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The DC Extended Universe is slowly getting better

I have been a DC "kid" for 35 years give or take. I have been a Superman fanatic for nearly as long. I have my comic collection, my Superman collectibles, and the love of live action DC films. Man of Steel for me was a colossal disappointment in many ways. Zack Snyder really let me down and butchered so much of the Superman I knew and loved and changed so much about him. The casting was average at best (Amy Adams as Lois Lane is the worst Lois Lane yet) and the plot holes you could fly a jet through. But it worked to boost DC's film universe finally. Batman v Superman was better but still had some definite mis-steps. Wonder Woman so far is easily the best film of 2017 and one of the best I've ever seen period. I still blame Snyder for a lot of DCEU issues so far. I was pretty hesitant about Justice League and yet felt like I've been waiting for this movie my whole life. One of my biggest passions in life was the Death of Superman story line and I feel like Batman v Superman underplayed it but there was some redemption in Justice League. I think Joss Whedon's rewrites and re-shoots might have made a big difference here. Snyder still doesn't seem to understand that for superhero films we still want and need depth and back stories and details that make sense. I am starting to see a certain style in the DCEU that in part has to do with the CGI which seems clumsy but then I have to wonder if it makes up part of the look.

Interestingly Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot take point on the Justice League as Superman is dead at the beginning of the film. Both are perfectly cast. I wasn't sure about Gadot at all until the Wonder Woman film and now no one else could ever do it but her. I feel like Wonder Woman was so incredible that she didn't get used enough in this but she was still great and her and Affleck have good chemistry that should be explored more in future films. Affleck is a great Bruce Wayne and Batman. I think it'll be a real shame if he doesn't continue in the role. He seems passionate about it and his angle works and he has that weary, cynical vibe that is very important. I'm still not sold on Ezra Miller as the Flash. He does the role well enough but he doesn't sit right with me in the role. There's something awkward about him and he doesn't have that same chemistry on the team. There are two characters I was certain they could never pull off and that was Cyborg and Aquaman (two of my least favourite DC heroes.) Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa play them and if one great things comes out of the Justice League it will be that both characters and actors are great! Most surprising is Momoa as Aquaman who actually is fantastic. He's bad ass and I could almost imagine a stand alone film and Aquaman is a horrible hero in my opinion. The chemistry with him and Batman is great too. Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and JK Simmons show up in their small roles. Adams is horrible as ever as Lois Lane (I would have stayed dead if I were Superman), Irons is fine but very underused and seems bored, SImmons looks the part but same as Irons seems bored and Diane Lane is good in her role. There seems to be a ton of complaints about the villain in the film Steppenwolf. It is weird that I've never even heard of him but he's a good enough villain played by Ciarán Hinds. I think they underplay the importance of his connection to Darkseid who would be the more obvious villain. He is a worthy foe until Superman shows up.

Artistically, I think there is some great scenes in the film. Not unlike Wonder Woman the battle scenes are very good but also very CGI'd but it works just fine. Some of the cinematography is also very good. The addition of some comic recreated scenes (the black Umbrella shot from Death of Superman) and the hidden spatter of Danny Elfman's 1989 Batman theme was a nice touch. Given the short run time of less than 2 hours, I am amazed they were able to make the film as coherent and fun as it is. The humour is well placed. The downside to this film and most of the DCEU in general is the story feels rushed at times and there are pertinent details left out for the sake of timing and we're expected to accept it (it's very much a Christopher Nolan move to leave plot holes and expect us to ignore them because he's Chris Nolan.) The addition of a race between Superman and Flash was great and I thought Cavill really stepped up his role as the symbol of Superman. All in all, I enjoyed it a lot and look forward to watching it again. It's a step in the right direction and I think a good thing that Snyder had to step down to allow some fine tuning. Snyder should step aside completely and let others with more vision take over. 8.5/10

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