I finally saw it. Back when I wrote my Expectations (For the New Justice League) post, this is what I said about it:
So what I think the new film needs is not to progress further into the dark, gritty and melodramatic world that the genre has become, but to regress into more human terms.
I have nothing against climatic events and galaxy sized stakes, but it should never be about that. Making the problem with the world the main focus of any movie risks making it too vague. What the film needs to be about is what problems humans deal with on a human level. With something like the Justice League, there’s a wide range of subjects that could be covered, that’s why it worked so well as a show. Narrowing down each member’s own personal struggles in the span of one film is a difficult and almost impossible task
But my concern is that none of them will be followed through in a satisfying way.
I am happy to say that the film makers obviously read my post, because this movie was not the disaster I was afraid it was going to be.
Best of all, they took my suggestion about Diana laying it on Batman.
But this movie had some problems that I want to briefly address.
I do not think the villain should ever be the most important part of a movie, but I do think making them on the level of a video game is a little too far in the other direction. Steppenwolf has to be the most ridiculous villain I’ve seen since…Well he reminded me most of Ego from the Guardians of the Galaxy vol#2. Complete with the weird egg-shaped plasma globes. And the bizarre god-complex.
However the reason this whack job does not ruin the movie is because he’s not really the point, and he was obviously just a precursor to Darkseid, who’s name is dropped pretty early on; and who will make a more potent of a villain. He serves as a Ronin to DCU’s Thanos, in other words.
So, he’s goofy, but whatever. The real thing we’re here for is the League.
I like Diana naturally, but I never have liked this new Batman, mostly I just can’t buy him as anything but a weird old guy who’s mentally unstable but trying to save the world.
Ben Afleck, probably through no fault of his own, is the weakest link in this new League. Arguably Batman always was the weak link in the League because he wouldn’t commit to it fully since he loved his independence too much. So the issue in this movie is predictably that Batman does not know how to play with the other kids, and though he’s not particularly pushy, he feels unnatural with them. And once the crisis is over I have to wonder if that’s gonna blow up big time.
But again, that doesn’t ruin the film. Batman is antisocial anyway, and to it’s credit the movie is upfront about it. In fact a big theme of this movie is that no one is all put together, but that you work with the good in people and that’s how they get better.
I think the writers are starting to see how they ruined the franchise in the first place by making it depressing and hopeless, and now they are slowly climbing out of it. This movie was not as positive as Wonder Woman, but it was better than Dawn of Justice.
And that’s where I get to the good things about it.
The biggest surprise for me was that I bought the League as a team in their very first fight scene. I expected to feel like they were out of it until the climax, and then hopefully believe it, but I almost immediately felt like they had team chemistry. What tied it together for me was them saving each other. Flash helping Diana when she lost her sword, and Batman helping Flash get away after he was hurt. Flash’es more human weaknesses were a great balance to everyone else, who are often just too powerful to evoke sympathy.
Even though they spend a good deal oft his movie arguing or giving forced exposition, it wasn’t without real moments. Diana’s conversation with Cyborg was cliche, but I believed it anyway. Diana and Bruce’s fight and subsequent make up felt pretty real. And her calling him out was just my personal victory.
And I liked Aquaman more than I thought I would. He wasn’t the selfish jerk he’d been set up to be by this new and darker version. He ended up being kind of a softie, and that rope of truth gag was pretty funny.
Flash as always was one of my favorite parts, he’s a little more ADD then the show Flash, but that makes perfect sense with his powers, and it works fine with the others to balance him out. He still had the humanity and heart factor going for him. And Batman’s advice to save one person was actually solid advice. When you fight crime or rescue people as a career, it has to be about saving one person at a time sometimes. I welcomed the reminder that even one person is important. Which is something superheroes movies have not been emphasizing enough in my opinion.
Cyborg…I could take or leave his backstory. It’s sad, but hard to relate to. As a character, I was glad that he did not waste half the movie refusing to help out of self doubt, but was willing to try anyway after what Diana said to him. Proving he was better than the dark and brooding fellow he’d become.
In conclusion, DC movies are inferior to Marvel in production, they just are. The CGI is worse and the dialogue suffers from pretentiousness a lot of the time. But, dialogue and special effects are not all that make a movie work.
The dialogues is improving by the way, only some of the lines made me want to roll my eyes, as opposed to Dawn of Justice. And special effects are what they are.
What DC has that I’ve yet to see in Marvel, expect for Guardians, Ant Man, and Ragnarok, is heart. The stories are not written as seamlessly as Marvel, but there’s real feeling behind them. There’s more raw and real emotion behind these imperfect characters then I’ve ever felt watching Captain America, or Iron Man, or anyone but the ones I mentioned.
I wince at some of the production errors in judgment, but I forgive them for it because their movies have made me think. The problems they bring up are not always well executed, but they are real. And the characters are getting more self aware of it too.’
A Justice League movie that finally deals with Batman’s issues, while shipping him with Wonder Woman is not all bad, folks.
I understand why many people were disappointed in this movie. It was not the epic showdown we thought, but in retrospect, I always said that was just too much to expect. My wish was that they would make the characters more human, and not dark. And that’s what they did. Even Superman has gone back to being more like his old self. It’s true that was the worst part of this movie, but whatever, it was a mess no matter what way you slice it and at least he didn’t join forces with the bad guy. What a cliche that would have been…Bucky Barnes!
Anyway, DC fans get it. MCU people probably never will understand what makes these movies deeper to us despite their flaws.
But let’s be real, Justice League’s whole point is that we all have hang ups. It knew it wasn’t gong to be a prefect movie, but if we work with what was good about it, I’m confident the franchise will continue to improve.
That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.