I went into Justice League not really expecting much. All I really needed to enjoy the film was for it to deliver some great action scenes and some good character interactions. And boy, did it deliver that and a little bit more.
Justice League isn’t a great movie. There are plenty of flaws, but there are also moments of greatness within it. They just never cohere with the rest of the film, so we are left with a film that is half-great and half-“Eh, it was okay.”
The first and main flaw is the villain. Steppenwolf simply isn’t interesting. I understand why they didn’t want to use Darkseid — pulling out your main villain this early would be a mistake, like using Thanos in the very first Avengers. But Steppenwolf? Well, he’s just General Alien Bad Guy. They could have swapped him out for Kalibak and nobody would have noticed. Heck, they could have swapped him out for Virman Vundabar and nobody would have noticed.
Of course, the villain here doesn’t really matter. The story isn’t about him; it’s about the league coming together in order to fight him. And as for the league? Well, they are all pretty awesome. We get just enough glimpses of each of their lives to want to see more, as well as some pretty nice character interactions and development, especially in the case of Diana.
In fact, parts of this film seem as if they are apologizing for what happened in Batman v Superman. Diana gives us an exact reason why nobody knew who she was before the Doomsday fight (because she was only reacting to threats, not going out to fight them — still doesn’t make any sense, but they tried) and Bruce is clearly guilt-ridden over Superman’s death to the point where Batman is the one who decides to bring him back to life.
Oh yeah, Superman comes back to life. Big shock. And his post-resurrection scene is...not good. He goes a bit crazy. But of course Batman brings in Lois Lane to help and he gets better and by the end of the movie, he is actually fun. He’s a fun Superman! We got a fun Superman, you guys! He was making jokes and everything!
As for the other characters: Barry Allen is a delight. Arthur Curry is...well, he’s Jason Momoa. If you want to see Jason Momoa, here he is. Victor Stone is probably the least developed, but I still liked him. He even got a “Booyah” in there and it didn’t feel forced.
The movie was entertaining and I wasn’t bored. And hey, that’s more than I can say for Batman v Superman, which is good. In addition, with this movie, Warner Bros. finally showed that they aren’t afraid to make an explicitly comic book movie, because there are two scenes that made the audience go wild with enthusiasm:
The first was a flashback to the original invasion of Steppenwolf and the Parademons (which would be a great band name): the alliance that stopped them didn’t just include Amazons, Atlanteans, and “all the tribes of men.” It also included a goddamn Green Lantern and members of the Pantheon of Gods and Heroes (I think I saw some Shazam lightning, which would be awesome). Even though it didn’t last long, that fight scene was truly epic.
The second was the post-post-credits scene (which is the second post-credits scene). I really don’t want to spoil it for you guys; let’s just say that it made me smile and hope that we get another Justice League.
Yes, I hope we get a sequel. This film wasn’t great, but it was a step in the right direction.