As a film, Justice League is a hot mess. However, as a comic book film, it's pretty awesome. Comic book panels seemingly come to life with fast transitions, leaps in plot and bombastic battles during a running time of just two hours. This leaves very little room to breathe, which sounds like a complaint, but I was left more breathless than overwhelmed. Now, I'm not saying that Justice League blew my socks off. It's good. Not great. Honestly, I feel that there's a better film laying on the cutting room floor somewhere, just like there was with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Superman II. In fact, I know there's a film laying on the cutting room floor, a film that reflects director Zack Snyder's true vision. Snyder stepped away from the film after his daughter's suicide, which left the Justice League open to studio interference (the imposed two hour limit) and "screenwriter" Joss Whedon's reshoots and rewrites to "lighten-up" the overall tone. They claim that Whedon didn't change much, but his screenplay credit proves that more than 33% percent of the screenplay was altered, and it seems that nearly every scene with Superman (Henry Cavill) has been reshot - the mustache-be-gone CGI being the tell-tale sign. Also, Whedon had Snyder's usual collaborator and original composer, Junkie XL, replaced with Danny Elfman to lend Justice League a more classical score. Elfman gave me goosebumps with the nods to the John Williams' 1978 Superman score and Elfman's own 1989 Batman score, but there's not a lot to rave about beyond that. So, is there a Zack Snyder Cut in store for us in the near future? I sure hope so.
Justice League's main problem lies in its lack of depth. I was particularly concerned with how the Justice League haphazardly came together and the big baddie Steppenwolf's motivation. Who even is Steppenwolf? I have no idea, other than he's the nephew of the king of all evil, Darkseid. It took a Google search to find that out. Out of all the villains I've seen so far in the DC Extended Universe, Steppenwolf is definitely the least fleshed out. As for the Justice League itself, some characters are more developed than others. The real MVP is The Flash (Ezra Miller). He's like a kid in a candy store, and he has some truly great moments, like when he realizes Superman can keep up with his super speed. Out of all the Whedon jokes cracked, The Flash's land the most. As for the other teammates, Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is kind of just there - essentially eye candy. I was really surprised by the importance of Cyborg (Ray Fisher) to the team. If I expected anyone to be glossed over, it would have been him. The already established characters, Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Superman, add welcome familiarity to the host of fresh faces.