Justice League, the fifth in a four movie culmination from Warner Bros. that seeks to compete with Marvel and The Avengers, will finally release tomorrow.
This is interesting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that the movie has been, essentially, crafted by two directors: Zack Snyder, who directed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was forced by family tragedy to hand the post-production and (super expensive) reshoots over to Joss Whedon, the writer-director of the aforementioned Avengers films.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck, who wants to quit the role; Henry Cavill, an adorable nerd who just gets Superman; Gal Gadot, a controversial star whose support of war crimes has meant a ban on her films in at least three countries; and newcomers Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher, who have appeared to various degrees in other DC Cinematic Universe films, but get fleshed-out for the first time here.
Rotten Tomatoes has yet to reveal the film’s score. But not to worry: here’s a review round-up.
The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, to put it mildly, hated the film: “It’s consistently embarrassing to watch, and features plot holes so yawningly vast they have a kind of Grand Canyon-like splendour: part of you wants to hang around to see what they look like at sunset.” He adds: “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.” A painful 1 star.
The Independent was only a little kinder, stating that the film’s use of character actors left something to be desired: “Director Snyder has some tremendous character actors playing non-superheroes at his disposal but most are used in only the most token way. J.K. Simmons plays Commissioner Gordon but isn’t given the chance to do anything like as much with the role as Gary Oldman did in the Nolan films […] Amy Adams is back as the brilliant investigative journalist and Clark Kent love interest Lois Lane, but she is very much in Superman’s shadow, there to remind Clark of his roots and his identity. So is Diane Lane as Clark’s bereaved mom.” It suggests the film wasn’t thought through, landing it a measly two stars.
The Guardian wasn’t happy, either, stating, “In the end, though, there is something ponderous and cumbersome about Justice League; the great revelation is very laborious and solemn and the tiresome post-credits sting is a microcosm of the film’s disappointment.”
EW thought the film was better than Batman v Superman, damning it with faint praise: “It’s obvious to anyone watching Justice League next to the other DC films that the studio brass handed down a mandate to lighten the mood and make things funnier and more Marvel-y. And, to an extent, Justice League accomplishes that. But it also feels like so much attention was paid to the smaller, fizzier character moments that the bigger picture of the film’s overarching plot was a second or third priority.”
Business Insider said the film was “agonizing” to watch, putting the blame on Zack Snyder. After praising Batman v Superman’s controversial moments, praising things like Jimmie Olsen’s murder as “batsh—," the Business Insider review wishes things were less “dark and complicated.” Actually, the Business Insider review is pretty terrible. No use linking to it.
Forbes, finally, said that Justice League was a “bad movie, but a great time,” liking it for what it could mean for the future of the DCCU but still aware of the movie’s faults: “A lot of what doesn’t work about Justice League are elements that feel like aggressive course corrections from the last few films. Because we all carped about the collateral damage in Man of Steel, most of the action in Justice League is isolated or far from civilian peril. Because we all whined about the over-plotting and grimdark tone of Dawn of Justice, this movie is painfully straightforward and filled with moments of unearned optimism and on-the-nose chats about hope and admiration.”
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