Review: Justice League

Let’s be honest: I really wasn’t planning on seeing Justice League in theaters.  I didn’t particularly care for Man of Steel, I thought Batman v Superman was pretty dumb, and critics largely panned Justice League.  But, Travis thought it’d be fun to see The Last Jedi and Justice League back-to-back (refillable popcorn and soda, right?), so I obliged.

DC did a pretty good job with Wonder Woman, which I rented before seeing Justice League.  Her character is probably the best developed of all of the DC superheros on the big screen, at this rate, as Batman has only appeared in this iteration in one movie, and Superman spent much of his time “becoming Superman” in his first movie that we didn’t really get to see much of the hero himself until Batman v Superman (which was a bad movie).  Of all the characters, the viewer cares about Wonder Woman, whereas most of these rest of these characters are just unlikable.

I shouldn’t go that far: we hadn’t even met Cyborg, Aquaman or Flash before this movie, so we had to “get to know them” for a pretty solid chunk.  All three are…”fine”…but viewers had little reason to be invested in their backstories.  Marvel did a far better job of this in the MCU by breaking out all of the Avengers into their own separate movies before throwing them together against an all-powerful villain.  In Justice League, we spend so much time learning the backstory of Flash, Cyborg and to a lesser degree, Aquaman, that we don’t have much of a reason to care about their presence.

Speaking of “all-powerful villains,” our baddie in this movie was Steppenwolf.  Seriously. Who the heck is Steppenwolf, you may be asking?  Well, besides writing “Born to be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride,” he apparently first appeared in the 1970s and shows up literally “from time to time” in DC comics history.  The Wikipedia entry on this guy illustrates how “not really interesting” this villain is.  Certainly no Lex Luthor or Doomsday (who was utterly wasted in Batman v Superman)…  It’s likely DC only went with Steppenwolf to foretell the appearance of Darkseid, but seriously, DC, what were you thinking?!  An entirely CG character that most people have never heard of as your first villain against your “super team” for what should be the biggest movie in your universe??!!

So yeah, the villain, not so good.  The character development, not so good.  Effects?  Well, the last 30-40 minutes were filmed on a green screen.  Just about literally.  And it was very noticeable.

Ultimately, not a fan of this one.  I really didn’t expect to love it, but glad I saw it so I can rail on it more intelligently.  It definitely had a few comedic lines, but it’s no wonder Ben Affleck wants to run from the franchise as soon as he possibly can…

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