Sure enough, the critics gave Justice League mixed reviews. Many were disappointed. It looked as if the positive response to the Wonder Woman movie was a momentary blip on the standard negative response to DC movies.
Then I saw the Justice League movie.
I really, really enjoyed it. No it was not a deep philosophical reflection that will forever have changed my life but it was a fun superhero adventure that did exactly what I wanted it to. I was entertained.
Why did some people not like it? One of the main problems with DC movies is that they are not Marvel movies. Marvel had the time and opportunity to develop the Marvel formula in which they just had to change the character names, adjust a few parts of the story, bump up the CGI and they had an instant hit.
Whether DC has not found their formula or are not looking for a formula is not known. But there is definitely more diversity in the DC movies in terms of story than in Marvel (with a few recent exceptions).
I know that some others just didn't get much out of Steppenwolf as a villain. No one had heard of him and he wasn't super-interesting. But this movie wasn't about Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is a stepping stone to the real DC bad guy: Darkseid (who in the comics is Steppenwolf's nephew).
More than that, Steppenwolf was an excuse to get the team together and he did his job. I really enjoyed the team dynamic. Everyone was different and brought something unique to the team, not just in powers but in personality.
The Flash was a lot of fun. They actually made Aquaman cool, which should give this movie all kinds of bonus points. Wonder Woman is still one of the best parts. I have always liked Ben Affleck's Batman with his mix of determination and exhaustion. I had my doubts about Cyborg (I'm old school and he's far from an original member) but this movie gave him a central role and I'm a believer now.
I would say that I enjoyed the chemistry between the members of the Justice League much more than that between the members of the Avengers. This movie was more than just mindless destruction of CGI bad guys, it was a bunch of loners discovering what it means to be a team.
It was a short part of the movie but [BEWARE SPOILERS] there was one part that I really appreciated. It was the Lord of the Rings style battle that defeated Steppenwolf during his first visit to Earth. The good guys included Amazons, Atlanteans, Humans, Olympians and Green Lanterns! The fan boy in me really loved that one.
Was Justice League perfect? No. But it was fun. I enjoyed watching it and it was far better than I expected.
Plus this was the Justice League. We have wanted something like this for decades. As far as I'm concerned, it was worth the wait.