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4/1/18

TOP 30 REASONS WHY JUSTICE LEAGUE IS THE BEST COMIC-BOOK MOVIE


A while back, I reviewed the Justice League movie and I wasn't too kind to it. In fact, I was the opposite of kind to it: I was unkind in a big way.

After giving the film a couple of re-watchings, I now realize I was wrong and I feel like I understand the movie a lot better now. There were countless things I missed, misunderstood or flat-out lied about so consider this list a re-review and please ignore my initial take on Justice League as it was unfair, silly and wrong.

I finally learned to fully appreciate the film's qualities and rethink a lot of the problems I had with the film because they weren't real problems at all. I firmly believe that Justice League is the best comic-book movie ever made and here's why:

30
SOCRATES


Famous philosopher Socrates once said: "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.". I have never seen a reviewer make this connection but this quote is at the very core of the Justice League movie. Batman is a detective like Sherlock and therefore he is the embodiment of knowledge while Superman, who is reborn in the movie but he's bad at first, has no knowledge of anything when he is brought back which is what makes him evil. As soon as he meets Amy Adams, his knowledge comes back and he becomes good again. This is the essence of good vs evil, which is what this movie is about. It was a bold move to use Socratean reasoning to give Justice League an extra layer of depth. One that most comic-book movies don't even attempt. One Easter Egg no-one seems to have caught is Aquaman's physical resemblance to Socrates which sets up the character as the face of knowledge in the upcoming underwater-set solo movie rather nicely.

29
STEPPENWOLF IS NOT REAL


One hilarious criticism I kept hearing about the movie was "Steppenwolf doesn't look real!". Guess what, numbnuts? HE'S NOT REAL. A lot of what I didn't like about Justice League a year ago, it turns out, was by design. The CGI on Steppenwolf may look "bad" but it's not: it's exactly what it needs to be for us to understand what the character is about, which is that he's not there at all. Justice League is about what makes a superhero a superhero but this also goes into what makes a man a man. Steppenwolf is neither. He is a ghost symbolizing the innate psychosis that goes into crime-fighting in a costume. These heroes are heroes but they are mad, and Steppenwolf is the physical translation of this madness. Which is why the villain is easily defeated at the end when the team finally works as a team, thereby proving that sanity and heroism can be born out of madness.

28
THE AVENGERS ARE IN THE MOVIE


There's a lot to interpret about the image above: why is Wonder Woman standing there? What is this statue? Is the Gherkin a representation of fertility? The best and, I think, most valid one I happened to find on a forum online. The statue is obviously the balance between justice (scales) and war (sword) and, as such, it is us (you and me). The scales are the Justice League and the sword represents The Avengers, a franchise full of war (Civil War, Infinity War) while the middle part of the statue is us, the audience, who is trying to decide which of those movie series is the best. Notice how Wonder Woman is standing on the war side of things, which could mean she is about to turn against the JLA in the next Wonder Woman movie OR, more likely, this is a teaser trailer for the Avengers vs Justice League movie in which Wonder Woman, like Black Widow in Civil War, might just change sides. Not a direct cameo from the Avengers, then, but definitely one in spirit.

27
LOIS LANE IS LITERALLY LEX LUTHOR


Few people stayed after the credits for Justice League due to Man Of Steel making it perfectly clear that post-credit scenes were always going to be a no-no for DC. By having Lex Luthor return after Justice League's credits, this is a sign that this film and all those upcoming or already made DC films that had a post-credit sequence were in fact told from Lex Luthor's point of view. This essentially re-invents our notion of everything. Suicide Squad had a scene after the credits and, guess what? That was about villains. But it wasn't just about villains, it was FOR villains. Yes, the film was conceived as a film for those who do not identify with heroes and, as such, it was the start of a side-series of films (including Justice League) in which Lex Luthor is the underlying mastermind and unlikely hero, just like in Smallville. Lois Lane appears briefly in the film but I counted her screen-time and it revealed something rather interesting: she's in the film EXACTLY the same number of minutes that Lex Luthor is in all the films he's been in so far. This leads me to believe that they are one and the same: LOIS kills Superman in Dawn Of Justice, LOIS saves Superman in Justice League, therefore it is LOIS who is toying with Superman the most and it's not unreasonable to believe that Lex Luthor would either have cloned Lois Lane or created an artificially intelligent replicant shaped like her for him to control remotely from a yacht or something.

