The first live action Justice League film has finally arrived! Ever since it was announced back in 2014, fans all around the world were very excited for this. It was always a dream for many fans to see the Justice League in live action. Does it live up the hype? Was the wait worth it? In the review, we will discuss the film in details.
Warning: The discussion below contains spoilers for Justice League. Don’t scroll below if you didn’t watch it yet!
Justice League is set months after the events of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. A catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons arrives on Earth to the hunt for the three Mother Boxes.
Bruce Wayne (Batman) believes an invasion is coming after investigating and encountering a Parademon. He enlists the help of Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) to assemble a team of metahumans consisting of Barry Allen (Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman) and Victor Stone (Cyborg).
Justice League is honestly not what I hoped for. I thought it was okay but could’ve been way better. Huge wasted potential.
I will mention the good things about the movie at first. I liked the optimism around the team. This theme continues in the DCEU after Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is a scene-stealer in this movie. That scene of her in the during the bank scene was awesome. Jason Momoa was good as Aquaman. His solo film is coming out next year. It was set-up during that scene of Mera (she was only in one scene) and him. Ezra Miller as Flash was pretty funny. Ray Fisher as Cyborg was okay.
Now for the hero we all were waiting for Superman. When we see him return for the first time in the movie. It was pretty rushed and very disappointing. I was kind of hoping a big heroic return for him. Instead we got the evil version for a few minutes. But once he regains his conscience and helps the team defeat Steppenwolf. It was nice. Seeing him fight alongside the team was great. Superman is finally at his true self. The version we have all been waiting to see.
It’s time for the flaws now. The CGI was terrible during most of the moments. The mustache CGI was awful in the opening scene where we see Superman talking with kids. It was very distracting. And the CGI background was horrible too during one or two moments.
Ben Affleck was very weak as Batman this time. He wasn’t acting like Batman at all. He was joking way too much and it was unnecessary. I didn’t like him at all this time. He was toned down a lot. It felt like Affleck didn’t care about his acting at all and just wanted to leave the franchise as soon as possible.
The editing is a huge mess. A lot of scenes feel rushed and incomplete. If they added at least 20 more minutes in the movie, it would’ve been fine. Many scenes from the trailers also didn’t make it in the final cut. One is when Alfred says “You said you’d come”. Guess we won’t find out who he says it to until an extended edition arrives. Also Iris West and Nuidis Vulko are cut from the film. Check out some of the scenes from the trailers which were deleted below:
Now for the worst character in the movie, Steppenwolf. He was weak and boring. His voice was awful. His face CGI was bad. I didn’t care about him whenever he appeared on-screen. He had zero character development. Not the worst villain DCEU has showed us though, since that title still belongs to Enchantress from Suicide Squad.
There are a lot of forced jokes in the movie as well, which I didn’t like. One is when Clark and Lois returns to the farm and she says “You smell good” to Clark. Why would she say that to someone who just came back from the dead? That was a freshly dead body.
Lastly, I would say the soundtrack was the second weakest in the DCEU (first being Suicide Squad). It was really generic and forgettable.
These are the overall problems I had with the movie. I had a very enjoyable time. This was a fun flawed superhero film which most will certainly enjoy.
I am definitely looking forward to the future solo DCEU films with these heroes.
Easter Eggs, References, and Trivia Facts:
- Have they all gone into their home planet?
- We see a newspaper with a photo of David Bowie, Prince and Superman as the cover. This was just a reminder that 2016 was tragic year for celebrity deaths. Also Prince recorded some songs for Batman 89 and a cover of David Bowie’s heroes was used in the final Justice League trailer.
- One of the neon building signs to be seen in Gotham City in the opening scene is “Janus”. This refers to Janus Cosmetics, a company linked to the origin of Batman villain, Black Mask.
- Lady of Justice
- When we first see Diana in the film during the bank heist, she is seen first standing on the Lady of Justice statue.
- The human’s mother box
- It is revealed that the third Mother Box left with humanity was buried for years before it was uncovered on the battlefields of World War I and shipped to America. A deleted Wonder Woman epilogue actually addressed the discovery of the box, which Etta Candy and Wonder Woman’s surviving allies are tasked with transporting.
