Warner Bros.’ Justice League is about to be unleashed upon the masses, but early reviews and reactions have been rather divisive. Our own reviewer, Matt Goldberg, was not impressed, while Perri Nemiroff and John Rocha of the video team had a sunnier take on it. I’ve got my own thoughts, of course, which I’ll be doling out in detail as I walk through the film’s successes, surprises, and stumbles in a spoiler-packed review. Dig it?
Starring Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha “Why’d You Say That Name?” Kent, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Amber Heard as Mera, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, and Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf, Justice League soars into theaters on November 17th.
Before we get deep into spoiler-territory, I wanted to share my general thoughts on the film, but in case you’re still unclear about just what Justice League is about, here’s the official synopsis:
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
For fans of DC Comics who’ve waited to see their favorite superheroes and villains leap off of the medium’s glossy pages and onto the big screen, Justice League is for you. It’s the cinematic version of a page-turner, akin to feverishly flipping through the pages of a newly purchased and highly anticipated comic book issue so that, before you know it, you’ve already consumed the whole thing before your parents’ car pulls into the driveway, just in time to start over and read it again. Justice League simultaneously feels like a solid live-action version of some of best moments from the excellent animated series of the same name. This thing is a cartoon brought to life on the big screen, so if that’s your speed, you’ll enjoy the ride.
Is it perfect? Far from it. The edit has more cuts than Victor Zsasz, the plot is so simplistic that even Bizzaro would have no trouble following along, and the big bad villain, not helped in the least by his very apparent CG-ness, feels underpowered to the point of being an unworthy catalyst for uniting the heroes. And despite showing some clever and unique aspects in early fight scenes that grab your attention, this action-focused originality peters out by the time we get to a final eye-glazing sequence that brings the movie to a close. All of this is unfortunate, but by no means are these weaknesses coffin nails for this film or sins that aren’t shared by similar big-budget superhero stories.
Overall, Justice League is a lean and mean tribute to DC Comics characters and their fans, a fun ride that sets the stage for future adventures. Celebrate this one in good spirit, DC fans!
Spoilers from here on out!