WARNING: The following articles contains minor spoilers for director Zack Snyder’s Justice League, in theaters now.
Trailers for Zack Snyder’s Justice League have been all about the music. Gary Clark Jr. & Junkie XL’s cover of “Come Together” by The Beatles has become inextricably tied to the film, in which Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and a resurrected Superman finally – you guessed it – come together to form DC Comics’ premier team of heroes.
Composer Danny Elfman tucked into the film's score numerous allusions to earlier DC Comics-inspired superhero movies, from the heroically manic 1989 Batman theme to the heartfelt triumph of 1978’s Superman. Then there was the brief riff of Wonder Woman’s theme first heard in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and expanded upon in this year’s Wonder Woman. Truly, Justice League is a collection of memorable, albeit disparate, superhero music that Elfman somehow wove into a seamless, exciting score.
But leave it to Barry Allen to pump up the jam halfway through the movie. Chances are you have no idea what was playing over the speakers when Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) surprised Barry (Ezra Miller) in his poorly concealed headquarters. You might have even tried to tune out the music in an attempt to listen to the conversation between the vigilante billionaire and the speedster, but fat chance. That song is an inescapable earworm. For those who are dying to know the name of the song and the artist, here’s what you’re looking for: “As If It’s Your Last” by BLACKPINK.
Why was that so difficult to find? Chances are because, unless you speak Korean, you didn’t have a lyric to type into Google. BLACKPINK is a K-pop band and, while they sometimes dip into English, the massively popular girl band’s bread and butter is the music market in and around South Korea. So, you’ve got the name of the song and the band, but what about the music video that was playing in the background? Oh, honey, welcome to K-pop:
No, you’re not imagining the number of costume changes in the video. Also, no, you’re not misreading that view counter. That video really has been viewed nearly 182 million times (at the time of publication; yes, it will go up) and liked by more than 2 million people. What’s so compelling about this particular song? I mean, you were listening, right?
Comprised of four members, BLACKPINK is Jisoo (Kim Ji Soo), Jennie (Jennie Kim), Rosé (Park Chae Young) and Lisa (Lalisa Manoban). The band was formed by YG Entertainment, one of the largest entertainment companies in South Korea, and debuted on Aug. 8, 2016. So far, BLACKPINK has released three singles: Square One and Square Two in 2016, and As If It's Your Last this year. The band has yet to release a full album.
So, what does Barry’s interest in BLACKPINK say about him? Well, first of all, he’s got extremely good taste. But, really: Barry is an interesting mix of both the straight man and comic relief in the film. He’s relatable because he hasn’t fought gods or tangled with The Penguin. He’s not an Atlantean and there’s no cybernetic enhancements changing his bodiy chemistry. He’s just a guy who can run really fast and who has everyday interests -- that much is clear from the Rick and Morty episode playing on one of the monitors in the background.
The BLACKPINK song is there to communicate that, while Barry is that everyman, he’s also a deeper character with expansive interests. “As If It’s Your Last” is a popular song, but, as a Westerner, you have to dig pretty deep to find the juicy K-pop vein on YouTube. Barry has done that, making him more than the sum of his circumstances. Similarly, it would have been easy for Barry to shut down after his father was convicted for his mother’s murder, but he rose up and eventually found the constructive, heroic outlet he’d been looking for. It’s almost as if a K-pop song tells Barry Allen’s entire Justice League story in a single scene. So, you know, thanks, K-pop.
In theaters now, Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.