Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Movie Review: Justice League

Justice League

Justice League was more fun than it had any right to be.

It should have been absolute trash. It almost was. Coming off of Batman vs. Superman, it should have been impossible to make a decent movie. Killing Superman was ridiculously stupid. As a result of that decision, they were unable to have Superman in any of the trailers. Imagine how much more hyped people would have been if they had seen three trailers with Supes leading the full team and kicking ass. Tonally, Justice League is at odds with all of the previous DC extended universe films, including Wonder Woman. The movie feels like it is actively trying to forget that Suicide Squad and Batman vs. Superman exist.

Justice League is a film riddled with flaws. The villain was forgettable. The plot was sheer hokum. Some nonsense about human fear attracting space bugs. The acting was mediocre and the writing even worse. Aquaman didn't have enough to do. Cyborg looked awful. The Flash wasn't even that funny. All in all, it is a surprisingly forgettable film for the first live-action film of the most well-known superhero team in the world.

And yet somehow, in spite of all that, the movie put a smile on my face. Maybe it's just that I have gotten really good at lowering my expectations. I went into the theater expecting it to be awful. Instead, I got some really great action scenes, some very fun anime-esque moments (Superman vs. Flash was awesome) and by far the best version of Superman on screen since Christopher Reeve back the 1970's. The effects were good and the action was scripted in a way that demonstrated consideration about the different heroes' abilities and power levels. Maybe that's a nerdy thing to worry about but I don't care. After The Last Jedi I will take any instance of directors actually caring about details.

I can't emphasize enough how much I liked Superman here too. This was the version of Superman that we should have had at the end of Man of Steel. He's strong, bold, hopeful, and yet still human. In the middle of battle he makes it clear that saving civilians is top priority. He cracks a few jokes and takes his rightful place as the boss of the team without a moment's hesitation. Who knew Cavill could do such a great job? Flash and Aquaman didn't do much for me. Cyborg was well-acted but looked terrible. Wonder Woman was the opposite of that. Batman was solid and it's a shame that Affleck may be on the way out. Yet Superman easily steals the show. I don't care if they scrap every other future project for the DC movie universe. I want a Man of Steel 2 now.

Grade: C