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YMMV / Justice League (2017)

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For the YMMV page of Zack Snyder's Justice League, see here.

  • Adorkable: Barry. How else do you describe a person who jumps with joy at the chance to be in a superhero team to make friends? And then asks to keep Bruce's Batarang and explores the Batcave with the biggest awe on his face? His bumbling reaction when left behind with Commissioner Gordon by the rest of the Justice League's Stealth Hi/Bye also qualifies.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • While Superman's newfound optimism is certainly appreciated, the movie does bring into question how it happened. Did his death give him a bigger appreciation of life and a higher awareness of how the universe works (All-Star Superman), is he more cheerful because he doesn't remember the emotional anxiety that defined him in previous films or is he glad to have found some folks who understand him and he is not alone? This is muddled by Batman's comments that Superman was a beacon of hope and the world became a darker place without him.
    • Or, was he always "optimistic", as evidenced by the fact that he was willing to sacrifice himself for the Earth at least twice, and his perceived pessimism was only an immediate reaction to the events of the previous movie? We follow him through his deadliest battles, as he wrestles with the government and military, or in private with people closest to him, where he can be vulnerable, and be consumed by internal struggle; it doesn't mean that in-universe, the world sees or perceives him that way, as exemplified by the opening scene where he's shown as a friendly and approachable idol to his young adoring fans (although it should be noted it is a reshoot that was enforced to drive the point home about this).
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    • Steppenwolf is seen as a creep and a pervert due to his assertion that, following the Unity, the Amazons will all "love" him. However, is he saying that in the sense that they'll be his personal harem, or that they'll simply be more mindless slaves like the rest of his parademons? Granted, neither option is particularly appealing.
    • The parademons were quick to attack Steppenwolf as soon as he felt fear. Given they were all forcibly mutated into his slaves, could they have been motivated by more than just their beastly instincts?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Superman is finally depicted in a more lighthearted and cheerful manner than he had been throughout most of Man of Steel and all of Batman v Superman. This was seemingly deliberately done to answer all of the complaints about the DCEU Superman being too cold, brooding and wooden. This is underlined by the use of some of the John Williams Superman theme during the final battle and his addition on the Alex Ross-inspired posters released after the opening weekend.
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    • The movie makes a point of showing Superman and the Flash breaking away from the fight to rescue civilians in danger, as well as the focus on one family during the invasion. This is almost certainly in response to the unending criticism that Man of Steel received over the film's perceived lack of concern for all the innocent people during Superman's fight with Zod in which Metropolis was wrecked, although Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice already addressed this by taking the Final Battle into space and then on the abandoned part of Gotham City's harbor.
    • The Green Lantern that appears in ancient times wears a much less elaborate outfit than the ones in the 2011 film, giving rise to the possibility of the rebooted Green Lantern costumes not being needlessly composed of CGI.
    • The movie simply being called "Justice League" seems to be a response to how much Dawn of Justice was mocked for being an unnecessary subtitle, and it also lacks the complained-about "dour" feeling that two previous titles (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) had, whilst also fitting in with them nicely.
    • The production team allowed an unprecedented all-access press tour of the set (on day 31 of 111 for principal filming) and even invited some of the harshest critics of Batman v Superman to see what they are doing. While it was stated before the release of BvS that Justice League would have a lighter tone, this press tour was designed to prove that, allowing them to watch the filming of a critical group scene, wander around some of the sets, vehicles and concept art, talk with Ben Affleck in costume and even watch an assembly cutnote  of Bruce recruiting Barry to the League. While some still had their reservations, all noted that it was warmer and much more funny than anything in the DCEU so far. Snyder even admitted that he was caught off guard by the negative response to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and that it caused him to take somewhat of a different approach to Justice League.
    • Batman gets a healthy dose of What the Hell, Hero? for his actions against Superman in Dawn of Justice, from himself, from Diana, and even from a resurrected Superman. Also the more grounded and vulnerable version of Batman, worrying about how he's Overshadowed by Awesome as a Badass Normal in a world of superpowered beings, and is physically struggling to keep up with his peers, has made him more relatable, likable, and heroic, with many fans preferring this version and appreciating the end of "the Batgod" whereby Batman in comics, and games, was frequently shilled as being better and superior to supers purely out of Popularity Power.
    • After years of cast, crew, and fans campaigning for it, Zack Snyder announced on May 20, 2020 that his cut of the film, titled Zack Snyder's Justice League, will be released on HBO Max in 2021.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The Flash. Fans either found him to be a humorous breath of fresh air after the infamously dark Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, or found his constant jokes and social awkwardness to be an annoyance from start to finish. The fact that he is more like Wally West from Justice League cartoon instead of Barry Allen from the comics didn't help matters.
    • Aquaman. He's either a cool badass or a one-note "surfer dude".
    • Batman. It really does come down to how deeply you regard the previous versions of the character as to whether you appreciate the struggling, vulnerable, Overshadowed by Awesome, introspective and ridiculed Batman that we have here. Those who prefer the so-called Batgod version did not take to this version of Batman at all.
  • Character Rerailment: After being a Classical Anti-Hero with emotional hang-ups in the first two movies, Superman is portrayed with his more upbeat characterization. It came at the price of feeling rushed and Pandering to the Base to many still, as there was a slow buildup towards Superman's iconic hero status with both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and Justice League was supposed to be one of his final steps towards this (for instance, Zack Snyder shot the shirt-ripping scene)note . The Executive Meddling just rushed things with short-term thinking and the contrast with previous films is jarring, as if the Mother Box made him cocky when he was more humble and stoic before.
