After a few unsteady years for DC fans since 2013’s Man Of Steel such as me, Justice League comes out as the culmination of these films, the heroes Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and later on Superman, all together as a team.
It should be worth saying before I move dive in though that despite Zack Snyder being given ultimate director credit, he had to leave the film because of a family tragedy. Subsequently, Joss Whedon took over reshoots and post-production after signing up earlier to do a rewrite. What this all results in is a not always successful mixture of styles. For example, you can definitely see there’s a witty Joss Whedon touch with the dialogue, which is welcome, but then also somber, deconstructive scenes surely part of a Snyder cut that don’t work well together in that way.
And the content of the film itself? Justice League gives you expected character drama, like with Wonder Woman (played by the great Gal Gadot after her own spectacular film earlier this year) as a reluctant leader. There’s also Barry Allen (aka the Flash, played by Ezra Miller), a younger team player and supplies good comic relief and’s a great character, even if a bit grating at times. Then poor Ben Affleck, after Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice in which he at least had a full performance, doesn’t seem to do as much or be completely comfortable. So even though additionally, Jason Momoa’s badass as Aquaman (but that’s it really), the character arcs don’t work together really, or feel realised enough (probably a result of the 2-hour running time).
Character-wise the villain probably feels the worst. This is Steppenwolf (by Ciaran Hinds), and aside from being two-dimensional in depth, the CGI supplied by motion-capture often doesn’t look so good. Considering how far we’ve come since Jar Jar Binks (i know i know, but he was the first motion-capture character so deserves credit whatever your thoughts about him), Gollum, Neytiri from Avatar, etc., this lacklustre result is a shame.
Justice League works enough as serviceable entertainment however. Though given the build-up to this, and Marvel’s current astonishing success, it should have been more than just serviceable entertainment.