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There has been a lot of controversy about the DC Cinematic Universe over the past couple of years. Critics love to bash the movies, while a lot of fans enjoy the movies and defend them almost to a fault. The recent release of Wonder Woman in June 2017 was a breath of fresh air for both critics and fans alike and they were able to come to an consensus that Wonder Woman was a great movie. Naturally, after a couple of months the attention shifted to the release of Justice League. The big question was if Justice League would follow in Wonder Woman’s footsteps, or go the way of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (however, full disclosure: I loved Dawn of Justice).
I’m here to tell you, Justice League is more Wonder Woman than Dawn of Justice. Justice League addresses all the complaints that critics had about previous DC movies and “fixes” them, plus a lot more!
Justice League starts out with the world mourning the death of Superman and it’s revealed that there is a looming threat (the one that Lex Luthor warned Batman about of at the end of Dawn of Justice) that is quickly coming. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince have to assemble a team to fight this upcoming threat – so they begin to form the Justice League.
Bruce Wayne/Batman has softened a bit since Dawn of Justice and carries with him the guilt over the death of Superman. He is more hopeful than he has been recently and is trying to right his wrong by preparing to defend Earth from the oncoming threat. He is more relatable to the audience than he was in the last movie. Ben Affleck is great as The Batman and I hope he sticks with the character and decides to be in the upcoming Batman trilogy.
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is so fun to watch and she continues to be a breath of fresh air for DC and for the superhero movie genre as a whole. She has her own angst to work through and has to decide if she wants to be a leader of superhero’s or not. The scene in the Batcave hangar between her and Bruce Wayne with the rest of the team watching, is one of the most emotional scene and is a pivotal moment in the movie. (the other emotional moment, and the best non action scene being ******. Ooops – I can’t say because it involves a major spoiler scene, and it is sooo good! But you’ll know it when you see it. I teared up at that moment.)
The introduction of Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Barry Allen/The Flash, and Victor Stone/Cyborg to the DC Cinematic Universe is so fun to watch! They each bring a new dynamic to the movie. They each have their own unique abilities and these abilities and personalities are fun to watch as they learn how to interact and trust one another as they are thrown together to save Earth.
Victor Stone is a great addition to the Justice League and is one of the lesser known and newer members of the Justice League. He earns his place on this team and I can’t wait for his story to be expanded upon in the future.
Barry Allen is engaging and brings the wide eyed, new kid on the block feel to the franchise. He has some great moments in the film and is a vital part to the Team.
Arthur Curry brings the coolness to this movie and is great to watch on screen (in more ways than one – right ladies?) as well. My only complaint is that the movie seemed too short and wished they could’ve fleshed out Aquaman’s story a little more, but with the next DC movie release being Aquaman, I’m sure they decided to do it in the upcoming movie.
The villain, Steppenwolf, is an ancient enemy of Earth and in the movie it is explained how long ago he attempted to invade Earth but was repelled by the Amazonians (Wonder Woman’s people), the Atlanteans (Aquaman’s people), and the tribes of man. With the death of Superman, Steppenwolf receives word of this (again, something shown in Dawn of Justice) and knows that he is in the clear to try and invade Earth once more.
The movie focuses on the formation of the Justice League and the invasion of Steppenwolf and his forces. There is a lot of action as you would expect from a superhero movie. There are some emotional moments in the film that humanize our heroes and make them more relatable and enjoyable to watch. There is humor as well, thankfully not as obnoxious or over the top as the Marvel movies (most annoyingly Thor 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2).
I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and I enjoyed it from start to finish. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be amazed at the action you see on the screen as our childhood icons team up on-screen for the first time to fight evil.
I give it an A-, 9 out of 10, 4.5 out of 5.
*There are two after credit scenes worth staying for – one humorous one a couple minutes into the credits, and a very cool one at the end. They’re not like the Marvel after credit scenes where they’re silly and don’t really have a point.
A black man, a white girl, a latino man, a white dude from Australia, a crocodile, an asian woman, and another white guy walk into a bar. No really, this happens in Suicide Squad, but Suicide Squad is no joke – it’s the real deal!
Suicide Squad provides us with one of the most diverse ensemble casts in a major blockbuster movie ever, interestingly enough I have yet to read any review out there that praises this. I’m sure there are one or two out there, but my point is critics have heavily criticized Hollywood for not casting more diverse actors in big budget movies for quite some time. Now that there is a major blockbuster being released with a strong and diverse cast, all we get are complaints against the movie.
Despite Suicide Squad getting such negative reviews from critics, but curiously enough normal movie goers are giving it high ratings, this movie is worth watching. No, Suicide Squad won’t change your perspective on life, you won’t walk out of the theater wanting to work at the homeless shelter, or you won’t have an epiphany and realize you’re doing everything wrong. What it will do is take you on a wild ride for two hours, as you watch the bad guys kick butt and realize that they actually need to do some good in the world they live in.
