BOOYAH! Justice League Is Finally In Theatres!

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Admittedly, I had mixed feelings going into Justice League.  I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. The trailers for this film have been fantastic and I was really looking forward to seeing it, but coming off of the high of Wonder Woman I was worried this film wouldn’t be as good.  Additionally, I’ve never really been a fan of Zack Snyder’s work, especially in the DC universe – I did not like Man of Steel (although I barely even like Superman as a character so that probably had something to do with it), and I thought Batman vs. Superman could have been a better film if it had a different director.  Plus, with all the social media buzz surrounding this film there was a lot I was expecting from it, and there were some things I was worried about.

Here’s what I was worried was going to happen:

I was worried that the whole film would be nothing but the Justice League moping about dead superman, followed by some more moping by resurrected Superman.  I am so happy this was not the case!  Yeah, there were a few scenes where the Justice League was lamenting over the loss of Superman – it would have been strange not to have those moments – but I’m glad the film wasn’t over saturated in that.  And then when Superman did return, he wasn’t as mopy as he was in the previous films.  As a friend of mine put it, Superman actually got to be Superman in this movie.

I was worried about the Amazon’s new costumes.  I had seen the “sluttier” versions of the outfits in Facebook posts and I was a little concerned.  I had every reason to be.  The Amazons were so unbelievably perfect in Wonder Woman that their costumes in Justice League were a bit of a letdown.  But the Amazons themselves were not.  As always, they were amazing, and their fight against Steppenwolf near the beginning of the film was probably one of my favourite fight scenes in the entire movie.

I was worried that this would just end up being Batman vs. Superman version 2.0.  I had so many issues with Snyder’s directorial choices for that film, but luckily Justice League was much better.  Arguably, this could be because Joss Whedon took over as director later on – his directorial influences are clearly visible throughout the film.  Apart from a few jump cuts being a tad too abrupt for my liking (a few scenes could definitely have used smoother transitions, in my opinion), I was much more impressed with the overall directorial choices in this film.  And yes, Wonder Woman is still my favourite DC movie to date, but Justice League was leagues better (pardon the pun) than Batman vs. Superman.

I was worried that Superman would single-handedly fix everything that the Justice League couldn’t – I was expecting a Deus ex machina kind of situation.  At one point, it looked like that was what might happen especially with the frequent mentions that winning the battle is impossible without the help of Superman, but thankfully this was not the case.  (Warning: Spoilers ahead in the remainder of this paragraph) When the members of the Justice League were struggling to complete their individual tasks in that final battle, I was worried that when Superman showed up he would do everything that they couldn’t do and miraculously defeat the enemy all on his own.  Instead, he took on more of a supporting role and this was a pleasant surprise.  The other members of the Justice League were still contributing to the fight as Superman helped them – although in some cases he was better than them, he wasn’t doing everything for them.  It was nice to see that even though he was a part of the final battle and instrumental in defeating Steppenwolf, he did not receive sole credit for this.  I found that it was the warriors of the group – Wonder Woman and Aquaman – who played the biggest part in bringing down Steppenwolf, but in the end he essentially defeated himself.  Yes, the Justice League caused him to feel fear, but it was his own creations that sought out that fear and feasted on it – Steppenwolf was essentially defeated by his own army.  So, basically, there wasn’t too much Superman in that final fight – just enough.

My final worry: I spent the duration of the film worrying about when we were going to hear Cyborg say “Booyah”.  Seriously.  You have no idea how badly I wanted to hear him say it.  I WAITED THE ENTIRE FILM FOR THAT ONE MOMENT AND IT WAS PERFECT!

While this film turned out to be far better than I expected, there were a couple of things (besides the costumes of the Amazons) that could have been fixed.  Speaking of the Amazons…  WHY WASN’T THERE MORE OF WONDER WOMAN’S THEME MUSIC?!  Yes, it was kind of there for a few bars, but I know I was not the only person in the theatre who was hoping to hear her full bad ass theme music in all it’s glory.  There were even a few moments where it would have fit in perfectly so that was really disappointing that it was just barely in the film.  Also disappointing was the lack of Atlanteans.  They were hardly in the film, and as someone who adores aquatic characters this was frustrating.  Between previous DC films and this one, we get to see a decent amount of the personal lives of the other members of the Justice League but we barely get a taste of Aquaman’s personal life.  It kind of makes sense since he mentions a couple of times that he is a loner, so we don’t see much of his relationships with the people in his life (although Barry definitely isn’t good with people but we get some decent scenes of him and his dad).  Essentially, I could have easily used another 5 minutes or so of Atlantis and its people.

