“Justice League” finally assembles a crew of worthy heroes for the DC Universe

I am about to make a bold statement: I very much enjoyed Justice League.

Was everything about it perfect? No. Did it still have flaws and a few loose ends? Yes. But overall, did I find myself genuinely having a great time, enough to proudly declare that Justice League is good? Absolutely.

For those worried it was heading down the same path as that movie that shall not be named (*cough* Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), don’t worry. Honestly, you can go ahead and forget that movie ever even happened, and jump back into the DC Extended Universe™ with a clean slate — though don’t forget that Superman is dead and Wonder Woman has emerged again, following her saving-the-world hiatus. Also, Batman is rich and kinda bored. That’s all you need to know to set the groundwork for Justice League.

Our story picks up sometime after the death of Superman, which is a death felt round the world. Everyone is mourning and doing so in their own way, including our current heroes Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (our president Gal Gadot). Though neither is necessarily trying to get back in the fight, when mythical enemy forces start attacking, Bruce realizes he’s got to mobilize and stop this evil before it takes over the world. Diana is game to help but…

These two can’t do it alone. Bruce gets the grand idea to assemble a team. and he and Diana go off in search of these new recruits: Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller, in a role that will no doubt — finally — make him a household name), Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher). There’s also Superman (Henry Cavill), but he can’t join the team right now. Why? Because he’s dead.

What follows is messy romp through the DCEU™, but it’s a fun messy romp. The movie takes the first act to really settle into a groove, and then everything seems to click. Okay, everything clicks except the main villain, because I still have questions about Steppenwolf, and what the hell he’s trying to achieve other than world domination and power over Earth…? Something about boxes…? Sure. But you know what? Steppenwolf’s master plan doesn’t even matter, because watching Wonder Woman and The Flash fight together, throwing punches and jokes, is truly something special.

Once again, and as she’s already proven, Gadot completely shines as Wonder Woman, making a strong case for about 150% more Diana Prince. But she doesn’t steal the movie — Miller’s Barry does. In what might be the best superhero casting to date, Miller completely nails the awkward, uncomfortable, afraid-of-bugs speedster, and brings some MUCH needed comedic humor to the universe (via some long-running jokes  about brunch and Pet Semetary).

The one off thing? The movie spends a little too much time establishing these new characters. Since Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg do not have stand-alone movies (yet), they need to be introduced into this world somehow. Their beginnings feel like puzzle pieces that are being forced to fit together, and that’s the only real big miss of the movie. However, in saying that, everyone should start getting pumped AF for these stand-alone movies, especially Flash. For those who don’t know the backstory between Barry and his incarcerated father, Henry (played by Billy Crudup) are you guys in for a father/son treat. And for those who know the backstory: Flashpoint is set for a 2020 release.

In the end, are there still some things that just don’t work with Justice League? Yes — but the thing is you’re having so much fun that the holes in the movie won’t bother you too much, even when you’re thinking, “What the hell is with these boxes?” Just let the movie take you where it needs to go, and Wonder Woman will handle the rest. Because as long as Wonder Woman’s in charge, we’ll be fine.