Justice League (2017)
November 17, 2017 12:35 PM - Subscribe

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince assemble a team of metahumans consisting of Barry Allen, Arthur Curry, and Victor Stone to face the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and the Parademons who are on the hunt for three Mother Boxes on Earth.

Here are a couple review round ups:

posted by kittensofthenight (42 comments total)
There's a lot to talk about but did anyone else get distracted by the re-shoots inter-cutting jokes into scenes filmed on location? I really want to talk about that.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:39 PM on November 17, 2017

I watched this last night and really enjoyed it. I was pretty worried going in; I love these characters and was really bummed out by how bad Batman vs. Superman had been. I think they've managed a minor miracle in the way the tone has shifted in this movie.

Most of the reviews I've seen have commented on the crummy CGI in a few scenes -- there is one in particular, when Steppenwolf is attacking Cyborg, that made me think of Ray Harryhausen. But generally those are blink and miss, and didn't detract from the film as a whole for me. I also heard a lot about Henry Cavill's moustache being awkwardly CGI'd out, but didn't notice anything weird while watching (granted I didn't realize that Peter Cushing had been CGI'd into Rogue One, so I may just be really bad at detecting the uncanny valley).

I really enjoyed the humour, which felt pretty organic to me. The scene where Flash realizes that Superman can see him moving at superspeed was really great. The battles were exciting, and you could generally tell what was going on in them... they weren't hopelessly hyperkinetic.

Yes, the villain and the mcguffins were relatively weak, but not damagingly so.

Overall I'd say this was at least as good as Avengers: Age of Ultron, and at least as charming/funny as Thor: Ragnarok.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've added Mark Kermode's review. Spoiler alert: he didn't like it. Not in as epic a way as that in which he didn't like Sex & the City 2 or Entourage: The Movie, but it's not a positive review.
posted by Grangousier at 5:36 PM on November 17, 2017

I'm still surprised by how enjoyable it was. Part of it is that I did not see BvS, but JL is the aftermath/reaction to that film. So for me, it's like coming in on the third chapter of a story: events have already occurred, characters have met and we're just catching up.

The general tone also helps in the sense that it clearly loves and adores Wonder Woman and that's the exact right take to have. Seriously, Gal Gadot just lights up the screen as WW, it's a sheer pleasure to see her inhabit the character. It also helps that Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman is a great foil.

He's consumed by the guilt of his paranoia about Superman and the stark realization that Supes is the better man because he does something Bats can't, inspire hope in people. Bruce Wayne may be filthy rich and a force of nature as Batman, but that doesn't compare to Superman's simple and innate goodness.

Combine all the with movie's simple premise that keeps the plot moving, an engaging cast with good chemistry and thankfully short running time of two hours and the film is surprisingly fun.

Sure, it's got problems and plot holes, but there's still a lot to like. Jason Moma absolutely kills it as a surfer bro type Aquaman, Ezra Miller shines as the naive Flash and have mentioned Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in the past two minutes?

The movie is no Thor: Ragnarok and could have used less action and more character development. But overall it's good entertainment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

I agree completely, Brandon Blatcher. I didn't see BvS either, and have no intention of doing so. I wonder if seeing that movie just casts a pall on everything that comes after.

I liked that Danny Elman was able to work his Batman theme and John Williams's Superman theme into the score. I wish he'd been able to include his Flash theme just to round out the set.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:31 PM on November 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was ready to love this, and I didn't hate it, but I for sure thought it would be better than it was -- we didn't even stay for the post-credit scene. Part of my reaction is because I viscerally dislike Superman, at least the Zach Snyder version of Supes. And I'm a MASSIVE fan of the DC/JL animated series, too.

Cyborg made me terribly sad. I completely loved Aquaman and will be first in line to see that standalone film when it comes out. The Amazon costume reworkings weren't as distracting or insulting as reviewers made them out to be, which was great! I also loved that Flash was the audience stand-in for "omg, this is really happening, why am I even in the same room as these guys?"

Overall, it was a decent film. I'd probably rate it a B or B-, while I made efforts to see WW four times in the theater and bought the streaming and special box set editions the same day. I found BvS to be... well... I guess if anyone was going to make a softcore porn about Bats and Supes, this was the highly edited version. It was so full of weird lore (parademons from this film were initially introduced in BvS) but also just so dark and depressing that I couldn't believe they allowed Snyder to put out a three-hour film release. So when I saw parademons here, I was surprised that we didn't get more Apokalips or Darkseid stuff. (I guess that we may see that in the future?)

