I thought Wonder Woman was very mediocre. It’s held up as a high point of the DC movie series because it was better than the likes of Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, but those dumpster fires make anything placed beside them look like high art.
This mediocrity continues with Justice League. Not a terrible film, not by a long shot. There are a fair smattering of good bits in there, but far more grating and downright stupid elements that put it very firmly in “meh” territory.
**** spoilers ****
I enjoy their films but I am not a Marvel fanboy that will defend them if they put a foot wrong. Incredible Hulk and the first two Thor movies were kinda dull, Iron Man 2 was f**king awful, Captain America: The First Avenger was a waste of a concept and Ant-Man was essentially just Iron Man retold. I do, however, prefer the Marvel movies because, even at their most dire (Iron Man 2), they are telling their story well. Even the most outlandish elements within them make sense. It’s not the same in DC flicks. A lot of content seems to be there because someone, somewhere decided that a particular scene had to take place, not because the story demanded it, but because it was a superhero movie and it needed to be shoehorned in there, regardless of how stupid and illogical it seemed.
For example: Superman gets resurrected in Justice League and, for no sane reason, has a fight with the other heroes. The excuse given is that he doesn’t know who he is. But that makes no sense as he has total mastery over his powers. They put a fight scene in there because they thought they had to, when a simple bit of emotive dialogue would have been far better.
Silly choices like that are rife across all the DC movies. Less so in Justice League, granted, but enough to tarnish it.
Its saving grace is, much to my surprise, Batman. He cracks wise far more than I think is right for the character, but this is undeniably a better Bats than the one we saw in BvS. He’s focused, tactical, very much a general and it’s a joy to see him going about his badass work. The fact that Danny Elfman used the classic ’89 Batman theme just made it all the better and is actually giving me cause to look forward to a solo Batman film set in this cinematic universe. Do I still think Ben Affleck is unsuited for the part? Yes. I would not shed a tear if he left the series.
I found the presence of Aquaman, Cyborg and (especially) The Flash to be actually something of an irritation. They didn’t bring anything to the table that a halfway decent writer couldn’t have easily covered using just Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman. Character surplus is what kills films like this. The only reason The Avengers films work is because of the groundwork that Marvel have laid down before we get to them. DC are suffering by trying to take shortcuts and it’s astonishing that they haven’t worked that out themselves, yet.
I’ve watched Justice League once. I’m glad I did. I’m glad it’s an improvement over the previous films and hope things continue to get better with future instalments. Despite stupid elements, I did not leave the theatre disappointed or angry that my time had been wasted. But there’s nothing drawing me back to watch it again.