So it’s never a good sign when a company puts an embargo on critics being able to review a film. Warner Bros. only recently lift that embargo for Justice League, Zack Snyder’s latest directorial offering i the DC Universe.
Frankly, they should have enacted an embargo on the film itself.
So, following the ‘death’ of Superman in Batman v Superman, the world is starting to fall into chaos, and Batman has taken it upon himself to find other beings with “abilities” to help him defend the Earth against those that would see it destroyed.
So he finds Diana Prince, and they start the search to recruit some folks. They get down to it and locates Barry Allen (The Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman), and Victor Stone (Cyborg). Barry is on board, but it takes some convincing the other guys. Now they all have to defend against Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarin Hinds), before he finds all three of these cube things and turns Earth into his playground.
I had hoped that with Joss Whedon steppig in to finish the film after Zack Snyder dropped out due to a personal matter (the loss of his child), the film would be different than the grim and decidedly over-bearing mess of Batman v Superman. Well, it is different, but not different enough.
You can see whee Joss Whedon added his touch. There are more moments of humor, there is an overall lighter tone in places, and the individual characters seem to have more definition and adherence to their canonic personalities. For the most part.
However, the overall plot is barely existent, the villain, Steppenwolf, is ALL CG and is as flat and uninteresting as possible. There is virtually zero concern for anyone most of the time, and so much of the action is amid a convoluted blur of green-screened effects.
And in one example in particular, in the area of the world (some non-descript near-Russian country) where Steppenwolf has built his new lair, the film seems to give attention to this random family in their home close by. The threat grows outside their house, so the father yells something like “Get down!” and they duck under the table. Then we cut away and don’t see them for awhile. But we DO see them again – a couple times. But they have ZERO bearing on the story, the characters, anything. Yet, we come back to them to witness their peril. Pointless.
The CG effects on this are only Ok – at least by the standards we are to expect these days. And again, Steppenwolf is utterly two-dimensional, and his appearance is pretty random. How did he come back? And why now as opposed to earlier? Did he just HAPPEN to feel the absence of Superman? Again, RANDOM.
Nothing feels fleshed out here, either. The film is, based on previous superhero movies, fairly succinct at one hour and 59 minutes. Strangely, maybe another 10 minutes would have been useful – if used effectively?
I can absolutely not recommend Justice League. I’m sorry, but the positives in this simply do not outweigh the bad. This should have been WAY better. We can only hope that Zack Snyder will movie on to other projects and stay out of the comic book movie genre from now on. And for a whopping $300,000,000, you’d think more good would come from this. But it’s already made over $100,000,000 and it’s only been a day.
With news of other directors taking on DC properties (like Joss Whedon), my hope is that we’ll get a chance to see more films like Wonder Woman, and less of Justice League. Sigh. Try as they might, Warner just can’t get these things right. Two kittenhands at best. Maybe not even.
Pass on this one, and just go see Thor: Ragnarok again.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, also recommending Blade Runner: 2049. It’s so beautiful and truly worth seeing, even though it’s basically a $155 million art film.