The Good, the Bat, and the Ugly
The good things that we get to see right from the start are short backstory’s on the members of the Suicide Squad and how they ended up getting caught and placed in Belle Reve. We get to know the Suicide Squad and who they are. We see the reasons for what motivates the Squad to be able to do what they do in the rest of the film. We see how the world’s best and most hardened assassin, Deadshot, just wants to be a good dad and watch his daughter grow up. We see when Harley Quinzel first meets the Joker at Arkham Asylum and how she falls under his spell. We see a tortured soul, June Moone, possessed by a witch, the Enchantress, and how the man, Rick Flagg, loves her and just wants to ease her pain.
The surprising thing about the Suicide Squad members is that they all have their reasons, emotional and meaningful reasons, for what they do. It’s a welcome relief from the trite, one dimensional (two dimensions, if we’re lucky) villains that we’ve been getting from other films (yeah, Marvel I’m referring to your films). And the great thing about this film is that they are all villains and they all have multiple facets and motivations to them!
Now to the Bat. Yes, the Batman makes his mark in this film too, and it is fun to watch him work. This hearkens back to the Dark Knight trilogy where we see Batman hunting down criminals and locking them up. We see Batman confront Deadshot in what is most likely the most emotional sequence in the film. We see Batman chase down The Joker and Harley Quinn, in what is the funnest sequence of the film to watch. We see a brief cameo of The Flash as he captures Boomerang.
Now, all of this is post Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and pre-Justice League. The film references the Death of Superman, and also shows Bruce Wayne gathering intel on MetaHumans to recruit for a project of his – the beginnings of Justice League!
Since, you can’t have Batman without The Joker, The Joker is also planning and working behind the scenes in this movie. He is the wild card in this movie and every minute he is on screen, The Joker is fun to watch. In my mind, he is to this movie as Wonder Woman was to Dawn of Justice, it just wouldn’t be as entertaining without him. The end of the film leaves it open to a Joker/Harley Quinn stand alone film, which DC and WB better explore sometime soon!
The ugly is ugly in this movie. We meet Killer Croc and boy is he ugly! He was a little hard to understand in the film and had few lines, but he could fight and he was a beast to behold. El Diablo has a dark side to him and is always in the background for the first part of the movie. When he comes into play though, we understand his reticence to come to the battle full throttle and that he is a man who realizes how ugly inside he is and realizes he has a penance to pay.
The woman in charge of this Squad is Amanda Waller, and she too has a dark side to her. This is someone you don’t want to mess with and is the perfect person to manage this ragtag gang of misfits. She is able to keep them in line by coercion, threats, and manipulation. Although she does have a very slight soft side to her that comes out in the end of the film, but I think that is even a means to end for her and her management of Project X.
Suicide Squad has it’s failings and is in no way a perfect movie, but it does more than entertain. It fits nicely in the already established DCCU and furthers the overall narrative of this new Cinematic Universe created by DC. At the time of this posting, the Monday after release, the audience and fans think so too as Suicide Squad is already in the top 10 for domestic earnings for 2016 in it’s first weekend.
In addition to the movie, the official soundtrack and the official score of Suicide Squad are top notch and worth listening to. The film has a hip hop vibe to it (maybe this is what turned off critics) and this is reflected in the soundtrack with artists such as Lil’ Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, and Eminem. It also has a cover of the classic hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, and includes Credence Clearwater Revivals’ Fortunate Son. The best new song on the album is ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots. The official score is composed by Academy Award Winner, Steven Price (for composing Gravity), and fits in nicely with the other DC film scores by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.
TheWrap.com is reporting that Warner Bros is starting development for a Man of Steel sequel. Just when you thought Superman was dead (as shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and solidified in Suicide Squad), he’s back! Ok, I don’t think anyone really thought he was dead Dead, but now we know for sure that he isn’t.
Even though it has been speculated and planned previously that DC and WB would eventually do a MoS sequel, I guess it’s now official. I’m glad they are moving forward with this, I’d love to see The Batman (directed by and starring Ben Affleck) and Man of Steel II in theaters in the same calendar year. DC could create some great excitement from releasing them in the same year, months apart, and have the stories be interconnected on some level. I guess we’ll see what DC and WB have in store for us as more details are announced.
We got our first look at the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, as the first trailer and teaser poster was released this weekend at San Diego Comic Con. The trailer was great in that it showed some great action, showed the main characters and gave us a little of their motivations and personalities, but didn’t reveal the main plot and left us intrigued.
We were able to see Wonder Woman’s abilities and fighting style, which is amazing and promises some great visuals that hopefully are just a glimpse of what we’ll see in the actual movie. Wonder Woman is due to be released on June 2nd 2017. Check it out below!