By ADMIR DURAKOVIC
“Justice League” is DC comics and Warner Brothers’ attempt at catching up to Marvel and Disney after the release of the “Avengers” in 2012.
With Marvel movies dominating the big screen, DC has been under heavy scrutiny to compete in the live action comic market. Unfortunately, this need to play catch up hurt the debut Justice League film. Issues behind the scenes, such as a change of directors midway through production, are just one of many negative factors affecting the movie and the DC extended movie universe. The movie suffers from poor pacing due to multiple plot lines and backroom interference on the movie’s length.
The lm takes place after the events of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.” Of the two movies, the former did an exceptionally poor job of setting up this ensemble film. The events of that film saw Superman sacrifice himself to kill the main antagonist of the film. The biggest problem with that resolution is the absence of the centerpiece of the DC universe. If there is no Superman, there is no Justice League.
The marketing campaign for the film hinted at the possible inclusion of Superman – will he or won’t he make an appearance. However, anyone who is a at least slightly familiar with the Justice League knows just how vital he is to the story and the first and second act of the movie waste too much time setting up his inevitable return.
The first act has Batman telling everyone after they group together that the threat they’re facing is too dangerous and they need Superman. While Superman’s importance is played up, every other character, bar Wonder Woman, has to take more of a backseat role.
Three new main characters are introduced as Batman and Wonder Woman try to recruit the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to fight against their generic CGI villain and stop him from achieving world domination. All three of the characters could have bene ted from an extra scene to properly set up their introduction to the new team.
The film is only two hours long, the shortest film in the DCEU. If there was any movie needs to break the two hour mark, its a Justice League movie.
If you didn’t watch any DC shows or read any comics prior to watching this movie the introductions may have felt very shallow. The Flash is first seen visiting his father in prison and the two spout exposition back and forth, primarily to set up the Flash’s solo film.
Aquaman is tracked down by Bruce Wayne and viewers discover that at first he isn’t interested in teaming up with anyone. Of course anyone who’d seen all the trailers already saw all of Aquaman’s specific scenes.
Cyborg and Wonder Woman share a quick heart to heart conversation and it slightly o sets the trauma Victor Stone faced when his father experimented on him to revive him as a half human- half machine man. All of these small scenes setting up these characters could have easily been the foundation to their own movies.
Another weakness of the film is the villain and his entire story is just so generic and forgettable. The villain’s name is Steppenwolf and his name is repeated constantly by the heroes so anyone in the audience not familiar with the comics would know who he is. But if anyone left the theater forgetting who the villain was, its probably because the villain looking for a specific object necessary for world domination story has been told countless times before.
The best parts of the movie come from the comedic interactions between the heroes and the action sequences. The effects are either amazing like whenever they show off the ash running around, or below par like when Cyborg is without his hoodie and his face is digitally placed on a frail robot exterior.
Overall, this is arguably the best movie in the DCEU behind the Wonder Woman solo movie. The movie suffered from behind the scenes issues, which are especially apparent when the final act contrasts so much from the rest of the movie in terms of the color and lighting. The main cast is the glue holding the film together. They all deliver strong performances and the action may not be the greatest compared to even previous DCEU films, but its still enjoyable.
For anyone who isn’t a major fan of these characters who still hasn’t seen the movie, wait for the extended cut version to be released before you see the movie. The film suffers from poor pacing jumping from exposition to action back to more exposition. The extra 40 minutes will hopefully help shore up the film’s shortcomings.
For those who are comic book fans but still haven’t seen the film in theaters, for what it’s worth, the ll is still enjoyable.