2 (out of 4)
The pieces mostly fit – Ben Affleck’s wearied Batman, Gal Gadot’s amazon warrior princess, Ezra Miller’s rookie Flash, and Jason Mamoa’s easy disappearance into the silliness of Aquaman all feel like a natural batch of partners in justice. It's just that Cyborg's lazy, loathsome design, CGI and character is more than a little jarring against the rest, not to mention the inevitable arrival of Henry Cavill's resurrected Superman and his digitally removed mustache.
Clocking in at less than 2 hours, Justice League's culmination of the DCEU 5 entries in – just as many as Marvel took before The Avengers became a blockbusting phenomenon – is an unwieldy final product, at once extremely basic and a heaping, campy, complicated mess. As a story the film is as complex a 20-minute episode of Teen Titans; Justice League doesn’t even require higher functioning to process. It’s all just scaffolding for seeing these DC characters stand aside one another and exist mostly as properties rather than remotely relatable characters. Miller is at home in his natural place as comic relief, while side characters like Amy Adams' Lois Lane and further company have thankless appearances bordering on cameos.
Zach Snyder, though without final control this go-round, has an eye for epic mythos even if every script he’s worked with for DC has been shoddy and overly serious. Joss Whedon’s inserted quips and Superman’s abominable digitally inserted upper lip – both done in reshoots – make a messy superhero tent pole more digestibly silly and even sloppier.
Hamstrung by a childish plot, a terribly generic villain, as well as indelicate editing and screenwriting that comes off rushed and audience-tested, Justice League at least has enough nonsense happening fast enough to enjoy on the most purely superficial levels. But being a few degrees more enjoyable than Man of Steel and Batman v Superman is nothing worth commending.
To keep it brief...