Justice League Review

Justice League

Of the many, many mistakes Justice League makes, one of the most damaging isn’t really the film itself’s fault. In releasing just a few weeks after Thor Ragnarok showed that there’s plenty of life and originality left in the comic book genre, the crushing staleness of DC and Zack Snyder’s attempted answer to Avengers is that much more apparent. An overstuffed and tonally confused mess, it’s the exact sort of superhero film that inspires exhaustion with the genre, with too much CG, a terrible villain, and little in the way of real stakes. Yet, it’s not quite a total calamity, ending up as a basically functional but mostly boring blockbuster.  Continue reading


Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is a film of many firsts. It’s the first solo cinematic outing for its titular heroine. It’s the first female-led superhero film in the new era of the global dominance of the comic book movie. It’s the first time since 2002 that a female director has been handed a budget of over $100 million dollars, with Patty Jenkins leading the charge – soon to be followed by Ava DuVernay (with A Wrinkle in Time) and Niki Caro (Mulan). And, most importantly, it’s the first genuinely good entry into the critically battered DCEU, a blast of fun and sincerity that is ever so refreshing in a world of brooding cynics in capes and quippy murderous antiheroes.  Continue reading

Suicide Squad Review

Suicide Squad Team

After the critical mauling, poor public response, and disappointing box office (‘only’ 800+ million dollars, rather than the expected billion or so), Batman v Superman had put the fledgling DC Expanded Universe at risk. This left David Ayer’s Suicide Squad to save the day, despite the fact that it features (anti)heroes with far less general popularity than its predecessor. Unfortunately, Suicide Squad is only slightly better than BVS, containing plenty of good individual elements that get lost in an absolute mess of a final cut. Reports of the film’s troubled production have been floating around since the initial critical reception was released, and all the behind the scenes confusion is felt very strongly in the finished product.  Continue reading

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Review



The absolutely disastrous reception to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow up and opening to the DC equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, had prepared me for what seemed to be an irredeemable superhero movie. Terrible reviews and a mad scramble by Warner Bros to assure everyone that every future DC movie would take a different tone suggested a complete mess. However, although in some respects BVS lives up to that toxic reputation, there is plenty in it that keeps it, moment to moment, entertaining enough that I cannot entirely dismiss it. It pulls off its immense battles with panache, and Ben Affleck’s take on Bruce Wayne and Batman proves a worthy successor to Christian Bale, even if the film he’s in is not in the same league as Nolan’s trilogy. Continue reading