DC’s dark horse

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The 2017 crossover film "Justice League" brings together characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman and the Flash (IMDB/Justice League 2017)

“Justice League” is DC comics’ ambitious 2017 film that serves as a culmination of the movies that came before. Just as the film brings together characters from previous movies, it also brings forward the lessons that the studio learned from them as well.

The acting and character portrayals in “Justice League” are executed incredibly well. Ben Affleck continues to deliver as the dark and brooding Batman. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman stands as a powerful hero on her own. Most important of all, after three movies with the character, it finally feels like the film got Henry Cavill’s Superman right for the series; he’s finally the symbol for hope that he feels like he should be.

The new characters, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg, are fun additions to the team. The Flash serves as the team’s comedic relief, and the jokes all feel natural. Aquaman’s carefree attitude made the character enjoyable to watch. Cyborg is a more tragic character than he’s normally portrayed as, but it fits his character because he was brought back from the dead in a body he doesn’t understand.

However, the newer characters would have benefited from one more movie to introduce at least one of them to the audience. The movie does balance each of their characters fairly well, but since all three of them were finally given their full introductions here, they don’t get the time to grow as much as Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman have. This doesn’t hurt the film much, but the time spent introducing those characters could have been spent on building the story more.

Previously, the tone seen in DC movies have been all over the place, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” was incredibly dark and “Suicide Squad” was too much of a light-hearted course correction. “Justice League” finally strikes a balance, finding time for serious moments and time for levity.

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The film is two hours long, making it DC’s shortest film in their cinematic universe, which may harm the movie more than it benefits it. Because of the shorter running time, there are a few subplots in the movie that receive no payoff, because it may have been cut for time. There are also some conflicts in the movie that feel like they should last longer, but then they are wrapped up neatly in a matter of seconds.

“Justice League” also had to deal with the work of two directors going into it. After Zack Snyder had stepped down, Joss Whedon, director of “The Avengers,” stepped in to film re-shoots and edit the movie.

However, the tones of the directors mesh surprisingly well. It is possible for someone to see the difference between the two directors if someone is really looking for it. Snyder is focused on making a visually stunning scene and Joss Whedon focused on building the story and adding humor. But if an individual is just watching the movie, there isn’t a jarring shift in tone between one scene to the next.

DC’s “Justice League” is not a perfect movie. However, along with “Wonder Woman,” it is one of the better movies to come out of DC’s cinematic universe, because it doesn’t try to do too much in one movie. It delivers on action, comedy and a clear story.

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