Justice League Spoiler Talk!

Justice League came out in different countries last week and just like clockwork, Fiefo has already published our official non-spoiler review of DC’s latest superhero flick. He didn’t cover the film in detail though as it was a non-spoiler review for people who have yet to see the movie, so here I am again to discuss my spoiler-heavy thoughts on it. And I’ve got quite a bit to say – the movie is currently a hot topic, especially given it’s mixed-to-negative critical reception and it’s lower than expected performance at the box office, so let’s get on with it.

Again, what comes next after this wonderful image of Gal Gadot is spoiler-heavy so if you haven’t seen Justice League and want to avoid spoilers, you shouldn’t read any further.

Stop reading if you don’t want any Justice League spoilers!

Alright, let’s begin!

THE GOOD

  • I actually enjoyed Justice League more than I thought I would. Sure, it doesn’t have as many laugh out loud moments as the usual Marvel fare (and this couldn’t have been more obvious coming right after Thor: Ragnarok) but that’s not how DCEU films are supposed to be. Much has been said about Whedon’s reshoots adding humor to the movie but my enjoyment of the film comes more from the plot making more sense than either Batman V Superman (what was Lex Luthor planning to do with Zod after it had killed Superman?) or Suicide Squad (what was the Enchantress really trying to do?).
  • One good thing to come out of Superman’s death in the previous film – it served as a means to “correct” the characterizations of both Batman and Superman. One of my gripes with Batman V Superman and Man of Steel was how Superman struggled with the idea of being a hero. I don’t want to see an angst-filled Supes – I want the Big Blue Boy Scout who inspires everyone to be at their best, and it looks like we’re finally getting that version moving forward. As for the Dark Knight, I loved seeing a normal and now older human trying to keep up with super-powered beings simply because he wants to save the World. No more of the bloodthirsty version please.
  • What little I saw of the backstories of the new characters was enough to get me onboard with their solo movies. The Aquaman character didn’t do much for me but I liked the brief glimpse of Atlantis and want to see more of that world; I want to see Barry Allen follow his quest to prove his father’s innocence; and I want to see Cyborg come to terms with what he is now.

THE BAD

  • While I did like that the overall plot made sense, I can’t help but feel that DC could have done more. I mean, what was General Zod trying to do back in Man of Steel? Terraform the Earth and turn it into a new Krypton right? What is Steppenwolf trying to do? Use the motherboxes to terraform the Earth and turn it into a new Apokolips? That’s the same exact thing! Here’s one idea that I’ve been thinking about, and it might not be comic accurate but bear with me – what if, instead of wanting to take over Earth, Steppenwolf instead wanted to revive Superman and turn him into one of Darkseid’s soldiers? Wouldn’t that be a more interesting plot? Supes vs the League was one of the more interesting moments of the film and this suggested plot would have given us more of that.

Steppenwolf was such a weak villain in many aspects.

  • Speaking of Steppenwolf, this is where I’ll have to disagree with Fiefo’s review – he looked so off to me! Every time the film went to a closeup of his face, I got taken out of the movie because his expressions didn’t look natural. I wish DC/WB went with an actual actor and practical effects with CG enhancements instead of a full CGI character. And please don’t get me started on his one-note personality or his lack of depth.
  • Back to Superman – can we all agree that killing him off in Batman V Superman was such a waste? He didn’t stay dead long enough for his death to have any meaning, and the manner in which he was revived makes his death even more meaningless. And now that he’s been killed off and revived, DC can not only no longer play that card, the threat of a being so powerful he can kill off Superman no longer holds any sort of tension in future movies.
  • I totally disagree with DC’s/WB’s decision to cut the running time of Justice League short – this film could have gone 2 hours 20 minutes easily. The film had several moments where I felt that parts were missing – one especially jarring scene is when the heroes were trying to escape that abandoned facility under Gotham Harbor that was being flooded. Bats, Wondy, and Flash were all grabbing onto the side of Bats’ vehicle with Cyborg trying to drive it upward. Cyborg suddenly flies away and the scene jumps to the heroes all safe and sound, talking to Commissioner Gordon. What just happened there??? I don’t know. Doesn’t damage the film that much but still takes you out of the experience.
  • While I did love the older, battered version of Batman that we got, I wonder why he has not been presented as a highly intelligent and strategic mastermind. I was expecting him to formulate a sound plan of attack once the Justice League had figured out where Steppenwolf was uniting the mother boxes. His strategy? “I’ll take out the shield, the rest of you attack Steppenwolf” and then he almost gets himself killed by luring the Parademons away. In comparison, the first Avengers film showed how Captain America was a master strategist when it comes to warfare, giving each Avengers member a specific and logical role in keeping the Chitauri contained.
  • Justice League illustrates how problematic it can be to have a character like Superman who is quite powerful. He effectively renders the other heroes redundant or irrelevant once he makes his appearance in the film’s final act. He saves more civilians than the Flash and handles Steppenwolf with such ease (something that Wonder Woman can’t do even with Aquaman backing her up). Cyborg remained relevant because he was the only one who could stop the mother boxes from unifying, and Batman didn’t even bother mixing it up with Steppenwolf. I love seeing the Justice League in a live action film, I just wish that the writers/producers would find ways on making each character important even if Superman can do almost everything that they can – and more.

