First Look: JUSTICE LEAGUE Review

In this JUSTICE LEAGUE review, Jamie White gives his verdict on DC’s superhero team-up and why he’d be more optimistic about seeing more DCEU films in the future…

I love DC. Their characters are rich, the storylines can be tragic, entertaining and enjoyable. I hate the DC expanded universe (DCEU). It’s been dull, gloomy, just not very comic booky, and although JUSTICE LEAGUE was a step in the right direction, it still had major problems.

The big issue is the fact that this film had two directors – Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon. Both have directed comic book films before, but both have very different styles – in fact, they’re almost polar opposites. Snyder definitely appreciates the visuals of comics more, while Whedon is all about tone and style, and while you’d think that would be a great match it really, really isn’t. These two directors’ styles clash horribly throughout the film that you can pinpoint when one scene is Snyder’s and when one is Whedon, and this makes the film feel very disjointed.

The first half of the film especially. There is no focus, no thread from one scene to another. It’s all just stuff happening. Then something else happens. But there’s no connection. Or rather, it’s a building being held together with sticky tape – the connection is there, but it’s weak. The film does pick up from around the halfway mark when a certain super man comes into the fold – it feels like we finally have a proper protagonist with more character depth. The film gains direction when Superman becomes a factor in the story, which it didn’t have before.

Now, this doesn’t redeem the film entirely – it just becomes a fairly average film with a lack of tension and consequences. Still a step in the right direction, I guess. I didn’t hate the film, but I didn’t like it. A lot of the action was poorly edited, the jokes didn’t land, and the character chemistry was just not there yet (it only really existed with Clark (Henry Cavill) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) who of course have shared the most screen time as these characters in the DCEU.)

What I will say though is this: I was not excited to see this film, BUT it has given me some of Superman’s (newfound) hope that the franchise will improve. Let’s see what you’ve got DC…

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