The major heroes of the DC Comics universe come together for this middling blockbuster which proves intermittently diverting while never coming close to fulfilling the potential its character line-up presents.
As the world mourns Superman (Henry Cavill), who died at the end of last year's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, his absence allows for the arrival on Earth of ancient evildoer Steppenwolf (played via motion capture by Irish actor Ciaran Hinds), a tall horned god-type whose on-screen presence and back story are noticeably Sauron-esque.
Inspired by Superman's sacrifice, Batman (Ben Affleck) teams up with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to recruit three other emerging heroes with special abilities: undersea champion Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the technologically-enhanced Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the ultra-fast Flash (Ezra Miller).
Although light on its feet and rarely boring, Justice League is doomed by thoughts of what it should be. It should be the biggest superhero movie ever, the grand culmination of the last five years of DC movies, the ultimate big screen embodiment of everything its central icons represent. It is none of these things.
Epic stakes are articulated as everything plays out with a sense of aggressive inconsequentially. Some of the action displays creativity, but for the most part the fight scenes are still overly rubble-centric.
There are elements to enjoy, however: Momoa's cinematic swagger helps temper Aquaman's inherent ridiculousness and Miller's charm brings welcome levity to every scene he's in. Wonder Woman still carries the weight of her superior solo movie, bringing much needed heft to the drama.
Ultimately, what in theory could've been the superhero epic to end all superhero epics ends up having all the impact of an average episode of a live-action Justice League TV show.
Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill
R16 (Violence, cruelty & sex scenes)
Batman Vs. Superman
. Worse than everything else.
DID YOU KNOW . . .
Australian model Megan Gales was originally cast as Wonder Woman in a 2007 version of Justice League, however the film was canned before it ever finished filming.