The story itself is mostly stuffing to serve the characters
In the years to come, November 2017 will be a significant month in the records of comic book and movie historians: the month that Marvel seemingly caved under the weight of its own formulaic levity and the DC Universe finally got a grip of its own cinematic universe.
Justice League is far from perfect. Burdened with the sins of the preceding joke of an attempt at a Superman movie as well as the made-for-pretentious douchebags Batman V Superman, Justice League nevertheless works within its confines.
With no preceding films covering each character individually, Justice League is saddled with the burdensome task of providing some context and sense of association for these newcomers.
While not the most graceful of solutions, we are met with chunks of exposition that basically explains each character’s motivation and origin while also delivering a sense of “I’ll be back in a proper film with better character development real soon!”
Despite this setback, Justice League is littered with great character moments that allow you glimpses of what each standalone could potentially be like. More than anything else, it is this that keeps the movie propelling forward, ensuring that every scene and the next is highly entertaining regardless of how questionable it may actually be.
What’s truly impressive is that in spite of adjusting itself to be more approachable and slightly lighthearted, it maintains its own signature style and overarching themes dealing with the purpose of heroes in a world where people would just as much watch them bleed as they would worship them.
On that note, it’s relieving that DC hasn’t succumbed to popular opinion by shifting Wonder Woman front and centre of the film, allowing Ben Affleck’s Batman to remain in the narrative’s driver’s seat.
A lot of trepidation has been floating around the issue of the film’s dual directors—and while there are moments of extremities in style that float above the rest of the movie, the film largely plays in a singular form and stays cohesive.
However, rumours of a massive cut in film duration (from 170 mins to 121) seems to be accurate with very clear cracks in the narrative structure showing through in the early acts of the film, but never harsh enough to throw you off the story.
As annoying as it is that DC’s theatrical releases have become incomplete products serving as trailers for the impending home media release, Justice League finally feels like a complete experience where a little bit more would certainly be welcome.
Special mention goes out to Danny Elfman’s score, proving that with the right soundtrack, great becomes epic. It will be a long time before I miss Hans Zimmer’s mono-tempoed tuba farts attempting to stand in for anything actually heroic.
Also, stay in your seats for mid-credits and post-credits scenes that certainly beats anything Marvel has had to offer in recent years.
Justice League is out now in all theatres and just might be the DCEU’s turning point.