“I don’t recognize this world,” Alfred laments. “I don’t have to recognize it. I just have to save it,” replies Bruce Wayne simply, the multi-billionaire industrialist also known as Batman, as both are aboard his private jet. Justice League is worth it.
Zack Snyder initially directs, though Joss Whedon later took over by also crafting the screenplay with Chris Terrio. Justice League makes full use of 119 minutes running time. Despite one critic so far who thought the film was too long. That said, from here on minor spoilers.
Justice League takes up where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice left off, the aftermath of Superman’s death. Though B v S was maligned by seemingly most critics, the superhero film did get somethings right. Yet more on that later.
Whereas B v S closing scenes showed Metropolis mourning Superman, Justice League continues that in the opening scenes where the impact of Superman’s death is still felt. The opening song, titled, “Everybody Knows,” lyrics by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson as sung by Sigrid, a pop Norwegian singer, was a very nice touch. First I thought it was Adele. She’s that good. The visual symbols, the red, white, and blue laying of wreaths at a Superman memorial, and the large banner of Superman’s S logo in silver with a black background hanging from London’s Tower Bridge, were both stunning. Also depicting visually that Superman’s death was felt worldwide.
From there the action takes off, with a scene in London, as a group of terrorists clad in black business suits attempt a terrorist bombing of civilians inside a public building. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) dramatically saves the day, first by jettisoning the explosive briefcase filled with C4 skyward, all with mere seconds to spare. Followed by her quickly finishing off the terrorists.
Meanwhile on a night patrol in Gotham after apprehending a criminal, Batman encounters and fights off a winged alien creature known as a Parademon. Parademons are genetically created creatures who serve Darkseid ruler of Apokolips, a powerful alien being bent on universal dominion. It’s after the Parademon has been overpowered that Batman discovers a visual clue, graphically showing three boxes left behind after the creature expired.
The three boxes are later known as Mother Boxes, revealed from data stolen from Lex Luthor in the previous film B v S by Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), as both Wayne and Alfred (Jeremy Irons), butler/confidant, later study Luthor’s notes decrypted from data in the Batcave.
The meaning of both the three Mother Boxes and the Parademon’s appearance is then revealed, an invasion. Quickly after, Bruce Wayne and Alfred are helped by Diana Prince/Wonder Woman to seek out other metahumans, superhuman beings also discovered in Luthor’s data file revealed to be Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg, as well as Wonder Woman herself.
What about Superman? He’s in the film. Not a huge spoiler, for the S logo appears not only on the movie poster, but also Henry Cavill’s name and Superman image appears on other variants.
Having made $94 million shortly after its opening weekend, Justice League was quickly called by many a box office disaster. But that was then. At this writing, the superhero film has cleared over $100 million domestic since November 21, 2017 with also totaling $300 million worldwide. Tuesday’s ticket sales have accounted for the resurgence, so don’t be too quick to count it out.
Many continue to assail the film. While there are flaws, Justice League does entertain, as well as in some cases also enlightens. My favorite scene involves an argument between Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince, about reviving Clark Kent/Superman using Kryptonian technology. Diana has misgivings, given the disastrous result of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) using a similar method in an effort to revive General Zod in B v S. “Technology is like any other power, if not governed by heart and reason it destroys,” as Diana Prince had spoken out passionately.
Furthermore, one of the flaws spoken about in the film is the CGI. True, the VFX could have used some more work. Yet it wasn’t Sharknado bad. While the villain Steppenwolf also needed some work, the overall critique about all other visual aspects of the film seemed way overblown. Could this be also a matter of DC hate? Perhaps. To be fair, one can’t also totally rule that out.
For a superhero film the acting holds up. Don’t ever go in always over expecting the acting to be like a Daniel Day Lewis or a Meryl Streep. Not saying it can’t ever happen. Such as in The Dark Knight, when actor Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar as the Joker.
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/ Flash provided good comic relief as well as Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman provided additional backup. Proof, that DC Entertainment had listened by also making this DC film a touch lighthearted. While Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg completes the team roster.
Amy Adams is so far the best as a modern day Lois Lane. Far better, than the previous Lois Lane portrayal in the 2006 film Superman Returns, who came across as a very angry feminist. Amy Adams has so far always depicted Lois Lane as a woman of both feminine strength and warmth.
In the special features section of the Man of Steel DVD, David S. Goyer screenwriter says, “Cinematically prior to the Man of Steel, Superman hasn’t really changed. And part of what we had to do is re-educate the audience and get them comfortable with the fact that we were actually going to change the Superman mythology a little bit.”
There are those who still adhere to the Christopher Reeve as Superman model, who in the 1978 film, he saves Lois Lane from falling out of a news helicopter, rescues a cat out of a tree, catches a burglar, catches bank-robbers, and rescues Air Force One all five in one night. The next day, Superman achieves rock-star status. While no one is ever fearful of his alien off-world ancestry.
Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer treated it all realistically in both Man of Steel and B v S. Try to imagine, for if such a being was known to truly exist, xenophobia would not be too far behind. Half the world would hate Superman, Lex Luthor being the extreme example, whereas the other half would adore him, all depicted in B v S. That’s where B v S despite its flaws, had got it right. The world also now knew what it would be like without Superman. Justice League is worth it. The film deserves a second look by others, while the film also deserves four stars out of five.