  • Complete Monster: Steppenwolf, military commander of Apokolips, had burned countless worlds when he came to Earth, killing millions and raising them as monstrous Parademons, before he tasted defeat. Returning thousands of years later, Steppenwolf seeks to recover the lost Mother Boxes to enact his plan of wiping out life on Earth to turn it into a blasted hellscape like his own homeworld, hoping to offer Earth to his master Darkseid and end his exile. Massacring the Amazon warriors guarding their Mother Box and later doing the same to the Atlanteans, Steppenwolf captures humans who may know of the third Mother Box, killing them when they don't have the info he wants and preparing to torture another until he talks. When the newly formed Justice League moves to stop him, Steppenwolf puts his plan into motion and unleashes his forces on civilians, intending to annihilate all life on Earth to erase the memory of his past failure.
  • Critical Dissonance: While critical reaction is lukewarm, as evident with Rotten Tomatoes recording a critical score around 40%, general audience opinion finds the film serviceable, as evident by the audience scores on Cinemascore sitting at an 'B+' grade and the Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 77%, even if they agreed it doesn't reach Wonder Woman.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Surprisingly, a lot of side or minor characters garnered good fanbases.
  • Evil Is Cool: Michael McElhatton as the snappily dressed, fedora-wearing, black-gloved reactionary terrorist leader in the Old Bailey, has the right mix of evil and charm to make him a rather compelling villain. Notable in that he's just a minor antagonist.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With fans of the Arrowverse once again, with the Crisis on Earth-X crossover event and because this film introduces Deathstroke into the DCEU... which meant that the much beloved Arrow version played by Manu Bennett is now off limits, again. To add insult to injury he was actually brought back into "Arrow" before this film was released for a redemption arc — and now it'll most likely never be completed.
    • Perhaps low-key, but there were comparisons made by fans between this film's versions of Superman and The Flash, and the long-running TV version of The Flash (2014), and the version of Superman featured on Supergirl (2015), with some fans takings sides as to who was the better/more true version of the characters.
    • Once again, with Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, due to the film getting released a couple of weeks after Thor: Ragnarok.
    • Fans of Zack Snyder vs fans of Joss Whedon. Ranges all the way from polite arguments over which one has the best directing/writing style to vicious "saved/ruined the movie" arguments.
  • Fanon:
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Before Zack Snyder's Justice League was announced and alleviated things, many DCEU fans consider the theatrical cut to have never happened, or at least many of Joss Whedon's additions to it, feeling they come off as unnecessarily corny/cringeworthy, full of Special Effect Failure, dumbing down the Superman arc the two previous movies were building, mishandling Wonder Woman and making Batman a laughingstock. The reshoots are frequent targets for removal in fan edits. With the gradual reveals that many Snyder scenes were scrapped, that the original script was way different and that Darkseid was originally going to have important appearances in the movie, this has only intensified.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Those who were satisfied with The Emperor's New Groove after Roger Allers stepped down are likely to be fans of the Whedon Cut.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: While doing a publicity piece for Thor: Ragnarok over at IGN, Taika Waititi read a comment from a poster with the username "Bruce Wayne," who insisted Ragnarok looked "beyond stupid." Waititi responded by sarcastically saying the movie was indeed beyond stupid, and that's why it would "take all the money from Bruce Wayne." He ended up being correct, with Thor: Ragnarok having a far better opening weekend than Justice League, and box office analysts suggesting that releasing Justice League so close to Ragnarok was a bad decision that ultimately hurt the film's chances. note 
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • J. K. Simmons, who's playing Commissioner James Gordon, has been in a Justice League adaptation before, where he played General Wade Eiling. There's also the fact that he's famous for playing the superhero-hating J. Jonah Jameson and in this movie, he's playing the Commissioner Gordon. J. K. Simmons also voices Kai, the villain in Kung Fu Panda 3. The previous villain in that series, Lord Shen, was voiced by Gary Oldman, the last live action Gordon.
    • It seems that the DCEU has become a haven of actors from the Spider-Man Trilogy now with the inclusion of Joe Manganiello (Jerk Jock Eugene "Flash" Thompson) as Deathstroke.
    • One of the first scenes described for the film include Bruce confronting Barry in his apartment with the footage of him using his superpowers. The apartment is also filled with random gadgets and a rudimentary suit designed to work with his powers. It feels almost beat for beat the same as in Captain America: Civil War where Tony approaches Peter Parker in his own home, shows footage of him using his powers and talk about improving his costume to work with his powers. The Justice League scene was one of the first filmed, and thus planned well in advance of Civil War's release, not to mention "recruited for your special powers in your own home" is its own well-worn trope, but the similarities are nonetheless amusing.
    • When Barry uses his powers the lightning effects generated is blue (well, bluish white) instead of the traditional yellow. Just several months before the comic-con trailer The Flash (2014) made a specific plot point that blue lightning from a speedster is because they are using a specialized drug trying to enhance their speed and is evidence of them actually being sick and their powers unstable. The Big Bad of season two, Zoom, is defined by the blue lightning he generates.
    • Jason Momoa previously played Conan, a Cimmerian, descendant of Atlantean colonists, in 2011. Fast-forward to 2017, he plays Aquaman, a.k.a. King Orin of Atlantis, in Justice League. And he had a role in Stargate Atlantis.
