Zack Snyder’s Joss Whedon’s Justice League is….ok. Seriously, I had fun. I’m going to be in the minority on this and that’s going to suck; but the movie is consistently entertaining as it moves along with strong performances and a cast that has chemistry with one another. There is a clash of tone, but in that clash of tone the worst aspects of both Snyder and Whedon cancel each other out. It feels like a cartoon, but so does this whole genre. For once, with Justice League, it isn’t as much of a problem.
Superman (Henry Cavill) died at the ending of the last film, and as such the world has mourned the loss of this beacon (more on that in a moment). A new threat, Steppenwolf (voice of Ciaran Hinds), arrives with the goal of gathering the Motherboxes (a Macguffin introduced in the last film) to recreate his home world, whether people die or not – irrelevant.
What works here are the cast, excluding maybe Ray Fisher who probably has some growing to do in the role. Ben Affleck is excellent, he has quickly shot up the list of the great Batmen. He offers a certain aged confidence and brawny charisma that lend a lot of credibility to this familiar character. Cavill sounds more like what you’d picture Superman and its enjoyable to watch him in action. Gadot continues what worked in Wonder Woman, with her swagger bringing a good necessary energy. Jason Momoa gives the best performance I’ve seen from him, and Barry Allen is written too quippy (Whedon strikes again) but Ezra Miller appears to be doing his best to wade through it.
The problems here boil down to continuity, DC is trying to course correct after the failures of their first few efforts, but in Justice League, they’re forced to reference those efforts, and it will be something different than what actually happened or a character will be remodeled to improve on the film. It’s not an admirable predicament and it does unfortunately hamper the movie. The effects are also generally lousy, they look like they’ve aged a decade. Steppenwolf looks like an Uruk-Hai reject.
Steppenwolf is also ridiculously boring, the story almost certainly needed a different villain. It builds up to bigger DC villains, but he’s not interesting. He might even be duller than some of the Marvel villains, which is a tall order. It doesn’t help that the far more interesting DC villain Deathstroke shows up in the end credits.
Justice League successfully qualifies as a guilty pleasure. It’s never boring with a great cast that all seem to be having fun.
Its fun. Plain and simple.
Written by Jeff Turner