Justice League: What worked and what didn't
The worst superhero villain ever? Even film's co-writer, Joss Whedon, liked a tweet saying so! The world-destroying glowing-box-collecting speechifying bore with an army of disposable CGI minions was a pile of growling cliches.
Hit: The Flash
Sure the film leaned a bit heavily on Ezra Miller's manic schtick, but his Barry Allen was hilarious and endearing. One quibble: C'mon, The Flash helps save the entire planet and still can't get his dad paroled?
Miss: Ben Affleck's Batman
You've heard of actors phoning it in? This performance felt more like a weary 2 a.m. text message.
The tatted fish-bro added some refreshingly uncomplicated masculine charm with a character who some have long assumed would b impossible to pull off. Still, DC will need to figure out how to make his underwater scenes more interesting — his best moments were all on land.
Not Ray Fisher's fault, but it is tough to be compelling when covered in a bulk CG disco ball and then have to act with only half your face.
Hit: Jeremy Irons' Alfred
Surely the easiest paycheck of the acclaimed thespian's career, but his occasional dry quips livened things up.
Miss: Most of the action scenes
Lumbering Affleck's opening rooftop fight had more cuts than an episode of Chopped. The mid-film sewer battle was endless muddled chaos. The climax was free of suspense. Odd since Zack Synder, who made 300, clearly knows how to compose an action scene.
Hit: Aquaman sitting on Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth
Arguably the most fun scene in the film. It was reminiscent of Whedon's own Avengers: Age of Ultron breakout moment when gang tries out Thor's hammer,.
Miss: Superman and Lois Lane's reunion chat
"What was it like, coming back to life?" / "Itchy … weird on so many levels." Ugh! The most cringe-howl dialogue since mopey Anakin Skywalker's "I hate sand" monologue. Runner-up: Cyborg's "Booyah!"
Hit: Danny Elfman's score
His best? Oh lord no. But Elfman's embrace of heroic themes from decades-old DC titles -- including his own from Tim Burton's Batman -- made for some finely interwoven nostalgia.
Miss: Superman attacks
Superman trying to murder the other heroes made little sense, was quickly discarded without any story impac and felt added only to contrive a let's-make-them-all-fight scene. Plus, the idea the entire world falls into depressed criminal chaos (why, thugs are even kicking over fruit carts!) without an alien strongman to keep them in line was supe cynical.
Miss: The CGI
Has a $300 million movie ever looked so ... unconvincing? We would love to have the superpower of ordering Justice League writers to pen an awesome sequel that did not rely on any computer effects at all — practical effects only — as both a punishment and a bold retro creative exercise. We’re no Brainiac, but we’re certain the result would make a superior film.