    • Man of Steel was promoted by Gilette with a "How Does He Shave" ad campaign referring to Clark's beard and lack of it as Superman, though the film just skipped over the part where he does. Come Justice League, Henry Cavill had to do reshoots with a thick mustache to be removed in post-production, something that was widely ridiculed by media and fans. Fortunately, Henry was such a good sport that he joined in the fun. He even grieved his mustache when the time came to shave it.
    • For some fans, Taika Waititi's IGN comments about how Ragnarok would "take all the money from Bruce Wayne" fall into this category.
    • The second Batmetal music video depicts Aquaman as the kidnapped victim... and now this movie's take on Aquaman is way more "metal" than Batman ever was.
    • There is something darkly humorous about Suicide Squad making more money than Justice League. A group of C-list villains created as cannon fodder. Specifically tasked to take them down. Ended up making more of a profit and box office-wise beating them.
    • Steppenwolf's voice actor in the Latin American Spanish dub of the film, Humberto Vélez, is best known for having being the Latin American Spanish VA for Homer Simpson in The Simpsons. There has been a superhero movie before that, among its casting choices, was notable for having the original English voice actor of Homer.
  • Ho Yay: Batman harbors this with Superman throughout the film. Not that this is the first time this has showed up in their team-ups. He feels as broken up about Superman's death as Lois does, and when he resurrects, Batman is heartbroken when Superman sneers about his uselessness, and then when Superman saves the day against Steppenwolf, he stares at him with open-mouthed awe and delight. And when Superman snarks that Batman probably didn't bring him back because he liked him, Bruce pouts "I don't not like you". His buying off the bank that foreclosed Ma Kent's farm likewise has the air of a grand romantic gesture.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • Justice League has an alien invasion as its main plot, which was also the plot of Man of Steel and The Avengers. Now admittedly it's a classic origin, and the Justice League of the comics and cartoon was also formed to meet a similar threat (Starro and the White Martians respectively) but among the movie-going public, some felt that the time was right for the League to square against a different kind of threat to distinguish itself from the crop (for instance the Secret Society, Vandal Savage, Dr. Destiny, or the AMAZO Android). Likewise the film features Steppenwolf with the implication being that a follow-up would feature Darkseid, meaning the film is a set-up for two League films with the same plot. The film likewise has a plot outline similar to The Avengers, i.e. a herald (Steppenwolf/Loki) for an unseen threat (Darkseid/Thanos), searches for a particular MacGuffin (Motherbox/Tesseract) and brings with him an army of dumb alien mooks (Parademons/Chitauri) and the finale involves a beam of light and a portal. Forbes speculated that this ultimately contributed to the movie's poor opening weekend, as potential audiences may have felt that Justice League looked like an inferior knock-off of The Avengers.
    • In addition, Justice League is highly similar to Man of Steel in the fact that both films involve alien conquerors coming to Earth, with their ultimate goal being to forcibly terraform the planet to resemble their own homeworlds.
    • Steppenwolf's design, which is based rather closely on the modern comics, looks all too similar to that of Ares in Wonder Woman, complete with double-horned helmet and basalt gray armor design. The original Jack Kirby design and the DC Animated Universe version had him dressed in green and look like an evil Robin Hood Huntsman in Space and many feel that if they had adapted that, it would have worked, especially since the Movie Superheroes Wear Black trope has been phased out, even in the later movies in the X-Men Film Series.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: A common complaint from many is that the original 120 minute run time is too short for an ensemble movie. Warner Bros. execs mandated that the film should last no more than 2 hours, allegedly to allow for more screenings per day. The problem is that while a shorter run time would be appropriate for solo movies, this ended up hurting an ensemble film like Justice League since there is less time devoted to developing each member of the league. The unreleased Director's Cut has been confirmed to last a whopping 214 minutes, and the HBO Max version promises to last even longer, to the point where it will be released as a 4-part Mini Series.
  • Memetic Badass: The Russian family's daughter is one, with some fans even calling her a future league member. The characters google search yields surprising results and there's this article which argues she and her brother are the Wonder Twins (despite a noticeable age gap).
  • Memetic Loser: The theatrical version of Steppenwolf is often jokingly compared to his Snyder Cut incarnation in the least flattering manner possible, with the latter held up as an icon of masculinity while the former is a cheap imitator.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has its own page.
  • Misaimed Marketing: A fanmade Chinese poster depicting the Justice League killing the Avengers and the X-Men has actually been officially used by several theaters in China. It has been reportedly taken down after being noticed by fans.
  • Misblamed:
    • From the trailers alone, people have already made a game out of picking apart Joss Whedon's contributions from Zack Snyder's like the alleged inserted humor and brighter colors, and criticizing (or praising) either in turn. There was a perception among some fans that if the film succeeded, Whedon would get all the praise, while if the film failed, Snyder would get all the blame. However, websites on release and other observers noted that the Uncanny Valley CGI of Cavill's Mustache/Upper Lip clearly indicated where the reshoots and edits came in, and if anything, many have criticized the reshoots for looking lackluster compared to Snyder's shots and adding more repetitive jokes, with many, even among Snyder's critics, lamenting that the film feels botched.
    • For the complains about the film leaving Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter out for the creation of the team, it was not the fault of Snyder or anyone involved in the leading creative process before the reshoots happened. About two years after the film's release, Snyder revealed on Vero that he filmed scenes involving them (with Martian Manhunter in particular being none other than Calvin Swanwick, played by Harry Lennix). They were scrapped during the making of the theatrical cut, which was not helmed by Snyder.
