1.) There is some good amount of tributes to the DC Universe and its past films. However, the one great subtle moment that worth mentioning is the music. If you listen closely, there are moments where the music plays bits and pieces of Danny Elfman’s Batman theme from 1989 (by the way, he also composes for this movie) and John Williams’ Superman theme from 1978. That is a great way (or maybe a worst way if you look at it differently) to give some life for this movie…
2.) …Speaking of life, there is some actual dimensions for these characters. While not perfect, each character has different characteristics and reactions to events that make them more alive than the characters from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Stupid…I mean Justice. They can be serious, but they can also be funny if they need it. More dimension to the characters (even if it is admittedly not by much) makes it better for the audience to care for them.
3.) Unlike the previous DCEU movies (except for Wonder Woman), there is some lighthearted tones in the movie, and they even fixed the color filters in the visuals as well. There are some comedic moments that are actually funny, and the visuals do not look like they belong in a grey lifeless world, but instead have some color to them. They actually made these characters and world fun, making it seem like it is no longer bland and colorless…
1.) …Well…Somewhat, because even though it is nice to have some life into this movie compared to the old DCEU movies, it suffers from being tonally inconsistent. The majority of the movie is serious and slightly dark, and there are little moments where it becomes lighthearted and comedic, but it feels out of place (which did not help that Zack Snyder directed the movie during production, and Joss Whedon directed it during post-production and re-shoots). It is nice to have Barry Allen a.k.a. the Flash give some quips since he is the most comedic character out of all the Justice League members, but when the majority of the movie has little to no comedic feeling to it, that character stands out in a bad way. Balance the serious and comedic tone, and the movie will do much better.
2.) They could not have picked a more generic villain than Steppenwolf. Say what you want about the other villains/antagonists from the past DCEU movie, at least there are some good qualities about them. Steppenwolf will sit alongside Malekith from Thor: The Dark World as one of the most forgettable comic book villains, because there is nothing interesting about the guy at all. He wants to take over the world, because…he is evil? In all seriousness, I believe it is because he is awaiting Darkseid (a much better villain) to come to Earth. Seriously, why did they pick him? As ridiculous as this villain looks, Starro might have been a better pick.
What sounds better to you: a starfish alien that can control people by attaching to them, or a servant of Darkseid who has a big ax and wants to impress his master?
3.) While it is well done, the CG and green screen effects could not be more obvious to the eyes. To be fair, it is not as bad as Thor: Ragnarok on its CG and green screen effects, but it is worth noting that the visuals do stand out. At least they look cool when they show it off in certain shots.
Well…the DCEU has come far, hasn’t it? Man of Steel was garbage, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was even worse, Suicide Squad had no business being there, and Wonder Woman was the only bright spot for this movie franchise. That brings us to the movie that everyone had been waiting for: Justice League. Everyone was worried about this movie, because out of six of the major heroes in the movie, only three of them had movies about them. Despite that disadvantage, does this movie serve its audience and fans well despite the franchise’s horrible start? The answer: it does…somewhat. Despite all my bashing with the DCEU and being more of a Marvel fan, I do want this franchise to succeed, but with poor planning, writing, and other issues, Justice League does not really have much life to it compared to The Avengers. By the way, I have been trying to avoid making comparisons with Justice League and The Avengers, but in this overall section, I will make it brief. One of the reasons I believe that The Avengers was successful was not only because of the planning of several well-made films, but also how it delivers the characters in the Marvel universe well. They manage to give those characters some life and compelling moments in their films. Justice League (and the DCEU in general) barely gives any of that (with the exception of Wonder Woman), and by the time they realized their mistakes, it is too little too late, and they have to work on what they got. This movie could have been more than what we had, but on its own, it is the best we got, and there are very few things redeeming about it. For any DC fan, they will not doubt like it unless they are that hardcore. For anyone else, they might as well stick to the MCU despite Warner Bros. and DC’s pleas to keep coming back for more. For their sake, I hope their next DCEU movie: Aquaman will be good, because they have a long way to go before they can match with the MCU. For now, this movie gave the DCEU a little more life support.