20,000 Leagues Above my Expectations

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“Justice League” is the comic-bookest comic book movie I’ve ever seen. There are boomtubes and motherboxes and parademons, beautiful Jack Kirby nonsense.

There’s Aquaman, chugging whiskey in slow motion while “Icky Thump” blasts through the speakers of your local multiplex. What I’m trying to say is, this movie is cool. Zack Snyder has outdone himself in his uber-macho, speed-ramped way.

The story still doesn’t matter, the villain is still a dumb CGI mess, but it’s an absolute blast. Whenever movies have been compared to video games, it has been meant in a derogatory way. This is like the most fun video game I’ve ever played. It’s “Injustice meets Shadow of Mordor,” and it’s a big, dumb, awesome experience.

That said, it is incredibly dumb. This is a movie where the decision was made to remove an actor’s mustache in postproduction with CGI. The CGI is not very good, and there’s a whole lot of it. The entire movie looks green-screened. However, this gives every shot a comic book panel look. The movie very obviously apes the marvel formula. The Flash is essentially Spider-Man, Batman is Iron Man. Joss Whedon, the man who brought “The Avengers” together, fixed the movie.

Fortunately, depending on your tolerance for spectacle without substance, it works incredibly well. The characters are able to play off of each other. Flash is adorkable, Aquaman is a beast, and it is just plain fun to spend two hours with these characters.

The movie is not overly long like BvS was, but unfortunately that leads to a lack of time for character development, and plot points in general. There is, of course, some forced exposition. None of the “science” is explained particularly well, and that includes the character of Cyborg, who is super cool, but not very developed. We need a Teen Titans movie for that, I guess.

There are plenty of treats for DC fans, including two credits scenes, both of which would solidly fit in Marvel’s now-plentiful library of stingers. This movie is just fun.

Note: I didn’t like Wonder Woman, so take this all with a grain of salt.