It has been no secret that the DC Cinematic Universe has been a bumpy ride. Starting off with the mixed bag which was Man of steel (which I personally really like), the universe did not have a critically acclaimed film until Wonder Woman. Then this month the film which was supposed to be DC’s Avengers, Justice League was released. Upon its release, the film was slammed by the critics with a score of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet Youtubers which I follow such as Jeremy Jahns or Chris Stuckmann liked the film and some even loved the film, which you can see on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 83%.
Hearing all this and not really liking the look from the trailers, I walked in with no expectations. If you follow my blog or my Youtube the the 12th-dimension, you’ll know I am a huge comic book fan, especially DC. So, of course, I have a bias towards the DC films and have liked every one of the films except for Suicide Squad, so obviously I wanted to like Justice League. Walking in with these rather low expectations, what did I think? Well……
Let’s start off with the story. Leading where Batman v. Superman left off, Superman (SPOILERS) is dead and Batman is feeling guilty for this. From the visions that Batman has had, he wants to assemble a team to fight off any threats that would come to planet Earth. The threat, in particular, is Steppenwolf a general in Darkseid’s army. So Batman recruits The Flash, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Aquaman to stop Steppenwolf from destroying the world. If from reading that you’re thinking that’s a very common comic book movie plot; you would be right. Although the story has been told hundreds of times before, it serves the movie okay and isn’t really the main focus of the film.
The main focus in the film is the characters, in particular, the Justice League and “oh my” they are all thankfully superb. Continuing her brilliant portrayal Gal Gadot brings an excellent rendition of Wonder Woman, same goes for Ben Affleck, who in my opinion is the best Batman to date; more on that later. Henry Cavill brings his best performance to date as Superman, really bringing the character we know and love from the comics to life.
The new additions to the cast Jason Mamoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) are all also great. Ezra Miller felt like the standout character, his jokes surprisingly hitting most of the time, surprising because I found his jokes annoying in the trailers. He played the character well and had some fantastic scenes in the film. Ray Fisher was equally great, having an interesting backstory and was a much better addition to the film than I thought he would be. Finally, Jason Mamoa was a fantastic interpretation of Aquaman, but didn’t steal the show as much as he should have because it felt as though a lot of his scenes were cut; again more on that later.
The villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) had an interesting story and design but again was not in the film enough to really build any character. Another complaint about him is that he was all CGI when it felt as though they could have had it all practical. The para-demons though were extremely cool and their design was excellent. The supporting cast is all great too.
The film overall was a great film, with a few additions which stop it from being amazing. One of my main complaints is that there was way too much cut from the film. In the spoiler section, we will talk about one specific scene, but there are several places where the film felt there were scenes missing and certain characters did not have enough development.
Secondly, the CGI and green screen in parts is far too noticeable for a 300 million dollar budget. Every DC film seems to need to put an abundance of CGI in the film, it is fine when it is needed, but there are certain characters or scenes which did not need to be a computer-generated effect.
Those are two complaints about the film, but I do not feel as though it affects the film so badly that it deserves any of the hate that it is receiving. Hopefully there will be an extended cut of the film on Blu-ray. It is a step in the right direction for the franchise and people should go and see this. I’m going to give Justice League 2017 an:
Why all the hate? (SPOILERS)
Now let’s talk spoilers. This time let’s start with problems first. The editing is messy, not as messy as the theatrical cut of Batman v. Superman and definitely not as bad as Suicide Squad, but it’s messy. There’s one particular scene, this is when they get out from the underground (just after the Nightcrawler scene). One minute they are trapped, the next minute; they have all escaped, Aquaman is talking to them as if he knows them all and Cyborg has the Motherbox. This scene just confused me and everyone I know that has seen this, there was no excuse to chop out such a large portion of the film. The villain is also painfully average and under-developed but most of Marvel’s villains are, yet they are still loved by most fans.
Let’s be honest though, one of the main reasons that this film has been getting such mixed reviews and has not done as well as it should have at the box office, is the fact that the last few films in this franchise were not well received; except for Wonder Woman. Following from the very mixed receptions of those films, audience goers may have been disinterested to see this film. Thus, causing preconceptions of what the film was going to be.
Some may have been overhyped because it was the Justice League, some came in already expecting the film to be bad because of the two directors, Superman’s CGI upper lip, or just because of how they felt about the past few films in the franchise. One thing must be said though; Justice League is not a bad film, neither is it an amazing film. It is a good film, with something holding it back from being great.
What I love about film is, it’s subjective; what one person may think is amazing, another person can think is awful. If you are any type of fan of comics, action films, or any other genre Justice League may fall under, it is worth seeing this film, just to see if you like it. The film does not deserve the hate it has received from a lot of critics and is definitely a step in the right direction for the DC Universe.
In Conclusion (The future of the DC Universe)
So what does this all mean for the DC Universe? Let’s evaluate. DC has never allowed critics to stop them making their films, only influence each new one. That has both been a good and a bad thing, Wonder Woman profited from a more positive tone and audience-friendly story, whereas Justice League has suffered from too much studio interference. In the past, they have always made a profit, not a loss on any of their films; Justice League, at the moment looks as though it is going to make a loss for the studio, so what effect will this have?
Ben Affleck has not been quiet about the fact he does not want to play Batman any longer and having another film fail again with him as the hero, could give him the final push to leave. This is a major problem, to me and many fans of Batman, he has been the best; or one of the best on-screen Batman’s to date. In fact, there were certain scenes in Justice League which made me feel as though I was looking straight at the Batman from the comics.
This film’s failure with the critics and box office could also cause the studio to cancel certain projects that were planned such as the solo Batman film, the Green Lantern Corps film and any other plans they had for the future. The only films that seem to be safe right now are Aquaman, Flash, Suicide Squad 2 and the Wonder Woman sequel.
It is a shame because Justice League was a huge step in the right direction and everyone is excellently cast, yet it seems that Flash’s solo film will be the flashpoint plot-line which will cause some of the stories changing and characters getting re-cast.
There’s no sure answer what the fate of the universe will be yet, all we can do is wait. I’m sure that they will release news for what is going to happen in the future and I hope that they start planning things in a better fashion and stop interfering so much with creator’s visions. Perhaps another post will have to be written what I would have done if the universe was in my hands from the beginning. For now, let’s just be happy that we live in a world where we have so many films about our favourite comic book heroes and people like me can have the chance to talk in depth about these films. Thanks for reading.