Justice League

Photo by D. Tempesta

I have developed a new strategy for watching DC movies. I go into the theater with no expectations; that way, I can’t be disappointed. It actually worked for Justice League. The movie was surprisingly not bad. By no means was it good, however. Like I told someone earlier this week, DC has done nearly everything wrong in the last decade. Justice League was just less wrong.

Gal Gadot and Ezra Miller were exceptional as Wonder Woman and the Flash respectively. The fluidity and the power with which Wonder Woman fights are mesmerizing, but that isn’t even the best part of Wonder Woman. Her charisma in her relationships, capacity as a leader, and uncompromising belief in what is good and right make her a hero like no other, a necessary hero (I contend) for earth. Other than the Flash in the original animated Justice League show from decades ago, this is my favorite iteration. He was carefree, fun, young, and constantly hungry. Ezra Miller gave us what the Flash is supposed to be, and he performed it beautifully. Related, they were right to have Wonder Woman both be and become the leader. First, she is a leader. Second, the audience already likes her. Third, Superman was dead, and Batman was useless, which brings me to my next point.

Where was Batman? I don’t know who we got in that movie, but that was not Batman. He practically served no purpose. He was not even responsible for bringing the team together. Flash would have joined if I told him I was getting a team together. Aquaman only joined because he knew the dangers of Steppenwolf and his responsibility in stopping the end of the world. Wonder Woman will always fulfill her role of protecting people and was pushed a bit by the warning fire. And Victor only came to the team after Wonder Woman talked to him and his dad was kidnapped. The only things Batman really did were find the Justice League members (which seemed like it would have been way cooler given his appearance at the end of Suicide Squad), push Diana to become who he knew she was capable of being, and lead the way on the questionable decision of bringing Superman back to life. He was slow and useless in the fights, reacted to Steppenwolf and his invasion rather than being seven steps ahead like Batman should be, and had extremely awkward “comedic” lines. I don’t know if this was some transitory phasing out role, but I will be decidedly angry if we don’t get Batman back soon. Of course, if this leads to a version of Robin and subsequently Nightwing, I will be slightly more understanding. But, still, that was utter nonsense.

Final complaints: Jason Momoa was good, but this was a ruined version of Aquaman. If you take his individual scenes and watched them one after the other, there is little consistency. It is impossible to reach a conclusion about who Aquaman is. The Aquaman we got when Bruce first found him and the one we saw when he was talking to Mera after Steppenwolf’s attack were good and reasonably accurate. The booze guzzling, Maui screaming, southern-accented Aquaman was disappointing. That being said, I would love to see an Aquaman film, provided it stays close to the true Aquaman. Victor was entirely neutral. He neither added to nor took away from the film. Lastly, Steppenwolf was inappropriately balanced. He casually defeated Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, the Flash, and Aquaman, but Superman treated him like a playground bully. Batman and Wonder Woman alone should have been able to handle Steppenwolf. Again, Batman should have been several steps ahead of this and had several contingency plans, not just one that relied on defying death and abusing the love of Lois Lane. And I have every faith that Wonder Woman could at least hold her own if not beat Steppenwolf in a duel. However, as it was presented to us, the Justice League was useless against Steppenwolf, and Steppenwolf was useless against Superman. I get that this is how the whole movie was set up. Steppenwolf only returned because of “the death of the Kryptonian”, but I challenge that direction of the movie as a whole. Justice League is definitely worth a watch on DVD if you are a superhero fan, but watch it with guarded expectations.

My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Are you even bothering with watching DC movies anymore? How did you feel about the characters in this one? Who do you want to see more of, and who do you think needs improvement? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!

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