Justice League Reviewed
The heroes of the Justice League are, for the most part, pretty good. While Ben Affleck was the best part of Batman vs. Superman, here his job is to keep the story moving, so he comes off a little bland, while Cyborg (Ray Fisher) seems to be in the movie only to service the plot. Cyborg has too much CGI to be expressive and is too stiffly written to be interesting. The Flash (Ezra Miller) was great, and while Grant Gustin will always be my Flash, Miller bought a lot of levity to the movie. I also enjoyed Khal Drogo as Aquaman (Jason Mamoa); he showed off some of his comedic chops and he’s easy on the eyes. Last but certainly not least is Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) who was obviously fantastic; however, with so many other characters around she didn’t shine as brightly as she did in her solo movie.
With a strong team in place, you would think DC would want to pick an iconic villain to face them, or at the very least one vaguely familiar to the audience. Instead, they went with Steppenwolf. I am a pretty big comic nerd and I had no idea who this guy was. After doing some research, his selection made more sense as a way to introduce and save Darkseid for a later movie. I also now understand his true power: wearing people out through long monologues of exposition.
And there is a lot of exposition, which is crazy because the plot of this movie didn't matter at all. Essentially, parademons showed up on Earth looking for the three mother boxes that, when joined together, could end the world. If you don’t know the boxes’ backstories, which most people won’t, it might as well have been magical keys or puppies, and the narrative weight imbued in these boxes comes off as lazy.
That continuity is also broken because Zack Snyder had to drop out of the movie during reshoots due to a family tragedy. Warner Brothers brought in Joss Wheaton (The Avengers) to finish the last bit of filming. And while executives promised that there would be no tonal difference, you could not find two more different storytellers. All the scenes in which the actors are scowling were probably Snyder; the times where we get a smirk or silly quip feel like Whedon, and the shifts take you out of the story.
Justice League is better than some of the other movies in the DC universe, but it’s still a step in the wrong direction. This kind of blockbuster should have mass appeal, but it seems to be designed for hardcore DC readers or Zack Snyder fanboys. The action is great and parts are funny, but the CGI looks like it belongs in a video game and the story doesn’t have any value. Not even the Man of Steel would be powerful enough to save this movie from itself. C-