- The Old Gods
- After Queen Hippolyta warns her daughter of Steppenwolf’s attack and an coming invasion, Diana returns to Bruce and tells him the story of the giant war between Amazons/Atlanteans and Steppenwolf. In the flashback battle, we see Wonder Woman’s dad, Zeus throwing a lightning.
- Ares was seen in the battle, portrayed by David Thewlis again, leaping on Steppenwolf with his axe.
- Goddess of Greek mythology, Artemis, is seen firing a burning bow strong enough to destroy Steppenwolf’s troop carriers.
- Green Lanterns fought Steppenwolf
- During the flashback battle, we also see two Green Lanterns fighting on the battlefield and one of them even dies. The ring removes itself from the fallen Lantern’s finger and blasts off to space. It didn’t appear to be any specific Lantern.
- Knightmare landscape
- The landscape during the flashback looked very similar to the Knightmare scene in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- With alien invaders, ancient goddesses, speedsters, cybernetic athletes, and Atlantean royalty, Alfred can’t help but feel nostalgic for the simpler days. Specifically, the ones in which “exploding wind-up penguins” were the worst of Bruce Wayne’s concerns. This confirms that Bruce had encounter with Penguin previously.
- Original Jimmy Olsen actor cameo
- Actor Marc McClure had previously teased a Justice League movie cameo, and now we see him as the prison guard speaking with Barry Allen when he goes to visit his incarcerated father.
- Gorilla Grodd reference
- When Bruce surprises Barry in his own lair, the speedster starts talking about his unique skills and qualifications. One of them is Gorilla sign language.
- Rick and Morty
- When Bruce is talking to Barry. We see Rick and Morty playing on TV in the background. That’s episode 9 of season 1, Something Ricked This Way Comes. Clearly, Barry is a fan of the show.
- Aquaman’s mother, Atlanna, was mentioned during the conversation between Arthur and Mera. The film mentions she was forced to abandon Arthur with his father in order to save his life, presumably those who felt threatened by the heir’s first born being from the surface, or illegitimate. She also seems to be disappointed that Arthur has not claimed his birthright as the rightful ruler.
- Crispus Allen
- When we see Jim Gordon walking around the police precinct. approached by one of his detectives handling the kidnappings and strange alien sightings plaguing Metropolis. The detective in question is actually Crispus Allen, played by actor Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
- Ace Chemicals
- When Barry points to the Bat-Signal, we see a sign in the form of a neon sign illuminates against the night. That company is Ace Chemicals. This makes a clear reference to where the Joker became the famous, Clown Prince of Crime, we all know and love, as well as where Dr. Harleen Quinzel took a leap of faith in Suicide Squad.
- A tribute to Batman comics
- When Batman arrives with Diana and Barry to the Commissoner Gordon, we see a badass shot of him on a gargoyle. The shot is a recreation of the cover art for Detective Comics #682, as illustrated by artist Graham Nolan.
- 1989 Batman Theme
- When Commissoner Gordon calls Batman, we hear the 1989 theme playing in the background. This is because Danny Elfman is the composer in the film.
- Aquaman’s Armour and Quindent
- Aquaman’s armour is the same worn by King Atlan in the alliance flashbacks. He needed Mera to go and get it for him since he doesn’t seem to be welcome in Atlantis. He also carries a Quindent which has unspecified powers, but it’s not the famed Trident of Neptune that grants control over the oceans and can only be wielded by Atlantean royalty.
- Raising a Monster like Luthor
- The debate between the team on whether to use the Motherboxes to bring back Superman directly references Batman V Superman, where Lex uses the Kryptonian birthing chamber to create Doomsday, an ancient Kryptonian abomination that combines the DNA of himself and Zod.
- Pet Sematary
- Barry references to Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. The book (and eventual film) follows a cursed cemetery that can bring back the dead but the reanimated people and animals come back ‘wrong’. They fear his is what might happen to Superman.
- Superman 1978 theme
- When Superman returns to life in a rage and starts fighting the team, we can hear the theme playing during one moment.
