Justice League: What Went Wrong, and the Path Ahead for DCEU

Justice League is surprisingly short for a movie that is about an ensemble of mighty superheroes.

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Still from <i>Justice League</i>
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If there is a documentary out there on making of Justice League, count me in for a show. But a re-watch of the movie itself? Maybe some other time. After numerous reshoots, a changed ending, Joss Whedon stepping in for director Zack Snyder and a mandate on its length by Warner Brothers; putting together the movie looks like a tougher job than Bruce Wayne putting together the League itself.

Boasting a superb cast with fine new additions, Justice League is a step in the right direction for the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) and pushes up the low bar set by its predecessors – Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. While, Dawn of Justice received criticism for being too long, Justice League is surprisingly short for a movie that is about an ensemble of mighty superheroes.

In typical Zack Snyder fashion, the movie jumps from one big moment to another, but is filled with light-hearted comedy, showing sparks of Joss Whedon’s involvement.

But overall the movie is choppy and all over the place. It’s evident that lots of sub-plots were removed to fit in the short runtime instructed by Warner Brothers. As per the grapevine, an extended cut will be released on Blu-Ray, like DC did with Dawn of Justice, which may have a better flow.

Perhaps, the weakest point in the film is its big, strong alien villain Steppenwolf. He is yet another forgettable CGI monster who has come to rule the earth and is after the power sources called ‘Mother Boxes’ (Nothing to do with Martha).

But through his origin story, the filmmakers have expanded the universe, showing shared history of Atlanteans, Amazons and Humans, and also hinting a possible ‘Green Lantern’ movie.

DCEU Expands

While, the rushed introduction of ‘Flash’, ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Cyborg’ is disappointing, the portrayal by all three actors is remarkable. Ezra Miller as ‘Flash’ (Barry Allen) and Jason Momoa as ‘Aquaman’ (Stephen Curry) are delightful and among top things to watch out for in future DCEU movies.

It was evident from the trailers that ‘Flash’ will be the comic relief; he shares some good rookie-expert superhero moment with Batman. DC needs to make more sense out of ‘Cyborg’ and explain his powers and origins to non-comic book fans.

Ezra Miller as Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in <i>Justice League</i>
Ezra Miller as Flash, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Justice League
(Photo: WB)

All three superheroes have standalone movies in the works. Aquaman is first in line with a late release slated next year.

My Man!&nbsp; Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman
My Man!  Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman
(Photo: WB)

Spoiler Talk

It’s time to get into the spoiler territory.

No one walked into this movie not expecting Superman at all, right? A mega ensemble of all DC superheroes on big screen without Superman? Come on! So he is brought back to life in the movie and Henry Cavill was brought back to sets for reshoots, but this time he had a moustache for another role he was shooting. End result: Superman carries a CGI upper lip which is hard to ignore.

Overcoming that hiccup, the film has some epic Superman moments. Probably, the best and only memorable scene is when he fights the rest of the crew.

Also don’t be in a rush to leave the theater. There are two post-credit scenes at the end. The first one is just a running joke, but second one pips the formation of Injustice League and return of ‘Lex Luthor’.

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