Ronin. Simply put, he's a one note character. I enjoyed the story behind the Mother Box especially when told via flashback battle sequences which included cameos of two of my other favorite DC characters which i shall not divulge but yes, I was well received!
The slow-mo fight scenes and dramatic camera angles are typical Snyder comeback flair but why are they still using bulletime effects? Speaking of aesthetics, the costume designs with the notable exceptions of the “Big Three”, were lackluster at best.
Danny Elfman does a much better job scoring League than Age of Ultron as this in part, courtesy of subtle cues from the classic Batman and Superman films. Flash's theme sounds akin to Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen and speaking of whom, guess who play's Barry's father?
Speaking if homages, I noticed quite a few Easter Eggs thrown in. Primarily during the first post credit. The second one is not what I hoped for but, it is what it is. It’s no major spoiler that "Superman Returns" but how he comes back from the dead feels shoehorned but somewhat credible I guess. Not only has he returned from the grave but he's now more personable than ever to the extent of cracking a joke or two. Maybe it’s because he's happy to be alive again...
If you ask me, the characters who really stood out were Jason Moama's "Aquabruh" and Ezra Miller's "Flash" thanks to their peculiar dialogs. The interactions between the cast were one of the saving graces of Justice League however, there should have been more dialog about how Bruce misjudging Superman while dealing with regret especially when he's now praising him as the end all to be all. What I did like, is how they utilized Batman's practical wisdom even to the extent of putting him at odds with Diana Prince. It’s cool to see Gal Gadot reprise her role as the Amazonian Princess and Warrior-Wonder Woman and she gets more of her share when it comes to delivering serious beatdowns and there’s that funny scene involving her lasso of truth!
I laughed at Barry Allen's "racially charged" comment toward Cyborg while trying to get a fist bump from him. You can tell that some of the quirky humor that made it in had to be inspired from the Justice League animated series and to some extent, it works! Ray Fisher as Cyborg, does an adequate job, but unfortunately, his backstory was rushed to make room for the rest of the film’s narrative. Cyborg bears the man within the machine trope (i.e. Deathlok and Robocop.) but he proven himself to be an integral part of the team as with the others.
Again, despite the movie having two chefs, the dish was palatable especially after starving so long for a big budgeted version of DC's iconic Super team.