the 5th film to enter the DCEU, Justice League is the all-star match up of some of the greatest heroes that DC comics have to offer. Whether it’s something that we’re ready for is another matter. Following an incredibly turbulent and torrid start to starting its universe, Justice League looks to bat away any negativity that the franchise is holding and start to make amends. The answer you are looking for is in this review. Firstly, Justice League has unfortunately gone through the least ideal route of preparation for the film. Director Zack Snyder had to depart due to the passing of his daughter; multiple reshoots were conducted to finish and polish the film off by Joss Whedon. This included extensive CGI work on Henry Cavill’s moustache that he was growing for the new Mission: Impossible movie. But, despite all the hiccups and alarm bells ringing about the production of the film, Justice League avoids becoming an absolute pile of crap.
The film picks up from the events of Batman v Superman. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince continue their search to create a super team to take on the villainous Steppenwolf. Not only do this dysfunctional team have to bond very quickly but they have to deal with the ever-growing powers of Steppenwolf without the help of the deceased Superman. The introduction of new characters including Cyborg, The Flash and Aquaman are an absolute delight and breath of fresh air to the DCEU. Not only are they introduced in such a simple manner, they integrate with the other characters very quickly. Not everything is hunky dory for the Justice League; the film massively struggles to get through the first 30 minutes and does come across as a piece of steaming mess. Narratively and in every other way, it’s a disaster. The way it’s been shot and the shoddy CGI really hold back a strong start to the film. Credit where it’s due, it really clawed back my attention to the film as it started to calm down and go down the more simplistic route, a road that the DCEU has struggled to find in their first four movies. Justice League does what it needed to do, make you actually enjoy the film and have a laugh! Reducing the running time to a respectable 2 hour mark made it less of a slog to get through as well.
In terms of characters, there are positives all round. Ben Affleck continues to put on a good performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman. His second time round feels a lot more comfortable and relaxed which allowed him to express a different Batman we experienced the first time round. Wonder Woman is as graceful as always and proves to be a pivotal leader. Aquaman does enough to show that he can be a badass and is almost the delinquent of the group. The Flash, played by Ezra Miller does a fantastic job of portraying Barry Allen. His humour and wit gives the Justice League team that balance that has been missing. Cyborg is the surprise of the film. Not knowing all too much about the character, it was a joy to indulge in a new protagonist in a comic book movie.
It does suffer its flaws as mentioned, but once Justice League really starts kicking into gear, it turned out to be a really enjoyable event. It’s still one that might not win over many new fans to the DCEU, but its definitely a sign of progress. It has injected some hope for the future of the franchise and it needs to continue to do that. Personally, the first step is to move away from Zack Snyder and get a new face in to take it in a new direction. Justice League has many moments that made me laugh and overall have a fun time at the cinema, so to me, it did its job. 3.5 out of 5 stars.