    • After Rotten Tomatoes withheld the film's status until its new Facebook show the very day of the film's release, quite a few people accused the site's co-owner Warner Brothers of making them do it over worries of bad reviews like the first three films in the franchise got. Rotten Tomatoes actually started doing this for their Facebook show a little earlier and Justice League is just one of the movies affected. Specifically, it's the second film they had done this for, and the first blockbuster and highly anticipated film they had done this to.
  • Narm: See DC Extended Universe.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Steppenwolf, thanks to Ciarán Hinds' line delivery and scenery chewing. Having the creepy eldritch-being teased by the deleted scene in Dawn of Justice gloating about his love for torture, murder, conquest, possibly rapenote , with his only quirk being his attachment to the Mother Box, is anti-climactic but not without a certain B-Movie charm.
    • With the villain's defeat, exotic flowers spontaneously grow out of the wreckage. It's cheesy as hell, but seeing the little girl survivor go up and pick one is downright adorable.
    • Clark spontaneously shedding his glasses and clothes in public to reveal his Superman outfit underneath and leaping into the sky, akin to what many fans have been waiting for. Overcut with Lois saying "Look up in the sky."
    • Superman's "big fan of justice" line is cheesy as hell, but quite endearing and reminiscent of Christopher Reeves's version of Superman.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • When Aquaman's official look was revealed online, many were quick to criticize it, believing the long-haired, bearded warrior look to be derivative of Marvel's Thor, despite the fact that this is clearly inspired by the character's appearance in the '90s comics (minus the hook hand, of course). If there is a Marvel character it is derivative of then it's Namor the Sub-Mariner, whose rights are currently with Fox, and who preceded Aquaman as an aquatic superbeing from Atlantis, and whose Darker and Edgier and more badass revisions tended to make him more Namor-like than before.
    • Speaking of Aquaman, a number of people quickly criticized the look of his trident. Specifically that it had five prongs rather than three and thus wasn't really a trident. These people tended to cite this as an example of problems with the Darker and Edgier approach to the source material and an invention of Zack Snyder, except that the five-pronged trident actually does exist in the source material (known as the Trident of Neptune in the comics), and has existed for several years longer than Aquaman's presence in the DCEU. Aquaman's real three-pronged artifact of power was actually saved for his solo movie, as concept art revealed he was initially supposed to use it in JL but Snyder agreed upon James Wan's request, that is showing Atlantis, the iconic suit and the legendary weapon for the first time in his movie.
    • Cyborg's status as a member of the Justice League has been status-quo since the New 52 and likewise in the Justice League: War and Justice League: Doom animated movies, so it wasn't made for the film, not to mention the final incarnation of Super Friends, Super Powers: Galactic Guardians. The reason for Cyborg's inclusion was the need to avert Monochrome Casting and the fact that DC wanted to restore and revive Hal Jordan over John Stewart (who filled the role for Green Lantern for the very same reason in the DC Animated Universe) before including him in future movies.
    • The very idea that the founding members of the Justice League are well entrenched and haven't changed is this. In actual fact, beyond the Martian Manhunter, the League line-up in both comics and adaptations has been quite fluid. Post-Crisis, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were retconned out of founder status, with Black Canary retconned in to take both the badass normal place from Batman and the original female place from Wonder Woman. The DCAU version left Aquaman out of the founding team members, using him in specialized episodes instead. They also inserted Hawkgirl rather than the more well-known Hawkman to avert The Smurfette Principle. And they used the then-current Wally West as the Flash instead of comics founder Barry Allen, and John Stewart as Green Lantern rather than Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner to avert Monochrome Casting. For most of comics history, both Batman and Superman tended to be solo-heroes, while Wonder Woman was notoriously the "secretary" of the JLA in the original run. Among the Bat-Family, Dick Grayson as Robin/Nightwing has a longer record as a leader of Teen Titans than Batman does, and is a far more respected and liked member of the superhero community. Even in the DCAU, Batman was officially "part-time" and never a full-time member of the League although this became Informed Attribute as he appeared more and more often with the team.
    • One of the major criticisms is that DC rushed itself due to fleshing out only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman while only introducing the other members in the movie itself. The DCAU version actually had only Superman: The Animated Series and Batman: The Animated Series with the occasional crossover with the other heroes to act as its foundation before forming the Justice League. Not only that, there is also Justice League: War which immediately jumps to the formation without much of an introduction from the individual members.
    • This isn't the first DC superhero movie bogged down with Troubled Production, behind the scenes shenanigans, Executive Meddling, and change of directors mid-production, including replacing the original director who had a serious vision with someone who was known for his more humorous and light touch. This happened in Superman II where Richard Donner was replaced by Richard Lester, after completing 75% of the film with Lester working on reshoots and the edits, similar to Whedon taking over for Snyder after the latter had completed principal photography, and like Lester, Whedon made extensive reshoots, and added in more comedy.
    • Warner Bros. hastily course-correcting in response to backlash to a very dark superhero film that upset family-friendly entertainment-seeking audiences for its dark themes and tones, with the follow-up film deliberately going Lighter and Softer and making the brooding anti-hero likable by pairing him with a quippy sidekick (Robin/Flash), more or less mirrors Batman Returns and Batman Forever, complete with the departure of a director with a very strong visual and thematic style (Tim Burton/Zack Snyder) from the helm of the franchise. Indeed, Forbes journalist Scott Mendelson noted that the film's poster was quite reminiscent of the Joel Schumacher films.
