‘Justice League’ delivers action, heroism audiences crave


Jacob Sykuta

Throughout both the Marvel and DC superhero universes, it seems that with every new movie, a new magical stone or ancient cube of power appears. Often, these glowing objects have been tucked away for millenniums, in all hopes that these objects are prevented from falling into the wrong hands of the stereotypical but obligatory antagonist that talks with a deep, mechanical voice and rages on about the destruction of worlds.
In “Justice League”, these ancient objects of power are known as Mother Boxes, and there are three of them: one hidden in the deepest depths of the sea; another under heavy guard on Themyscira, home of the Amazons, and the last box buried by the army of men. Without surprise, mankind did the worst job of concealing their Mother Box, as a couple of old-timey kings and knights dug a hole, put the Mother Box in, and covered it with dirt.
Where is the reason for Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman (Ben Affleck) to recruit a new team of warriors? Like most previous superhero movies, this reason is a fire-eyed planet destroyer named Steppenwolf, who is an unmemorable CGI villain voiced by the great Ciaran Hinds. He has come to Earth with the sole purpose to retrieve the three Mother Boxes, impress his own mother and, of course, destroy all worlds as we know them.
It doesn’t take much imagination to know how this whole conflict is going to turn out, but the fun and main point of the film is achieved, in seeing Batman and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) create a friendship out of quick occurrences in previous films, then recruiting The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to forge a group of heroes with special abilities, with the intentions to save the world and find others like them to help. “Justice League”, like “Marvel’s The Avengers”, is a putting-the-band-together origins movie and in the end, it is executed almost flawlessly.
[vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-Nzxn9qiSg”]“Justice League” opens in the mourning period after the death of Superman and early on, we hear the singing of Leonard Cohen’s somber-toned, “Everybody Knows.” Throughout this early stage of the movie, there is a sense of fear, violence and uncertainty on the streets of Gotham and Metropolis, instilling the same uncertainty in the viewer of what is to come. At some points of the film, it may be more difficult than it should be to know which city the scene is taking place; however, overall, the back-and-forth between cities is a great addition to the structure of the film.
With the help of his ever-loyal butler and strategist Alfred (Jeremy Irons), Bruce Wayne recognizes a pattern of destruction at various points on Earth, mostly done by the creepy and robotic flying insect minions of Steppenwolf, which leads him to realize the planet will soon be attacked. By the time he makes contact with Wonder Woman, she says they aren’t awaiting the attack, rather the attack is already here. Steppenwolf has invaded Paradise Island, aka Themyscira, and has stolen one of the Mother Boxes.
Jason Momoa brings a rockstar-esque swagger to the role of Aquaman, who initially finds Bruce Wayne as amusing, with statements such as, “You actually dress up as a bat?” He is hesitant to join the battle until his own underwater people are attacked for the Mother Box under their watch. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, still learning about his powers by the minute, is also reluctant warrior who eventually joins the team.
There’s no such hesitation on the part of Ezra Miller’s The Flash to join the team. Agreeing to the terms before Wayne can even explain what the job entails, Miller’s performance as The Flash is much like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the Marvel universe. Miller, in essence, represents every teenage comic-book geek. Sure, they have their own impressive skill sets and abilities, but they’re fans of the big boys and girls, and they’re excited about the invitation to join the team.
Even with a few murky transitions throughout the movie, in addition to it seeming relatively short, only running at 119 minutes, compared to previous DC films such as “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” running over three hours long, “Justice League” is ultimately put together with a fantastic group of performers that have the ability to connect with each other in ways that DC’s “Suicide Squad” failed to do. Along with the connection to the audience, this film will leave viewers with the “well worth it” feeling after leaving the theater. With the fabulous screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, along with the right mix of humor and seriousness following the directorial tone of Zack Snyder, the film makes a profound step in the right direction for the DC Comics Extended Universe and leaves the audience with anticipation about the next chapter of this superhero storyline.