26
THE FLASH IS A BITING SATIRE OF FOX AND SONY


Whoever said that DC movies were not playful?? The Flash was not only the best character in the film but he was DC's biggest "F you" to Marvel yet! Remember how Quicksilver was funny and in slow-motion in the X-Men movies? Well The Flash is a complete piss-take of that. By making him purposely not funny and even more slow-motion, DC have thrown shade at Fox's Marvel movies in the best possible way. And doesn't that electricity effect look familiar? That's because it's exactly the same effect that was used for Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a Sony property lampooned skilfully by DC. And what about that costume? Doesn't it look a little bit like an advanced Deadpool suit? Some people on the dark web have suggested this might be a stolen prop: a prototype for a futuristic Deadpool suit for a secret sequel set in the early 3000's. Like that TV series from the 90's where The Phantom was in the future but with real humans. By turning it into The Flash's costume, this is yet another masterful and hilarious move by DC that really sets it apart from its competitors.

25
IT IMPROVES F4NTASTIC F4UR


Speaking of films that (wrongfully) got a bad rep: the Fantastic Four film from 2015 was widely panned by both critics and audiences. AND YET we're still all talking about it, right? Well, this is mostly thanks to Justice League. You know how in Fantastic Four there are four superheroes struggling with themselves and then a common threat? It's the same with Justice League! To really understand Fant4stic, you have to understand Justice League. And vice-versa, to a certain extent. Superman's elastic mouth area throughout the film establishes him as the Mr. Fant4stic of the team, Aquaman is the opposite of Human Torch since he's more of a water hero than a fire hero but he's also the same, while Cyborg is strong just like The Thing and Wonder Woman is a good character unlike the Invisible Woman so, again, the exact opposite but also the same. Wait, actually I just realised there's six superheroes in Justice League not four...

24
IT COMPLETES CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S BATMAN TRILOGY


Now I know what you're thinking: "isn't there already three Batman movies?". To the naked eye, maybe. Christopher Nolan had always conceived of his Batman Trilogy as a trilogy but he never thought of Batman Begins as an actual film, rather half a film with a prologue. Same thing with Dark Knight Rises, which was also half a film with the second half this time acting as the epilogue. Or so that's what we thought! By essentially making two full films, Nolan then meant for the second half of DKR to be a transition to a fourth (read: third) Batman film which was apparently meant to be called Batman Regins (as in he begins again). Instead of just going ahead with that film, he instead decided to pepper his Batman story throughout Zack Snyder's magnum opus. First by tricking us into thinking Superman was Batman (Man Of Steel), then by showing us Batman as a villain (DOJ, Suicide Squad) and finally by making Batman the hero he always was in Justice League. It's a character arc that wraps his Trilogy in a big, satisfying bow. This is the genius of Christopher Nolan.

23
JUSTICE LEAGUE RE-INVENTS THE NOUVELLE VAGUE


If the guy in the above picture looks a bit like The Flash to you, then this is no accident. Justice League makes a conscious decision to take cinema to a new level, a few new levels in fact, but specifically the re-imagining of the French New Wave. The actors don't just act in Justice League: they are. But their surroundings, in contrast, are fantastical which takes the Nouvelle Vague into a whole new realm. This cinematic technique is known as Dogma 100 and, even though films like Battlefield Earth and Catwoman got close to it, it's Justice League that finally brought the combination of minimalist acting and shiny backgrounds to the 21st century. It's very likely we'll see more of this type of filmmaking in the DC universe for years to come and I, for one, can't wait.

22
IT IS A RELIGIOUS ALLEGORY UNLIKE ANY OTHER


A lot of people missed it but Superman, in this movie, is a lot like Jesus Christ. I know, this sounds far-fetched but hear me out. So, you know how in The Passion Of The Christ by Mel Gibson, Jim Caviezel dies and then at the end he comes back? Well a very similar thing happens in Justice League. In fact, the same thing happens! Superman, played by Henry Cavill, which sounds a lot like Caviezel as a name, dies at the end of Batman V Superman (note the use of the Roman numeral "V" here) but, here's the twist: he comes back in this movie and he becomes the savior he was always destined to be. I shed a tear as I write this but it doesn't matter because there's already grease on my keyboard and that tends to absorb salt water. This is just a beautiful analogy for what Superman is all about and the Superman/Flash foot race (although Superman flies) at the end suggests a sequel to The Greatest Story Ever Told, which is exciting.

