With all of the dramatic events that occurred throughout Justice League’s production it’s surprising that the film is coherent and very enjoyable. The unfortunate departure of Zack Snyder from the project and the studio mandated two-hour runtime seemed to doom the film however it seems to have achieved quite a remarkable feat in actually being quite good.

The film has many great character moments with the standouts being how Cyborg was introduced and Ezra Miller’s Flash in general; and again, Ben Affleck’s Batman is great. One of the most important aspects to get right in a film such as this is the dynamics within the team, thankfully it is one best parts of the film as all of the team have great chemistry with each other and the interactions between them are fantastic making it a joy to watch through. The plot of this film has lots of intriguing moments that add to the lore of the DCEU however there is nothing particularly surprising in terms of how the plot progresses.

The description so far may make it seem that the tone betrays what has been established in the previous entries of the franchise and this film definitely has more fun injected into it but it is not without its darker moments and none of the humour felt out of place. Another fantastic part of the film is the action set pieces, all of them are set up very well and are quite unique (with the exception of the final battle) which made all those scenes memorable with one of the standouts being the fight in Themyscira.

The film is not perfect though by any stretch, one of its problems is that it has a few pacing issues at the start. By trying to get the Justice League to form very quickly it rushes through some fairly important set up (this may be an effect of the two-hour runtime). Aquaman is the only member of the Justice League to feel underutilised, he gets significantly less screen time than the other members so his character feels a bit underdeveloped. Jason Momoa’s performance is really good but he just needed more scenes to flesh out his character. Generally though, the introduction of all the new characters are handled very well but as we haven’t seen them before a couple of lines of dialogue, when they are first introduced, can feel very exposition-heavy. The main villain is quite bland but is still serviceable and doesn’t drag the film down. He is given a motivation that, for me at least, felt substantial enough to hold his character together but by no means is he very memorable.

Another problem is the CGI, in certain moments it’s very noticeable and a couple shots are flat out awful for a film of its budget (this may be given a little leniency as these shots may have been part of the reshoots so the special effects company would’ve only had a short time to finish the effects, this doesn’t stop it being a flaw in the film but I feel this point should at least be noted). The widely reported dispute over Henry Cavill’s moustache between Paramount and WB has led to his upper lip being CG in a proportion of his scenes. I only noticed it once but it took me out of the film for a second as he was very much in the uncanny valley.

Overall all of the problems are very minor and it doesn’t stop the film from being thoroughly enjoyable and a great addition to the DCEU, I look forward to more entries however unlikely that may be from the box office figures.

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Nathan Archer

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