(out of 5)
With the Marvel Studio putting out its own variety-pack superhero adventures, there’s no reason that the folks at DC shouldn’t do the same, which for those of us a little burned out on the genre is good news as these combo films are a convenient and efficient way to discharge whatever duty we feel we have to watch them. Director Zack Snyder picks up after the end of Batman v Superman and presents a depressed world mourning the loss of the Caped Crusader (Henry Cavill), his presence missed by a brooding Batman (a still ineffective Ben Affleck) and that formidable Queen of Can-Do, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). Two new characters enter the scene with the discovery of the bionically enhanced Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the superfast and super nerdy Flash (Ezra Miller), and they have arrived just in time given that a loud and surprisingly bland villain named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds) has come to Earth to collect three video game tokens and use them to…I guess destroy the Earth? Aquaman (Jason Momoa) has yet to get his own movie at this point but is called upon to join the operation as these colourful and capable characters work their way to a foregone conclusion, and it’s a fun ride watching them get there. Co-screenwriter Joss Whedon’s contribution showing itself in painfully obtuse ways (the self-effacing geek who is always used for punchlines, honestly this again?), but for the most part this is an inoffensive ride that, unlike Whedon’s Avengers movies, never pretends to be more than it is. It’s lightweight and unimpressive even for a superhero movie, the whole thing is a paint-by-numbers operation with little ingenuity to match its peppy spirit, but don’t be surprised if you see it through without much pain.
Directed by Zack Snyder
Story by Chris Terrio, Zack Snyder, Screenplay by Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon, based on Superman created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Justice League of America created by Gardner Fox, Batman created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, Fourth World created by Jack Kirby
Cinematography by Fabian Wagner
Music by Danny Elfman
Production Design by Patrick Tatopoulos
Costume Design by Michael Wilkinson