Plot: After the death of Superman, the world seems like a much more vulnerable place, without its iconic protector on patrol. An immense threat is on the rise, meaning that Superman’s absence could mean the earth’s destruction. Steppenwolf is a fearsome warrior who is nearly impossible to slow down, let alone stop and it took all of the world’s combined armies to make him retreat last time he invaded, armies that will not be united this time. The goal of this monster is to retrieve the three mother boxes, forge them into one, and turn the earth into a smoldering hell, just like his home world. He has slaughters the Amazons and claimed the box they protected, now he seeks out those held by the Atlanteans and the humans. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) knows the world needs to be protected, but he also knows he cannot do so alone, even as Batman. He seeks to put together a team of elite, unique warriors to stand at the earth’s defense, but can even a squad of superheroes take down Steppenwolf?
Entertainment Value: Justice League is a prime example of Hollywood waste, a movie with a budget in the hundreds of millions, yet it has the production values of a made for television special. The movie drowns in ineffective, low end CGI that strangles all the life out of the action scenes, and renders even mundane scenes into a joke. I mean, when you have to use CGI to hide Superman’s mustache and it stands out like a sore thumb, we might have jumped the shark. As if a digital mustache cover up wasn’t enough, we have Steppenwolf, one of the worst looking CGI creations since The Mummy Returns. If he was a once and done character, it wouldn’t be as bad, but he is the main villain and appears in numerous sequences. The CGI tanks the action scenes as well, which look like video games and despite ultra fast cuts and intense motion blur to try to hide the flaws, the visual effects are just plain bad. If your comic book movie can’t even nail basic action scenes, that is not a good sign. All I wanted here was some fun, over the top action and seeing some cool characters in action, but Justice League failed to deliver even middle of the road entertainment.
But the abysmal visual effects aren’t the only concern here, as even the more practical elements seem out of sorts. The costumes for The Flash and Cyborg look like outfits you’d see at Six Flags, super cheap and like a store bought plastic costume. This just adds to the cheap feel of the movie overall, especially when these lackluster costumes are combined with the laughable CGI effects. The cast is passable and I did appreciate the bloated, broken down Batman conveyed by Affleck here. He seems silly in the more action driven scenes, but I found him to be solid in the Bruce Wayne segments. Gal Gadot once again gets the hard sell, but seems like a weaker choice given how bad ass some of the other Amazons featured are. Jason Momoa and Ezra Miller provide the comic relief, while Henry Cavill turns in one of the worst, wooden performances I’ve seen. He is quite a drag on the movie and puts zero effort in his work here. The cast is one of the movie’s bright spots, but crippled by the weak narrative, hilariously terrible villain, and low end visual effects. You can tell Justice League was rushed and a lot of potential was flushed down the drain with this one.