I would have preferred it if the Justice League formed with all seven members in their first film, instead of saving Green Lantern for last.

  • And on a related note, how I wish that Warner Bros. weren’t so reactionary. A Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, even Kyle Rayner) would have been a good fit in Justice League and would have added another character who could do things that Superman couldn’t. But alas, WB/DC was too concerned about distancing the DCEU from the flopped Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern. Oh well, maybe next time.

THE VERDICT

While I had more complaints than specific things that I liked about the film, I would still say that Justice League is a good enough superhero film. I guess that’s where the problem is – Justice League should have been better simply because this is the first time that we’re seeing these characters. It’s good enough, but a film like Justice League deserves to be much better than what we got. Again, I enjoyed the movie and it did convince me to get it on Blu-Ray once it comes out.

Have you seen Justice League? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment or two below!

 

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2 thoughts on “Justice League Spoiler Talk!

  1. I think I came in prepared to be disappointed when I saw this. However, he only disappointment that happened was that I wasn’t disappointed enough when the film finished. I agree it is better than BvS, so in that note, it does seem that DCEU is headed to the right direction. I am still not jumping for joy though and I agree with the negative points you mentioned. May I add though that I am extremely weirded out by Superman’s CGI mouth the entire movie, to the point that I wondered if they were intending for it to look that way, considering how CG’d Steppenwolf looked? Also, I thought our heroes were a little bit careless with the third motherbox after they have revived Superman. I mean since they knew there was a risk that Superman might potentially be not the same Superman, then they would at least make sure that Steppenwolf wouldn’t get to the third motherbox that easily, thus, increasing their number of problems.

    Those, I guess, were the minor things that didn’t sit well with me. Storywise, I see your point with having a character as Superman and that it did seem that everyone else is useless when he started banging on Steppenwolf. You’re right to think that it would be a challenge since Supes is very strong and not one in the league can match him in that regard, but I do believe that it can easily be resolved by having a villain that cannot be defeated by brute and strength alone, which unfortunately, Steppenwolf was.

    By the way, remember the premonition Bruce had on BvS? That whole “Lois is the key” thing? That sounded really important back then. Having that in mind, I knew Supes wouldn’t be back to normal as easily as he had in JL, so I was like “that was it?”. I was expecting the movie to be more about reviving Superman, not just about 5 minutes of it. It felt a little too convenient.

    Also, I didn’t think the humor added much to the “enjoyability” of the film, considering that they’ve shown so many in their movie trailers. And also, with ones picking up from old jokes, e.g. Batman’s superpower is that he’s rich, and the whole team suddenly disappearing behind Gordon, which Nolan’s Batman movies have already played out. I ended up rolling my eyes one too many times.

    As you mentioned, this was an opportunity for DC and WB to churn out a really enjoyable film as this is the first time these heroes are working as a group. An “average” superhero movie just wouldn’t cut it. Everything feels rushed: the editing, the CGI, even the idea of putting these heroes together after just 2 (excluding Suicide Squad) movies. It does feel like WB is just concerned about making money and doesn’t really care about giving their audience the stories they deserve. I can see the pressure of playing catch-up with Marvel, but what really made Marvel movies good is that they took time to invest and develop their characters. I could only empathize with Supes and WW, and couldn’t really care about all the others in JL. Also the setting is all too unrecognizable for me in that it takes away any relatability for the audience to feel involved in.

    So yes, I wasn’t disappointed, but neither was I engaged. My reaction after the movie was, “good thing we didn’t spend P500.00 to IMAX this thing”.

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