Justice League movie is entertaining nevertheless a slight step down from all the standards DC had set in the past, and I am simply ruling Suicide Squad out from the squad. With Nolan nowhere in sight, it is quite apparent, we are not going to get the DC movie we all want. So we are not looking for Nolanish elements anymore frankly, but something to satiate that fanboy zest in us at least. Really, to be honest, we have learnt to make do!
The Justice League movie feels like an undercooked meal primarily because you don’t see your favorite superheroes getting proper justice. They get eclipsed a lot and feel helpless against an enemy they don’t understand. Whilst the movie packs in theatrics galore, at times you feel its CGI fidgeting (don’t even get me started on the moustache thing), and feel it galloping quickly towards an ending.
While there are directors who drench you ‘in the moment’ to let you feel the horror and the pain, Zack Snyder, on the other hand, runs away from it. He does the exact opposite of what he did with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice keeping all the gravitas at bay.
The movie’s editing becomes really questionable towards the end, and you see it flailing and breaking into pieces. Most of the action scenes were already there in the trailers, and it feels like you have already seen the better parts of the movie in the trailers itself. With Hans Zimmer nowhere around for rescue, the music department badly gets affected too. Danny Elfman fails to impress much.
The good thing, however, is that the League gets formed. They have set their temporary HQ and are ready to take more projects.
When you look at the flick’s action bit, it’s all brilliantly done. Entertains you enough with some of the best parts hiding in the middle of the movie. The story is good too, well fabricated to keep you riveted at all times.
There are heroes among us. Not to make us feel smaller, but to remind us of what makes us great.
Let’s quickly move to the spoilers part because talking about it will give away the essence of the story.
Plot of Justice League Movie (Spoilers)
With BvS opening all gates of doom (forget that Martha bit for a minute) to allow villainous elements like Steppenwolf to step in, the story of Justice League movie was already onto something.
No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonian. This world will fall, like all the others.
So why is Steppenwolf really here? That’s what forms the basis of the Justice League movie story.
Batman tries to capture a Parademon flying around in Gotham who fed on people’s fears. As he vanishes, a trail of three boxes, paints itself on the wall, later revealed to be Mother Boxes. Steppenwolf and his Parademons are after these boxes who are trying to once again remake Earth, a failed attempt that was foiled thousands of years ago by the Amazonians, the Lanterns, the Olympians and the humans, who fought side by side. The mother boxes were separated from each other and placed at different locations.
Steppenwolf successfully retrieves the first Mother Box from Themyscira, as Hippolyta warns Diana of the impending danger. Diana approaches Bruce Wayne to brief him about it, as they try to contact other metahumans Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Barry Allen (Flash) and Victor Stone (Cyborg) in order to form a team to fight Steppenwolf. Curry and Stone refuse and Flash says yes without a second thought, the geek boy he is.
I eat a lot of snacks to fill this black hole. I’m a snack hole!
Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis where the second mother box is located forcing Aquaman to join the league. Stone agrees when he finds out his father Silas is kidnapped along with other S.T.A.R. labs employees.
With the help of Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) the League tags the employees to an underground tunnel. An epic battle ensues as they manage to rescue the employees, however, fail to defeat Steppenwolf and his army. The resultant fight floods the tunnel with water as Aquaman intervenes just in the nick of time to allow them to escape.
Failing to stop Steppenwolf by themselves, everyone agrees to Plan B of resurrecting Superman by using the third Mother Box that Victor had already with him. With a contingency plan up in Batsy’s sleeves, Mother Box is charged up by Flash to bring the Kryptonian back to life.
The Death and Return of Superman
While the DCEU’s version of the death and the return of Superman plays a little different, it isn’t entirely bad. While it sped things up with Doomsday, bringing him in and then killing Sups in BvS’s eventuality, the return of Superman was once again hastened. But to abate things down, his return is lathed with sheer badassery.
You won’t let me live, you won’t let me die.
When Superman returns he is all whacked up, struggling with his memories, and he finds Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg right in front of him. He is already eyeing them as a threat, when Cyborg does an accidental friendly fire of reassurance. A war ensues as Superman delivers some of the best action scenes the movie has right then and there.