    • There's been some backlash towards the idea of Batman being the one to try to form the League, many discontent fans referring to the aforementioned "part-timer" commitment he had in some recent incarnations and being a (mostly) solo hero. In The Brave and The Bold #28, the League's first appearance, it was ultimately Batman who brings up the idea of officially forming a team to the other heroes.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The flashback of Steppenwolf's first invasion has a whole slew of this. The Alliance of The Greek Gods, including an unnamed Artemisnote  taking out a floating Apokoliptan warship with a single golden arrow, Zeus leading the army and hurling thunderbolts, an unnamed alien Green Lantern using Green Light Hammers against Apokoliptans only to fall heroically in battle to Steppenwolf.
    • The Amazon warriors in both the flashback and the present. Especially the heroic soldiers who sacrifice themselves in a relay to keep the Mother Box away from Steppenwolf, sacrificing their lives for the cause, and the women who use their strength to hold up a collapsing cave so Hippolyta can run away from the vault of the Mother Box away from Steppenwolf.
    • The reactionary terrorists led by the fan-favorite Michael McElhatton, for their coolness, menace, and snappy dressing-style.
    • Amber Heard's Mera and the Atlanteans cast a good impression in their brief scene, with Mera calling out Aquaman for his Prodigal Hero irresponsible shtick, and using her powers to repel Steppenwolf and create a vacuum of air in the middle of ocean for her and Aquaman to talk.
    • Billy Crudup fits Henry Allen as well as John Wesley Shipp does in The Flash.
    • There's also Deathstroke and even Lex Luthor, if that floats your boat, in this case literally in the second, and final post-credits scene, promising either a Legion of Doom or the Injustice League.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy:
    • The film's infamous Troubled Production wound up damaging the critical and commercial reception of the final product. Zack Snyder, the original director, stepped down partway through production after his daughter's suicide, causing co-writer Joss Whedon to take over directing duties. Whedon's appointment was initially thought as Win the Crowd until his ex-wife revealed he cheated on her multiple times during their marriage, which started a backlash against the popular director. Towards the release, many involved in the film were dogged by sex scandals including star Ben Affleck (who came under scrutiny for his ties to Harvey Weinstein) and producer Brett Ratner (whose production company was involved in Wonder Woman and was fired after being outed for his sexist behavior). By the time the film came out, Snyder ironically won the most sympathy despite his reputation as a Scapegoat Creator.
    • Joss Whedon's reshoots for Justice League were meant to lighten up the film's atmosphere after it became clear that most people had rejected the needlessly dark and edgy tone of Batman v Superman and were losing faith in the DCEU. Whatever improvements Whedon had made to the final cut were overshadowed by the infamous "Mustache-Gate" and later by Ray Fisher's claims of "abusive and unprofessional behavior" on set on Whedon's part.
  • Pandering to the Base: The reshoots aimed at this, ultimately, but only resulted in more Broken Base.
    • To make-up for his polarizing characterization in the previous films, Justice League goes to the other extreme with Superman in response to complaints. The Justice League see themselves, collectively, as his Poor Man's Substitute. The whole world and they themselves are Holding Out for a Hero. Batman, the Determinator who never backs down from any threat and challenge, willingly admits that they need to revive Superman in desperation against Steppenwolf, more or less throwing in the towel of his resolve. They lose pathetically to Superman in a Let's You and Him Fight situation, where a revived Superman, on hearing Batman state that the world needs Superman, sneers in reply that the world doesn't need Batman, who already in earlier scenes admitted to feeling out of place in a world of superbeings and filled with self-loathing about being manipulated by Luthor. The finale against Steppenwolf becomes a massive Curb-Stomp Battle when he shows up, which more or less makes the entire League a squad of sidekicks rather than the more collegiate incarnation that it is in the comics and cartoons. Some fans liked the change and portrayal, while others lamented it came at the price of making a superhero team movie entirely about how one guy makes the rest unnecessary.
    • Adding Whedon's brand of humor to try pandering to the crowds that usually flock to theaters to watch Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. While it works for characters who've only been limited to cameos up until this point, it's quite jarring to hear the introverted Superman and brooding Batman make wisecracks right when things are getting tense. Wonder Woman is the only one who doesn't make any out-of-character quips, but given Joss Whedon's reputation regarding the character, that's not necessarily seen as a good thing either.
    • Danny Elfman going the nostalgia route by reworking the John Williams Superman theme and his own Batman (1989) theme into the soundtrack instead of maintaining continuity with what Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL did in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman.
    • The decision to make all the scenes brighter and more saturated should have addressed complaints regarding Zack Snyder's choice of limited colour-palette and complaints were minimal upon release. Once the Snyder Cut released its first full trailer people began to turn on the theatrical cut's palette, stating that while it looks more vibrant, it lacks the sense of grandeur that Zack Snyder was aiming for.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Due to the controversial nature of the prior Snyder films, the mixed reception here, and the fact there were two directors involved, the two are blamed for the film's end result based entirely off of what parts of the film they enjoyed and/or what they liked about previous installments.
    • Zack Snyder was blamed by people who disliked the preceding movies Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Among these audiences, the final film's problems are blamed on him for having orchestrated the universe this movie was building from, which naturally put it on rocky ground. While the end result (which was very much not his final vision of the movie) might not be considered good by these people, the details that have came to light about his plans for the movie sound even worse to them, due to the convoluted nature and building off of an arc that they just don't think was good. Likewise, they often cite the aspects that were clearly 'Whedon' like the humour and character moments being the best part of the movie.
