By Jeffrey Waitkevitch
If “Justice League” was an NBA player, it would be Michael Carter-Williams.
As a rookie, Carter-Williams burst onto the scene as the 11th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 16.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists in his rookie season en route to winning Rookie of the Year honors.
“Justice League”, despite the weak character introductions by computer, started off strong. The physical introductions of Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Erza Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) went smoothly and were a lot better than expected. Steppenwolf, the main antagonist, even seemed cool for a little while.
But that feeling did not last.
Carter-Williams quickly fell off during a sophomore season that was marred by a trade at the deadline. It would begin a string of three trades in as many seasons. He looked good while on a Philadelphia 76ers team with zero expectations — but has since been unable to keep that production up, scoring a measly four points in three games this season with the Charlotte Hornets.
This is mirrored by the DC Comics team up that is “Justice League.” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” set such a low standard that this movie felt good at the beginning. But it never really found its stride.
In the end, there were too many references to “Batman v Superman” and the occasional plot hole hurt the flow of the film.
Steppenwolf and his demon bug versions of the flying monkeys from “The Wizard of Oz” became lame. The CGI got old and it became clear that Steppenwolf is just an inadequate villain. He’s supposed to be a world ender, but it’s pretty clear he isn’t going to end anything.
However, the comic book feel during the fight scenes, especially for the Flash, were better than any Marvel has put out.
Gary Clark Jr. and Junkie XL’s cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” also stood out in a soundtrack that otherwise felt out of place.
The biggest plus were the characters. The culmination of DC’s best was every bit as magnificent as one would expect. Quirky banter from the mix of personalities fit together seamlessly and gave the dialogue a lot of depth.
Individually, each superhero was pretty good—with Ben Affleck’s Batman being the exception. Affleck did well in his serious scenes, but director Zack Snyder tried to make him funny, and the delivery was poor time and again.
Miller is phenomenal in his role as The Flash. He’s funny, charismatic and just awkward enough to remind everyone of their teenage years. He is unquestionably the best character.
Gal Godot resumed her role as Wonder Woman, so it is no surprise that she was as astonishing as she is stunning. Her Lasso of Truth became more than a weapon; it was transformed into a device for comedy.
Cyborg isn’t as cool or as comical as he was in “Teen Titans”— and Aquaman is humorous in a cool, alcoholic uncle way, but is essentially useless on land. They are imperfect characters, but they could do well in solo movies.
That is where this movie’s role becomes apparent. It is a setup for the solo movies. “Wonder Woman” was by far the best DC Comics movie since the “Dark Knight Trilogy.” There is no reason why the other non-Batman heroes will not follow suit.
The Crow’s Nest rates movies between one and five stars, with five stars being the highest possible score.
Header photo courtesy of Warner Brothers