Coming into Justice League, I really wanted to dampen my expectations. Not because I thought it was going to be bad, only because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Yet when sitting in front of the big screen with my popcorn, I couldn’t help but get extremely excited for what I was about to see. By the end, was I disappointed? I could not have been further away from disappointed, I was amazed at just how good it was.
We start off with Batman doing Batman things and what looks like just taking down a criminal. However this served as an introduction to the story and seeing our first parademon. I’m going to say this a lot, but I was worried about what the parademons would be like but they were designed very well. It was a great start seeing Batman climb over buildings and backflipping off a water tower to take down the criminal. It’s something we have never really seen from a cinematic Batman and it was all done so well, that it was believable. If I hadn’t caught myself on, I would have applauded Ben Affleck for being so agile.
Moving at an excellent pace through out, the movie then gives us the reminder we need with Wonder Woman. Diana rescues a batch of hostages by quite brilliantly blocking every bullet from a machine gun and taking down all the bad guys. It reminded us of the strength of Wonder Woman but also that she is some what active in being a superhero. Of course she’s not the only Amazonian left. We go back to Themyscira and see Queen Hippolyta have warriors guarding one of the mother boxes. This is when we see our first arrival of Steppenwolf (more on him later). There were some really great set pieces with the Amazonians showing their skill with the sword and bow and arrow but ultimately Steppenwolf gets the mother box and Queen Hippolyta lights the beacon. This beacon signals to Wonder Woman an invasion is coming.
Wonder Woman and Batman team up and agree a team needs put together, however not before we see the history of Steppenwolf trying to destroy earth before, but failing because of the Atlanteans, Amazonians and mankind teaming up. As well as an awesome cameo from a green lantern in battle, dying and their ring zipping off to find the next worthy lantern, very cool.
Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg all are recruited but it isn’t rushed and each character gets their character arc fleshed out. Of course a stand alone movie would have really gave each a proper origin story, but we still got enough to really understand each character. Cyborg began a little dull, but the more we understood, the more it made sense and how he’s trying to understand and control with what’s happening to him. Same with The Flash and how he’s not a criminal analyst yet and is still trying to fully control his powers. This is shown by him being clumsy and really brings his human qualities across. This makes both characters very relatable, even though they are both superheroes.
Aquaman is no different as he is dealing with not feeling part of his world and not stepping up to rule Atlantis. This is also the first time we see Atlantis and underwater scenes. These were beautiful and the ‘underwaterness’ was very effective. The Queen Mera cameo added to Aquaman’s backstory and all together, has got me very excited to see more in the Aquaman movie. Through this scene we get to see Steppenwolf steal the 2nd mother box and then Cyborg revealing he has the 3rd, this is where things get really interesting.
Batman has the idea that Superman could be brought back to life using the power of the mother box. It’s really interesting seeing the dynamic between Batman and Wonder Woman and the conflict between them in whether it’s right to bring back Superman. The way in which they brought Superman back was very satisfying and made sense for the story. Clark not realising where he was at first and trying to come to terms with being alive again was great to watch. Fighting the Justice League, The Flash realising Superman could move at his speed, and Clark asking Batman, do you bleed, all awesome and intense scenes. Batman using Lois as his ‘big weapon’ was great and a payoff from the Flash dream sequence from Batman vs Superman.
The team find Steppenwolf about to destroy the world and of course save the world, with the help of Superman really proving how strong and indestructible he is. It really was great seeing the whole team fighting together and the shot of all 6 standing after defeating Steppenwolf is just a comic book dream. I can’t fault any part or character of the story, all had really strong arcs and were utilised in the best possible way. Except for one, and that was the movie’s villain.
The decision to have Steppenwolf as full CG was a bit of a misstep in my eyes. The face animation wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen and although he served his purpose, even justifying bringing back Superman, there was just no real sense of threat from the world ending. There was no panic in the streets, there were no city evacuations, and for the earth being minutes away from being destroyed, the League kept it pretty under wraps. Steppenwolf is far from a good villain but he isn’t an awful one, and it doesn’t take away from the story and the league at all.
With the tragic circumstances surrounding the departure of Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon stepped in and shot reportedly 20% of the movie. I can honestly say the whole movie was seamlessly edited together and never at one point did it feel like 2 movies or 2 directors’ vision. Yes, you could see Whedon’s humour and a few scenes but it worked. Most of the humour worked, was funny and wasn’t too on the nose, some didn’t quite land but that was fine.
The final thing to talk about is the 2 post credits scenes which were fantastic, 1 being a jaw dropper for me. The first one was more for the fans and the Flash and Superman about to race to see who the fastest man alive is, very cool. The 2nd one however, was unreal. At first I thought we were getting some silly Lex Luther in prison talking babble scene, but then seeing Deathstroke standing on that boat, he looks incredible. With Lex saying they need to set up their own league or sorts, it sets up all sorts of possibilities for the future.
DIAGNOSIS – INPATIENT CARE
I absolutely loved this movie and immediately wanted to see it again. I’ve brought up quick points but I honestly could have wrote another 10 pages on it but I didn’t want to waste half of your day. Yes, the villain is a slight issue but when is a villain not. I’d happily watch any standalone movie for any of these characters. Do not listen to Rotten Tomatoes and go see this movie, you will not be disappointed. I’m calling it, this was better than any Avengers movie.