DC’s main event is a mostly enjoyable one with a few noticeable caveats. Character dynamics shine brightest, the league is rounded out by lots of charismatic moments. Each hero has a few scenes that help solidify their personalities and contributions to the group. These moments, like Flash and the speed force or Wonder Woman foiling terrorists, these are excellent scenes. There are certainly questionable moments that could have been edited out, seeing as this movie was supposedly edited down from 2 hours and 50 minutes to just shy of 2 hours. While the CGI is annoying, the villain isn’t memorable, and the story isn’t anything new, there’s still plenty to enjoy in Justice League and enough to recommend to comic fans and general film-goers.
For being a film that’s easily the shortest of what DC has produced (clocking in at 1 hour and 59 minutes) there are still a few scenes that could have been edited out or changed. These scenes usually include overlong establishing shots (fueled by CGI) and unnecessary backstory. I think the majority of Cyborg’s scenes, in particular, could have been drastically edited. The same could be said for Batman, whom plays a pivotal role. He is a strange outlier that fulfills a role but could have been utilized so much better.
The fuel to the film comes with Wonder Woman, yet again stealing each scene she’s in, but not without a little help from her friends. She’s clearly the brightest point for DC’s films and she’s once again a favorite. Her dynamic with each character is excellent and rather fun. There’s another individual that also is a scene-stealer, but I’ll leave this character to the imagination. For huge DC fans, you already know who I’m talking about. To round out the cast I found The Flash to be surprisingly good but with some misfire moments. Aquaman was a little underdeveloped but I always enjoyed his presence.
The aesthetic of the film is a synthesis between Zack Snyder’s direction and Joss Whedon’s writing, one that works rather well. Snyder has excellent use of slow motion, but the CGI is on the jarring side by how much of the film is dominated by it. Whedon has a knack for character interactions, which are a high point of the film for me. Whedon also has a few misfire moments that seemed like sloppy-seconds or rejected lines from the Avengers. These pros and cons balance out and the good does overshadow the bad overall.
Steppenwolf ends up not being a horrible villain, but a forgettable one with not a whole lot of development other than being a baddie to fight. Danny Elfman’s score is also hugely forgettable and disservices the themes established in this universe. While is Flash theme is a good one, the last time his soundtrack has resonated was back when he did Spider-Man with Sam Raimi in 2002. The pacing to the film is a little off in the first act but does find somewhat of a stride near the middle of the second act. This is a similar issue to how BvS was structured, though this film is a little more coherent. There are some boring and predictable moments, but once the film gets into gear you aren’t really too concerned.
Most action sequences are electric and the utilization of the characters is great. I love their dynamic with one another and they each have likable and solidified personalities. It remains to be seen where the DC cinematic universe will traverse next. There are plenty of directions to go and two great after credit sequences that fans will salivate over. DC fans will have plenty to enjoy, general filmgoers will notice the flaws but still be entertained. Justice League is pretty by the books super hero movie with some exceptional moments and has enough personality to warrant your attention.