9 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Justice League’

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Justice League

1. What’s Justice League about?

In a world without Superman, Batman senses that there is evil afoot and begins assembling a team to help. A villain appears in the form of Steppenwolf, a member of Darkseid’s Elite. With the help of a hive of Parademons, Steppenwolf seeks three Mother Boxes to help destroy the Earth. Will the Justice League prevail? Find out when the move hits theaters, November 16.

2. Will I like Justice League?

You should. While Justice League takes a while to get going, when it does, the action is pretty good and the humor is as funny as we’ve seen in a DC movie, with most of the good lines going to Ezra Miller’s The Flash. Justice League is genuinely funny throughout. It’s paced quite well and there’s seldom a dull moment. It’s well known that Zack Snyder left production for family reasons and was replaced by Joss Whedon who re-shot about 20% of the film, which had me pretty nervous going in. The end result, while mostly cohesive, does feel less than fully baked but still enjoyable and satisfying. Some of the CGI is pretty bad and it doesn’t feel like we get enough character development of any of the heroes. Still, my bar for superhero movies is pretty low: entertain me … and don’t ruin the characters. Justice League delivers on both counts.

3. Will my kids like Justice League?

Of course they will. It’s a superhero movie with lots of superheroes. There are some moments they may struggle to understand in the resurrection of Superman and some moments of terrorism that might frighten them, but all in all it is a good deal of fun.

4. Is the rating accurate?

Justice League is rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action. The violence and action feature prominently and there is some intense fighting and moments of desperate situations driven by fear that some kids might have trouble with. There is no profanity that I could recall, but there are some gratuitous shots of Wonder Woman that just feel out of place.

5. Do I need to know anything about Justice League going in?

Justice League refers heavily to events that happened in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you’ve seen that, you should be good. If not and you want to know the full story going in, you may want to gird yourself and sit down and watch that film. If you’ve not seen the film that NPR’s Chris Klimek called “[an] over-pixelated zeppelin crash of a movie scored by a choir that sounds like it’s being drowned in lava,” you’ll still be OK. Justice League does a pretty good job of filling in the blanks. The big things you need to know that carry over from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice are that Superman is dead (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer) and that Victor Stone, a former athlete, was mortally wounded in a car crash. To save his life, his father merged his body with alien technology (taken from a Krypton scout ship that arrived on Earth, which also features in Justice League), making Victor Stone into half-man, half-machine, known as Cyborg. Additionally, there’s some reference to the Wonder Woman movie, but that reference plays a much smaller part in the movie.

6. How’s the cast?

The Justice League is made up of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). While we’ve seen Affleck, Cavill, and Gadot quite a bit and they deliver as we know them to be able. Momoa, Miller, and Fisher aren’t as well-known quantities in superhero roles. Fisher does an OK job as Cyborg, but ends up feeling a bit two-dimensional. Fisher’s already been cast in Flashpoint, the movie about The Flash, and Cyborg, so maybe he’ll get to stretch his mechanical legs a bit. But the limited time he had in Justice League didn’t allow him to really develop the character. Miller, on the other hand, got a ton of funny lines and made the most of them, connecting with the audience as a superhero just finding his feet. Momoa plays Aquaman as a bit of a dude-bro rebel, which is … interesting. He has a good deal of presence on the screen though, so here’s hoping the Aquaman movie gives him, too, a different opportunity to shine.

7. Is it worth it to see Justice League in 3D or IMAX?

My advice is, because of Zack Snyder’s preference of color palette, predilection for low contrast, and 3D’s often darkened screens, I think 3D is a bad choice for this film. IMAX may be an improvement because DC films often feel small and closed in, opposed to Marvel’s big and open scenes. I saw it on a boring old, regular, 2D screen and it was pretty good that way.

8. Are there any scenes in the credits?

Yes, there are two. One comes pretty quickly into the scroll and is just a funny little continuation of the movie. The second, at the very end of the credits, is a preview of things to come and definitely worth staying to see.

9. What’s the best time to run to the bathroom?

Justice League runs about two hours. The action is almost nonstop during the second half of the movie, but at the 30 minute mark, when two people sit down to coffee, or about 85 minutes in when a couple arrive in Comanche, Kansas, you can sneak out. But hurry — you don’t want to miss much!

See also our previous review of Wonder Woman:

9 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Wonder Woman’

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