Justice League Review & Parental Guidance

After a jam packed weekend, my husband worked a short day today so we could see Justice League tonight. We saw it in EMAX at Emagine. For their Rewards Members, they are offering a $25 popcorn bucket that has refills until the end of April. With Justice League (already in theaters), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15), and Black Panther (February 16) as guaranteed movies, we figured it was worth it (4 uses is the break even point). Sadly, Avengers: Infinity War (May 4) is just after the expiration date.

Justice League Thoughts

Compared to other films

We went into Justice League with low expectations based on the much publicized low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (currently 41%). However, this is quite an improvement from 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (currently rated 27%). Justice League was a definite improvement over Batman v Superman, and I thought better than it’s 41% rating. Of course, it isn’t up to the prior DC Extended Universe film, Wonder Woman (92% rating) or Marvel’s current movie, Thor Ragnarok (92%).

Copyright: © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC  Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ TM & © DC Comics  Caption: GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "JUSTICE LEAGUE," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

It is obvious that DC is still playing catch-up to Marvel. While Marvel has taken the time to introduce the main Avengers slowly, Batman v Superman suffered from the weight of introducing Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lex Luthor (plus some revisionist history to the events of Man of Steel to fit the new Extended Universe). Similarly, Justice League introduces a number of new team members.

New Characters in Justice League

New to this movie are Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Plus, the villain, Steppenwolf, is first introduced here. Lex Luthor meanwhile plays no role in the film. Unlike Marvel where their TV shows and movies exist in the same universe, DC offers no such continuity. Flash is played by a new actor and has his own (similar backstory). Aquaman does have a standalone film in production for December 2018. Standalone Flash and Cyborg films are in development for 2020.


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Copyright: © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics
Caption: (L-R) BEN AFFLECK as Batman, GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman, RAY FISHER as Cyborg, EZRA MILLER as The Flash and JASON MOMOA as Aquaman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “JUSTICE LEAGUE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Connections in DC Extended Universe

Justice League builds off of both 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and this summer’s Wonder Woman. I do recommend seeing both of those films first. I have to admit that I forgot that Superman dies at the end of Batman v Superman. This is a key plot point in Justice League as Bruce Wayne is suffering from guilt at his role in Superman’s death. Without Superman, Justice League lacks the hope that he stands for. There are also several references to events of Wonder Woman including the introduction of the Amazons.

Make sure you stay for the mid and post-credit scenes. They do offer some insight as to the direction of the DC Extended Universe.

The Good Parts

I’ve complained about the length of both Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman. I felt like would have benefited from more editing. Justice League is more tightly edited clocking in at 2 hours instead of closer to 2.5 hours. Amazingly, I still feel like there was a bit more editing that could have been done. At the same time, they could have spent more time on the backstories.

The Bad Parts

I’m not sure I like Bruce Wayne in this incarnation. He spends much of the movie moping and mired in self-doubt after the death of Superman. Despite assembling the team he is hesitant to take the reins of leadership. 

Copyright: © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Photo Credit: Clay Enos/ TM & © DC Comics
Caption: (L-r) GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman, BEN AFFLECK as Batman and EZRA MILLER as The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “JUSTICE LEAGUE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Justice League still suffers from introducing too may new characters with their own backstories. Each character gets a top-level introduction that left me with more questions than answers.

Justice League Trailer

About Justice League

Warner Bros. Pictures provided the following description of Justice League:

Justice League: You Can't Save The World Alone

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes the first-ever big screen epic action adventure “Justice League,” directed by Zack Snyder and starring as the famed lineup of DC Super Heroes: Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The film also stars Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. The “Justice League” screenplay is by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film’s producers are Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, with executive producers Jim Rowe, Ben Affleck, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Daniel S. Kaminsky and Chris Terrio.

The behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Fabian Wagner (“Game of Thrones”); Snyder’s frequent collaborators, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, editor David Brenner, Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson (“American Hustle”) and visual effects supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin; and Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“Kong: Skull Island,” “United 93”) and Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (“Wonder Woman,” “Chicago”). The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman (“Milk,” “Men in Black”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual Production, a Zack Snyder Film, “Justice League.” The film is set for release in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX on November 17, 2017. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

“Justice League” has been rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

Parental Guidance for Justice League

The first parental warning comes for the trailers. The first trailer that we saw was for the horror movie A Quiet Place. Be ready to distract your child if they are easily disturbed.

Justice League is rated PG-13, mostly for sci-fi violence. There is virtually no sexual content. Overall the language is fairly mild.

The PG-13 rating is earned on the basis of violence. There are numerous fight scenes. However, there is little blood and gore shown.

However, the overall tone of the movie is dark and there are slow scenes. I would recommend the movies for ages 10+

Final Thoughts on Justice League

We thought Justice League was better than the low ratings that it had received. But, still not on par with Wonder Woman or most of the Marvel movies. We are glad that we saw it and will stick with the series for Aquaman

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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