This is the same turgid, ugly and CGI-infested world started by Man of Steel, complete with one-note characters, headache-inducing fight scenes and plain bad storytelling. Yet, due to Snyder leaving the project in post-production as a result of tragic family circumstances, this makes up roughly half of the movie. The rest is purely Joss Whedon's input, after The Avengers' helmer was brought in to tighten up the film, re-write certain scenes, and take charge of the necessary re-shoots. Reports have surfaced recently that Snyder's rough cut was simply unwatchable, and sensing another critical panning, Warner Bros. simply cut their losses. Even the re-shoots were news worthy, as Henry Cavill, sporting an impressive moustache for his role in the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Fallout, was under contract to keep the facial hair, and so his upper lip would need to be altered with special effects. Naturally, the final film - which had a reported $300 million sunk into it - is a catastrophic mess.
Superman is dead, and the world has sunk into a state of despair. After taking down an alien scout during one of his crime-busting jaunts, the ageing Bruce Wayne, aka Batman (Ben Affleck), senses that a bigger threat is coming to Earth. A rich man in a stealthy suit won't be enough to tackle such an enemy, so he proceeds to round up his new friend Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and hunt down those meta-humans glimpsed on Lex Luthor's laptop in Batman v Superman. There's Arthur Currie, aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the long-haired, tattooed Prince of Atlantis, Barry Allen aka The Flash (Ezra Miller), a motor-mouthed, incredibly annoying young man whose superpower is to run really, really fast, and finally Victor Stone, aka Cyborg (Ray Fisher), a half-human, half-machine hybrid who was created by his father with the help of a mysterious artefact called a Mother Box. There's two more boxes, and a giant alien warlord named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds) hopes to snatch up all three.
You can work out almost on a moment-by-moment basis which segments were filmed by Snyder and which by Whedon. One second, were in the dour, unattractive world of Snyder's mind, where every character broods and walks in slow-motion. The next, we get quippy Batman and bright colours. Justice League became such a farce in post-production that I get the feeling the heads at Warner Bros. simply wanted rid of it, as this simply isn't the finished version of 300 million dollars worth of input. Steppenwolf's appearance changes from one scene to the next, and Cavill's moustache-removal is one of the most unnerving things I've seen on film. "We're not enough," claims Batman, and so Superman is dug up and brought back to life for the final act. Despite his weird CGI face, Cavill is actually one of the few pleasures of Justice League, as we finally get to see the hopeful, unstoppable Superman we have been waiting three movies to see. Sadly, his comeback is far too late to save the movie. For all its plot-holes, poorly-constructed action scenes and many other flaws, Justice League's biggest crime is that it is, inexplicably, just plain boring.
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, Ciarán Hinds