Justice League is the third DC comic book movie directed by Zack Snyder, as well as the fifth installment in DC’s shared cinematic universe (unofficially known as the DC Extended Universe). Although the film does pick up on some threads from 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC wisely makes Justice League a new launch point for DCEU, rather than a conclusion to its 2016 predecessor.
In Justice League, Batman and Wonder Woman are in a race against time to build an alliance made of other metahumans (Aquaman, Cyborg & The Flash) in order to help fight the enemies that are coming from beyond the stars. With no Lanterns or Kryptonians to protect the planet, Darkseid’s military leader Steppenwolf, returns to recover three items of immense power known as the Mother Boxes. When the three Mother Boxes are joined, they have the power to rebuild the Earth in the hellish image of Steppenwolf’s’ home world of Apokolips.
Justice League was in a tough spot from get go because it had to make up for the overly grim and disappointing outings of both Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. At least it could capitalize on Wonder Woman’s success in saving the DCEU film franchise. Did Justice League succeed? Yes and no. The film does provide lots of superhero fun, but at the expense of a more rich and layered movie.
Two things really held this movie together. The first being the performances and the on-screen chemistry of the cast. Ben Affleck: Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gal Gadot: Wonder Woman/Diana Prince seem at ease with their roles as leaders of the League. The new additions to the DCEU, Jason Momoa: Aquaman/Arthur Curry, Ray Fisher:Cyborg/Victor Stone & Ezra Miller: The Flash/Barry Allen all provide solid performances. In my opinion however, it’s Ezra Miller that steals the show as the teams most enthusiastic but least experienced member.
The second thing that really held this movie together and is a definite highlight, is the resurrection of Superman. The resurrection battle scene is a thrilling, but terrifying sequence that is alone, worth the price of admission. Superman literally hands the Justice League their a**es on a plate. If anyone thinks that the big “S” isn’t a threat or “The Big Gun” in the DCEU, then you better think again. Not only does his resurrection provide an incredible action sequence, but it resets the character and gives the fans the classic Superman persona that has sorely been missed since his 2013 on screen return in the Man of Steel.
Now for the low. As usual, the major problem with all superhero movies, including Justice League, is the villain. Steppenwolf is another lame one-dimensional CGI created character that doesn’t invoke any fear or urgency in the film.
All in all, I still enjoyed Justice League. It helped cleanse the misstep of the overly grim Batman V Superman and made me enjoy these characters enough to watch future installments. So if you’re looking a for popcorn film that is easy on the eyes, then look no further than Justice League.