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Justice League

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Have DC films finally found their way after the terrific film adaption of "Wonder Woman" earlier this year?

Is this going to be fun, the opposite of that big, bloated, depressing, downer crap-fest Batman V Superman?

Will Ben Affleck finally seem to fully embrace being Batman?

The answer is a resounding....kind of......

JUSTICE LEAGUE finds Batman inspired by the death of Superman in the last film and realizing he needs to add some caring to his arsenal of bat-weapons.

Superman's death has also left an opening for evil to take over the Earth. When the first very unfriendly flying emissaries of that bad group start popping up, Batman (Affleck) realizes he needs strength in numbers.

He recruits Wonder Woman (the superb Gil Gadot, who owns the movie every time she is on screen) and goes in search of Aquaman/Arthur Curry, whose played by Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) with great humor, the most sorely lacking attribute of most DC films.

Humor also arrives at lightning speed when Barry Allen/The Flash joins the team. Ezra Miller is excellent, adding rapid one-liners, angst and fun throughout.

Rounding out the team is Victor Stone/Cyborg, well played in a somewhat underwritten role by newcomer Ray Fisher.

The whole "putting the band together" vibe is fun and Affleck seems to actually be enjoying himself this time around, but I miss the presence of Christian Bale in the Nolan Dark Knight films. Affleck seems a bit too old and winded to be the caped crusader, but its by far his best turn in the series so far.

The good: some fun scenes and laughs, even in the biggest battles, some nice surprise appearances and some great musical references throughout, including to John Williams original Superman theme, Danny Elfman's brooding Batman music (he also wrote this score) and the strong Wonder Woman theme during the early bank robbing/terrorism scene.

The Bad: another giant villain with horns from another world with a marauding band of flying undead minions, yada, yada, yada. At least this one called Steppenwolf makes you think about a great classic rock band and is voiced by the always excellent Ciaran Hinds. Jeremy Irons Alfred has some great one liners, but I cant quite accept that Alfred is now pretty much one of the superheroes without the cape. He's come a long way from the butler gig.

The great news is that the film clocks in right at two hours, moving quickly and not feeling padded. There are some terrific moments in the film's last half hour that I wont discuss here, but they bring some nice emotional weight and resonance to all the CGI battling.

Is it better than BvS? YES, but then again, what isn't?

Is it as good as "Wonder Woman"? NO, not even close, but it is actually fun, which is a huge step forward for the series.

Anytime Aquaman, The Flash or Wonder Woman are on screen, JUSTICE LEAGUE is enjoyable.

Turns out when they get this band together, they can play a pretty mean superhero tune. I'll give it a B and look forward to the stand alone Aquaman movie in 2018 & Wonder Woman 2 in 2019.

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