A Hawkman Fan's Review of Justice League 2017
After months of trailers, news, reviews (mostly negative), and trying unsuccessfully to avoid all spoilers, I finally was able to watch Justice League on November 23rd, opening day in Japan. Here is my review and feelings about the film and the whole experience. This article is SPOILER RICH, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop reading!
DC Comics is hardly ever seen in the area where I live in Japan. I have never seen a comic book displayed in a book store, the nearest Toys’R’Us store with slim DC hero selections is a two-hour drive away, and Marvel has totally out done DC in almost every area in Japan. So, it was quite a thrill walking into the theater, seeing the Justice League displays, and seeing all the DC merchandise behind the counter and for the first time ever in Japan, seeing a DC book with Hawkman on the cover. This definitely got my adrenaline flowing.
After finding our seats, I found myself feeling giddy, almost like a kid again. I was surprised to feel genuine excitement about what I was getting ready to watch.
The movie did not disappoint. If you’re expecting a negative review, you’re going to be disappointed. Right from the opening scene, the story was engaging, the dialogue was fun, and despite so many heroes and villains flying around, the actions scenes were put together well. Seeing the heroes of my youth interact with each other was so much fun, and if you grew up with DC heroes, you felt like you were a part of the conversation.
The movie had scenes from Paradise Island, Atlantis, the Bat Cave, and the Kent Farm; every place was beautiful and left you wanting to see more. I was hoping for more of Atlantis, but I imagine they are saving that for Aquaman’s solo movie next year. Can’t wait.
The battle scenes were fantastic! In the battle between Steppenwolf and the heroes from 5,000 years ago, we saw Amazons, Atlanteans and many others fighting together. We even saw a Green Lantern. I’ve heard some say that it was Yalan Gur, a former Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Some fans have said that they can see what looks like a winged character fighting way…. way…. waaaayyyyy in the background but that shot was about 0.005 seconds long, so it didn’t even count as an Easter egg. I wasn’t expecting any that concerned the Hawks in this movie anyway so no loss.
Another scene that left a great impression on me was the battle between the Amazons and Steppenwolf. Wow, that was an intense scene. Definitely one of the highlights of the movie.
Ben Affleck’s Batman was much more likeable than he was in Batman vs Superman. He seemed a bit more humbled and realized he needed help. It was nice to see him patch things up with Superman. I look forward to these two working as a team in the upcoming movies.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is so amazing to watch. How can a woman look so beautiful, tough and adorable all in the same scene? That accent is perfect. And I loved that scene where she had her lasso on Aquaman. We’re all wondering why Aquaman is suddenly spilling his guts out and all when he realized her lasso was on him. That was one of the top scenes of the movie. Sometime in the near future; a Wonder Woman-Mera scene. Please.
Speaking of Aquaman, before the movie, I kept seeing Maui of Moana when I saw Jason Momoa in his Aquaman getup. The similarities are still there, and it will take a couple more movies to fully embrace this surfer dude as Aquaman but I feel like this is a huge turning point in the Aquaman legacy and we will never again see that hair club blonde goodie goodie that we grew up with in Super Friends. But that’s not entirely a bad thing. Amber Heard’s Mera scene was also great. They are not in a relationship yet so that could be something for the movie next year. I hope we get to see more of her using her powers as well. The movie left me wanting more Mera. Aquaman, Opening Day, I’ll be there.
Ezra Miller was a great surprise. I have never seen him in anything else and he resembled nothing like the Barry Allen I know. And his costume still reminds of Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Hopefully, the next JLA movie will have Batman helping our Flash with a snazzier, sleeker suit. But that being said, Miller provided most of the comedy and it was great. His expressions were one of the great parts of the movie. The guy is nuts but is really trying to fit in. But did they have to have him hanging from Batman’s wire? Now I have to get a priest to come over and perform an exorcism to get the Spider-man comparisons out of my head.
Cyborg was OK, but he was maybe the least interesting part of the movie for me. I thought Ray Fisher did a good job with what he was given. I wish they had let him put the logo on his chest a bit earlier in the film. I’m interested in seeing his origin movie, but can he carry a movie by himself? I thought a Cyborg-Red Tornado movie would be really interesting. Those two playing off of each other would be fun.
I’ve never been bothered by “bad CG”. Steppenwolf did look a bit odd but he’s a monster-alien for crying out loud. He did go down rather easily once Superman showed up. It would have cool to see him put a bit more of a fight. When he disappeared through the Boom Tube, for a second there I thought we might see Darkseid. But that’s for another after-credits clip somewhere I’m sure. Maybe at the end of the Cyborg movie.
We all knew Superman was coming back. I was hoping he would have a big part in this movie and boy, he sure did. And in technicolor! Much better, thank you. Justice League without Superman is only half a Justice League so I was thrilled to see him back in full. Henry Cavill is OK as Superman/Clark Kent. Maybe a little bit too buff. And he seems much more like Superman when he smiles. More smiling from now on please.
I’m neither a Zack Snyder fan, nor do I hate his work. Man of Steel is one of my favorite superhero movies, while Batman vs Superman was both really good in some parts and dang awful in others. Because of a family tragedy, he had to have Joss Whedon wrap up the movie. Maybe the uplifting tone at the end was more Whedon’s doing. If that’s the case, I hope Snyder can be a bit more uplifting in his movie-making for future projects. I realize DC is going for a darker, more adult tone than Marvel, but in my opinion, people want to come out of the theater after watching a superhero movie with a hopeful, happier feeling than what we got recently. Wonder Woman and Justice League have given us that. I hope it continues.
Like I said, the movie ended on a very upbeat note, with all the heroes happy in their place and all the world seemingly at peace. The movie ended with me feeling better about the state of the DCUE than I have in a long, long time. Part of the reason was of course, Hawkman related. For there ever to be the possibility of a Hawkman/Hawkgirl movie, the movies that are coming out now must be a success. The better these movies are, and the more tickets they sell, the more willing Warner Brothers will be in putting out more movies. I have been hoping that this run of DC movies will not fizzle out and become nothing like it did in 2011. This Justice League gave me hope that I will someday sit in the movie theater and add salt to my popcorn with my tears of joy as Hawkman flies across the silver screen.
I left the theater wondering why I had enjoyed the movie so much. I’ll admit I have enjoyed the Marvel movies greatly but none of them left me feeling like this. Then I realized that while watching the Marvel movies I had felt like an outsider enjoying a movie in a theater. But while watching the Justice League movie, I wasn’t looking in as a visitor. I was part of the movie. I felt at home. That’s what made this movie so great.