CGI Steppenwolf was meh. I didn't particularly care for Ultron much, but I'll grant you we got some insight into the villain's motivation there. Same for Lex Luthor in BvS. I got nothing from this villain, and still couldn't tell you shit about his background or reason for doing anything other than generic CGI bad guy that somehow even WW cannot kill. (and she is a goddess, ffs.)

I do think Affleck's portrayal of Batman is incredibly realistic and true-to-character, though. In my mind, Bats was inevitably going to end up a bloated, occasionally alcoholic loner who found himself terribly lonely in between all his epic bad-guy battles. There's a world-weariness in Affleck's version that rings really true to me that we didn't get from Bale or Keaton. Keaton played the character with wry humor; Bale was an impenetrable wall of muscle. Affleck, I think, is doing a great job with Bats. I am just sick to death of his, Supes and Spidey's origin stories being trotted out like an intro-to-comics beauty pageant every 3-5 years. Let's see different characters, new stories, etc. that haven't already been adapted to death, and I'm fully on board.

I was also put off by WW and others having the kind of fighting style in this film that rendered them little more than elastic, blurry CGI characters. The action in WW was far more realistic. What's the point of showing her incredible fighting style if you're just going to edit it so choppily or use blurry CGI to the point where it looks like a ridiculously expensive cartoon? Meh. I feel like an old man yelling at the sky now, so yeah, I liked it. But not enough to see it again in the theater or purchase a copy for posterity.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

This movie was all over the place. It felt like they have all the pieces of a good movie but rushed it out without polishing or putting it together/fleshing it out out enough. The post credit scenes were awesome though! Cautiously existed about what they portend.
posted by asra at 6:31 PM on November 18, 2017

I was really ready to hate this but ended up liking it quite a bit. Yeah the villain was pretty laughably underwritten but I thought that the ensemble worked really well together and the action scenes were generally much better than is usual with these movies. I even liked the Batfleck but liked even more how the other "real" superheros kept making fun of him.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on November 18, 2017

I'll have to think on what I wanna say a bit more. But I really want to immediately stress that holy hell that certain of Deathstroke is just NOPE. What's with the wimpy plasticy outfit? And the white hair looked so silly! I know he's got white hair in the comics, but he doesn't have such artificial looking hair and Joe Manganiello's not-old face. They can learn a lot from Manu Bennett's grizzled version on Arrow.
posted by numaner at 7:34 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh and this is my favorite Danny Elfman score in a while.
posted by octothorpe at 7:46 PM on November 18, 2017

So, I saw this movie basically about 3 hours after I finished watching BvS. There are stark differences that actually makes this movie much better. I still rate it lower than Wonder Woman, as well as most of the Marvel films.

The Bad:
- Cavill and Adams are still dull and Diane Lane should be in every scene with them. Thankfully because of everything else in this movie there were not many moments of them two.
- I was hoping for more of a payoff with the Russian(?) family living in fear next to ground zero of crazy alien stuff. They could've been written out of the movie entirely and you wouldn't have missed anything. If you need some sense of urgency for Flash and Supes to go save civilians as the thing spreads, you could've wedged any other family running for their lives in that moment for a minute or so to get some audience connection. I was expecting just more and getting saved by the Flash was just not enough of an emotional payoff.
- How convenient that the Flash suddenly overcame his fear of bugs and was able to run around knocking a whole bunch of them down.
- Ben Affleck did not get across a world-weary Batman for me. I think he makes for a better Batman than Bruce Wayne, and most of that is because of his stature. I understand that these movies required an older Bruce Wayne who's cranky and tired, but Affleck is not a good enough actor to do that. I actually think they should've brought back George Clooney, how he looks now, for this role, and just have someone else don the mask for the physical stuff. I actually liked Affleck in The Accountant, because he has a knack for being offputting and weird, but not for Bruce Wayne.
- Steppenwolf was forgettable.
- That tunnel crawler has got to be the most useless Bat vehicle. It looks cool but anything that moves that slow in tunnels should not be brought to a fight.
- I was warming up to Jason Momoa's standoffish only-looking-out-for-my-people attitude when he was telling Bruce Wayne off. But then they slowly tried to make him too cool. Like I know the stereotype with Aquaman is that he's the least cool of the JL, but this felt like they were overcompensating.
- They could've also cut out Martha Kent letting the house foreclosed and Bruce helping them out-- actually, I'm pretty sure they did that entire arc just for the "I bought the bank" joke at the end. It's a very tired rich guy joke. I don't think it added much to how sad Martha was. Like, she's been in mourning, we know, but it's hard to imagine Lois and Bruce letting her let the house be foreclosed.