21
IT'S SHORT


Now I like long movies as much as the next guy (The Hobbit 3, Transformers 5) but one of the best things about Justice League has to be its bold running time. So many superhero films out there try to cram a ridiculous amount of (or not enough of) plot, character development and action into films that are either too short or too long. Justice League gets it just right. We get to see the Amazons and their conflict with Steppenwolf, we get to see Gotham City, we get to see The Flash cracking jokes, we get the whole story of Cyborg from scratch with the guy from Terminator 2, we get Lex Luthor, we get to meet the underwater people, we get flying monsters, we get to see a Green Lantern really far away, we get a robbery scene at the start that's very, very good, we get to meet Commissioner Gordon, we get the glorious return of Superman and the entire process leading up to that with a sequence where he becomes bad as a worthwhile bonus and some scenes with a Russian family, oh and we also get the guy from Pee-wee's Big Holiday in an orange costume at the end. So that's really not much at all and it fits into those two hours like a glove. Just like a glove.

 20
RYAN REYNOLDS NAILS HIS CAMEO


As I mentioned just before, Green Lantern is in this movie and he is fantastic. Of course, since he's quite far away, the cinema wasn't the ideal place to truly enjoy Ryan Reynolds' performance. In the cinema, everything looks like it's right there but when something's far away, it looks even further somehow. Especially in IMAX 3D. I would therefore recommend you get the 4K Ultimate Cut of the film and stand about 10 feet away from the television in order to see Green Lantern the way he was meant to be seen. In his cameo, Ryan Reynolds brings his acting to new heights and not just his acting: he's flying so he's also literally high up. In Deadpool, he is playful and extremely funny but in Justice League, he's a troubled, gritty character with a very clear goal but lots of internal conflict. He wants to help the Amazons but he doesn't want to get too close and actually help or so close that we can see him, which seems to suggest that Sinestro might have poisoned his mind so that Green Lantern is in cahoots with Steppenwolf. It's a lot to take in but it's beautifully done.

19
THE SOUNDTRACK IS A MASTERPIECE


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Danny Elfman comes back to the franchise that made him a household name and knocks it out of the park. The overrated HACK Hans Zimmer may have introduced some nice noises in Man Of Steel but he just didn't cut it after that. Elfman took the best of Zimmer and added actual music from old movies and, to say that this gelled together perfectly would be an understatement. When you think of a good score, you think Some Like It Hot, you think Death Wish 3 but not necessarily modern superhero movies... until now! Add to that some really cool pop songs at the end of the movie and even in the movie, like, right at the beginning even, and you've got yourself an ear treat that's well worth begging for. Woof!

18
IT'S BETTER THAN AVENGERS


Avengers was popular when it came out but that's only because we thought we wanted Avengers to be popular but, in fact, it was not. The film grossed a significant amount of money and it cost a great deal but, just look at what Justice League achieved with even more money! Avengers doesn't look so good now, does it? Avengers had one guy who could fly, in Justice League everyone can fly, even those who can't actually fly. Avengers might have seemed popular because of how much money it made but Justice League is art. Great art doesn't need to be popular or understood, it just needs to be and Justice League both is and is great art. Besides, J.K. Simmons was a much better Stan Lee than Stan Lee was in Avengers.

17
BEN AFFLECK LOVES THIS FILM AND IT SHOWS


There's no denying that Ben Affleck is the glue that holds these movies together. And I don't just mean these DC films, I mean all the films he's in and even some he's not in. Like, he's not in Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers but you still get a sense that he's doing something interesting to help the film be as good as it can be, either behind the scenes or disguised as an extra. He fits into the Bat-suit like a baby fits into an oversized sock and it's a joy to behold. The level of energy and fun he brings to the film is a breath of fresh air and he PWNS every scene he's in. Like when he says he's rich, that really cracked me up. SUCH a Batman thing to say lol! As we get nearer and nearer to the long-awaited Batman solo movie by the Apes guy, I have just ordered a Ben Affleck-themed calendar on eBay to mark the days leading up to what will no doubt be another masterful hit for all involved. 

