Justice League Review
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Earlier this year, DC Comics turned many of their skeptics into believers with the acclaimed hit blockbuster Wonder Woman. Now they try to build on that momentum with their first heroic alliance, Justice League, a film that has less heart but more heroes.

Justice League finds the world spiraling into darkness and crime as Batman (Ben Affleck) battles what appears to be a growing band of scouts from another planet. Sensing that an otherworldly enemy may be planning an attack on Earth, he begins reaching out to other heroes for help. But even with Batman, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and a few new faces working together, it still might not be enough to save the planet from a ruthless villain who’s known as a destroyer of worlds.

  
 
Of course, as is often the case with DC films, it’s hard to watch Justice League without comparing it to those other superhero collaborations. DC’s adventures, as a whole, are a whole lot darker than Marvel’s—and this one is no exception. This isn’t the kind of film that leaves you feeling cheery and upbeat and ready to take on the world as you walk out of theater. Instead, it’s generally dreary and brooding—just like most of its heroes.

Granted, the latest DC film does try to bring a little bit of lightness and comic relief to this heroic coalition. Gadot’s Wonder Woman is the film’s strongest character, bringing depth and humanity to this band of bickering superhuman warriors, while Ezra Miller adds a few touches of humor with his socially awkward newcomer, The Flash. (And, well, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman has a flowing mane that’s sometimes distractingly beautiful.) But Wonder Woman’s heart often gets buried in the rest of the film’s darkness, and The Flash’s wide-eyed enthusiasm is often overplayed (as are the scenes of him running in slow motion)—to the point that it eventually gets old.

At some point, audiences may build a connection to these characters. Fans already love Wonder Woman, though Affleck’s Batman is understandably (but not exactly endearingly) wooden. And audiences simply haven’t had enough time to get to know the others. While many of Marvel’s heroes had their own solo films before joining the Avengers, Justice League brings in a trio of newcomers and gives them almost no development. So unless you’re an avid reader of DC Comics, you’ll probably know next to nothing about them. That may make it a film that comic fans can appreciate, but it certainly doesn’t make it one that wider audiences will love.

While DC seemed to turn a corner with a lighter superhero thriller this summer, they’re back to the usual doom and gloom and general moodiness with Justice League. It’s an action-packed adventure, but it simply isn’t as much fun as superhero movies should be.


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