By Kris Atienza
BU News Service
It is no secret that the DC Extended Universe has been struggling. The “Justice League” plays a huge role in deciding the fate of DC and its characters that many, including myself, love dearly. So did Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” step up to the plate?
Yes, it did. While far from perfect, “Justice League” has a better beginning for DC’s superheroes than “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
The film picks up some point after the events in “Dawn of Justice.” The world is still in shock and mourning after the loss of Superman (Henry Cavill). Other than Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), the world seems to be without heroes or hope for things to get better.
This isn’t a film in which you get to see fully developed heroes coming together to save the world. As indicated by the end of “Dawn of Justice,” Bruce is trying to get a team together to help protect the world from an impending, otherworldly threat.
We are stuck following Bruce’s attempts before the big fight, but the introduction to other members of what will become the Justice League is an interesting approach. It was decently balanced enough to give some insight to the important parts of these new characters, but still effectively left you hungry for more.
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman was a casting decision that I love almost as strongly as the decision to pick Gadot. Arthur has not had a good reputation compared to his teammates. Momoa brings a new twist to one of the under appreciated heroes in DC Comics. He leaves us with the most questions about his past, but only due to Aquaman’s solo film being released next year.
Out of the characters, Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) left a lot more to be desired. From my knowledge of the character in the comics and animated movies, I expected a bit more out of him. Barry is the clumsiest of the new kids and barely seems like a hero. He’s got the humor required to be the Flash, but not enough of the brains for Barry.
If you grew up watching the animated series, you probably didn’t associate Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) with the Justice League. He was a Teen Titan. Was replacing Hal Jordan/Green Lantern with Cyborg—following DC’s New 52 portrayal of the team as a founder of the league—worth it?
Undoubtedly, yes. Though it was certainly a risk with a relatively unknown actor, “Justice League” gave some depth to a character some people loved while simultaneously not knowing much of where he came from. While his one moment of fan-service is highly appreciated, I left wanting to see more from him in the future.
The movie really flows once the squad is assembled. It would have been nice to see more of the individual heroes, but what we see makes sense within the time frame of the movie’s events.
The end of the big fight is the low point of the film, but that’s because the best parts lies within the league’s interactions. This is not only where the humor is, but also what makes the team so endearing.
In the end, “Justice League” gives these characters a chance they desperately needed.
This was the right step for DC’s cinematic universe. This is no Marvel movie and it is not “Wonder Woman 2.” This film seems to be the real beginning for this universe and it should be treated as its own entity. It’s not overly dark or serious. It’s got the right amount of humor and a lot of potential here for future storylines. The cast does a decent job doing justice to the comic books from which the characters originated.