Justice League is where comic-book legends unite to face a common foe. Half of whom we have never met. An over-saturated and context-less movie stuffed with a couple of good jokes and - admittedly awesome - fights does not a good movie, make. At least it’s not a *bad* movie, for once.
Some Context, Please: You know how you *don’t* copy Marvel’s cinematic success? By not copying Marvel’s cinematic success. The flagrant cash-grab mentality that made this film just leaves it stuffed with more content that it can handle. The Avengers became the third highest-grossing movie of all time because we already knew each member of the team when we went to see it. In this movie, we know three of them, and one’s already dead. So, since we have to stuff the new guys’ backstories into the movie, they all get about five minutes a-piece to make us hope they don’t die. It does not succeed, as anyone with common sense would guess. We’ve got origin stories and character arcs, but no context by which to interpret them. We’ve got the Flash: his dad’s in jail. Why do we care? We see Cyborg: he hate’s being a cyborg. Why do we care? We see Aquaman: he hates where he came from. Why do we care? Just being told that these guys are sad about something doesn’t convince us. These are *fictional* people. We have to actually care about them before we care that they’re sad. This movie gets it completely backward by trying to make us like them afterward. We don’t react to their troubled pasts, therefore they don’t stick with us, therefore we lose about half of what makes us like them; sympathy. It shows all-the-more when you consider that the characters that have actually gotten a movie, or least half of a movie, like Batman and Wonder Woman are actually somewhat worth listening to, given that we actually recognize their troubled pasts.
They Finally Remembered what Fun is: The fact that this movie was directed by the guy that did 300 and co-written by the guy who did The Avengers really shows. When they get the chance, they seriously shine on-screen. While lacking the emotional backing that would have made it all-the-greater, the action and humor in this movie are what truly make it worth the price of the ticket. Joss Whedon’s wit comes through in several instances with physicality and punchlines. Basically, if you laughed at The Avengers or Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, then you’re gonna laugh here and remember the movie for all its charm. The action, however, is on a different plane altogether. Every opportunity is exploited for maximum awe-factor. Amazing feats of super-strength and speed, epic martial arts and earth-shaking armies come together to give you goosebumps at all the best points possible.
The 'Just-Us' League: It may not be up to par, but there are some good signs showing.