Justice League is nearly upon us, and the question on everyone’s lips (apart from ‘How quickly will Superman resurrect?’) has to be: is it any good? Our own Justice League review, whilst praising Wonder Woman, called it “a film at odds with itself.” It’s no surprise, then, that the rest of the reviews from around the web range from calling the movie competent to… flat-out embarrassing. Ouch.
Justice League's 'other', more positive movie - Polygon (unscored)
“Justice League is proof the franchise still suffers from the same problems it did with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. That’s one movie. The other movie, which peeks through the cracks of Justice League’s disguise, is a joy. It’s full of heart, and understands that beneath the superhero exterior the more compelling story is friendship. Like The Avengers, which co-director Joss Whedon was also responsible for, there are instances that turn our heroes into endearing individuals.”
Ben Affleck's weak performance - The Guardian (2/5)
“Ben Affleck is unrelaxed and ill-at-ease in the role of Batman/Bruce, unconvincing in both the bat armour and the three-piece suit of the wealthy plutocrat. “What’s your superpower?” asks The Flash and Bruce replies: “I’m rich.” It feels a bit late for this film to have cottoned on to a daringly heretical Batman joke that people have been making for years. Really, Affleck spreads a pall of dullness over the film. He doesn’t have the implacable, steely ferocity and conviction that Christian Bale had; he seems to have a faint sheen of sweat, as if the Batcave thermostat is up too high, and his attempts at droll humour and older-generation wisdom make his Batman look stately and marginal. Maybe we should get George Clooney back for the role.”
A disappointing main villain - Collider (unscored)
“The barebones story that we get lacks stakes because we don’t really know most of these characters and Steppenwolf suuuuuucks. I was expecting Steppenwolf to be dull and easily disposable, but I didn’t think he would be this atrocious. I assume he’s CGI because no actor in their right mind would play such a forgettable antagonist, and I hope Hinds got paid well for a guy whose purpose is to steal Mother Boxes and get punched by superheroes. His existence is so perfunctory it borders on self-parody. Of course, you can’t really expect the villain to get his due when even the lead characters barely have enough time to leave an impact.”
The competence of Justice League - Variety (unscored)
“In superhero movies, sheer lively deliver-the-goods competence can be a quality you’re grateful for — or one that seems awesomely innocuous. In Justice League, it’s a little of both. The film is the definition of an adequate high-spirited studio lark: no more, no less. If fans get excited about it, that may mostly be because they’re excited about getting excited. Yet the movie is no cheat. It’s a tasty franchise delivery system that kicks a certain series back into gear.”
A patchwork mess - The Telegraph (1/5)
“But for whatever combination of reasons, the end result is a broken film, swimming in bad CGI and forgettable mayhem, that you can’t imagine any number of rewrites or reshoots could have saved. It can’t even decide how to start, and offers up no less than five introductory scenes, including Bruce Wayne pony-trekking in Iceland, Wonder Woman thwarting a terrorist attack in London, and yet another instance of that DC franchise staple, the slow-motion funeral.”
Don’t forget to check out exactly how much Joss Whedon changed in Justice League’s final cut – and see if it explains anything...
Image: Warner Bros.