After the critical and financial euphoria of Wonder Woman, the DC extended universe comes back to earth with a thud with Zack Snyder’s latest addition. After the death of Superman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Batman assembles a team of heroes to confront yet another world destroying menace. The running time is mercifully shorter this time around, but still follows Snyder’s previous formula for an ending devoid of all intensity through an endless barrage of nonsensical CGI explosions.
It has its moments though. A mid-film battle between team members is one of the best fight scenes Snyder’s ever created, while Amy Adams and Diane Lane as Lois Lane and Martha Kent respectively provide a much needed boost of emotion in their brief roles. For the most part the superteam is cast perfectly too – Ben Affleck and Ray Fisher are too downcast and boring to have any impact as Batman and Cyborg but Jason Momoa is a brilliantly thuggish new version of Aquaman and Ezra Miller runs away with the movie as the Flash.
Unfortunately it can’t help but feel forced, from the awkward humour and occasionally cringe-worthy dialogue to the entirely unnecessary flirting between Affleck’s dour, miserable Batman and Gal Gadot’s warrior goddess Wonder Woman. It never drops to the depths of the truly awful Suicide Squad, but there’s a clear ring of impatience lingering over it all. Snyder struggles to squeeze three new backstories into the first act and one major development is glossed over so quickly it’s all but forgotten by film’s end. Most frustrating of all is the complete misuse of the franchise saving Wonder Woman – Gadot does her best but without the sure hands of director Patty Jenkins to guide her the character loses the warmth and depth that made her solo outing so great. Overall Justice League leaves you longing for the day Snyder hands over the reins to Jenkins completely.