More personalities means more fun, as the typically dour D.C. Comics universe takes a big leap skyward.
To people who follow these sorts of things, it’s been like watching the most absorbing train wreck since 'The General' to see Warner Bros. try to compete with Disney’s Marvel-money-minting machine. For every beloved 'Avengers' sequel or discofied 'Thor' spin-off, WB has soldiered on with its stillborn D.C. Comics franchise, resulting in such stinkers as 'Suicide Squad' or 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', two ridiculously bad movies that should have killed the superhero craze dead.
Still, this summer’s 'Wonder Woman' was a breath of fresh air (any kind of oxygen was required, frankly), and it seems that the course has finally been corrected: 'Justice League' gets the band together but remembers to bring the banter along with the boom. The plot is almost unnecessary to relate: Spandexed warriors do battle with one of those intergalactic bad guys (Ciarán Hinds) with a fetish for gleaming power cubes, here called “motherboxes.” Try not to laugh at that—at least when you’re not keeping track of all the insectoid winged henchmen buzzing around our heroes in the final sequence’s bloodless, too-long showdown.
But something’s gone right with the cast—not just returning Wonder Woman Gal Gadot (owning every subtle smile) but Ben Affleck, too, roused out of his bat stupor. As the junk-food-cramming speed-demon the Flash, Ezra Miller introduces some welcome comic neuroticism (he yearns to fist-bump with his colleagues). Even the movie's jaunty, cavorting orchestral score, supplied by Tim Burton’s old foil Danny Elfman, harks back to a better time, when “Why so serious?” wasn’t the rule. The pendulum swings.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
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Justice League leaves you with a feeling of meh by the end of its 2hrs running time. It's not bad but, unfortunately it doesn't compare to the Marvel comics behemoth of movies. If this is supposed to revive the franchise then at this rate it may as we'll just give up, a bit like Ben Affleck seems to have done. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is the standout in this movie, as is any scene with Amazonians. Ezra Miller (The Flash) jokes misfire more often than not and the speedster Marvel equivalent was better released in the X-men movies. Jason Momoa (Aquaman) is fine, he gives a certain macho-man charm performance. Ray Fisher (Cyborg) is a overdose of CGI that rarely works that well, has anyone of them seen the original Robcop? That does cybernetics better with a smaller budget. Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf) is a one note villain, just there to be booed at on screen and little else. You get where the Joss Whedon (usually inserts) bits versus the Zack (slow-mo extended) Snyder sequences are on screen. If there is one thing that does work, then it's the music and it's nice to hear the Danny Elfman original Batman theme blare out. It's a shame considering DC has some of the best heroes and villains in the comic world, that this film doesn't shine like it deserves too. This time there are two post credit bits, one hints at a possible sequel, though after watching this I doubt there be one. One for those who want a DC fix, but honestly go see Thor Ragnarok or even Paddington 2 instead.
Well done Joshua, your review is perhaps a little generous but this movie is indeed a mild recovery for DC and for Time Out London too, given that another TO reviewer actually managed to call the truly atrocious 'Man of Steel' "punchy, engaging and fun' when it was none of those things. It is a hard road back for DC but they seem to be taking it and the absence of Goyer from the credits probably helps.