Justice League

A Film Review by Joseph Waukechon justice league movie poster

Justice League is the 5th installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), a shared cinematic world focusing on characters published by DC Comics. The plot revolves around Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) recruiting various other super-powered beings in the wake of an invasion by Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds), an intergalactic warlord in search of three artifacts called Mother Boxes which will grant him untold power. As the film opens, Superman is dead, and this group of superheroes are the world’s best chance at survival.

I’m an avid follower of the DC franchise and I can say that this movie is a colossal win for fans of the property. It’s built upon the stories laid out, albeit briefly, in previous films and created a super group whose diversity is its strength. Steppenwolf is a formidable foe, and the battle sequences are fun to witness, especially on the big screen.

I do regret that the film didn’t catch on with critics as much as the fans. My working theory is that due to previous installments in the DCEU disappointing the critics, such as Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, many reviewers have begun walking into these movies WANTING to hate them. If they’d give them a chance they’d realize that the story arcs of the DCEU are gaining traction.

I do, however, have a few small criticisms with this movie. One of them is The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) constant quips. A lot of them don’t feel as funny as the moviemakers seem to think they are. Many were improvised by Miller onset, and so I can only assume that the punchlines landed better live and thereby convinced the powers that be to keep them in the finished product. Another flaw is that at times this film, and all of the DCEU, feels a bit too rushed. The corporate bigwigs behind it claim there is a story they are telling with the movie lineup, and maybe I’m just being cynical but I think they’re making it up as they go along. Regardless, the pivots are far from seamless.

The film did have a lot of powerful moments. One is that it made its audience care about Cyborg (Ray Fisher), a character that I always felt was kind of lame. I also really liked how they made audiences realize that Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is actually a powerful character, and Henry Cavill is finally the colorful, morally-upstanding, wisecracking Superman that comic fans deserve.

So, what can I say about Justice League, except that it gives America’s first generation of heroes their chance to shine? It looks like DC is finally headed the direction it deserves: Up, up, and away.

Joseph Waukechon is a Menominee and Chippewa college student, who’s officially enrolled in the Chippewa Tribe. He has always had a deep and laughably emotional love for film. He enjoys celebrating and rejecting them, but always giving credit where credit is due.