I got to see a press screening of the Justice League movie several days before its release. I haven’t been a fan of most of the DCEU movies, but this one made me look forward to their future. From the very first opening moments, it addressed almost all the issues that I’ve had with the previous films. They were too bleak and gritty for me with the recent exception of Wonder Woman. The darker approach of the past installments is a good fit for a character like Batman, but that shouldn’t be the standard when dealing with characters like Superman. Superman’s most significant power isn’t anything that could be classified as superhuman, it is his compassion for others and his ability to inspire people that are his most vital assets. This movie isn’t perfect, but I left the theater with a sense of hope after seeing how well these classic superheroes interact on the big screen together.
Justice League didn’t have the luxury of introducing half of their protagonists before its release with individual motion pictures. Superman and Wonder Woman each had their own films. Batman shared his debut in the DCEU with Superman in their first crossover film. Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman were merely teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to these new characters on film, and it never felt rushed to me, or that I lacked critical information, but it was clear to me that they weren’t showing all of their cards because of these characters’ future solo films. Easily, the best part of the film is the chemistry between all of the heroes and seeing how they come together to save the world.
The antagonist, Steppenwolf, is by far the weakest part of the movie. Out of the three previous DCEU films, two of them used hulking CGI monsters as their villains. This film is no different from those other two pictures. Steppenwolf serves as little more than a special effect for the team to punch, which was still very satisfying to watch by the way. His motivations are explained early on, but they come across as silly and forgettable. Thankfully, this film has more to offer than its villain getting beat up by people with superpowers.
The overall tone of the movie is simply fun. There are a lot of exciting action scenes, surprise cameos, and humor through its two-hour runtime. Each character gets a chance to shine while they all share the spotlight. Battles in the film are intense and hard-hitting. Multiple times the focus wasn’t just on saving the world, but also protecting the nearby civilians’ lives. I feel that this is the movie that DCEU learned how to stop worrying and love being a superhero universe. The soundtrack is even playful by having some easter eggs in it with iconic themes from the classic movies of these comic book personalities. For some of the characters that have been in multiple films in the DCEU, this is the first time that I felt like they acted like heroes. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these super friends.
FYI – There were two scenes during the credits of the film. The first one was a real blast, but it races by quickly. The second appears to set up the inevitable sequel, and it peaked my interest in learning more about that league.