The DC Cinematic Universe is trying to suck a little less by teaming up Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash when a mysterious invader known as Steppenwolf appears looking for three mother boxes he can join together to blow up the Earth or some similar nonsense. However, even with the world’s mightiest heroes fighting side-by-side, it might not be enough!

Yes, it’s Justice League, the teamup movie that the DCCU hasn’t quite earned yet, but they’re doing it anyway. It’s a lot of fun… it’s a real crowd pleaser and the characters are enjoyable. It’s just too bad that there is nothing under the surface as it appears that anything deeper than what you see on the screen has been cut in the interest of “because I’m a studio exec, that’s why!”

You know, the thing with Marvel movies is, even though they’re being cranked out by studio system now, they still feel like daring independent films. The same spirit that pushed Iron Man into theaters ten years ago is still around with Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther. Every movie feels like the studio is saying “screw it” and proceeds to weird you out for two hours just to do it.

With the struggling DC Cinematic Universe, it’s different. These movies don’t feel daring or bold, but rather the result of cold studio executive meetings with people who don’t care for the characters or the source materials so, when a DC movie comes out, you don’t see fun and excitement, you see ugly costumes, terrible cinematography, and pretentiousness.

I’m not saying that they aren’t trying. Wonder Woman was a genuinely great movie with a ton of heart and a very likable heroine and, it says an awful lot that DC was willing to chance a female-led superhero movie before Marvel did although, to be honest, I can’t believe that it’s 2017 and the studios still think that a female superhero lead is “risky.” Hell, even the new Justice League movie is a lot of fun with some cool action and team ups even though The Flash looks like he’s wearing a pile of garbage. The problem is, it’s not a risk… it’s safe, it’s surface-level entertainment… it’s the Diet Coke Avengers.

It doesn’t help that Ben Affleck looks so incredibly bored during this movie. I swear, I’ve seen more commitment from Bill Murray. Ben, if you want to leave, leave.

If I had to give the MVP award to anything, though, it would be Ezra Miller as the Flash. I hate his costume, but he’s got a ton of personality and really did all he could to differentiate himself from his television counterpart. Still, I have to wonder why Batman didn’t think to ask him about the time traveling message that he witnessed in Batman v Superman. I just thought that might come up in passing but, then again, there seems to be a lot that this movie is just pretending didn’t happen.

Strangely enough, I actually liked Steppenwolf as a character. Granted, much about him is kept a mystery even though we and people who don’t know anything about DC all know it’s Darkseid, but he is so… blase about things, his passive aggressive boredom about the events in the movie is so silly and, when you realize he’s really nothing more than a bully who waited for the tough guy on the block to be out of commission, it makes him… I don’t know… more believable? I guess that’s what I’m looking for. It’s too bad that the CGI that created him makes him look like a PS2 cut scene.

Sigh… Folks, it’s a good movie. It’s not deep, it’s not meaningful, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s bright and colorful and doesn’t look like someone sucked all of the joy out of it. Justice League deserved more… more time with its characters, more time to set things up, and, honestly, more superheros than just the six we got, but it’s perfectly passable and fun and, to be honest, fun and passable in the DC Cinematic Universe is an accomplishment in itself.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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