I think I’ve put this off long enough.
So, to recap, this follows the 2016 movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a film I thought was okay but incredibly flawed and had the most divisive reception for any film I can remember and Wonder Woman, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. Will Justice League be another divisive entry into the DC Extended Universe? Or a gem of a superhero movie?
Superman is dead and a threat from beyond the realms of time and space threatens to tear Earth apart. Bruce Wayne recruits new heroes to stop the oncoming onslaught from Steppenwolf and his minions, along the way they must learn to work together to stand a chance.
I find myself with an overwhelming case of Deja-vu. You see, after BvS landed in cinemas it left me somewhat perplexed. I had enjoyed parts of the movie and not enjoyed other parts, par for the course in most movies really, I found myself feeling the same about Justice League.
I do think it has been judged too harshly from some quarters and as a whole it was an enjoyable movie, albeit one that didn’t know what tone it wanted to have at times, much like BvS but the performances from the new characters were very enjoyable, specifically Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller who played Aquaman and Flash, respectively.
For all it’s positives though it still falls somewhat short of the mark on a few fronts, it doesn’t help that DC are effectively playing catch-up with Marvel over five years too late, the benchmark set by which is unfairly used as a measuring stick. I don’t think it would benefit DC to play catch up with the MCU, not only because it would end up fielding more criticism for doing so and really their characters should be able to stand up on their own without comparison. When your character roster includes Superman and Batman, you shouldn’t be trying to play catch up with anyone, focusing instead on making the best possible movies you can.
The villain of the piece is another one who suffers from an inconsistent tone. Steppenwolf is established at the start of the movie as an all-powerful destroyer from beyond the stars, yet in the underwhelming final confrontation he goes down seemingly without challenge, I know he’s probably a warm-up for bigger and better things to come but the final few scenes really let him down.
It bears the fingerprints of executive meddling too, but I’ve resolved to not talk about behind-the scenes troubles as really they shouldn’t matter to the final product, there is a few glaring tone issues which might result from changing directors so close to the end of production.
Aside from the performances I’ve mentioned there’s other performances of note, Gal Godot looks as comfortable as ever as Wonder Woman, Jeremy Irons manages to pull off a sarcastic Alfred pretty well. It’s such a shame that Ben Affleck looks as though he’s on auto-pilot for most of the movie. Watching promotional interviews prior to release, Ben looked like a broken man, crushed under the weight of unwarranted criticism, his despondency is visible in times on screen as he coasts through his scenes, he’s in no way bad, just that it looks like he’s been drained of all enthusiasm between movies.
In conclusion then, Justice League is a bit of an odd duck. Enjoyable in places and extremely flawed in others, if you’re invested in the series then it’s definitely worth your time, I’d hold out for a potential Director’s Cut Blu-Ray though, if one is forthcoming. Don’t let it’s mixed reviews put you off however, it really is one that you have to see and make an opinion of for yourselves.