JUSTICE LEAGUE Brings Hope for the Future

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Where's the fun? Where's the 'hope'? Where are the superheroes that bring light and joy to the big screen?

The criticisms of the DCEU have been broadcast far and wide across the internet. From social media, to every Rotten Tomatoes score ever given out, Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. have heard the call for more fun.

Justice League delivered.

But it wasn't about to make you feel numb to emotion either. There's an overarching theme to JUSTICE LEAGUE about the absence of Superman. He's missed by those who admired him, those who loved him, those who fought by his side, and those who only heard of his legend.

Warner Bros took a big gamble by killing Superman, on-screen, but they weren't about to move on from him just because he died. They were determined, as seen in Suicide Squad, to make sure audiences know that he was gone but not forgotten. JUSTICE LEAGUE has plenty of dialogue and moments that will make you realize that he is still a very important part of the world.

MAN OF STEEL and BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE were very beautiful movies, put together by Zack Snyder with hopes of telling a different kind of superhero story. In a sense, JUSTICE LEAGUE is the third movie of that trilogy. Some would tell you that it isn't consistent with the themes of the previous two. There's progression here that feels earned, though.

JUSTICE LEAGUE has some of its heroes hurting, some bitter, some want to be left alone. As they come together, they begin to see that hope is possible. In spite of the world conquering threat, Steppenwulf, they lean on each other and pick each other up. As any team does in the face of adversity, they do their best to instill confidence in the unsure.

Batman leads the way, but not on his own. Superman inspired Batman to become a new kind of hero. A leader. The Bat who works alone in the shadows, after the death of a sidekick, is now inspired by an alien who was more human than him. Determined to bring together a team of heroes, in honor of Superman, to fight a growing threat.

Wonder Woman, directly affected by Steppenwulf, who loves Superman, as much as Batman does sees things differently. They are coping with the loss differently. She continues to use her heart in this movie to help as she inspires Cyborg, who appears more machine than human, to do the work he was brought in to do.

She gave the tin-man his heart.

Then we have Flash, who comes to us as an amped up super-kid that can't slow down. He's excited and brings a ton of energy until things get real. He's scared. Fighting isn't his specialty. Slowly he realizes what he CAN do to help out and his character arc from skiddish kid to confident hero is completed. Is he the same Barry Allen we see on television or in the comic books? No. He's actually more like Bart (Impulse) than Barry, but it works for the general audience. Or any Flash fans that want him to be loved by people who no nothing about him.

Aquaman shows up as the biggest 'dude-bro' of the bunch. He's a total badass who does his own thing, but despite his tough exterior he has concerns of his own. He's a lot like Batman used to be. A loner who does things his way. But he's also a brawler and while he wasn't about to get involved with someone else's fight, once it came to him he was ready to go. While Mera's role was small here, she was strong and inspiring as she convinced Aquaman of what he needed to do.

The ladies of JUSTICE LEAGUE possessed a great deal of strength and courage. Lois was the key, Diana was the voice of reason, Mera inspired, and the Amazons were brave. It should not be overlooked on how important the women were.

Steppenwolf wasn't a complicated villain. And there's no reason he needed to be. Not every villain needs to have Lex Luthor's genius or Ares' power. This movie was meant to unite heroes against a common threat, in the shadow of Superman's legacy. Steppenwolf was a precursor to a much greater power and he was fighting one versus six, as the parademons were distracted.

There was no way he was winning that fight. So during the final battle, you didn't feel any concern for the heroes. Which was just fine. The Justice League are the best of the best. Giving Steppenwolf a serious beatdown is what you would expect and hope for.

The movie is filled with action with bits of comedic one-liners sprinkled throughout. Many of its scenes seemed like they were ripped from the pages of a comic book. Superman fans will be VERY happy with how this movie quickly becomes a 2-hour lovefest for the Man of Steel. It feels a lot like a love letter to the importance of Superman as you see how his absence affects everyone in the movie.

And while his return is the worst kept secret in Hollywood, I refuse to spoil anything else about him. Just prepare yourself for a Superman like you've never seen before. If there was ever an exclamation point to put on this movie, it's him.

While the CGI was really bad in some parts, it wasn't enough to ruin the movie and the soundtrack didn't really jump out at me either. It just didn't resonate like Hans Zimmer's previous work and while Elman is very good, I don't have the music echoing in my head.

JUSTICE LEAGUE was a big step forward from the previous movies made, before Geoff Johns came aboard. That's not to say that the other two movies were bad, quite the contrary. What it means is, rather than the DCEU remain stagnant, it's evolving.

It's PG-13 rating may keep children away, which will threaten box office totals. Outside of the comic book violence, there is a LOT of profanity, but not enough to make people blush and walk out of the theater.

JUSTICE LEAGUE will have you cheering for the DC Universe. There are sequences that will have you high-fiving your neighbor as it addresses many of the problems that critics had.

Make sure you stick around until the very end of the credits. You'll be treated to some fan service halfway through, and then you'll get a preview of what's to come. 

To borrow a line from Aquaman: "I can dig it."

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0