After much anticipation, Justice League reviews have landed on the internet and critics are branding the Batman v Superman follow-up “embarrassing”, “boring” and “a mess”. Reviews for DC’s biggest tentpole superhero film have not been what many would have hoped for. Some critics have highlighted the fun in some scenes, an apparent improvement on the bad reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s super-seriousness, but ultimately the movie has been criticised and poorly received with 1 and 2-star reviews dominating.
If this was the best DC could do in synthesising all their lead characters together into one ensemble spectacular, after a half-decade of planning, that’s pretty damning. Justice League is such a misguided mess—often feeling entirely unguided—that you want to intervene, softly saying, “Stop, stop, you don’t have to do this, stop.”
It’s breezily fun at times, in a what-the-hey way. But, lumbered with a story that struggles to find resonance beyond its improbable plot devices and preposterous MacGuffinry, Justice League isn’t about to steal Avengers’ super-team crown.
The Hollywood Reporter
Fatigue, repetition and a laborious approach to exposition are the keynotes of this affair, which is also notable for how Ben Affleck, donning the bat suit for the second time, looks like he’d rather be almost anywhere else but here; his eyes and body language make it clear that he’s just not into it. A chore to sit through.
Affleck spreads a pall of dullness over the film. He doesn’t have the implacable, steely ferocity and conviction that Christian Bale had; he seems to have a faint sheen of sweat as if the Batcave thermostat is up too high, and his attempts at droll humour and older-generation wisdom make his Batman look stately and marginal. Maybe we should get George Clooney back for the role.
The plot can’t do much more heavy lifting than that, and it takes all of the movie’s effort just to hold together what feels like a forgotten Justice League of America story where an intergalactic invader comes to ruin everyone’s day. There’s no time or effort put towards character building, giving the team a personality, crafting themes, or challenging expectations. Justice League’s most impressive feat is that it doesn’t completely fall apart before your eyes.
Justice League is better than its joylessly sombre dress rehearsal, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now the “but”…you knew there was a “but” coming, right? But it also marks a pretty steep comedown from the giddy highs of Wonder Woman.
Overall reviews are either average like IGN’s 7/10 score, or negative like Empire’s 2/5 stars. The only positives taken away from any reviews is that the movie is ‘fun’ and the heroes are ‘likeable’. Which isn’t saying much considering we know how hard Warner Brothers and DC were trying to push those specific missing puzzle pieces to smooth over fans.
Justice League is released in UK cinemas on November 17, 2017