Whedon Works Wonders
Editor's Note: ESPN97.5's Jong Lee, who co-hosts the popular podcast, Comicast, which discusses news and rumors from the world of comic books and movies, got a sneak preview of the new Justice League movie and offers this analysis.
“What’s the ‘S’ stand for? It’s not an ‘S.’ In my world, it means ‘hope.’” We finally have a glimmer of hope in the DC Extended Universe.
For a long time, the DCEU has been struggling to find some footing. Man of Steel was okay, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t great, and Suicide Squad was horrendous. Wonder Woman was a pleasant surprise but isn’t anything near the best of what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been producing for the past 10 years.
The best way to describe Justice League is fun. It's a fun movie to watch. It’s not a movie that will go down as one of the best 10 comic book movies of all time, but it’s nowhere near the bottom. In the ranking of all the DCEU movies, I place it second after Wonder Woman. For people who didn’t enjoy Wonder Woman, this may be your favorite DC movie to date.
My biggest gripe going into the movie was "How do you introduce three new characters into a universe and develop a good plot?" Well, gee willikers, Batman, DC got it right.
For all the negative comments I had against director Zack Snyder for Batman V Superman, he did a great job with Justice League. The pacing of the movie is much better than Batman V Superman, the character develop is good (not great) and the clutter was cut out. In fairness, I don’t know how much Snyder was involved in post-production. Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon was brought on board to finish Justice League after Snyder stepped down when his daughter passed away. Whedon scheduled a fair amount of reshoots and Warner Brothers mandated a two-hour run time for the flick. And it works.
Justice League starts off with a bang and takes you through much needed character development for Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg. As we get to learn about the characters, the movie picks up with fight set pieces that are action-packed but concise, although it does seem a little formulaic as the movie progresses.
Ezra Miller's Flash brings a lot of levity to the movie as he absolutely steals every scene he’s in. He’s the perfect complement to the seriousness of Batman and Superman. Jason Momoa’s Aquaman has his moments as well, but he comes across more like a brooding badass with a few one-liners more than a comedic character. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is vital to the success of the team, but he doesn't stand out, although he wasn’t a drag on any character development or plot.
There are a few misses in the movie. Some of the computer graphics aren't great. Without getting too much into spoilers, there’s one particular scene that really bothered me and you’ll definitely be able to see it.
Steppenwolf is a decent villain, but as someone who is supposed to be one of the strongest villains in DC, he falls a little short. He starts with a bang but finishes with a whimper. Batman's role also could have been written a little better. He's the type of character who's always a step ahead of everyone. He has his moments throughout the movie but comes up a little short during key scenes.
Justice League is a solid 7.5 out of 10. Go watch it in theaters, but it's not a must-watch opening weekend.
Final Note: There’s one mid-credit scene and a post-credit scene. Both have Whedon written all over them and both are worth staying an extra five minutes to see.
Catch the latest Comicast podcast, where Justice League is the center of attention: