Justice League (2017)
Critic Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
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as Bruce Wayne/Batman
as Clark Kent/Superman
as Lois Lane
as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
as Barry Allen/The Flash
as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
as Victor Stone/Cyborg
as Alfred Pennyworth
as Martha Kent
as Queen Hippolyta
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Critic Reviews for Justice League
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman got the tone right last time, which suggested things were looking up. But without director Patty Jenkins around, she's subject to the dismissive male gaze for which Hollywood's long been criticized.
There's some welcome levity, some genuine conversation (as when Bats and Diana share a drink), and a few moments that feel like really good comic book panels (especially mid-credits). For some, that may be enough.
A pointless flail of expensive (yet, somehow, cheap-looking) CGI that no amount of tacked-on quips, or even Gadot's luminescent star power, can rescue.
Even the strength of Superman couldn't turn this ship all the way around.
A C-grade B-movie wherein all involved fully satisfy their contractual obligations.
Audience Reviews for Justice League
It's finally here: the first adaptation of DC's Justice League on the big screen. Like Marvel's The Avengers 5 years before it, Justice League takes its biggest and most popular heroes and puts them all together for an action extravaganza. Unlike The Avengers, however, Justice League only succeeds at achieving mediocrity. Since the movie is centered heavily on its lead characters and their struggles together, I'll talk about them first. Thankfully, this is the one thing Justice League gets mostly right. Ben Affleck is back as Batman, and though he does not do that much in the film (mostly because he is the only one in the group without actual superpowers), Affleck still does a good job with the role. Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, and I thought she was the standout of the film. Gadot continues to shine in the role of Diana Prince and I am sure we will be seeing more of her in the future. Then there's the other three members of the League: The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Because this is their first appearance on the big screen, the film had to make sure to give them sufficient backstory and depth which, given the forced 2-hour runtime of the film, was a challenge. However, the film cleverly used dialogue and brief scenes to set up these characters, albeit not giving them much more depth than was absolutely necessary. As a result, I was able to get behind these characters, but I never really felt the chemistry among the team that I should have felt. Still, the film was still able to make these characters fun to watch, which was all that it needed to do. Now, the interesting thing about Justice League is that the movie is perfectly watchable. I found myself entertained for most of its runtime, and I was never bored. At the same time, it is entirely forgettable. This is for several reasons. First of all, the film's villain is a weak character. Steppenwolf, a "minion" of the famous DC Comic's supervillain Darkseid, is the big baddy of Justice League. He is big and bad without a doubt, but has no depth otherwise. He is an entirely CGI character who talks in a deep voice, but his motives are clichéd and his plan for world destruction is predictable. He never felt menacing, and I never felt a sense of urgency when he was about to make something catastrophic happen that the Justice League needed to stop. This brings me to my second point: when the Justice League decided to stop him, they proceeded to fight him and his army of Parademons in bloated, 99%-CGI set pieces. I don't believe there was a single actual set piece in the film's action-heavy moments. All I saw was green screen and mediocre computer-generated scenery, which is typical of a Zach Snyder film. But, like I said, I was never bored. There was nothing wrong with the heavily CGI scenes or its lackluster villain, and there wasn't really a glaring issue in the overarching movie as a whole. But there was also nothing special about it, and I doubt I will remember Justice League for very long after watching it. The last issue I wanted to address was the issue that resulted from Warner Bros. forcing the film to cut its runtime down to under 2 hours. I already mentioned how this affected the three new characters introduced in the film: I think there was probably more done to build these characters and their relationships, but those scenes had to be cut from the film. There were plenty of other things likely cut from the film as well. For instance, there were at least one or two scenes where the film skipped from point A to point B without showing how everyone made it to point B. I'm also certain that J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon had more screen time in the film's original cut, because remember when everyone made a big deal about him getting cast in the role? Well, he was in the movie for about three minutes, so that was unfortunate. In the end, I can sum up Justice League in the same words that I used earlier: perfectly watchable but entirely forgettable. It's a fun time that never disappoints its viewers, but it doesn't achieve much more than that. The DC Extended Universe still needs to find its stride, and this was not the film that did it. Justice League gets 3 out of 5 stars.
