Justice League (PG-13)
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher
Running time: 120 minutes
Compared to the unstoppable momentum of fevered fanboy anticipation that greeted the first time we got to see the big screen team up of Marvels biggest heroes in the Avengers. The tent pole of DC’s cinematic universe has coughed and stuttered over the line.
Stung by the criticism of the dour Batman V Superman, they have tried to course correct a tanker that was already full steam ahead and in doing so have ended up with an even bigger mess on their hands. The awkward injections of humour jolt against the sombre tone that was initially the plan. The colour correction that was added after complaints of Dawn of Justice being too dark look like someone has added an Instagram filter to a Hollywood blockbuster.
The entire film feels diluted. The coming together of DC’S most iconic heroes has the potential for so many great cinematic moments but each intro and indeed return are wasted and you’re left with an “oh is that it” feeling. There is no stand out action scenes to rival even Dawn of Justice’s warehouse fight and to botch the scene that brings the Justice League together for the first time is criminal.
Somehow it manages to take the real-life charisma of Jason Mamoa and tone it down. His Aquaman still manages to be one of the better things in the film with one great moment with Wonder Woman’s lasso briefly elevating proceedings. Ezra Miller seems to be having a blast playing The Flash but most of his best scenes have already been spoiled by the trailer. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is surprisingly good considering I viewed him as the weak link of the team. Gadot as Wonder Woman is stripped of all the steel and swagger of her solo outing and reduced to eye candy including one particularly uncomfortable and upskirt shot. Affleck looks like he was stung by the BVS criticism (despite being by far the best thing in that film) and after saying he is looking to leave the role. He looks like he’s mentally checked out already as his Dark Knight sleepwalks through the film.
Ciaran Hinds CGI Steppenwolf looks like a cut scene from a video game. He has the depth of a puddle and is easily one of the worst villains in any comic movie. He needs to get the box, to get the sugar, then the power. However, unlike any other action film, the finale involves a big light in the sky… well except for Transformers…and Avengers…well, Man of Steel but that’s it…oh, Suicide Squad.
The two post-credit scenes are worth sticking around for. One shows a cool moment that nails the tone of what the film should have been and another that hints at a better idea for the sequel that isn’t just another space baddie destroying everything.
2 out of 5
Words - Andy McCarroll @andymc1983