    • After taking over, Joss Whedon got a lot of scrutiny from people who enjoyed Snyder's previous two movies, due to Whedon having written/directed two Avengers movies and somewhat codified the 'action comedy' tone of those films that many Snyder DC fans don't like. He's accused of ruining Snyder's more serious vision with pointless humour and for cutting out most of the narrative arc Snyder had been building, feeling he's responsible for the films' underwhelming feel in an attempt to make it a carbon-copy of the Marvel movies. For these people, Snyder's unreleased director's cut would have been the perfect follow-up and many hold Joss Whedon personally responsible for them not getting it. The later claims by Ray Fisher that Whedon's behavior on set has been "abusive and unprofessional" (backed by several film crew members) only added fuel to the fire.
    • Additionally, Geoff Johns (then-producer on the film) has concentrated the ire of many Snyder fans and defenders of Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, specially after the announcement of Zack Snyder's Justice League. They hold him responsible for the wave of Executive Meddling and ensuing Troubled Production that bogged down both Suicide Squad and Justice League after he became chairman of DC Films alongside Jon Berg, and for trying to bury Snyder's version of the film forever. Ray Fisher accusing him of allowing Whedon's "unprofessional behavior" and "making thinly veiled threats on his [Fisher's] career" also added fuel to that fire. Given Johns' reputation had been previously tarnished when he made the New 52 version of Darkseid a Generic Doomsday Villain, he naturally caught a lot of blame for any flaws in Steppenwolf.
  • The Scrappy: Steppenwolf is widely considered to be the most forgettable and least-liked villain in the DC Extended Universe due to having a bare-bones personality and his character design being drastically different to what Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had promised, obviously bearing the marks of the film's Troubled Production.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The opening scene with the credits playing to a mournful cover of "Everybody Knows" was widely liked by many, with many comparing it to the "The Times They Are Changin" montage at the start of Watchmen. Which is ironic since the sequence was entirely Whedon's idea as was the choice of song, done specifically as a Homage to Snyder's style.
    • As mixed as the reception can be, most everyone can agree that they enjoyed the scene where Superman catches notice of the Flash while he's in super speed.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general reviews state is that it's an unambitious film that hangs together despite its chaotic production, but most argue that it's not as spectacular as it should have been, and the cinematography and special effects of the reshoots are still clearly, inferior to those of Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman. The film's big moment, Superman coming Back from the Dead, was surprisingly soft-pedalled. It currently sits at 45/100 on Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews", and 40% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.2/10.
    Critics' consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
  • Special Effect Failure: A lot of reviews mention some of the CGI in the theatrically released movie being downright atrocious, with the most common offender being Steppenwolf, who is completely a CGI creation. The VFX failures are due to the very tight schedule of the reshoots, as the November 2017 release date was somehow maintained and the reshoots started in July, which is baffling considering reworking such a big movie obviously needed much more time.
    • Superman's face. Henry Cavill's mustache had to be digitally covered after the reshoots, which meant rebuilding his entire face with CGI and it shows, reaching Uncanny Valley levels of weird. Zack Snyder commented on this, saying "We all know that doesn't work."
    • Steppenwolf's size and his penchant for leaping around means he should make the ground tremble any time he lands, which just doesn't happen, not even when he's on a flimsy bridge. Also when he talks, you can see his jaw movements aren't as varied or as subtle as they should be, instead just flapping with every syllable.
    • Flash's CG is very obvious near the end of the film during Lois' monologue, as he looks like he's being pulled forward by strings.
    • The bright red sky in the climax (colored that way after Zack Snyder left) is incredibly distracting and doesn't make the action and special effects as smooth to follow as it did when it was dark blue in the first two trailers. It also makes the special effects failure or the Whedon reshoots stick out like a sore thumb.
    • Snyder has since confirmed that the terraforming effects from the final confrontation (such as the crystalline tendrils) are not part of his original vision. While these effects were alright on their own, the fact that they were prioritized over other issues during the reshoots doesn't reflect well on the executive team. Whatever one may say about Snyder's directing and storytelling style, his films always have polished and stunning CGI when he's allowed full control over them, which wasn't the case here.
    • Cyborg looks awesome... if you don't stare at him too long in the reshot scenes. Look too closely, and you start to notice that he's just not really there, and your eyes just slide off of him. He looks way better and more polished in the missing trailer scenes.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Batman's "tactical suit" that he dons for the climax is probably the closest thing we'll get for the highly regarded Batman: Arkham Origins batsuit in live action.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Those who defended the unique approach to the comic book movie genre and slow buildup of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice felt taken aback by the extent of the changes brought by the reshoots, with brutal tonal changes, simpler plot, Whedon's humor and faster pace especially, feeling like Zack Snyder's vision has been botched/destroyed through extreme Executive Meddling.
    • Likewise, fans of the soundtracks created by Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL and Rupert Gregson-Williams for Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Wonder Woman are not happy with the changes brought by Danny Elfman, especially since it ruins thematic continuity with the previous films in favor of nostalgia for the old Superman and Batman themes. Elfman himself certainly didn't help matters when he basically said that there is only one Batman theme (his own). A number of fan edits changed this, bringing music from the previous DCEU films back in it.
