Justice League is shaping up to be among the most anticipated movies of 2017. After the mixed reactions towards the other three films of the DC extended universe, it has a large mountain to climb in order to win over the hearts of the public and put the DCEU back into the good graces of comic movie fans.

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Photo: Warner Bros.

A huge concern is obviously that there has already been a major team up in film. Marvel’s Avengers has established itself in the film community and unfortunately, Justice League has to follow in its footsteps. With the previous films in the DCEU not being as critically received in the industry, it would seem that Justice League is already starting from behind, but it certainly is not, IF DC’s Wonder Woman is well-developed and can perform at a level that shows fans great promise of what’s to come in their universe.

Justice League does not necessarily have to be a cult classic. It just has to be a good, well-thought out movie and it can learn from the films that came before it and build a solid foundation and present the world with something that leaves fans not just satisfied, but positive about the direction the relatively young DCEU is going.

Man of Steel

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Photo: Warner Bros.

Mixed reactions or not, Man of Steel attempted to tell a different story of the most popular superhero of all time. The silver screen has been littered with stories focusing on the more campy side of Superman. Almost all of them, if not ALL of them, did their best to paint Kal-El as the hero everyone loved and accepted and the ultimate hero that the villains just could not tolerate. Man of Steel did the opposite. Zack Snyder, the director, pushed to tell the story of the man before the story of the savior. Regardless, it focused on storytelling and whether or not it was accepted or effective, it was powerful statement that there is more to Superman than carrying planes and leaping buildings. Justice League has an opportunity to do the same and drive home a story that goes beyond their personas as heroes, but their lives outside of them and how they factor into their motivations to save the world, not as solo acts, but as a unit.

Batman V. Superman

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Photo: DC Comics

This writer was not a big fan of this film, but that still does not take away from the good things and strengths that came from this movie. A dysfunctional film gave fans beautiful cinematography,settings, and the score was absolutely stunning. Though the material did not always match their quality, they were something that were definite positives for the film. These are all three things that Justice League needs to be on track for a well-received movie. Cinematography, settings, and score can legitimately make or break a movie and it would not to do justice to the League (pun possibly intended) to overlook these elements as major keys to make this film successful.

Suicide Squad

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Photo: Warner Bros. 

This film stood out as the most fun of the three. It was displayed as an adventure and played off the weakness of the team (their lack of coherent motivations, personalities, and depth of evil) and made it the film’s greatest strength. This third installment in the DCEU had reactions split in the middle the same as its predecessors, but it was the truest sign of potential that this universe has shown since its conception. Messy at times and lacking good layering for the villains, Suicide Squad focused on giving the fans something that they would enjoy and pushed the chemistry of the characters as a focal point. With the Justice League being a film that features a lot of characters, showcasing the chemistry, or lack thereof, amongst them can become an intriguing side story that adds to them having to come together and save their world. Not only that, but with so many characters, Justice League can really ramp up the fun factor and deliver a film, that is well-rounded in all aspects and not just one or a few.

More than anything, the fans just want a movie from DC that they feel lived up to their expectations. They want a movie that makes them excited about what is happening and what is to come, keeps them invested emotionally, tells a great story, and positively plays to their senses. Each of the movies that came before Justice League had tastes of these elements, but this film has the potential to be the culmination of all them. Justice League does not come out until 2017, but in the meantime, if the DCEU can learn from itself, there is a lot to look forward to as far as Justice League is concerned.

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