TL;DR version: better than Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but not as good as Wonder Woman. (I won’t judge Suicide Squad until I get around to seeing it.) Also, my concerns with this iteration of the DCU have been largely addressed. Mild spoilers in the details on that part. Also, there are two scenes during and after the credits, so stay through the entire thing.
Cast and Crew Information
Ben Affleck as Batman / Bruce Wayne
Henry Cavill as Superman / Clark Kent
Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman / Diana Price
Ezra Miller as Flash / Barry Allen
Jason Momoa as Aquaman / Arthur Curry
Ray Fisher as Cyborg / Victor Stone
Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
Diane Lane as Martha Kent
Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta
J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon
Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf (voice)
Amber Heard as Mera
Joe Morton as Silas Stone
David Thewlis as Ares
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Detective Crispus Allen
Billy Crudup as Henry Allen
Written by Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon, and Zack Snyder
Directed by Zack Snyder (although Joss Whedon stepped up to finish post-production and reshoots so Snyder could mourn the loss of his daughter).
Batman is aware that an attack is coming from beyond Earth, and he puts a team together to save the world.
I would have thought that fixing Superman would have been enough to propel that into the high point, but even with that aspect finally corrected, Wonder Woman is still the standout character.
This Flash is amusing, and Ezra Miller plays the part well, but he’s not any version of Barry Allen I recognize from the source material, although I do understand the need to do something different than the TV version.
Also, I’m not entirely sure there aren’t still three highly dangerous McGuffins lying around.
This is a somewhat original concept. We’ve seen and read a number of origin stories for the Justice League, but none had the initial setup this one had, and none have made it to the silver screen. I give it 5 out of 6.
The effects in major studio productions don’t show the variation they used to. Completely computer generated environments are now a fairly common thing, and rarely falter in big budget tentpoles like this. I give it 6 out of 6.
The story is well structured, and more coherent than I’ve come to expect from the previous Snyder-directed outings in this cinematic universe. Yes, much of it is devoted to setting up the solo outings for the cast, but none of those moments feel like they don’t belong, as they fit into the character arcs we get here. I would have preferred a more “classic” version of Barry Allen, but they are hampered in this respect by the decision to keep the TV and movie incarnations as two distinct incarnations, giving them a certain obligation to stay apart from the TV version. I give it 5 out of 6.
The acting was well done. None of these characters are miscast (relative to the incarnations in the script, at any rate.) In fact, I would argue that this proves the validity of past casting choices which have been questioned. The range for any individual is not that huge, but that’s a problem with scripting six different character arcs in a 2 hour action film, leaving little room for those moments. Actors cannot be blamed for not being given any material. I give it 5 out of 6.
The production is very good. All that seems out of place is how bright Superman’s suit is, which is so weird to type after the first two Cavill outings. With a two hour runtime, it’s tightly edited, yet still feels complete, unlike Batman v Superman, which left me wondering how much longer the ultimate edition was going to be. The only complaint is that there isn’t anything that felt flashy, innovative, or unique. It was pretty standard, though no less effective. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response was good. I wasn’t nearly as excited by this going in as I would have been when it was announced after the opening weekend of Avengers, but I was entertained throughout, and very pleased by the handling of the team as a whole. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, this is entertaining, and worth checking out if you are interested. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, Justice League receives 36 out of 42.