Justice League: Five Reasons You'll Love It
In recent years we've met Henry Cavill's Superman, Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman on their own terms, but if Suicide Squad are the DC Universe's reserve team of oddballs and outcasts, Justice League is very much the A-squad and this week we finally get to see the big guns unite in a battle to save the Earth from an ancient extra-terrestrial villain.
Justice League arrives in UK cinemas on Friday, but we caught an early screening of the film and have rounded up five reasons to be excited...
Joss Whedon's touch adds wit and humanity to DC's heroes
It's no secret that Justice League has endured a bit of a rough time in development, with a personal tragedy forcing the film's director Zack Snyder to abandon the project halfway through and hand the reins to Joss Whedon, chosen no doubt as a result of his work on the Avengers movies. Along with Chris Terrio, Whedon re-wrote much of the film's script, which led to a lot of reshoots and some big calls – not least the decision to cut Lex Luthor from the film entirely.
That said, Whedon has done an admirable job of pulling together the Justice League origin story and his fingerprints are all over the film's dialogue. Whedon is no stranger to writing characters with plenty of wit, warmth and humanity, and bringing those skills to bear on Snyder's film really helps the new characters gel together.
Affleck's Batman remains as broody as ever and clearly still has some issues to work through with his Kryptonian counterpart, but newbies Cyborg and Aquaman are given a solid launchpad here, while Ezra Miller and Gal Gadot light up the screen in every scene.
Ezra Miller brings the laughs
The Flash is one of a handful of DC heroes with an upcoming standalone movie in the works and Ezra Miller's appearances so far as Barry Allen's speedster alter-ego have been nothing short of a delight. That continues in Justice League, with Miller delivering most of the film's funniest lines and helping to bring shafts of light into the film's apocalyptic story. Jason Momoa does his fair share of the lifting in the comedy stakes too, but Miller is a scene stealer and his appearance here will do no harm to Flashpoint's chances of being a proper box office hit.
It'll make you excited for the upcoming Aquaman movie
Talk of bringing Aquaman to the big screen has rumbled on for years now, but with James Wan's film set for release next year, Justice League offers a first tantalising glimpse at the underwater world of Jason Momoa's Aquaman, as well as his people, the Atlanteans. As with all the new characters introduced here, the details offered up on Arthur Curry's backstory are pretty scarce, but Justice League does offer a few tidbits of information, including some clues to Aquaman's relationship with his mother, an Atlantean queen.
Momoa gets off to a very good start here and with an excellent cast that includes Willem Defoe, Nicole Kidman and Dolph Lundgren, James Wan's upcoming film looks set to be a blast.
Ray Fisher might just be Justice League's surprise package
Cyborg is the other new arrival with his own movie in the pipeline and Ray Fisher's take on Victor Stone and his cybernetic alias marks him out as the film's dark horse. As with Aquaman, Cyborg's backstory is given relatively short shrift, but what we do get here is a character still getting to grips with his new and growing abilities, as well as trying to overcome his problems with his new identity and learning to play well with others. We also get to meet has dad and find out a little about how the STAR Labs scientist used technology to save his son's life, but while Fisher's enigmatic portrayal doesn't give too much away he's still a key part of Justice League's story.
Wonder Woman is emerging as DC's real jewel in the crown
Of all the DC films released so far, Wonder Woman has been by far the biggest success and Gal Gadot's Amazonian continues to become an increasingly vital component of the wider DC Universe that has been steadily drifting into focus over the last couple of years. Justice League takes another big step in shaping up the bigger picture and even while doubts remain about who might be in the Batman suit for the long term, the door is left open for all kinds of possibilities here and whatever happens next, Wonder Woman is sure to be an integral part. Here she offers the strength and leadership that a Batman wracked with self-doubt sometimes cannot, emerging as a real force in the League's ranks.
Justice League arrives in UK cinemas on Friday November 17 and is available to pre-order from our online store...