16
IT HAS THE BEST DELETED SCENES


And I'm not talking about the ones on the Blu-Ray! I'm talking about the deleted scenes they left in the movie. All the scenes with Superman were initially not there but somehow they were there and I can't thank the people responsible enough. Some have congratulated Zack Snyder for his insight into this decision, to leave the deleted scenes in, but it might surprise you to know that it was in fact Joss Whedon (Angel, Dollhouse) who contributed this little golden nugget idea. Who needs extras on your Blu-Ray when you can watch the extras in the cinema during the movie? This is exactly what I was thinking years ago when I was sitting in the theatre watching A Good Year with Russell Crowe (Kal-El) and, finally, Hollywood made it happen. Better late than never!

10
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL HOMAGE TO THE BEATLES


The Beatles are the greatest band in the world so it was only a matter of time before the greatest band of superheroes in the world would pay tribute to them. The Beatles are, of course, no stranger to movies, the likes of Yellow Submarine and Caveman are still household names. But in Justice League, we get the incarnation of everything the song "Love Is All You Need" was about. Indeed, the Wonder Woman movie hinted right at the end that love was going to be a key component of the next movie and this was certainly no understatement. Just look at the lyrics: "There's nothing you can do that can't be done" (the JLA are so strong they can do anything), "There's nothing you can make that can't be made" (they bring back Superman somehow). It's word for word the story of the film. Plus, just like Fantastic Fo4r, there's four heroes: John, Paul, Ringo and George I think it was. 

9
THE COLOR PALETTE IS STUNNING


People like colours so it was a nifty move to turn what could have been a bland looking Justice League movie into a visual candy bar. The use of red colour symbolising bad things happening was super clever and I really enjoyed the blur effect around some of the characters and their movements as it gave the film a dream-like quality. Watching the film, it really felt like you'd fallen asleep and woken up in a dream.

8
THE TALKING WAS PERFECT

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I really liked the way the characters talked to each other. So often it feels like movies try to make it sound like the superheroes are real people talking to each other but not Justice League. This movie makes talking feel like a whole new thing that people can do, or superheroes rather. These people are not people, therefore they shouldn't speak like people and that's one thing this movie understands. Whoever wrote this will win an Oscar next year for sure.

%
THE UNDERWATER SCENES WERE AWESOME


At the cinema, the first and only time seeing the film at the cinema, I got up and left to pee so I missed the underwater scene but now I finally got to watch it: WOW. Someone could have told me I had missed the best part of the film! Amber Heard is rarely spoken of in the same breath as, say, Meryl Streep or Frances McDormand but this performance as Aquaman's sister or wife, I don't remember, might just get Heard the MTV award for Best Supporting Actress she truly deserves. I couldn't think of a better person I'd want to talk to if I was underwater for an extended period of time. The whole scene was great, though. The Aquaman movie will make Infinity War look like a broken carousel covered in urine from various animals.

2
SUPERMAN IS SUPER, MAN!


I know this might be a controversial thing to say but Christopher Reeve didn't know what he was doing. No offence but THIS is the Superman we always wanted. The shiny suit, the twinkle in the eye, the slightly blurry, but still very much there, mouth: Superman is so cool in this movie, it hurts. See what they did was, they made us think Superman was this dark character with emotions and stuff but now he's not, he's a lot more fun. The Death Of Superman storyline in the comics has often been praised for its creativity but having Superman's lifeless, surprisingly well preserved corpse get dipped in magic water like I, Frankenstein meets The Matrix was much better. From the very first scene, you know you're in good hands as Henry Cavill, with some help from countless underpaid animators, delivers the Superman we needed and deserved. He's friendly, he cares about people, he saves strangers, doesn impromptu interviews, he has super-breath AND his suit shines like the Sun, which incidentally gives him life. Man, all this makes me just want to watch the movie again!

1
APRIL FOOL'S


Just kidding, this movie sucks haha 

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