Justice League is worse than Batman v Superman. I say that as someone who likes Batman v Superman more than most but understands the complaints it’s too convoluted and grimdark. But for better or worse, Batman v Superman had a personality. Justice League is so watered down it’s nothing.
There may be a few good short films for The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to preview their solo movies. There’s even a good Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) short to tide you over until Wonder Woman 2. The Batman solo short is weak though, and when the League works together it is a total mess.
There’s very little actual teamwork. It’s just everybody gets something to do, basically their own set of wasp robots to fight. When The Flash helps Wonder Woman you get a glimpse at the movie Justice League could have been but by the end it’s all a mess of smashing walls and clanking metal against a 300/Lord of the Rings hellscape backdrop.
The villain is Steppenwolf (voice of Ciaran Hinds), but he’s not born to be wild. He’s just another alien trying to get the three maguffins to destroy the world. And really, you don’t need to overthink the villain. The point should be getting six superheroes together to fight, and that’s where Justice League fails.
Oh yeah, number six. The way they bring Superman (Henry Cavill) back is really basic. To be fair, the way he came back in the comics was lame too. The lesson should be, killing Superman is stupid to begin with. Just let him be Superman. His return is rather pointless. In the end, the only thing they really need him for is he’s strong enough to hold something.
Cavill’s CGI mouth is as bad as you’ve heard so I’ll let others go into more detail but it looks like Superman has had a stroke. Congratulations Tron: Legacy. You are no longer the worst CGI face in movie history. They even shot a mid credits scene with the fake mouth. The scene is not integral to the plot, so truly the less CGI mouth the better.
Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) only has two real scenes, and a third appearance with no lines. There’s talk of Luthor but Lex Luthor himself is not involved in this plot. Wasn’t Robin Wright supposed to be in this? Cutting her out was a mistake. There is a scene where buff amazons swing hammers in slow motion. That’s a gender flipped 300 I want to see, but give them a real movie, not this background work.
It’s clear what scenes Joss Whedon rewrote because they’re the ones where the heroes make fun of each other’s gimmicks, deconstructing their own hero tropes. There are even moments lifted from Whedon’s own Wonder Woman script, so I guess at least he got to use them somewhere.
The Flash is fun, but if you like his scenes, there’s a TV show that gives you that fun every week. Batman and Alfred (Jeremy Irons) still have great chemistry, but all their scenes together are exposition.
It’s really a case of just do one thing well, instead of trying to do six things adequately. It feels like none of the individual heroes are as awesome as they could be because they’re saving the good stuff for their solo movies. A team is only as strong as its weakest link, and none of these individual arcs would warrant a solo movie, so they just threw ‘em all in the same one.
Justice League opens Friday, November 17.