Guest Post by Dylan O’Connell
I am going to write this review as an imaginary individual who has no concept of what a superhero is and has never seen a superhero; therefore, no DC or Marvel comparisons to illustrate how bad it is.
The movie is about the titular Justice League combatting some alien/god/CGI monstrosity named after the band Steppenwolf (and with no Steppenwolf song played the score has been deducted early). Steppenwolf returns to Earth after thousands of years with an army of Parademons, which are minions that feed on fear… somehow. The band proceeds to scour the Earth for three magic Rubiks cubes that will terraform the planet into some apocalyptic hellscape. But before the audience is informed of this bullshit, we witness Batman try to create the title group with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg.
Batman’s forming of the Justice League is overshadowed by the nonsensical plot, which is disappointing because the characters have some fun interactions that I was happy to watch. The Flash is enjoyably awkward when compared to the other members, bringing an element of lightheartedness to otherwise dreary scenes. Compared to him, everyone is overtly serious with only one or two notable chuckles. Batman and Wonder Woman have apparent familiarity and start the plot; from there they feel content to push it along a couple of times. Cyborg is little more than a plot device used as necessary; his origin provides some interest and buildup, but little payoff. Aquaman might as well not be in the film for all the good he does. Steppenwolf is a wholly uninteresting villain operating under the feeble motivation of revenge. Aside from these main characters, there are a superfluous amount of randoms who appear without introduction and disappear just as quickly. “Hey that’s Amber Heard! And she’s gone. J.K. Simmons hell yes, bout to kick some a-… wait, what? Where did he go?”
Just like the side characters, locations are varied but brief and unable to be enjoyed in any way. The only recurring location is some Chernobyl-esque Eastern European? city where Steppenwolf sets up his Earth invasion base. There is a minuscule side plot here about a family trapped in the city that the movie continuously cuts back to, much to the audience’s dismay. Give me meaningful plot, not the desperation of a family we have no vested interest in.
Plot, characters, and setting aside, the action of the movies contains the most memorable moments. The Flash has undoubtedly the best moment in the middle of the movie involving slow motion associated with his super speed. Unfortunately, they rely on his action a little too much and it takes away from what should be exciting sword and trident on ax action.
Justice League is a mess. But it is more like a piñata explosion rather than a toilet one. It is extremely dumb, fun, and weird; not worth watching in theaters and definitely deserving of some colorful commentary by yourself and friends.
1.5 out of 4 stars.