With the glowing reviews and general good-will directed at Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman earlier this year, Warner’s DC universe looked as if it was finally moving in the right direction and on its way to changing people’s minds about its — to date — less than exciting output.
After all the praise and adulation heaped on Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot in particular, her presence in Justice League might give rise to a smidgen of hope for a production which hopes to be the first instalment in a lucrative new DC franchise.
Featuring an impressive lineup of some of DC’s most bankable characters, and some lesser known ones, the story picks up from where we left it at the end of 2016's Batman v Superman.
Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead, and in his absence the world has quickly descended into lawlessness and chaos. Inspired by Superman’s ultimate sacrifice, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is back in his Batman suit and is prepared to do battle against the evil forces awakened by the powerful supervillain Steppenwolf (Cián Hinds), but in the absence of his fallen friend, he must enlist the help of a handful of misfits with superpowers in the hope of restoring order.
Joined by new friend Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Batman can’t help but feel the full weight of his very limited human abilities, but refuses to give up even when he is knocked down by Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), who eventually agrees to lend a hand.
As the trio are joined by The Flash (Ezra Miller) and the aptly named Cyborg (Ray Fisher), a flawed yet highly ambitious team is swiftly put together with the aim of stopping Steppenwolf from bringing about the end of the world.
Reprising her Diana Prince role, Gal Gadot can simply do no wrong as the Amazonian princess turned crime-fighting heroine. Her ability to command every inch of the screen is second to none, and when she’s off screen, you’ll find yourself less interested in the rest of the cast. Affleck is surprisingly adequate in the role of an ageing Bruce Wayne who can no longer hide the fact that his crime-fighting days are numbered. He is offered to us as a broken, yet still hopeful man who still feels responsible for his friend’s death.
While Mamoa does a great job in the Aquaman role, the usually brilliant Ezra Miller is brought in as the comic relief, but ultimately fails to convince as The Flash and seems wasted on a role he brings very little to. Ray Fisher is genuinely impressive as Cyberg, even if he is rarely on screen, leaving you wishing that his character would have been given more to do.
With its ill-judged gags, and dialogue which can be seriously lacking, Justice League unfortunately fails to hit the right note despite having two of the best screenwriters in the business in charge (Joss Whedon and Chris Terrio).
Despite his best efforts, Snyder simply fails to bring some much needed fun to the proceedings, and ultimately resorts to the same old tired tropes and clichés we have come to expect from him. A beautifully acted production, which in the end fails to live up to its ambitious premise.