I have mixed feelings about the CG in this film.  Cyborg was really well done and although his body wasn’t completely flawless, his face never appeared to look fake or out of place.  Steppenwolf’s minions were also really well done, but they were also moving around so much that if something about them was horribly off I probably wouldn’t have noticed.  Superman’s body was a little fake looking in the final fight scene – his costume looked too bright and shiny so from a distance his body didn’t look real.  My boyfriend actually has an interesting theory about why his body looks that way:  He thinks that under Zack Snyder’s direction, Superman’s outfit was probably supposed to be darker (i.e. black) after his resurrection.  However, when Joss Whedon took over he probably wanted Superman to look more like his usual self, so the colours would have been added in/touched up in post production.  That would account for why the colours in his outfit were far too bright and shiny in the final fight.  But all of these CG missteps are nothing compared to the big one.  Steppenwolf’s face bugged me!  The CG in his face was awful and it would have been much better if that face had been made out of makeup and prosthetics instead of CG!  If I could change only one part about this whole movie that would be it.

The most perfect part of this movie was the cast.  Gal Godot as Wonder Woman is, and always will be, amazing – end of story.  Ben Afleck has been a pleasant surprise and has turned out to be one of my favourite versions of Batman, and Jeremy Irons is always so fantastic that obviously he is a phenomenal Alfred.  Henry Cavill is decent as Superman, but honestly I just really don’t like Superman all that much so my problem here is with the character, not the actor; I will say that I like him a lot better as a happy, heroic Superman than that mopy, depressed one we saw in Batman vs. Superman.  The newest members of the Justice League – Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) – were exactly what I hoped for and then some.  I loved all three of them and honestly Ezra Miller was absolutely perfect as the comic relief character of the group.  Ciaran Hinds provided the voice for Steppenwolf, and even though his CG face was atrocious, his voice was excellent.  We also saw the return of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, as well as the introduction of DC newcomers J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard as Mera, Joe Morton as Silas Stone, and Billy Crudup as Henry Allen.  The cast members all did a phenomenal job, and my only criticism is that we only caught brief glimpses of Mera and Commissioner Gordon compared to the other characters and I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of them.

I think that this has probably been one of the better DBox experiences I have had.  One of my favourite things to experience in DBox is when it conveys the smaller, subtler movements – things that aren’t necessarily a large part of the action, but it’s nice to feel those movements pop up.  The opening scene with Batman in particular was a perfect moment for me in the DBox seat because of all of the smaller movements within that scene.  It was also nice to experience the rumbling of an airplane when that’s where one of the scenes took place – it was just a subtle vibration throughout the whole scene so it didn’t detract from what was going on, but it added a nice touch.  I also find that sometimes within larger action sequences that the seats are just doing a lot of unchoreographed shaking around.  In the action scenes of Justice League, however, every action seemed to have a unique movement or vibration associated with it.  A perfect example was during the fight between Steppenwolf and the Amazons: there were the typical rumbles of battle in the chair, but there was also the rhythmic gallop of the horses and the subtle movement of an arrow being drawn back in a bow.  It was a really well thought out DBox experience.  This is one of those films where it’s really nice to have all the bells and whistles – AVX, 3D, and DBox – all adding to one fantastic movie experience.

Overall, there actually wasn’t all that much that was disappointing about this film.  From a technical standpoint, I can see why some critics have not been as impressed with this film, but as a fan I got exactly what I wanted. This was a really good movie!  The plot was well executed, the cast was perfect, there was action, there were comedic elements (not too much like Thor: Ragnarok, but just enough so that the film wasn’t as dark as Batman vs. Superman).  It was also the kind of comic inspired film that was entertaining even if you knew little to nothing about certain (or all) characters, but for those of us in the audience who are fans of the comics there were enough references to elements of the comics to keep us excited.  (Spoiler Warning: The end credit scenes featuring Deathstroke with Lex Luthor, as well as the race between The Flash and Superman made the fans squeal with delight.)  This film made me happy and I was smiling almost the whole way through.  If you haven’t seen Justice League yet GO SEE IT NOW!

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