The Good:
- If some of the above points seemed nitpicky, that's because they are! A lot of this movie was done well.
- Gal Gadot was just phenomenal, like, out of all the bad casting decisions WB has made, casting her as WW almost makes up for all of them.
- Did they just have completely different writers for this movie than the last one? BvS felt like they decided to write the best lines for Laurence Fishburne (and I wouldn't be surprised if most of that was improved), and then one guy went home, got drunk and real emotional, and typed up the rest the night before shooting (the "you will" line still haunts me). The dialog in JL was way more organic and real! Like, yes, this is probably what a bunch of superheroes would say to each other. Like someone pulled people from Avengers over to write this.
- Even if you can't see Ezra Miller as Barry Allen (I'm still trying to detach from Grant Gustin, he's done a heck of a job, even at the show's low point, to embody the Flash), he delivered the hell out of those lines, and the comedy timing is just great.
- Speaking of, holy shit I was not expecting the humor! Like, Ben Affleck can be funny, and those moments of Batman being funny worked with him. When he wore the mask, he was a great foil for Gal Gadot. And yes, I cracked up hard at The Flash's face when Superman followed him with his eyes.
- Aquaman and Wonder Woman made for a pretty decent fighting team. I enjoyed them in the climatic battle, and it wasn't a blurry mess! Jason Momoa did a pretty good job with the comedy too. My gripe about them overcompensating making him too cool didn't distract too much from the overall character.
- I had more complaints about the Flash, but when you really think about it, this was his introductory movie, so he still have a ways to go. The tripping while he's running, the lack of combat experience, while those seemed plot-convenient, made sense when you think of him as a self-contained character vs against the rest of the group.
- I wanted more Cyborg in combat, but I understand there are budgetary constraints. Although it's not what I'm used to with Cyborg, it was still interesting and gave the character more background than I actually expected.
- The best part about this movie is that Zack Snyder seemed to have actually taken some critical reviews to heart and made the whole thing brighter. It wasn't grimdark all the time, it wasn't so damn hard to see the action in the dark, and I actually saw details of Batman's outfit!

The Ugly:
- Seriously, that's a terrible, terrible, rendition of Deathstroke. And on top of how much I already don't like Eisenberg as Luthor, I suspect the Legion of Doom is going to just look like shit.
posted by numaner at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Oh yeah, I really liked the score too! Danny Elfman does great work.
posted by numaner at 9:38 PM on November 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Joss Whedon rewrote some of the dialogue and directed some of the reshoots after Snyder left the film due to his daughter dying. Not exactly sure Whedon did, I read somewhere that the editor of the film credited Joss for about 15-20% of the film.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:09 AM on November 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seriously, that's a terrible, terrible, rendition of Deathstroke

Oh, that's who that is. I was wondering why Deadpool was in a DC movie. I'm probably not the only one who was confused.
posted by octothorpe at 4:46 AM on November 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Deadpool was originally created by Marvel as a parody of DC’s Deathstroke.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:09 AM on November 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

More specifically, Deadpool was created by the much-maligned artist Rob Liefeld as a Deathstroke parody; although arguably he's a parody of the Walking Armory trope (Deathstroke co-creator George Perez also co-created the Ravager, a role shared by two of Deathstroke's children, and Marvel's Taskmaster, all of them Walking Armories with a lot of blue and orange in their costumes), he's more obviously based on Deathstroke because of the name. It's not the first time that Liefeld has "borrowed" someone else's characters; his creator-owned characters Supreme, Glory, and Prophet are basically Captains Ersatz of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America, respectively, and, like Deadpool, were better served by other comics creators (for the three above: Alan Moore, Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell, and Brandon Graham, respectively). Relative to this thread, it should be super-interesting if Liefeld decides to take these characters to the movies.

Oh, and just to bring things full-circle, DC came up with Red Tool as a Take That.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:45 PM on November 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

Overall I'd say this was at least as good as Avengers: Age of Ultron, and at least as charming/funny as Thor: Ragnarok.

Jeez...really? I haven't seen it yet as it isn't available for illegal download, but that is certainly not the impression I'm getting about it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:49 PM on November 19, 2017

I withhold final judgement until I can see it in English, per usual, but it wasn’t as bad as I feared; from the trailers I thought all of Themyscira was going to get fridged. Then again, BvS set a pretty low bar.