- Do you bleed?
- When dark Superman asked Batman, “Do you bleed?”, that was a direct reference to the famous scene in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Super Breathe
- Superman uses his super breathe for the first time during one moment.
- Clark Kent tribute
- Clark wears the same black and red plaid coat, which is a nod to Clark Kent’s signature shirt from Superman: The Movie.
- Doomsday Clock
- “We tend to act like the doomsday clock has a snooze button,” says Bruce, bemoaning humanity’s chances of uniting against the latest global threat. The Doomsday Clock is a feature of DC’s most successful comic, Watchmen, which Zack Snyder adapted to film. It is also the title of an upcoming DC Comics event which will bring the Watchmen and mainstream characters together, focusing particularly on Superman and Dr Manhattan.
- Darkseid gets briefly mentioned once by Steppenwolf.
- New Gods
- Steppenwolf mentions taking his rightful place amongst the New Gods. His origins and background are only very lightly touched upon, but the villain, the Mother Boxes and Parademons are all related to comic legend Jack Kirby’s ‘Fourth World’ stories, which tell the tale of a struggle between good and evil New Gods.
- Steve Trevor
- Steve is mentioned several times in the movie. First is when Diana sees Batman’s Troop Transport (aka The Flying Fox), and claims she knew a man who would have loved to fly it.
- Batman later uses Diana’s reclusiveness after Steve’s death as ammunition against her, saying she should have been a symbol the world needed rather than hiding for 100 years. It’s here that he references the photograph taken in Wonder Woman, that was seen in Batman v Superman on Lex Luthor’s computer.
- New Genesis
- Steppenwolf’s plan is to terraform the Earth to make it like his home planet (exactly the same as Man of Steel’s villain, Zod). His home planet is Apokolips, a horrible urban wasteland where the evil New Gods live. When he fails, the devastated landscape he had already altered begins to burst into amazing flowers. This is likely a nod to New Genesis, the good New Gods’ planet, which is a beautiful green paradise.
- Truth, Justice, and The American Way
- During the final battle against Steppenwolf, Superman admits he’s a big fan of truth and justice. This is a callback to the classic catchphrase of the character fighting for Truth, Justice, and The American Way.
- At one point during the final battle, Cyborg says “Booyah”. It’s his trademark phrase from the comics and Cartoon Network show, Teen Titans.
- The Orange Sky Homage
- At the end after defeating Steppenwolf there is shot shot of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg standing heroically against a skyline turned red-orange. This was a homage to the intro of Justice League Unlimited.
- The Hall of Justice
- At the end of the film, we see Bruce, Diana, and Alfred enters inside the Wayne Manor with the intention of renovating it. They specifically mention a round table with at least six seats, a reference to the classic round table used by both the Justice League and Justice Society. Diana also mentions leaving room for more people, hinting that more League members will join them.
- Cyborg receives an upgrade
- At the ending, Victor reconnects his father and receives an upgrade. Victor transforms his body into a smooth, metallic shell over top of the inner workings. The upgrade is his iconic logo on the chest from comics.
- The Shirt Pull
- Finally we get to see Henry Cavill do the iconic shirt pull to reveal the Superman logo from underneath! That was him signaling that the classic Superman we all grew up loving has returned. A fantastic way to end the film.
- Flash and Superman race
- In the mid-credits scene we get to see Flash and Superman race as they’ve done numerous times in the comics.
- Injustice League
- The post credits opens in the prison where Lex Luthor is being held (after his capture in Batman v Superman), with the guards checking in on him, only to realize that he’s been replaced by some random bald guy. The scene then cuts to a luxurious yacht, where we see Luthor free and living his best life.A boat pulls up to the yacht, and Deathstroke is riding in it. We see him remove his mask to reveal actor, Joe Manganiello.Luthor then propositions Deathstroke to join him so the two can create a “league of our own,” but before we hear Deathstroke’s answer, the scene cuts to black. They were definitely hinting at Injustice League or Legion of Doom for the sequel.
Who was your favorite character? Which easter egg did you love the most? Did we miss any? What did you think of the film? Let us know!