At the start, let me say that I liked Batman v Superman. More than the theatrical version, the three hour Ultimate Edition really works. And I have no problem with Zack Snyder’s vision of the DCEU. It is clear, well-defined and works well for comic-book fans. Sadly, comic book fans are not the majority of the movie-goers so we get a lot of pandering and course correction in tone for Justice League.
So Superman is dead and a new threat is upon us which could mean the end of the world. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince see this coming and set out to recruit some more members to form a team to combat this evil.
Because of all the feedback related to how dark the DC films have been till now, this movie adopts a much lighter & brighter tone than the previous entries in the DCEU and we get a movie that’s a very entertaining and breezy watch. The action is cool and each of the characters get some fun moments to do their thing. Some of these are truly epic and comic book fans, especially, are in for a real treat. There are some nice Easter eggs as well, so watch closely.
On the downside, the movie feels really rushed and the tonal change feels a bit forced at times. The epic moments that I mentioned are too few for a movie of this scale. Besides the Trinity, the others don’t get much of a backstory so it’s difficult to connect with them. The villain – Steppenwolf is all-powerful but nowhere as menacing as he should have been, although they designed him cooler than he is in the comics.
I’ll give a quick word on what I thought of each of the characters:
Batman: In the absence of Superman, Batman is the stand-in captain here and has the job of getting the gig together. Ben Affleck is a good Batman, but not a great one. I’d put him behind Christian Bale and Michael Keaton mainly because I don’t like how bulky Snyder has made him with all the armour. He feels slow, laboured. Whereas Batman is supposed to be fast & stealthy. He is one of the world’s best martial artists and basically a ninja! I liked Affleck more as Bruce Wayne here. Having said that, there are some insanely stunning visuals of Batman swinging in to action as well as crouching/standing across different cityscapes, cape-in-the-wind and all, that really brought the comic panels to life.
Superman: Now we all know Superman was going to be a part of this movie so it was hardly a surprise. But his comeback scene was pretty bloody epic! One particular moment, I jumped out of my seat and screamed! But I wish this movie had more of him overall.
Aquaman got a couple of good moments, but I was generally left a bit underwhelmed. Not sure if it is the character or the actor here. I guess I’ve never really been a fan of either and nothing in this movie changed that.
Cyborg, for me was the weakest character of the league. A pity because Cyborg has some really cool powers. But we barely got a glimpse of some of them. And the CGI for him was extremely inconsistent. Hope they improve this in the next one.
The Flash: Now this one I am conflicted on. While he got the funniest lines and lightened the tone considerably, I am not a 100% sold on Ezra Miller’s casting choice. He does fine but those who watch The Flash on TV are used to a much better Barry Allen played by Grant Gustin. He’s more charming, more likable and just fits the character a lot better. He also has a much better suit and any given day – golden lightning beats the silly blue one hands down.
And finally, Wonder Woman. She’s definitely the heart and soul of this team. She’s grounded, she’s funny, she’s bloody gorgeous and she’s extremely badass. She gets some super moments and I really wanted more and more of her. And Gal Gadot is easily the most perfect casting choice for a superhero role since RDJ as Iron Man.
All in all Justice League is a lot of fun and a pretty grand beginning for the first iteration of the team but it deserved more epic moments and needed to have a much smoother and more leisurely pace. It was absolutely terrific to watch these guys together on the big screen finally and I mostly loved what I saw, but I was left hungry for a lot more. I really hope for a more clear, concise vision for the next part, and one that backs the director’s vision for the Universe of The World’s Greatest Superheroes.
Oh and stick around for the end credits for some more fun.
My score: 7 on 10
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill
Running time: 120 minutes