After trying to and meaning to watch it for ages, I finally watched Justice League.
It is ok, I guess. It does a reasonably good job with what it needs to do, but when you compare it with something like Infinity War it’s just so leaden and lacking in fun or energy or consequence.
I didn’t find it terrible, it’s probably a solid 7/10 action movie, but at the end of it all I just wasn’t that involved in the fate of anyone.
In many ways, that’s not really the fault of the movie itself, but of everything it’s tasked with doing.
While Infinity War needed to juggle its huge cast of characters, Justice League needs to actually introduce half of them. It needs to be the big team-up denouement, while at the same time being an origin movie for Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg - and also for the Mother Boxes and for Steppenwolf. (Luckily, his name didn’t make me laugh as much as it did when reading about the movie).
The guys playing them seem fine, and there are a couple of funny moments with Flash and Aquaman. Cyborg is the character I know the least and that sounded least interesting, but the idea of a character who is losing his humanity and only half in control of his own body is interesting… but doesn’t really have enough time to be fleshed out properly.
Flash and Aquaman are funny, but their action scenes aren’t that great. It was never really clear what Aquaman’s powers were, except fighting stuff, and Flash’s power scenes weren’t half as fun as some of the Quicksilver ones in X-men.
Batman was odd. I like the idea of Ben Affleck as an aging batman, but it lead to the problem of him not being a half as powerful as everyone else, and so needing to use a big slow lumbering tank. Which kind of summed up the problem with the action scenes in the movie.
Infinity War was Spidey zipping around through portals and Starlord jumping across asteroids, Justice League was a black bat tank slowly climbing the wall in a dark sewer pipe.
Wonder Woman was great as always, though there was a bit of a sense that the film was neutering her in order to set up the need for a return of Superman.
The best action scene in the movie was her in London at the beginning (although it seemed like that should have been at the end of the movie, and it made no sense as they kept talking about her being in Paris).
The following is in spoiler tags only if you aren’t aware or can’t guess who is in the Justice League but absent from all the posters, but it’s unlikely to be a surprise:
The re-introduction of Superman is also a problem. The scenes of the world in mourning for him are quite cool, but the idea that the world went to hell just because he died is pretty dumb. The idea o him being universally loved seems odd considering the first 2 superman movies didn’t paint him in the usual Superman light. The lengths to which Wayne will go to bring him back seem jarring considering he just spent the last movie trying to get rid of him… and the idea that he’s the only one who can help is a bit jarring considering Batman went toe-to-toe with him for half of the last movie.
But mainly it’s that they dis-rail the pacing of the movie by side-tracking things into a quest to resurrect him, rather than actually fighting Steppenwolf. Given that the movie needs to do all the origin-stuff for both the heroes and the bad guys, taking an hour out in the middle to do something else seems like a bad idea. Plus, when they bring him back he’s basically classic goody-superman, which is not how he was portrayed in the first 2 movies.
Plus, when he came back (and made WW look a bit weak in the process) he basically beat Steppenwolf without breaking a sweat and made the whole thing feel rather anti-climactic.
Steppenwolf was rather dull generic and leaden as a bad guy. I know a lot of supervillains end up like that, but watching this after Thanos it’s such a dramatic difference. He sounded a bit bored for most of the movie, and his entire character was just “get the boxes / i like war and invading”.
All in all, it’s a workmanlike movie that goes through the motions of what seems to be needed expected, but rarely does it with much zip or flair. And in the end I found that I just wasn’t really that involved in what was going on on screen.
(Loads of weak CGi and a few places where you could tell things had been re-shot or re-ordered).
Looking forward to Wonder Woman 2 though…