“Justice League” brings mixed feelings to the big screen


The Flash (Ezra Miller), Batman (Ben Affleck), and Wonderwoman (Gal Gadot) stand ready to battle Steppenwolf. (Photo courtesy DC Films)

DC Comics brings another addition to their superhero movie lineup to their ever-growing franchise: “Justice League.” Scoring a 39% with critics and an 85% with the audience, according to Rotten Tomatoes, it is fair to say that reviews are mixed on this latest incarnation of this well-known superhero crew. The group has a well-rounded cast of actors ranging from new actors to previous major actors. The League is made up of Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as Flash, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. These actors will continue to play their respective roles throughout the DC series. This movie takes place after the events of the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie.”
In this addition to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), Batman and the team of five work against the clock to defeat the evil leader of Darkseid’s army, Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). Steppenwolf is in pursuit of three items known as mother boxes which were separated and entrusted to the Atlanteans, Amazons, and the humans. When combined, these mother boxes have the capability to produce enough energy to destroy entire planets and also serve many other purposes such as healing, creating, and transporting.
Critics have claimed that this movie was too centered around creating more of a path for the franchise as a whole instead of focusing on a good story for a single movie. It got to a point where it focused more on all of the heroes in their individual stories rather than coming up with small bits of backstory. The backstory would help all of the characters throughout the movie to further understand the plot and combine it with a good storyline while building the world of the “Justice League” series. The many reviews stated that the movie seemed to be thrown together without a regard for characterization, story development, and overall plot angles. This may be in part to the director, Zach Snyder, leaving the movie due to a family tragedy. Joss Whedon, director for some of the Marvel series movies, came in to finish up the movie. An odd touch to the movie was where Henry Cavill’s lip was changed using CGI (Computer Generated Image) so that his mustache was removed. He was pulled from a shooting of “Mission Impossible 6” and he was unable to remove the mustache.
A sequel to the “Justice League” movie has been announced and scheduled for June 2019, but has been delayed for the stand-alone film titled “The Batman.” In addition to the standalone Batman film, movies for Aquaman, Shazam, also known as DC’s Captain Marvel, and a second Wonder Woman movie have been scheduled to release in late 2019.
This movie, however, may be a signal to DC to cut the movies altogether. In the box office, “Justice League” grossed around $94 million dollars on opening weekend which is the lowest of any of the DCEU movies. The highest weekend openers from the DCEU are “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” at $166 million, “Suicide Squad” at $133 million, “Man of Steel” at $116 million, and “Wonder Woman” at $103 million. According to Forbes Magazine, the studio is projected to lose a total of $100 million dollars because of this movie.
As DC continues to add movies to the DCEU, critics see “Justice League” as a warning that the studio is starting to slip and is putting its franchise in extreme jeopardy. There have been rumors about how DC may be cutting its movies that are not in development due to the fans and critics response to their previous films. Some of these films on the chopping block include “Batgirl”, “Flashpoint,” and “Black Adam.” Needless to say, “Justice League” wavered audience’s views of the film, but has flopped with the critics. This may be a sign for DC to close the curtains on their ever-expanding universe.