The eagerly anticipated coming together of DC world’s most famous creations finally arrived in cinemas this week. Originally helmed by Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon took the reins after Snyder departed due to a personal loss. Both leave their mark on a film that fails to live up to its hype and ends up a disjointed, clumsy let-down.
Three powerful boxes crammed full of energy are hidden on earth and are being hunted by the evil Steppenwolf. If he finds them he’ll get his motor running and take over the world. Step forward the Justice League to try and stop him. Simple. Maybe too simple.
The rather flimsy plot is far too dependent on CGI (yet again – didn’t they learn anything from Man Of Steel?!) and there’s a distinct lack of threat to the human race, simply because we hardly see any humans. Lois Lane, Superman’s mother, and Commissioner Gordon (if you’re going to cast someone as good as J.K. Simmons then give him something to do, dammit) crop up, but that’s about it. You’re not given anyone to care about as a swarm of big buzzy robot insects fly about smashing and blowing things up. Repeatedly.
Then there’s the Justice League heroes. A bored looking Ben Affleck’s Batman does nothing but harrumph his way through the film. Oh, and use a Gillette razor in a jarring piece of product placement.
Henry Cavill’s Superman turns up for long enough to do what Superman does, but fails to add any excitement to the proceedings. It should be noted that Cavill had his upcoming Mission Impossible:6 moustache edited out in post-production and boy can you tell.
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman looks cool, but doesn’t have anything to do apart from get wet, throw his trident about and shout things like, “My man”. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg simply isn’t interesting enough to invest in at all. That’s not his fault, he’s just not written for.
Ezra Miller’s wise-cracking Flash attempts to bring some humour to proceedings and his youthful enthusiasm is infectious, but it’s as if the scriptwriters are trying too hard and an awful lot of his jokes fail to hit the mark. Miller tries his best and does well, but his performance feels slightly upstaged by Tom Holland’s turn as Spiderman simply because he got there first as the geek turned superhero.
The film’s saving grace is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The best thing in Batman V Superman followed by her own superb standalone film, the awesome Amazonian competes with Affleck for screen time and brings some much-needed stability and gravitas to the table.
Seeing all these iconic superheroes on the big screen is still a buzz, but one that doesn’t last and leaves you feeling a bit flat. It seems that DC keep trying and trying, but consistently fail to live up to the high standards achieved by their Marvel counterparts. Somebody needs to take this franchise by the scruff of the neck to get it right, but it may already be too late for that.
Stick around for two extra scenes during the credits. If you can be bothered.