*Spoilers ahead*

I took opening weekend off to go visit my fiancé. I desperately needed to get away. Honestly, I was so excited to go be visiting him for the first time in way too long that I kind of forgot we were seeing this movie XD So I got comfy in the theater chair and hoped it wouldn’t be terrible. Obviously nothing DC can do will top Wonder Woman, but I figured the rewrites and reshoots they did would bring more of the heart and soul elements that WW had into JL.

Superman is dead. The world is left without hope. And in the place where there might not have been any hope in the first place – Gotham – it just got worse. Batman has been tracking and trying to capture these mysterious beings: bug-like creatures who feed on fear, but they keep exploding whenever he gets near. Amid all the green goo, they leave a mysterious pattern behind. Three boxes in a triangle formation.

Diana Prince knows exactly what the symbol means. The Amazons have lit the beacon as a call to war. She reveals to Bruce Wayne that the Amazons had been guarding a device called a Motherbox on Themyscira. Steppenwolf had tried to conquer Earth once, thousands of years ago. Together, the Amazons, Atlanteans, and tribes of men defeated him, and he retreated. Each tribe was charged with hiding and guarding one of the three Motherboxes. If the Amazons have lit the beacon, it means that the box has awakened, Steppenwolf has returned, and he’s gained the Motherbox the Amazons had been guarding.

They will need help to stop Steppenwolf from recovering the other two Motherboxes. Luckily, they have a few in mind. Barry Allen, also known as the Flash, in Central City. Arthur Curry, the Aquaman, and one of the Atlanteans that have been guarding the second box all this time. Though he’s presumed dead, Victor Stone, or the Cyborg, may be of some help as well. His father used the energy of the last box to integrate his body with machinery and bring him back to life after a terrible accident.

Even with all this power, they need one more. They need Superman. Bruce theorizes that with the power of the one box they have, they can bring Clark back from the dead. Some on the team think it’s worth a shot, and others think it’s a terrible idea. What if he comes back and doesn’t know who he is? What if he comes back totally changed? But Steppenwolf will not wait around until their minds are made up: they need to come to an agreement, and fast.

I genuinely enjoyed the movie. It was no WW, by any means 😉 But for the first time in a long time, DC put out a comic book movie that actually FELT like a comic book movie. The characters were compelling, and most of the fun is watching these big box heroes interact on the big screen for the first time. Casting for the most part was spot on! Each character felt plucked from the comics and placed directly onto the screen. None of them act in a way that you wouldn’t expect them to.

The story, though a little predictable, was written very well. It’s accessible, too! You don’t have to have watched the previous DC movies to understand what’s going on. They do reference some past events, but it’s always with a little context so new viewers aren’t left totally in the dark. Kind of smart of them, since I’m not sure I’d recommend any of the past DC movies that directly relate to this timeline!

There were moments that were touching and genuinely funny, and the movie lets itself be funny and a little lighter. We’ve come a long way from the tones of Man of Steel and BvS here, and it was refreshing – and relieving. I don’t think I could have sat through another one of those.

I have one huge complaint, and I called it when the first trailer dropped. Ezra Miller as the Flash. It was, by turns, better than and worse than I thought. He is the obvious comic relief for the movie, and he somewhat succeeds. Sometimes he really is funny! But most of his one-liners were so cringeworthy! It was so… UGH!!! FRUSTRATING!!! My fiancé, who had a much more open mind about this Flash than I, agreed that sometimes it was just too much. The Flash’s special effects were among the best in the movie (excepting probably Cyborg – holy cow! He looked great!!!), but that really is his only saving grace.

My two most favorite parts of the movie are actually the biggest spoilers, so I will save those for when enough of you have seen it >:D

Overall, Justice League is a great movie. It’s a little serious, but seriously playful – just what a comic book movie should be. The acting (save one) is spot-on, special effects are awesome, and the story is accessible and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Most of all, the characters feel genuine and true to their comic book counterparts. This is up there with the better DC movies they’ve put out in a very long time. Skip Man of Steel and BvS. WW and JL is where it’s at!

– Kathleen

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