'Justice League': The Biggest Takeaways From Critic Reactions
The first reactions to Justice League have been posted on social media, and aside from giving us [...]
The first reactions to Justice League have been posted on social media, and aside from giving us the usual range of opinion about whether or not the movie is good, these first breakdowns of the film also provide new insights into what the film is about, what works and doesn't work, and how this pivotal installment will affect the future of the DC Extended Universe.
Read on below for a more in-depth breakdown of the first reactions to Justice League, and what that proverbial 'wisdom of the crowd' tells us about DC Films' big superhero team-up event.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the Justice League first reactions:
The first main consensus is that Justice League succeeds in its primary job: selling the Justice League heroes to mainstream movie audiences.
Industry figures like our very own Brandon Davis note that Justice League does well at selling its core team (Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg - and yes, Superman) as both an entertaining ensemble, and as individual stars.
Almost every critic agrees that, while still somewhat problematic (more on that below), Justice League still manages to establish a new tone for the DC Films Universe, and will make fans want to explore more of that universe, going forward.
If those assessments hold true for mainstream viewers, then DC/WB will have finally hurdled over the major branding wall that its been trying to scale for the last few years.prevnext
Almost diametrically opposed to the praise of the Justice League heroes is the criticism of the film's villain. The Justice League battles the extraterrestrial threat of Steppenwolf, general of the hellish planet, Apokolips.
Steppenwolf is played by actor Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones), but Hinds admittedly did most of his work through facial capture and voice performance - he didn't even meet or interact with the rest of the cast while filming! It's not surprising, then, that Steppenwolf comes off as a generic and uninspired villain, since he is mostly a hollow creation to begin with.
Truthfully, Steppenwolf was always a somewhat offbeat choice in villain for a massive event film like Justice League; the general of Apokolips is basically just a placeholder for his uncle, Darkseid, and it sounds like that's just what you feel like when watching the film.prevnext
Justice League has teased an expansive look at the DC Films Universe, with each hero bringing their own corner of the world along with them, and flashbacks detailing more of the history of earth and its three main races: mankind, the Amazons, and the Atlanteans.
However, the first Justice League reactions state that the film's story is mess, with stakes that don't feel crucial enough, and a narrative that unfolds in poor way.
Justice League was always facing a massive challenge with all the characters, villains, and mythos it needs to introduce and explain, so it's not surprising to hear it doesn't cover all of those fronts well.prevnext
While there is praise of the overall ensemble chemistry and character depictions, various critics have highlighted some clear standouts in the cast.
Of everyone, it seems to be Jason Mamoa's Aquaman who is the clear frontrunner for 'best in show.' Mamoa is said to be a well-balanced combination of humor and badassery, earning his spot as this DC Films Universe version of Aquaman, despite being different than his comic book counterpart.
After that, the two other biggest standouts have been Ezra Miller's Flash, for being hilarious, and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, for continuing her reign as the new queen of comic book movies.prevnext
The Snyder/Whedon Balance
If there is one really surprising takeaway from these first Justice League reactions, it's that many critics still deem it to be very much a Zack Snyder movie.
As critic Kevin McCarthy states on Twitter: "JUSTICE LEAGUE is ZACK SNYDER's movie. With the exception of MAYBE ONE scene, the movie didn't feel like it jumped in tone from Snyder to Whedon. I've seen it 2x."
This sentiment has been echoed across many of the Justice League first reactions, with critics seemingly able to note when "Whedon moments" come up in the film.
However, for those who followed Justice League's production process closely, the worries of Snyder having botched the film and Whedon trying to stitch something together out of the resulting mess, seem unfounded. If anything, it sounds like Whedon simply applied the polish that Snyder would have in a normal post-production process - if not for the personal tragedy that pulled him away from the film.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17th.prev