After the events of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (Snyder. 2016), a new evil has been drawn to earth. Batman (Played by Ben Affleck) recruits the help of his new ally Diana Prince (Played by Gal Gadot) to find heroes they have gathered information on, in order to fight this new evil and form the Justice League.

An improvement but...

I just want to start this review by saying - this is a huge improvement on Batman vs Superman. It surprisingly feels consistent for a movie somewhat directed by two people - Zack Synder with the credit and Joss Whedon who picked up the reigns when Synder had to step away due to personal tragedy.

Joss Whedon's influence certainly shows throughout the entire movie, in fact, this doesn't feel like Zack Snyder directed this at all. What it does is follow largely the Marvel formula to the best of its ability, riddling the movie with jokes and humour. It's not a bad decision, it certainly works - it's what everyone was calling out for with BvS.

However, for me it went too far, every moment, interaction, action set piece and drama is interjected with a joke. Worst of all most of the time it was not even funny and then a minute after they ruined a dramatic plot point with a terrible joke they have a very natural and real joke that is ten times funnier. I just can not understand why Joss Whedon when reshooting felt it needed more comedy, The Flash (Played by Ezra Miller) is in this purely for comic relief.

Nonetheless, I can see why they use the humour, it does work, it humanises these larger than life characters and helps us connect to them. Yet DC/Synder - whoever it is, follows the same major problem it has had from BvS. It fails to humanise these characters, the movie is not about how broken Batman is, how Superman struggles with his identity and his place among humans - it ditches rich character building with just fighting a huge threat to earth.

What they don't seem to realise, however, is when 90% of the Justice League are invulnerable, it robs any impact from the action. It's as though they double down on the losing impact by just shoving Batman in a tank so he is safe - when he isn't just fumbling about. You might think "oh, but there's the big villain they are trying to fight, he poses a threat" - sadly he poses as much of a threat as he is interesting, which is extremely little.

The beginnings of something great

Dull, uninteresting and background villain story aside, the film does do a decent job of setting up and characterising the heroes. Although the introductions to these characters are quick, often glossing over key points that for people who have not read or know anything about them, are completely missed. I cannot help but wonder if these people are asking "why was Barry Allen going to see his dad who reportedly killed his mother?", "why did Bruce mention Atlantis when he was with Aquaman?" Despite that, I do think it does a good job of telling us what we need to know about them (which boils down to here is their powers) and characterises them well enough so we understand who they are and what they are like.

I do think this is where the film was at its best when I was seeing these heroes coming together, with lots of room for character development and interesting interactions in the vein of Iron Man fighting Thor. It made me really desire a solo Aquaman movie or even Cyborg. Sadly, it doesn't deliver on this, as mentioned, it undercuts all character development and rich story with let's have them fight something and lacks any character confrontation outside of good moments between Bruce and Diana. Even the climax of the film where they fight this villain, who obviously is threatening the world, just feels empty.

Superman's upper lip

Technically it is up to scratch, the cinematography is interesting enough and the sound is certainly carrying a lot in the movie when it comes to emotion and drama, even the editing stands out for me as it does a very good job in cutting between Bruce and Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons) to these characters being introduced.

Talking technical, I feel it's worth mentioning the CGI in the film. The main use of CGI is Cyborg himself, thankfully it really is not too distracting or noticeable aside from a few scenes here and there - they did a very good job there. However, it's the polar opposite of what I'm sure will become infamous - Superman's upper lip.

If you don't know during the reshoots they had to CGI Henry Cavil's (Superman) upper lip as he was sporting a moustache for Mission Impossible at the time and by God is it the most distracting element in the film. It just about ruins every shot of Henry Cavil's face and either Cavil himself was acting incredibly wooden or the CGI upper lip ruined his acting. Thankfully everyone else in the movie is good, despite occasionally giving bored delivery and looking as though they'd rather be somewhere else - the only stand out is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman who is easily the best part of this film.

Final say

Despite its distracting misgivings, Justice League was a pleasantly surprising watch for me. It traded out the slow pacing and over long plotting for something more focused, and for the most part worked out. The adding of humour and light moments benefit the movie although overdoing it and resulting in a film that is neither dramatic or hilarious thus removing any impact the movie has, it is entertaining enough if just to see these characters together.