Oh, come on, DC! You did it so right with Wonder Woman, and this was your chance to really bring things home with your superhero universe! You blew it!
Justice League is a full-blown, expensive mess where some of our favorite superheroes battle an apocalyptic force while two seriously different directors, Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, battle with their filmmaking styles.
It’s no big secret that Zack Snyder (who created two execrable duds with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) had to leave late in production due to family reasons. Joss Whedon (The Avengers) stepped in for post-production and major reshoots. The resultant catastrophe is like a swig of boxed wine that has been left out in the sun for three weeks, chased with a big chug of Sunny Delight. Neither is a taste sensation you want in your face.
The action picks up after the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), with Batman (Ben Affleck) still brooding while observing Gotham being invaded by bug-like alien creatures. It turns out they’re the envoys of Steppenwolf, the very worst special effects/CGI bad guy you will see ever in a big budget blockbuster.
Steppenwolf is shoddy CGI that looks like the late singer of Alice and Chains had sex with a California Raisin, and then their offspring had sex with a Meat Loaf album cover. Finally, the Meat Loaf album cover baby had sex with an Atari video game console from the early ’80s that had an E.T. game still stuck in it. That ugly-as-shit offspring went for a walk in Hollywood and crossed paths with Zack Snyder, who—for some ungodly reason—put a dopey helmet on it and screamed, “Behold, my next film’s villain!”
Anyway, Steppenwolf comes to Earth looking for the Mother Boxes, the DC Universe’s version of the Marvel Universe’s Infinity Stones. They combine to rule all worlds, or some bullshit. Batman thinks this is bad, so he gathers the planet’s superheroes, including Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg, a.k.a. The Worst Superhero Ever (Ray Fisher).
A big piece of the blockbuster puzzle is missing with Superman six feet under, so Batman decides to bring his corpse back to that ship where Lex Luthor made Doomsday out of Michael Shannon. It made no sense in Batman v Superman, and it makes no sense now but, yes, Superman comes back, Jesus-style, in this movie, and the only thing that looks worse than Steppenwolf in this flick is Henry Cavill’s freaky face.
Cavill had a beard during reshoots, so they had to digitally remove that for much of his footage. To say that his face looks altered would be an understatement. This is a very handsome man we are talking about, but he looks wonky for much of his screen time, like his face is a high definition video trying to upload with a 3G network on an older cellular phone. He looks all smudgy and garbled. It’s not a good look for him—major combination skin problem.
OK, back to the stupid movie. The Justice League gets together and predictably battles Steppenwolf in a sequence that offers no surprises and features more terrible special effects and editing. It isn’t only Steppenwolf and Henry Cavill who look like shit in this movie. The humans don’t blend at all with the CGI melee and always look stuck into an unwieldy gigabyte maelstrom. It’s hard on the eyes.
Gadot still rocks as Wonder Woman in her every moment on screen, and Miller makes for a fun Flash. Affleck seems a bit tired of the Batman role. Momoa is just a wisecracker Aquaman, and Fisher is dreary as Cyborg. The Superman parts could’ve been so cool, but damn it if his uneven face doesn’t distract. It really brings out his teeth in a bad way; they are frighteningly pointy. He looks like a scary Superman vampire.
Whedon was handed a morose mess by Snyder, and he didn’t have enough time and post-production talent to save the enterprise. The few moments where the film brings a smile have everything to do with Whedon, and nothing to do with Snyder, who seriously needs to move onto other projects.