    • Fans of Zack Snyder and others, while sympathetic about the tragic personal circumstances that led to Joss Whedon to stepping in and do the reshoots, have taken issue with the extent of the changes, and the uneven mix of Whedon's style with Snyder's style. As people like Dan Olson of Folding Ideas pointed out, the reshoots were far more extensive than claimed as evidenced by the CGI used to cover Cavill's mustache whose Uncanny Valley effect highlights which scene comes from where and when the Mother Box is used to resurrect Superman is entirely different looking from the others, and he believes that Superman's resurrection was conceived differently in Snyder's version. A near constant flow of behind-the-scenes information including leaked unfinished VFX scenes, pieces of storyboards, concept arts and screenshots (many of the latter being provided by Snyder himself on Vero) only added fuel to the What Could Have Been fire in the years that followed Justice League's release prior to the announcement of Zack Snyder's Justice League.
    • Despite not being the first adaptation to do so, fans of the Teen Titans and the DC Animated Universe portrayal of the Justice League aren't too happy with Cyborg being made one of the founding members of the team's first cinematic portrayal, especially at the cost of more iconic members such as Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. Many lament that the Justice League not comprising of seven founding members felt incomplete especially for its original founding adventure.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Though there's a strong chance a number of the below points will be fixed with Zack Snyder's Justice League.
    • The film undersells the New Gods and the Fourth World as Darkseid is left unseen. Only his lackey Steppenwolf appears, who is not even among the most famous of Darkseid's underlings, let alone of the Fourth World overall. Many lament that the DCEU did not show Darkseid before his more-or-less Alternate Company Equivalent Thanos' on-screen splash in Avengers: Infinity War, defeating the purpose of the film as a delayed response to The Avengers and the MCU. Some fans were hoping that Superman's resurrection would lead to him fighting Darkseid himself either on Earth or on Apokolips in imitation of their beloved rivalry in the DC Animated Universe. The fact that Darkseid's debut would have had him lead the conquest of Earth would have arguably been a one-up on Thanos, who did next to nothing for 6 straight years after making his first appearance.
    • Michael McElhatton and his squad of "reactionary" terrorists who want to restore humanity to the Dark Ages make a solid impression in their small sequence. Their vague motives as Western Terrorists with reactionary goals could have been easily reworked to make them into the DCEU version of Intergang, the crime syndicate that serves as the front for Apokoliptan invasion of Earth in the DCAU and later becomes a Darkseid Mystery Cult (Post-Crisis, New 52), serving as a good way to introduce the Fourth World mythos into the DCEU (since that's how both Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm introduced it in their takes on the story), while also clarifying Luthor's madness in the previous film.
    • Cyborg's implants are stated to incorporate Mother Box technology. Since the whole plot revolves around Mother Boxes, you might expect this to be an important plot point, but nothing comes from this. Since the bad guys can apparently detect a Mother Box anywhere on Earth, this could have been extended to track Cyborg and for him to thus become a liability. Or that he could have a unique ability to interface with a Mother Box. The closest one could claim is that he is somehow able to calculate that a Mother Box contains the power to resurrect Superman, but there is no clear connection made from there.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • While some have praised the film for giving Superman an Author's Saving Throw and restoring his characterization to something closer to the mainstream depiction of Superman, there's also a sense about how it negates the buildup of Zack Snyder's first two films in general, while also making Superman's death via Doomsday kind of pointless, since it doesn't provide a compelling reason for the Justice League's formation. As was clear in the DCAU, Superman formed the Justice League because there were threats that he couldn't meet by himself, and the team was needed to meet threats bigger than themselves and be more effective. This was also the message, or in some cases the stated message, of The Avengers and other superhero team movies (like X-Men, Fantastic Four, and even Suicide Squad). In the film, Batman forms the League as a replacement for Superman and to make up for his guilt, then Superman comes in the finale and saves the day by himself against Steppenwolf with most of the team and the planet Holding Out for a Hero (as the opening cover of "Everybody Knows" by Sigrid states). The entire debate about collateral damage and Hero Insurance, Batman's "Knightmare Sequence" and the coming of Darkseid which was hinted and set up for the first two films got washed away and left unaddressed by the film's retooling, even if it could have cohered for a meaningful motivation to found the League, i.e. be more effective in limiting damage from battles, hold themselves accountable and serve as a check and balance. As such there's seemingly no clear reason for why the world needs a Justice League, or why Superman should need allies.
    • In a somewhat retroactive example, Superman's dramatic character shift highlights some of the characterization problems in the previous films. A number of critics and fans have observed that the central conflict of Batman v. Superman would have been far more compelling and better written had it starred this version of Superman, since the ideological differences between the dark, angsty Batman and the hopeful, optimistic Superman would have made way more sense. Indeed, that sort of ideological clash was the exact basis for the beloved World's Finest animated movie.
    • A similar situation exists with Batman. In the film, Batman is shown as a Butt-Monkey who is barely able to keep up with the Justice League, a situation that is played for both drama and comedy. While this was largely greeted as a well-deserved dressing down for his controversial portrayal of the previous film, others lament that the Science Hero version of Batman, the one who could legitimately tackle superpowered beings (Clayface, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Ra's Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, among others), who was also Crazy-Prepared, doesn't get to take his place alongside his peers. Many see this as a consequence of Snyder's revision in Batman V Superman where he cast an older Batman who was largely a Badass Normal (dubbed "crossfit bro") who was a bulky brute, and the film generally implies that he mostly tackled street-level thugs in his career and costumed criminals like Joker and the Penguin, with Alfred stating "I don't recognize this world", when the Batman of the comics and cartoons, and games, had experience tackling science-fiction and paranormal threats, and this allowed him to be a major part of the League, outside of his superpower of "being rich".
