It's sad that this movie feels like a small fry in comparison to Batman v Superman. It's a bit anti-climactic after most of the Justice League's members have already teamed up and fought something so powerful that it managed to kill Superman. How do you top that?
|Answer: You don't. Not like this you don't. And topping BvS isn't even a high goal.|
Well, you have to bring Supes (Henry Cavill) back to life. But casually sideline him because he's still OP. And you gotta find another super-powerful villain to challenge them. Then threaten the end of the world, cause that always ups the stakes. So CGI villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) arrives, cued by the death of Superman, to destroy and conquer the Earth. Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), aware of the coming invasion, collect The Flash (Ezra Miller) Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to fight him. The characters aren't bad, and the plot is cliched but not bad, but it's put together as if by random; everyone going through the motions; no soul, no power, no passion. Just... nothing.
Them deciding to use the weird liquid in the Kryptonian ship to bring Superman back to life, like Luthor did to create Doomsday, is the most unexpected and therefore most interesting part of the movie. Which is unusual because it happens in the middle of the movie, where most superhero flicks flounder before getting to the end battle. I honestly expected Superman to show up unprompted and save the day, but they had to decide to restore him, and it took up a good portion of the movie to make happen. Still he's in it very little, and spends too much time with Lois (Amy Adams) and yes, his upper lip (where a mustache has been CG-ed out) is distracting.
|"So what happened in Justice League, Diana?" "Oh, nothing very interesting."|
Superman is likeable once he gets over being woken from his nap, and even gets cheesy a few times. Is this good or bad? Well... yes. Wonder Woman doesn't have her character ruined or anything, but she's nowhere near the height she reached in her solo film. Batman is just Batman. There's nothing particularly good about him, or anything particularly bad. He's just there. Cyborg ended up being the only one to impress and be better than expected; he's equally as well-done as everyone else. Aquaman was somehow both worse and better than I expected. My highest hopes were that Flash would be my favorite, but he was exclusively used for forced comic relief that only tempted me to laugh once. His potential remains, so we'll see about that solo film.
From scene to scene Lois will change from wig to no wig. It's noticeable, and cheap, and honestly I wish she hadn't been in the movie at all. This plus Superman's erased mustache, plus Steppenwolf's appearance as some villain on loan from a video game, are the outward evidence of this film's fundamental problem: Movies this massive, this expensive, and this hyped, should not be anywhere near this small and cheap. I haven't been this underwhelmed since X-Men: Apocalypse promised the apocalypse and delivered nothing but Oscar Isaac disguised in blue silicone. To make this movie was the entire reason the DCEU existed! But now it feels like a casual afterthought to BvS and Wonder Woman.
|The most exciting thing about it is the promises of more to come -- but at what point are we going to stop believing them, if more exciting promises is all they ever deliver?|
This film spends $300,000,000 delivering nothing, and has nothing to stand on but flat jokes, horrendous CGI, characters that have been better elsewhere, and lackluster stakes. The best I can say for it is that it didn't make me angry. BvS did, but now I'm wondering which is worse. At least BvS tried to do something and made me feel something -- even a bad something. With this, I've never been more disengaged watching a movie in the theater. Justice League, DCEU's Big Event Movie, that's been building up for five years, just did the worst thing it could do, and made a safe landing. We were promised an Earth-shattering kaboom, and all we got was a soft, apologetic thump.