After the idiotic Guardians of the Galaxy, vol V and the Skittles hued acid-trip that was Thor: Fraggle Rock comes a superhero movie that's actually worth watching. Justice League leaps with confidence right into the story picking up where Batman vs Superman left off. It's hard not to see the subtext in a world now darkened by Superman's demise as a commentary of what it's now like living in a post-Obama America. Batman is still struggling with feelings of guilt and yet he doesn't allow this to slow him down as he hurriedly assembles the eponymous team which he will lead to save the Earth. One of the more interesting tricks of Justice League is that the economy of the story telling is impressively lean. We learn the origins of no less than three characters and yet it never feels rushed or obligatory. As a film Justice League expands the cinematic DC Universe like no previous film, unifying the mythologies of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg . Flash and Cyborg manage to get many of the best lines in the film.
The audience is swept from the paradise island of Themyscira to the depths of Atlantis; and bestride all of this is Steppenwolf, a villain who seems almost elemental in his drive to complete the mission he's already failed once:
To turn our world into a fiefdom the Apokalyptan New God, Darkseid, who is mentioned tantalizingly in a single line of dialogue and hints at what may come in future installments.
Those who complained that Batman vs Superman was too dark will find a film lighter in touch but still serious enough to be taken seriously. The return of Superman was always a given but even I wondered if they'd follow the too tedious year long story as it was presented in the early 90's comics or find a better, if not faster, way to do it, and they most assuredly did. One of the wonderful touches to Justice League is the way Danny Elfman incorporates the iconic themes from previous films. You'll notice the subtle hint of the 1989 Batman theme, the iconic Superman scores of both John Williams and Hans Zimmer, and Wonder Woman's sweeping overture. One of the more pleasant touches is the humor, especially the deadpan comments between Wonder Woman and Batman. Unlike most Marvel films the humor here fits the characters and never seems forced.
One other thing I will touch on is the strange thread of near hatred one finds for director Zack Snyder, a man of considerable talent who is often treated by film critics as if he'd slept with their wives. I mention this because their rancor has never made any sense to me. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's review in THE ONION was so negative that one wonders why he subjects himself to films at all if they cause him such deep levels of distress and trauma? His critique of the film seems to boil down to "why the fuck do superhero movies have superheroes?"
He's not alone.
There is this curious style of criticism that seems to like to attack something by acting confused that it is what it is... Like a man who hates sports watching a football game and acting as if his frustration is mysterious. One wishes that if critics were going to attack a movie so viciously they'd at least recuse themselves by stating from the outset "This isn't a movie for me, I hate superheroes". This is a film for fans of the genre, and if you like stories about gods and monsters and the stakes that involve both you won't be disappointed in Justice League.
Rocketed from the doomed planet Oklahoma, Daniel landed in California and discovered that under a yellow sun he was granted the powers of sarcasm, brevity, skepticism and critical thinking.
He lives in his Fortress of Solitude with his son, girlfriend, and lousy wifi connection monitoring the culture and reading Nietzsche. When not writing, he runs The 37th Realm of Existence and Progressives Against the #Trumpocalyse.
His hobbies include Japanese porn, foreign films and the works of Alan Moore.