REVIEW: Far from perfect, ‘Justice League’ still lives up to expectations

Ray Padilla

Bare with me for a minute, and it won’t be as painful to read this analysis.

People are probably going to assume I am going to just say how great another DC superhero movie turned out. Well, yes, it was great. Those who know me understand my close relationship with the DC universe and could probably see the excitement on my face as we approached the release date. Hell, I even bought eight tickets so I could have my perfect seat in the theater with friends. The day of the release, I was happier than a kid waking up on Christmas.

Christmas came early this year and Santa; director Zack Snyder; Joss Whedon, the secondary, uncredited director; and Chris Terrio, the screenwriter, brought me “Justice League.”

This is the movie I have been anticipating since the moment they first released “Superman Returns” back in 2006. Seeing the seven original founders of the Justice League in a live action film was exactly what I have been wanting for my whole life.

On the other hand, as the final scene dimmed to black and the credits started to appear, I felt as though something was missing. I think what upset me the most was the run time. With only 120 minutes, “Justice League” is now the shortest DCEU movie next to “Suicide Squad,” running at 123 minutes. People are thrown into the action, and there was no time for peace as soon as Superman died in the previous film in the timeline of “Batman v Superman.” I felt as though more could have been explained, and I would have liked to see another villain other than Steppenwolf and his parademons.

Speaking of Steppenwolf, there was not a clear background into his character. Those who have never read comics in which he appeared might not understand his history, his role and his relationship to Darkseid, the ruler of Apokolips. Hopefully, the DCEU will go into greater detail later.

One thing the DCEU improved on was its CGI. Besides a couple scenes, it felt stronger than it did in “Wonder Woman.” I think Snyder also realized he shouldn’t use slow motion as much in this movie, as he had a couple characters who can move faster than the speed of sound and could better utilize the slow motion for their fight scenes.

In this case, I would have wanted this movie to slow down a bit. I wanted to take my time, understand each character more, see how they get along with each other for the first time and see more story than action.

One character I still don’t fully understand is Aquaman. It seems as though this character has become a surfer bro who doesn’t like to work with others, but then randomly, as if flipping a switch, he decides to become a fun, energetic guy who enjoys working on a team. Hopefully Arthur Curry, the character, is cleared up in the Aquaman solo film next December.

While the film left out some key information, it still was enjoyable. It was worth the wait, and I cannot wait for the next DCEU movie to be released, starting with “Aquaman.” There were about four major spoilers in the movie — some of which hint at more films being produced within this universe.

My advice for those who are looking to go watch it: Pay attention to detail in the story of Steppenwolf, and stay until the end of all the credits. Again, all the credits. Those who do will want to jump out of their seat with excitement. The DC films seem to always have a way of hiding everything.

Grade: B-

Ray Padilla is the digital director. Contact him at [email protected].