With painful dialogue and atrocious visuals, this could well be the worst film of the yearWARNER BROS. PICTURES

According to rumour, if a teacher at my old school could not find anything positive to say in a report, they were told to resort to purely factual statements about the student: “Ollie regularly attends class”, “Georgia often listens as I talk”, “John owns a pen”.

Justice League is a movie. It was released in 2017. It stars Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and other actors. Its writers (presumably) own a pen.

“This is not helped by a performance so bafflingly wooden that it makes Keanu Reeves look like Daniel Day-Lewis”

Justice League comes in just where The Avengers did for Marvel: after several smaller films introducing (or teasing) our heroes, a potentially world-ending threat arrives and all the superheroes from the previous films (plus a few more) must team up to stop it. Here ends the narrative, not for fear of spoilers, but because to talk any more about it would imply a logic and coherence which does not exist in the film.

Needless to say, just like The Avengers, there is team infighting and disagreements before they come together in the end to defeat the baddie. And ‘baddie’ really is the correct term here, for the character is far too cartoonish to deserve to be called a ‘villain’.

Nowhere is the sheer lack of imagination in this film more present than in the music choices. The opening credits (a montage of trademark Zack Snyder slow-motion shots) feature a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows, and over the end credits plays a fantastically on-the-nose choice of a cover of Come Together by The Beatles. There is perhaps not a more perfect metaphor for the film as a whole than the decision to take two of the most universally lauded artists of all time and do exactly what they did, but worse.

Trailer for Justice LeagueYOUTUBE

There is not a single original thought in the movie – the plot, character, visuals and dialogue are all taken from better films. The script was almost certainly constructed by feeding every film cliché into a computer and plucking out a random selection of them.


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It feels very strange to be criticising even the visual effects of a $300m blockbuster, but so much of it looks like a video game that one wants to search around the cinema for an Xbox controller to take the reins and force them to make better decisions. This is not to mention the digital removal in post-production of the moustache of one of the characters, which leaves his face looking slightly uncanny and a little creepy. This is not helped by a performance so bafflingly wooden that it makes Keanu Reeves look like Daniel Day-Lewis.

The script, allegedly much rewritten for Joss Whedon’s reshoots, strives for the witty repartee of the Marvel films, but never came close to eliciting more than a polite titter from the audience. The only exception was one line at the very climax of the film, which caused hysterics at the deadpan way this horrible piece of writing was delivered.

I have three siblings, and my mother regularly said to us when we were younger, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. While generally a good policy, I have had to suspend its use for the purposes of this review. I return to it now

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