The dolts running the booth on auto play forgot to turn off the lights for the first 5 minutes, so was that cellphone video of Supes with the hideously obvious CGI mustache removal as bad as I thought, or were the lights just accentuating it?
posted by romakimmy at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2017

Best cameo: Hal's ring.
posted by The Tensor at 10:02 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Zack Snyder Fans Petition for the Release of His Cut of Justice League (which probably doesn't actually exist in any finished form)
posted by octothorpe at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2017

The dolts running the booth on auto play forgot to turn off the lights for the first 5 minutes, so was that cellphone video of Supes with the hideously obvious CGI mustache removal as bad as I thought, or were the lights just accentuating it?

I seriously thought in that was a different actor and they were doing a superman movie within the movie. Didn't even look like Henry Cavill. What an awful way to start the movie.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:10 AM on November 20, 2017

from the trailers I thought all of Themyscira was going to get fridged.

[ slight spoilers]

It's not so! Not worse than the usual massive death counts of most Snyder films. The queen lives!
posted by numaner at 1:34 PM on November 20, 2017

Most of the action scenes, except, surprisingly enough, the one in the tunnel, looked far too full of CGI and with a very ugly color palette that made it look like low-resolution cinematics from the Injustice video games. They brought hackery to the Amazon island. There was no stakes or drama to most of the fight scenes. So my favorite part of the bit with the Amazons was when an entire horde of them descended as reinforcements in defense of their queen- that was badass.

There's a lot to talk about but did anyone else get distracted by the re-shoots inter-cutting jokes into scenes filmed on location? I really want to talk about that.

I think that was most grating and apparent during the final fight sequence. There were shots with Wonder Woman oddly looking up and focused as if she was popping up from a Skype call.

Part of my reaction is because I viscerally dislike Superman, at least the Zach Snyder version of Supes. And I'm a MASSIVE fan of the DC/JL animated series, too.

I thought the movie did a fine job of making the title characters of Batman v. Superman look like jackholes. Though Batman did come off as slightly more principled and reasoned than in the previous film.

Ben Affleck did not get across a world-weary Batman for me. I think he makes for a better Batman than Bruce Wayne, and most of that is because of his stature.

I disagree, simply because his chin looked too schlubby and not chiseled enough.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:07 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

what?? no. Ragnorok was amazing. This movie is alright. Fight me.
posted by numaner at 11:18 AM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

JL was surprisingly enjoyable but not even in the same league (sorry) as Thor.
posted by octothorpe at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

a lot of fans are not happy with what Joss Whedon has done with Justice League, saying that he didn’t stay true to Zack Snyder’s intended vision

"A lot of passengers on the bus out of the movie Speed are not happy with what Keanu Reeves did to their journey, saying he didn't stay true to Dennis Hopper's intended vision."
posted by Grangousier at 1:47 PM on November 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

That article has been updated and now says:

[UPDATE] SuperBroMovies has taken down their article. For now, it looks like Joss Whedon is still attached to direct Batgirl.
posted by octothorpe at 3:21 PM on November 22, 2017

Well, maybe the movie would've been less bad or less incoherent if it stuck to one vision or another, not saying that both visions were equally good. It's sorta like when you combine Professor X and Magneto you get this guy.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:41 PM on November 22, 2017

I went in with low expectations because of all the reasons, and I really enjoyed it. The villain, his plan and the generic Mother boxes was certainly no worse than similar generic villains and plans in many Marvel movies (amorphous black power-goo, anyone?) but fortunately most of the movie was taken up with interactions among the team members.

I forgot to look for Henry Cavill's Digital Lip, and did not notice anything weird about his face (other than his teeth are super white but a bit crooked). And geez, he definitely proved it wasn't the costume doing the work on his physique. Those lats - holy shit!

I liked all the interplay among the team. I thought the fight scenes were reasonably well-staged and not over-long. I thought Cyborg was going to be a bit of a dry potato character-wise, but I thought his earnestness and the way Ray Fisher played him was actually quite engaging.

This was way better than Age of Ultron, and I think I enjoyed it more than the first Avengers movie, about which I remember almost nothing specific except for the shawarma scene at the end.

I'm not sure where a lot of the pre-hate for this movie is coming from, except possibly people hate Zach Snyder's earlier movies (fair enough) and Joss Whedon has fallen from grace (fair enough) and Steppenwolf looked like he was rendered in OpenGL (fair enough) but as far as entertainment value, I felt like it delivered more than I expected.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:12 PM on November 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

I definitely noticed something off about Superman's face and thought it was an intentional way to show he was changed as zombie Superman (or to call out that he's dead in the flashbacks).

The terrorism and gun violence in the WW intro got to me in a way that doesn't happen in movies. Maybe it felt too realistic and made me think how we could use a WW in those moments.

