At a runtime of two hours, Justice League is a short film in comparison to director Zack Snyder’s previous efforts. That said, it’s two hours too many for this shambles of a comic book movie. It’s a mystery Snyder is still allowed anywhere near these projects given the mess he has already caused in the DC Universe, which has so far been severely disappointing.
It’s difficult to describe the plot given there isn’t really much of one, but simply put, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Ben Affleck) sets out to put together a team of super-humans to fight an alien enemy, headed by the unsubtly CGI’d Steppenwolf. Batman’s team compromises of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).
The movie picks up where last year’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice left off, both narratively and in terms of quality or lack thereof. Snyder clearly hasn’t learned his lessons from the critical response of his previous effort as this is just more of the same loud, over CGI’d and poorly written nonsense that we had to endure last year. The entire film is just one over-egged fight or explosion after the other, much like we have come to recognise with Snyder’s movies. There is absolutely no attention to character detail and there are far too many moments in the movie that leave questions unanswered and the whole thing makes absolutely no sense.
There was a shining light for the DC Universe with the entry of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman which added a bit of colour and charm to what was a bleak cinematic franchise. And you can’t help but feel sorry for Gal Gadot who doesn’t deserve to be in such a mess of a movie after her efforts earlier this year, as she is by far the best thing about Justice League (though that’s not saying much).
Ben Affleck has already discussed leaving the franchise and it’s clear to see in his performance that he isn’t keen on staying there too much longer. Little can be said for the other characters in the movie, as we’re either not offered a a full understanding of them or they are just plain annoying.
This obviously isn’t helped by the shoddy writing of Snyder who is less concerned about making sense of the movie and instead wants to make a giant spectacle of shouting, fighting and blowing things up over and over again. The dialogue is also incredibly poor and nonsensical, again reiterating what a dour job of writing these DC movies Snyder has done.
Yes, Justice League is a superhero movie and therefore shouldn’t be over-analysed, but the Dark Knight movies, along with every Avenger movie, has proved that comic book movies can carry substance and portray more than a vast spectacle. But when a director like Snyder is at the helm, unfortunately that is exactly what we have come to expect and that is what we get from Justice League. Once again, he produces a boring mess of a superhero movie which deserves so much better.