Whether or not you feel like arguing for DC or Marvel, a good movie is a good movie, regardless of who made it. The terms 'fun' and 'dark' are the two that get tossed around the most when comparing these two franchises, and while many people are wrong to like a movie based on its tone, I can gladly say that not much complaining can be done about the tone of Justice League. Meshing light and dark to form a solid mixture of the two, due to some unfortunate circumstances behind the scenes, may have actually made this a better film than it originally was, but who really knows. As I said, the tone of this film is great in my opinion, but the movie itself is quite the mixed bag. There is a lot of fun to be had with Justice League, but here is a weighing of the pros and cons of this highly anticipated addition to the DC Universe of films. The premise is quite simple. An evil force in Steppenwolf has arrived and needs to find three so-called mother boxes in order to take over the world. Using what little backstory that Bruce Wayne has on many super-powered people, he, along with the help of Diana, form a team to take him down. With the hope that Superman may also return, this team must do everything they can to hopefully save the day. Although these characters are all a joy to see interacting with each other, herein lies the biggest issues with the film as a whole. There isn't much to say about the villain here because his storyline is almost too simple to even want to describe. He's a generic bad guy that wants to take over the world, who really only exists in order to make this team feel the need to band together and save the world. When a villain is just a tool for a team to exist, the overall impact of your movie won't ever reach a high point. That being said, even though the villain ruins the entire film for me every time he's on-screen, the characters surrounding him and how they all come together was really the highlight of the movie, making the price of admission worth it. No, characters like Cyborg, Aquaman, and The Flash aren't given quite enough backstory to really feel for them, but the casting of them is terrific and the little screen time they're given is fantastic. Their interaction with one another was great and I can't wait to see more of them in the future. There's honestly nowhere to go but up from this messy installation. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot once again bring everything they have to the table and they sure seem to be making these characters their own, so I really hope they stick with this franchise for at least a few more years, because I feel as though there are some entertaining stories to be told if the post-credits sequences have anything to say about it. Many people will be going into this film hoping for some exciting Superman action, and although I won't give anything away for fans, I'll simply state that his small presence is more than worth the wait. Like in Man of Steel, his character, along with Lois Lane and his mother Martha definitely adds some great emotion to certain elements of the film. In terms of entertainment, this movie held my interest from start to finish and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the future progression of these characters after these first rocky few films. I like these characters a lot. They just deserve better films. In the end, comic book fans will have their share of shrieks throughout the film, from cameos to world-building, but it really just comes down to whether or not this is a good movie for the majority of audiences to flock out and see. Upon reflection, I enjoyed much more about this film than I disliked, so I would warrant a recommendation, but only to those who've followed each installment since Man of Steel, because not knowing who certain characters are would be a detriment to your experience. The movie feels very rushed, but there are great character moments to make up for that. Even though there is some very obvious CGI work throughout the film, the action is exciting and a joy to see on the big screen. Even though the villain is terrible, the team is a blast to see interacting on-screen. I seem to be finding a pro for every con, but it just comes down to whether or not I had a good time, and that's a pretty definitive yes. Justice League is a mess, but it's a mess I had fun with and that shows promise for the future. I enjoyed myself for the most part.
Reviewing Justice League is like an exercise of finding "sympathy" marks to help get a passing grade. Despite a good ensemble cast riding on the coat tails of the powerful box office performance of Wonder Woman, Justice League was painfully bland, lacking a compelling story and a satisfying narrative. Especially so, when it is imperative in these superhero stories to have a convincing baddie to face off with - Steppenwolf was a cold CGI character with horns and zero personality. The pacing was uneven, and editing was weak, with the third act sadly anticlimactic. Loved some of the funny banter, but it could not shake off the glaring plot holes, the lack of drama and the lack of spectacle. Even Superman's "resurrection" felt too contrived. Not a good start for the DC universe, given such an ineffective script to begin with, and this would be such a a waste, given the good ensemble. Interestingly, there are two post-credit scenes too (a first for a DCU film!) that you must not miss.
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