I generally liked the movie even though Steppenwolf was not that interesting but the superhero plots made up for it.
posted by toomanycurls at 7:26 PM on November 24, 2017

Finally saw it, liked it. Of course, Steppenwolf wasn't much of a much--one panel by Jack Kirby has a bigger impact than every appearance of the movie version, who's just Random Cosmic Asshole with an Axe--and the MacGuffins were very MacGuffiny. (If DC decides to do Mister Miracle and Big Barda, I hope that they bring in a Mother Box with some personality.) But the interplay between the characters was fine--I suspect that this was mostly Whedon's doing--and there are some nice hooks for future development. I hope that a Green Lantern shows up and I hope that it's not a white dude, sorry Geoff Johns. I hope that Diana gets a decent supporting cast, and I hope that there are more interesting villains in the warm-up deck than Jesse Eisenberg and Joe Manganiello.

Also, I suspect that the people who think that the upper lip looks fake or something think so because they spent too much time staring at it trying to see if it looks fake. Try staring at a single part of someone's face for a minute or two and see how weird it looks.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:16 PM on November 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I really enjoyed that way more than I thought I would.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:34 PM on December 4, 2017

I had no idea that Cavill's face was CGI'ed to hide a moustache, and that scene bugged the heck out of me because his face looked really weird.

I don't need or care for a rundown on the villains motivation and it appears to basically be the same as other villains we've seen in superhero movies. Gain power, rule and/or crush, kill, destroy.

How convenient that the Flash suddenly overcame his fear of bugs and was able to run around knocking a whole bunch of them down.

I believe the whole point of Batman asking him to "save just one" was so that once he understood that he was able to do that he would have the self-confidence to do more. Thus the question and answer of "What then?" "You'll know."

the villain and the mcguffins were relatively weak

Just a friendly reminder that even though all MacGuffins are plot devices, NOT all plot devices are MacGuffins. They are rarer then most people seem to presume.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:20 AM on December 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

The main impression I walked away with was that they are trying too damn hard to recreate the financial success of the Marvel movies by guessing at what the key ingredients in Marvel's recipe are, and just throwing it blindly into the pot.

Alien "god" with pointy horns on his helmet uses cubic object to open portals that threaten to doom Earth to alien takeover. Oh, and the strongest hero gets uncontrollably angry in the middle of the film and has to be subdued by the other heroes. They wanted so bad for this film to be The Avengers, I swear if they could have figured out a way to work in a Stan Lee cameo, they would have. And while they sort of pulled it off with Wonder Woman being a rehash of Captain America: The First Avenger, the attempt just falls flat on its face here.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:08 PM on December 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

they are trying too damn hard to recreate the financial success of the Marvel movies by guessing at what the key ingredients in Marvel's recipe are, and just throwing it blindly into the pot.

This accurately describes DC Comics during the 1970s, when they were butts kicked by Marvel Comics at the spinner rack. It all comes around.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 10:00 AM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

This accurately describes DC Comics during the 1970s, when they were butts kicked by Marvel Comics at the spinner rack. It all comes around.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 13:00 on December 10 [+] [!]

posted by radwolf76 at 2:21 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

Wonder Woman somehow feels more original than Captain America: The First Avenger, since it takes place in the forgotten world war instead of the Spielbergian lost artifact conflict. Also, the starring a female protagonist thing.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:24 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I saw it last night. Few other movies have been so enhanced by low expectations quite as much as this one. I went to have a look at it at the cheapo second-run place and was modestly entertained, which is not what I expected. Wonder Woman was a better film, but it lost points for me by ending as the worse superhero movies do, by capping it with fifteen minutes of weightless CGI. I dunno how much was the Whedon touch-ups after the fact, but this is the first DC movie to approach the feeling of the MCU movies, which is kind of the yardstick these days.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:06 PM on December 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

In fact, if I had been rendered amnesiac and remembered nothing up until a month ago, the two comics giants’ forays into screen time for me would be JL and The Inhumans. I would have little doubt about whose approach was working.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:09 PM on December 24, 2017

Just watched this on HBO and well, what a freaking mess. DC and Warners really need to give this whole thing more thought. The CGI and the villain were fifty shades of awful, the plot was ridiculous. It was stupid to kill Superman in BvS and this film had to spend way too much time resurrecting him. And yet, the payoff scene with Clark, Lois, and Martha in the cornfield just didn't feel earned.

The good: some decent lines, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Affleck amd Momoa had their moments.

These are great iconic characters, all carrying decades of great story lines. This should have been a culmination. Instead it was two hours of my life I'm not getting back.
posted by Ber at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I appreciate Ber having written my review for me a year in advance.
posted by komara at 6:40 PM on July 13, 2019

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