I’ll say it outright: Justice League is probably the most average movie you’ll see in theaters this year. It’s not average in the sense that everything is bland, it’s average in the sense that it has one large positive quality, and one large negative quality, that with their powers combined create a very “meh” reaction to the movie. I would only recommend going to see Justice League if you’re a fan of comics or the heroes involved, mostly because the large positive and negative qualities revolve around those two things.
Let’s start with that positive quality. Justice League has a lot of world building to do in a two hour timespan. It must introduce The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman, and try to bring viewers up to speed on what happened in the last movie if you didn’t see it. Funny enough, it manages to do this successfully. It brings each character into the fold with their own unique introduction and backstory in a concise manner that still has moments that feel entirely dedicated to that character. While these moments are quick, they do help set the tone and define that character for the audience. The strengths and best parts of Justice League all lie in moments when the heroes are together or playing off each other. There were some great heroic scenes involving multiple heroes and even some funny banter between them. It was enjoyable to finally see DC’s heroes having some fun and using their abilities to their fullest.
As for the negative, it’s unfortunately the story and villain of Justice League, Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is an unfamiliar comic book villain that audiences will have a difficult time caring about or having any interest in. Even though his backstory is told and he is the main villain against this whole team, he never feels like much of a threat to the film. Steppenwolf is one of the more boring villains and plot points I’ve seen in a super hero movie recently. He gets the job done, but it’s difficult to be invested in him or find him threatening. The only thing that keeps the story bearable and moving is getting to see the Justice League in action.
I was hoping for a better film, especially after the disappointment of Batman V Superman, but Justice League falls short. The film is an improvement and a step in the right direction. It builds the Justice League up, and prepares the team for more fun and adventures down the road. I hope that DC will find its footing and produce a team up film as good as Avengers. We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, we’ll have to settle for this Justice League.