Fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of the Justice League film since Marvel’s The Avengers. With social media’s constant battle between Marvel and DC Comics–and with the recent flops of DC’s earlier superhero films (except for Wonder Woman)– the Justice League film already had great expectations to live up to. The highly anticipated DC film promised to be the biggest and best superhero film of 2017. Despite the star-studded cast, action, and groundbreaking special effects, the film embarrassingly failed in box office.
The Justice League stars many A-listers of Hollywood. Actress Gal Gadot, who played Giselle in the Fast and Furious franchise, reprises her role as the fierce Wonder Woman. Once again, Ben Affleck takes the stage as Batman and Henry Cavill returns as Superman. New faces to the superhero film industry include Ezra Miller as the quirky Flash, Ray Fisher as technologically-advanced Cyborg, and Jason Momoa as our sexiest Aquaman. The leading cast embodies a diversity of races while staying as close to the Justice League comics as possible. Our dashing luxe men and unique luxe beauty gave audiences high hopes from the beginning for a box office hit.
Still mourning over Superman (Cavill), Bruce Wayne (Affleck) recruits newly-found friend Diana Prince (Gadot) to face the biggest threat they have encountered yet. The two quickly rush to form a team that will help them defeat their new enemy, Steppenwolf. When the final battle scene comes along, the Justice League struggle to defeat Steppenwolf as he appears to be stronger than all of them combined. Just as the film begins to get interesting, and viewers expect the team to come together in one ultimate, combined move to defeat the enemy, the Justice League decide to bring a certain “dead” superhero back to life to help them finish the mission. Superman, after going through an identity crisis, defeats Steppenwolf and the world is safe again.
The film, as exciting as it sounds, fails to fulfill the expectations of many fans. The plot derailed into irrelevant subplots that went on at the same time. Often, these subplots tie into the larger picture which is revealed during the climactic battle near the end of the film. However, the side stories were numerous and many either failed to make sense or left loose ends that are likely to never appear again. The film didn’t have enough time to develop backgrounds on the new characters Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. The oddly-portrayed relationship between Wonder Woman and Batman will not make to viewers if they have not watched Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice or Wonder Woman. Audiences should have knowledge of the plots of these movies before watching the Justice League, or many references of character relationships will not make sense. Many believed that the box office success of Wonder Woman promised to follow with Justice League, however even Gadot fell into the background as her male counterparts stepped forward; not even Wonder Woman’s success was able to push box office further with her reprisal in this film.
While audiences have rated the film a generous 7 out of 10 stars, Rotten Tomatoes has given the Justice League a meager 41% rating. The entirety of the film an anticipation for Superman’s big entrance. Sadly, according to Jonathan L. Fischer, “Even the strength of Superman couldn’t turn this ship all the way around.” Sara Stewart of the New York Post, simply had this to say: “A pointless flail of expensive (yet, somehow, cheap-looking) CGI that no amount of tacked-on quips, or even Gadot’s luminescent star power, can rescue.” Even though they will remain united–probably for a couple more films–it is clear that the Justice League will not be able to take the Avenger’s reign as the ultimate superhero film anytime soon.
The Justice League is now playing in theaters everywhere.