‘Justice League’ must battle film critics as well as villains

The cast poses for photographers at the Justice League photocall, at The College, in London
The cast poses for photographers at the Justice League photocall, at The College, in London, Britain November 4, 2017. REUTERS/ Peter Nicholls

November 7, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Saving Metropolis and Gotham City from the clutches of super-villains might be enough pressure for the average caped crusader but the cast of the forthcoming “Justice League” film also face another equally-terrifying foe: film critics.

The film is the latest installment from the DC comics stable of super-heroes – a series which, with the notable exception of this summer’s “Wonder Woman”, has met with a less than positive critical response and has failed to match the box office of rival Marvel’s biggest super-hero offerings.

The film features a host of major DC characters and box office stars including Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash.

Gadot won both critical plaudits and box office success for “Wonder Woman”, which was directed by Patty Jenkins, and she is confident that the experience from that film helped her reprise the character in “Justice League”.

“I had almost no transition from Wonder Woman because I finished Wonder Woman and the next day I went to set to start working on Justice League,” she told Reuters.

“I was already in the character and I only had to serve the story and the context of every scene and just you know be there and serve the director’s vision.”

Momoa was hopeful for the film’s prospects, telling Reuters “I really hope that the fans enjoy what Zack (Snyder, the director) and I have done with Aquaman.”

The film’s predecessor, 2016’s “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” grossed just over $870 million at the global box office according to film revenue website Box Office Mojo, but received a 27 percent rating on film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

Another recent entry in the DC franchise, 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” opened to an equally poor critical reception, and took around $745 million at the global box office.

While both totals are not insubstantial, they are dwarfed by Marvel’s big hits – 2012’S “The Avengers” and 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which took $1.5 billion and $1.4 billon respectively.

Audiences in 2017, however warmed to “Wonder Woman,” which grossed over $80 million more at the U.S. box office than “Dawn of Justice,” as well at proving a hit with critics, garnering a 92 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

(Reporting by Mark Hanrahan and Helena Williams; Writing by Mark Hanrahan; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

  • Captain Mann

    Ragnarok showed that what these messy, CGI-engorged superhero films need is more humor. Otherwise, they all look the same with the same boring battle scenes. Same with the Star Wars franchise which is basically the same ol’, same ol’ story one after the other.

  • David Winters

    The Flash acts like a sissy.

  • Ed L

    Film critics are the worst. If they say a film is bad. Then I go see it. I haven’t been disappointed yet

  • Phil M. Kelley

    How about a new blockbuster with Justice League vs Avengers?

    • Captain Mann

      That would be just about as bad, or worse, as Batman vs. Superman.

      • Phil M. Kelley

        My suggestion was more tongue in cheek than serious because I did not enjoy seeing Captain America and Iron Man go after each other.

  • Michael Hawk

    Myself I LOVE Stan Lee and Marvel …I have Watched Most Of their Movies …Go Stan ..You ROCK !!!!

  • His Highness

    The Justice League films are about as intelligent as the programs that a 5-year old watches on TV, but a lot more expensive to watch. Both have many disconnected action scenes that could borrow from Adam West’s Batman — boom, pow, whack — with no character development and everyone looking pretty serious about what they’re doing.

    That’s the low level of intelligence that Hollywood has come to. When they make a film that appeals to adults, wake me up, please.

    • themoi

      Plan on being asleep a long time. They appeal to the lowest common denominator and whatever makes them money then they milk it to death. The days of Merchant-Ivory / David Lean adult thoughtful films are over.

  • Varangian Guard

    Ben boy is not Batman, I was always a DC comics guy as a kid in the 60’s and 70’s. Picked it up again in the early 90’s with some of the Dark Knight magazines. The movie transitions I thought have been kind of campy even when the tried to be serious. Bale was the best as batman so far though.
    Not much hope for the franchise if they keep it as they are. I don’t mind dark, but good hasn’t been on the table.

  • Captain America

    There’s a reason for the poor DC Comics box office returns: AMERICANS DO NOT WANT THEIR SUPERHEROS TO BE ‘DARK’! Look at what DC did to Superman (darkened his character), what about Aquaman (darkened his character). We want Superheros that show us “Truth, Justice and The American Way.” Marvel has done a MUCH better job remembering WHY their are superheros to begin with! DC should take note. PLUS: Really?? A Justice League Movie WITHOUT SUPERMAN??? Already a L-O-S-E-R!!!

    • IceColdLogic

      DC comics became a political platform several years ago. I lost a lot of interest at that point. Couple that with the fact that Hollywood has been a political platform for decades and the DC movies don’t have “being good” as their priority.

      Marvel, on the other hand, does their own movies now. Best move ever!