    • The opening of the film, via exposition, maps out a lot of World Building and connections between the New Gods, Fourth World, Greek Gods and Atlanteans via the Mother Boxes, which in the Alternate Universe of DCEU recur throughout its history. The exposition provided a lot of thematic heft to Snyder's allegorical and symbolism-laden superhero films — for instance arguing that the despair felt by the world after Superman's death led to Steppenwolf's return — and yet, due to the retooling of the film after Snyder's departure, the rest of the film doesn't explore this beyond using it to explain and justify the fight against the villain. Had this been built or sustained, the film could likely have built upon the cosmic side, as well as make the formation of the Justice League the mythical grand event that it always has been, and should have been.
    • Parademons feast upon fear. Who is among Darkseid's laundry list of enemies in the comics? The Guardians and their Lanterns, a force dedicated to fighting fear in the universe. Other than two brief cameos and a line that didn't even make it into the film, the Green Lantern Corps are absent. This would have been the perfect way to introduce the cosmic side of the DCEU while making the story seem greater in scale.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: If there is something universally commendable about the movie is that the interactions and emotions of the characters come off as genuine and believable. Particular praise went to Henry Cavill for capturing the charisma and idealism Superman is known for, as well as for Ezra Miller making a very empathetic Flash; and Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck continuing their good dynamic from Batman v Superman to develop a friendship that allows both of them to develop as characters.
  • Unacceptable Targets: A rather tragic example. While Zack Snyder's reputation as a director remains anything but this, the Internet as a whole moved swiftly to offer their condolences and strongly condemn those attacking him personally when it was revealed that he had stepped down from working on the film due to his daughter's suicide.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • It's very easy to identify the Superman reshoots thanks to the dodgy CGI used to recreate Henry Cavill's face since he couldn't shave his mustache due to his contract with Paramount on Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It causes Superman's face to look downright weird at times.
    • Steppenwolf also crosses the line multiple times due to the awful CGI and dodgy Motion Capture used on him. His armor looks like it came from the PlayStation 2 era of video games and his face has a hard time emoting beyond either Dull Surprise or extreme rage.
  • Unexpected Character: Has its own page.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Special Effect Failure of the reshoots sticking out like a sore thumb notwithstanding, there's still plenty of eye candy.
    • Aquaman returning to the ocean and a wave swallowing him up.
    • The Flash almost literally riding the lightning (electrical arcs appear in front of him just as he takes off, giving it a real punch).
    • Wonder Woman loses her sword during the shaft fight and lunges off a ledge to retrieve it, with Flash in Bullet Time running along the wall to bounce the sword back into her hand with the tip of his finger.
    • Batman flying down into a battlefield and tossing a grenade with a strikingly vibrant sunset background looking like something out of Crisis on Two Earths. His drifting the batmobile while shooting at parademons also.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Some people watched the movie purely for Henry Cavill's notoriously bad facial CGI.
  • Win Back the Crowd: The movie's upbeat portrayal of Superman reignited some public interest in the character.
  • Win the Crowd: As reported in Took the Bad Film Seriously, the portrayals of Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg were appreciated enough to convince doubters to look forward to their solo films (if the latter two ever get out of Development Hell, which is more likely for Flash than it is for Cyborg).
  • What an Idiot!: Batman, realizing that the League is no match for Steppenwolf in its current state, decides to revive Superman, using a Motherbox, knowing that he'll be heavily distorted, possibly a case of Came Back Wrong.
    You'd Expect: Batman to have either Martha Kent or Lois Lane (or both) be the first person Superman sees upon being resurrected. He knows both people know Superman's real identity, and doing so would help Superman adjust to being resurrected, and have the rest of the Justice League wait in reserve in case Superman doesn't immediately adjust to being resurrected (plus, if he felt that he owed them any debts for his unintentional role in Clark's death, surely doing so would make them consider said debt repaid).
    Instead: He doesn't even consider bringing Martha along, and only brings Lois along as a backup, instead making the first people Superman sees be Wonder Woman (who he barely knows), Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash (3 people who he's never met). To the surprise of no-one, Superman's distorted state causes Cyborg's armor to go haywire and attack the former, resulting in a fight between Supes and the Justice League. Batman only brings out Lois as a last resort.
  • The Woobie: The Russian family that are stuck at ground zero of Steppenwolf's invasion. Given that the parademons will attack anyone who feels fear, the odds of them being killed at any moment are extremely high.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The "leather bikinis" some of the Amazons wore on set (see here) drew some controversy. Said leather bikinis don't appear in the theatrical version.
    • Most of the designs have gone over very well, but there exists a bit of a Broken Base over the Flash's costume. Some people like it, while others dislike its segmented armor-like appearance (similar to his Injustice: Gods Among Us suit, or even the Netflix Daredevil suit) with wires wrapped around it (though not as thickly as Mr. Fantastic's suit in Fantastic Four), as well as having so much black. While Snyder revealed early on (in a special set visit provided to critics, aiming to Win Back the Crowd) that he'll get a second one over the course of the film, it was absent from Whedon's theatrical cut.
    • Cyborg's almost completely CGI design was criticized along similar lines as Green Lantern's costume in his 2011 movie, and for looking "too busy" like a Bayformer. Unlike Barry Allen, he does get a new look, but only in the closing scene as he experiments with his shape-changing abilities.


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