JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)

JUSTICE LEAGUE REVIEWED

“Justice League” is the “Superman II” for the modern generation. That’s not a bad thing, teenage readers. However, it reiterates how DC/WB can make a weak narrative to appeal to a larger audience. The goal of “Justice League” is to right the ship. While they push the ship out of the storms plaguing the first round of DC films, nobody is on shore yet. Now, let’s move onto what works.

Ezra Miller gets to use the best of what works on TV’s Flash and finds a way to amplify it on the big screen. Comic fans know that Barry Allen is a little more reserved, while Wally West was the energized Flash. Put the two of them together and throw it in a dash of Impulse to get Ezra Miller’s take on the character. He’s very much a Year One Flash, but he loves having his powers. Hell, he just likes having other guys and gals to talk about this stuff with now.

DC further develops the worlds of Atlantis and Themyscira, as we get time spent learning that the DC Universe can be so much bigger. Mera, Hippolyta and the others get cameos to reinforce why Aquaman and Wonder Woman should be in the League. Hell, we even get an intro to Cyborg and a costume change. Well, biomechanical costume change? After all of that, keep an eagle eye focus for the micro cameos. You’ll see Green Lanterns, ancient Shazam and a few others sprinkled into the background during Steppenwolf’s first invasion attempt.

Joss Whedon is the luckiest TV director in the world. How a minor talent can stumble into two of the biggest franchises of all-time is beyond me. Hell, he actually had to do more heavy lifting on Justice League than Avengers. It’s kinda why JL isn’t as good as Avengers, but that’s the difference made when you don’t have Kevin Feige holding your hand. This is where the complaints start, so let’s address them.

When Snyder was pulled away from Justice League, it left WB in a position they hadn’t faced since Richard Lester took over for Richard Donner on Superman II. A mismatch talent base was having to work off the other’s completed working cut to make something far more marketable. As a result, the final film is a two hour ride through multiple character/concept introductions, a character resurrection (SPOILER) and a new status quo for a film line. If you think that’s a lot for 2 hours, it is. Unfortunately, it kinda kills the natural flow of the film and hints at an extended cut hitting home video.

What ultimately saves and hampers the film is the same thing. DC has finally bowed at the altar of fan service. When you make film adaptations of characters and concepts that have existed for 50-80 years, it’s not the worst thing to embrace why people fell in love in the first place. History is good! Continuity is good! Comics thrive when they acknowledge the past and then use that as a bridge to a better future. I’m not willing to give that credit to Whedon, as Jenkins handled it far better. But, it’s the step I’ve been waiting for the DC Films to take. Thank Rao that they finally did it.

Make sure that you stay through the end credits. I won’t spoil it here, but it helps to understand what DC plans on doing with the major villains going forward. It’s an exciting time for DC. Don’t screw it up.

FILM STATS

  • 2 hours
  • PG-13
  • Warner Brothers

RELEASE DATE: 11/17/17

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