Justice League is Dark, Gritty & Beautiful to Watch. Thank You For Your Fan Service (Review)

by | Nov 20, 2017

Hot on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok comes the DC superhero movie: Justice League.  I’m not sure when this happened, but at some point I think I started liking Marvel better than DC.  Marvel’s just so charismatic, like the boyfriend all your friends like, he’s smart, he’s funny, goofy but lovable and always ‘on’.  Whereas DC is the guy who is has a nice job, a nice car, takes himself way too seriously but has an amazing set of abs because he spends all his time at the gym.  They’re both great in their own ways and both pretend the other doesn’t exist and this week it was DC’s turn for my attentions.  This review is completely spoiler free, except for the part about the horse.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

When I went to Thor: Ragnarok, I was absolutely expected to be charmed and entertained. My expectations were already high and Marvel worked hard to live up to that.  I was satisfied.  I went to Justice League expecting to be bored and annoyed so DC didn’t have to do much to meet my expectations.  Instead, it exceeded them.  Sure it was grim to the point of being surly, the dark and gritty reboot of a dark and gritty reboot.  And the plot didn’t make a whole lot of sense and had that breathy ‘end each scene with a cliffhanger’ thing DC does.  But I was surprised  at how fun it was, in places.  There were actually funny moments and I laughed.  Not a lot, certainly not up to Marvel standards, but still, it was witty surprisingly self-aware.  And I have to say there’s something refreshing about a movie that’s not constantly winking at the camera.

There seemed to be an uneven distribution of power between the members of the Justice League.  I mean why does Wonder Woman even need a team?  She can do pretty much anything everyone else can, plus she has that lasso.  I mean yes, it’s helpful to have Batman with his money and toys, Cyborg with his Techno-skills, The Flash with his super speed and Aquaman with his Raw Sex Appeal but I couldn’t help getting the feeling that they were there Team Diversion while the real firepower was being brought to bear.  Justice League absolutely acknowledged  the weird imbalances and then the characters just shrugged and got on with it.  After all, regardless of their power level, they still all had a job to do and that job was to save the world.

Visually, Justice League was gorgeous.  Even though the colors were more muted, every scene was carefully laid out.  The physical stunts were amazing, as were the action sequences.  I found myself holding my breath during one particular fight scene, it was intense.  There was a moment when the villain body-checked a horse and both horse and rider went flying.  And speaking of visuals, it was more than generous with the fan service.  Shirts were off for unnecessarily long moments.   What a great cast, too.  Ezra Miller stole every scene he was in, Jason Momoa completely up to his reputation and is there anything Gal Gadot can’t do?  Not to mention Jeremy Irons, whose deadpan delivery makes him my absolute favorite Alfred ever.

So is Justice League worth seeing?  Sure, definitely.  See it on the big screen.  Especially if you’re a comic fan, this movie is for you.  Justice League didn’t even pretend it could be a standalone movie.  There were characters there I completely didn’t recognise and I’ve seen all the movies.  Apparently movies are not enough – in order to fully appreciate what was going on you had to have read all the comics.  Still worth seeing and I may well see it again, if only to see those tattoos in motion.

Rating: [star rating=”3.5″]