Review Roundup: Does Ben Affleck Led JUSTICE LEAGUE Live Up to the Hype?
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes-Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash-it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Directed by Zack Snyder, this marks the big screen debut of the Justice League, featuring an all-star lineup: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher. Justice League is written by Chris Terrio, based on a story by Terrio and Zack Snyder, based on characters from DC Entertainment, with Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, with Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curt Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck executive producing.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, Justice League. It will be released in theaters beginning November 17, 2017, and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Before it hits theaters this Friday, let's see what the critics have to say about the highly anticipated action film!
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times: "Mr. (Zack) Snyder (the director) remains regrettably committed to a dark, desaturated palette that borders on the murky, and this movie's chaotic, unimaginative action scenes can drag on forever. But the touches of humor in JUSTICE LEAGUE lighten the whole thing tonally and are a relief after the dirge like BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, which he ran into the ground with a two-and-a-half-hour running time. (JUSTICE LEAGUE clocks in at a not-exactly fleet two hours.) Written by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, the new movie shows a series that's still finding its footing as well as characters who, though perhaps not yet as ostensibly multidimensional as Marvel's, may be more enduring (and golden). It has justice, and it has banter. And while it could have used more hanging out, more breeziness, it is a start."
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: "But once in awhile, there comes along something so egregiously bad that trying to find something good to say about it is its own kind of cruelty; such an obvious act of reaching only highlights the production's garish dimensions, its abject failures. And, worse still, it can encourage more. In these instances, pure and unadorned honesty is really the only way to go, difficult as it may be to deliver. And so, dear JUSTICE LEAGUE, I must say that no, the lighting is not good. The script is not interesting. The costumes are not fun. The film is, plainly stated, terrible, and I'M SORRY that everyone wasted their time and money making it-and that people are being asked to waste their time and money seeing it. I hate to be so blunt, but it simply must be said this time."
Owen Gleiberman, Variety: "In superhero movies, sheer lively deliver-the-goods competence can be a quality you're grateful for - or one that seems awesomely innocuous. In JUSTICE LEAGUE, it's a little of both. The film is the definition of an adequate high-spirited studio lark: no more, no less. If fans get excited about it, that may mostly be because they're excited about getting excited. Yet the movie is not cheat. It's a tasty franchise delivery system that kicks a certain series back into gear."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "The chemistry between the old and new castmembers being the main one, thanks to Whedon and co-writer Chris Terrio. And the handful of call-back cameos from Amy Adams' Lois Lane, Diane Lane's Martha Kent, and Connie Nielsen's Queen Hippolyta are all welcome without overstaying that welcome (the same goes for newcomers like J.K. Simmons' Commissioner Gordon). It's obvious to anyone watching JUSTICE LEAGUE next to the other DC films that the studio brass handed down a mandate to lighten the mood and make things funnier and more Marvel-y. And, to an extent, JUSTICE LEAGUE accomplishes that. But it also feels like so much attention was paid to the smaller, fizzier character moments that the bigger picture of the film's overarching plot was a second or third priority. Some day, hopefully soon, DC will get the recipe right again and duplicate WONDER WOMAN's storytelling magic. But today isn't that day, and JUSTICE LEAGUE unfortunately isn't that film. C+"
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "Garishly unattractive to look at and lacking the spirit that made WONDER WOMAN, which came out five months ago, the most engaging of Warner Bros.' DC Comics-derived extravaganzas to date, this hodgepodge throws a bunch of superheroes into a mix that neither congeals nor particularly makes you want to see more of them in future. Plainly put, it's simply not fun...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...Of the main performers, only Gadot pops from the screen at all. For now, her Wonder Woman looks to be the savior of Batman and Superman, though you may end up wondering why she's wasting her time."
David Edelstein, Vulture: "Back to the movie, which is okay, no big deal. The studio has obviously called for the elimination of the bloat that disfigured MAN OF STEEL and especially BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, but now (I hesitate to write this) the new superheroes' backstories go by too quickly. The uninitiated won't know what's going on and the initiated will find the introductions of Aquaman, Cyborg, and THE FLASH all too perfunctory. You need one of the lineage charts you get in books about the tsars or English kings...Good action would compensate for much, but although Snyder's compositions and color palette are often virtuosic, I'm tired of the lyrical, CGI-dominant, slo-mo, almost abstract style in which you can't tell who's whomping or stabbing or somersaulting over whom. I'd GIVE up some lyricism for clarity - I'm boring that way. I enjoyed Superman's resurrection, in part because it brought back happy memories of Buffy's return from the dead, and in part because Cavill's clear face reads better than anyone else's but Gadot's. By the way, she is very good."
Tasha Robinson, The Verge: "...JUSTICE LEAGUE winds up feeling so much like a straw poll for viewers, with a mishmash of everything they might want, all run together. WONDER WOMAN fans may show up for the kick-ass flashback to a world-scale Amazon battle (complete with some fan-service DC cameos) and an extended Themyscira sequence, but there are also a disconcerting number of Wonder Woman upskirt shots for the disrespectful horndogs in the audience. Fans of melancholy heroic angst have Cyborg fussing over his lost humanity; fans of mindless action have him blasting and beating whatever gets in his way, his previous concerns dropped, unaddressed and unacknowledged. It's a Zack Snyder movie and a Joss Whedon movie, which may ultimately work better for audiences than a pure project from one or the other, given that both men have their fans and their detractors. It's just a pity they couldn't have consciously worked together to create a cohesive, coherent vision that merged their sensibilities thoroughly, instead of this back-and-forth tug of war that seems to be perpetually checking in with the audience: "Is this what you want? How about this instead?""
Photo Credit: JUSTICE LEAGUE Official Facebook Page