Did The Justice League Movie Do DC…Justice?
***SPOILERS, NOT RECOMMENDED READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!***
Having recently gone to see Justice League I was left with a few thoughts as I exited the theatre:
I wish I had liked the villain better.
The Flash came off as a little annoying.
Aquaman was fun and I wish we had more of him, as well as Cyborg if for the sole purpose of me giving a crap what happens to his character.
…the post-credit sequence was almost my favorite part of the whole movie.
With Justice League, we have DC’s version of The Avengers, albeit on a much more compressed schedule. Since the DC Extended Universe joined the party late (in comparison to Marvel) they didn’t have the time to take several years and several stand-alone movies’ worth of stories to flesh out all of their characters. As a result, we have to get to know half of our heroes within this singluar film, as well as give our established characters their due – and oh yeah, introduce a new villain and try and make us interested in him as well. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t really work out.
For one thing, every time I hear the name Steppenwolf, I immediately think of “Born to be Wild” or “Magic Carpet Ride”. Upbeat, rock and roll classic songs – not a villain from some other dimension.
Also: the complete CGI rendering of such an important character didn’t do it for me either. This isn’t the first time a character has been completely CGI obviously, Ultron being a recent example. But he worked for me, because he is an artificial life form and those kinds of textures are easier and better replicated than skin, human or otherwise. When I looked at Steppenwolf, I knew I was looking at a computer generated character. And that took me out of it.
In addition to his visual shortcomings, he seemed rather one dimensional in his motivation. He was just there to be the bad guy, to fill the role. There was no fleshing out of the character, there wasn’t much insight as to why he’s doing the things he does, his motivations, what made him like this, etc. DC needed a bad guy, so let’s just throw this dude in.
Not having a huge knowledge of DC comics and it’s characters, I didn’t know enough about his guy going in, or coming out.
I understand what they were trying to do with The Flash. In a way his character represented the audience: he would be the voice in the movie for us, react to some situations as we would, and vocalize it. He’s basically supposed to be DC’s version of Spider-man. Wide eyed and eager. Unfortunately (again, for me anyways) they didn’t quite nail it right and I found him more annoying than overly clever or funny. There were a few moments that got me, but otherwise I would have preferred that he be seen and not heard.
For Cyborg, I needed the opposite: I wanted more of him. Yes, he gave us his story and how he became what he is, but otherwise he didn’t bring much to the table. He as basically a cybernetic jack-of all-trades. There wasn’t enough humanity for me to care about his fate or root for him.
Marvel’s character Vision is extremely interesting – Cyborg is about as interesting as a cardboard box.
As for the “big three”, they were good and did their jobs for the most part. The camaraderie between the group was passable, but I didn’t really get any feeling of intense closeness or loyalty from the bunch.
Overall, I felt like Justice League should have been a huge win for the franchise, the teaming up of DC’s legendary characters, the cream of DC’s crop thus far. But if I had to rank it among the previous DC flics, I think it would have to fall to the third spot, behind Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Perhaps it needs multiple viewings for me to appreciate it, but for now – it was an okay film that didn’t live up to what it could and should have been for the DC Extended Universe.