This will be an attempt at a spoiler-free review. The only references I will make will be things that are found in the trailers. I think I can review this movie without even talking about the major plot points.
The short answer is I didn’t hate it.
The movie was okay. But it was really too convoluted. The major overarching plot felt drowned out by all of the very quick attempts at character development for those characters we had yet to see in a DC movie. Some of the development was done better than others, so because the characters basically drove this movie, I want to review it by how well I felt like they were developed and represented. I will only be reviewing those shown on movie posters and portrayed in the trailers.
Batman – I didn’t watch Batman vs. Superman. I think I was sick or something when my husband went to go see it. When he came back unimpressed, I decided to remove it from my to-watch list. I did watch a YouTube video that recapped all of the movies leading up to the Justice League, and it looks like I didn’t miss much. In fact, it looked like BVS was pretty convoluted, itself. I’m pretty familiar with the Batman story, so I felt pretty good on that front.
In this movie, he was….weird. Maybe it’s because Christian Bale will always be Batman for me, but he didn’t really convince me. It just fell flat, especially any of his comedic lines. I know he was at the pivotal points throughout this movie, but he just wasn’t really memorable or even felt necessary.
Wonder Woman – This is why I watched Justice League. Wonder Woman’s standalone summer film was phenomenal. And I was excited to see her in action once again. But some of her emotional moments felt stunted. I just think they could have taken more time to develop her transition from being a loner for basically the last century to being part of this team. Still, she kicked butt, but I hope they take time in the future to let her character really breathe into the scenes.
Aquaman – Jason Momoa was amazing in this character. When I heard that Aquaman was going to join the Justice League, all I could think of was the Aquaman from the Big Bang Theory.
But this Aquaman was much more fascinating. I know that his standalone movie is coming out next year, but I think it might have been better to come out before Justice League (but I can see why they didn’t, considering my above assumption). His story was drowned out by the other characters (pun definitely intended). I didn’t know why he did the things he did, why he was angry, why he was a loner. I know these questions will probably be answered next year, but I think it would have strengthened this story’s plot.
The Flash – Ah, the comic relief. That was pretty much apparent in the trailers, and Barry Allen’s lines did not disappoint. I think they tried too hard to get parts of his story into this movie when they really didn’t need to. They could have done what Marvel did with Spiderman in Civil War, just introduce his character. And then they could have done his standalone easily afterward. His origin parts just over saturated a lot of the plot, when other things needed to be deepened and explained more.
Cyborg – By far the best character development of the three new characters. It helped that his story arch coincided with the main plot of the movie, but I actually enjoyed watching his character grow from a loner to a team player. I think they could have spent time on his origin story, which I heard that they shot but didn’t use. But still, his introduction was done the best. Of course, I can’t go into details because it is so tightly wrapped into the main plot.
I think DC is rushing things way too much, and I don’t really see why. They don’t need to catch up to Marvel. They can take this at a much slower pace than they are. They have a great structure in a lot of the characters (except for Batman, that is just a confusing, deadpan mess), and I really think this could be something great. I also heard that they had a two-hour cap on this movie which is why a lot of things were cut. I don’t think that helped at all.
As far as profanity, violence and sexual content, it’s pretty clean. And the ideas of teamwork and believing in yourself are throughout the movie (although, again, better character development would have made these themes stronger). Also, the actors were phenomenal (though the jury is still out on Batman – not sure if it’s a writers thing or an actor thing). I think this movie would be a great RedBox night, but not really worth seeing in the theaters. There are so many great movies coming out this year that I would save your money on this one. I would give it three out of five stars.