Flash vs Superman
That isn’t even the best part. It is when Flash is trying to move past Superman as Sups turns in slo-mo to look at him go whaaaaaat? Hands down the best scene in the movie!
When he finds Batsy and is about to shatter him to pieces, in those moments you realize how vulnerable Batman is.
Do you bleed?
It is as if in a way trying to justify all the ass-kicking Batsy did in BvS. It was like Zack Snyder decided to lift the curfew for Superman once, and said – “Go have a shot at him now Sups.”
But the contingency plan is what every Beast falls to – The Beauty. Read this interesting case study of Hulk and Betty Ross’s relationship in case you are scratching your head, why?
And another doomsday gets contained. He then flies with Lois Lane back to Small Ville to see his mother and to recover his lost memories.
Amidst all the chaos, Steppenwolf steps in and takes away the third mother box. That sneaky bastard!
The Final Clash
Locating Steppenwolf and his army in Russia, the rest of the team go all in. They fight the Parademons and try to ward off Steppenwolf’s plan of creating his own world by joining the Mother Boxes. While Steppenwolf was busy giving the Justice League a hard time, Superman joins the team and bashes Steppenwolf to pulp. Steppenwolf, for the first time, experiences fear himself, forcing his own Parademons to turn against him.
Remember how they sniffed fear? Well, no, right? That wasn’t shown enough.
He disappears into the portal he came from along with the Parademons as the Justice League rejoices in their debut victory as a team.
Wayne Manor is declared the Headquarters for the team’s operations as they carry on with their lives.
We have two post-credit scenes here. The first one showing the kick off to that one debatable race between Superman and Flash, leaving the audience once again fighting amongst themselves for “Who’s the fastest?” The second one is Lex Luthor‘s escape where we see him inviting Deathstroke a.k.a. Slade Wilson to make a legion of their own. You guessed it right Injustice League. That epic team of supervillains! \m/
Superman’s Justice League Movie
The way Superman is projected in the Justice League movie, it feels as if he was capable of handling things all on his own. None of the superheroes could do substantial damage to the main antagonist. It is true that the Justice League is incomplete without Superman but unfortunately the whole flick gets judged by his addition.
Whilst Batman goes suicidal at times, you can’t help but realize how ineffectual he stays for most of the parts. You wanted a good solid Snyder standalone tete-a-tete with Batman as was shown in BvS, but unfortunately, this movie becomes all about Superman.
Batsy, au contraire, does heroic things from his mouth sometimes slipping in beautiful advice like this one to a reluctant Flash:
Batman: Save one person.
Flash: And then?
Batman: Then you will know.
It was good.
While there were stories to be retold, something we had already seen the prequel stumble with, Justice League movie tries to do that all over again. Every superhero’s story that nerds already know about (not everyone) get subtly told. Aquaman’s tale however directly dived into it quite unconvincingly. I am guessing we have a solo movie on the cards, probably that’s why.
At the end of it all, however, you feel justice hasn’t been really done to your favorite characters. Batsy has been eclipsed way too much in front of Superman, and the Man of Steel literally shines out as everyone’s sole saviour, making every other superhero feel pointless.
Steppenwolf doesn’t create a memorable villain either. You will remember him as the guy who got his ass kicked by Superman. While we expected a lot of villainy from Steppenwolf, he had no master plan or surprises up his sleeves.
With Steppenwolf’s dud trial, the movie seems like a stepping stone. That’s exactly what it feels like – a ladder to help you climb a gradually building universe. And there’s nothing wrong with that if you look at it in a positive way. At least we are building DCEU.
The Final Verdict
Justice League movie might not be the best of DC’s work, but it feels like a satisfying comic read that fills you up with knowledge. The movie is saved mostly by its storyline which is like a nicely written tale if not climactic.
To be honest with you, there’s nothing like the animated movie edition of Justice League: The Complete Series, that made me fall in love with the league in the first place. You can order it from here:
While we will find some really good directors to helm our favorite characters properly, sometimes we won’t. But the good thing remains, we are chugging forward with our DCEU, even though it feels like a dodgy start. It’s good that we have quickly picked up the pace.
I really hope solo movies do them all justice in the long run. Keeping fingers crossed.
Check out the trailer of Justice League movie: