DC takes it easy
In fact, the entire DCEU seems to have taken that chill pill. Gone are the heavy and ominous instrumentals we find in Dawn of Justice, replaced with a series of unmemorable but groovy rock beats and classic superhero orchestral music to lift our spirits. Our heroes crack jokes and punchlines like they’re going out of fashion.
This is a film trying to undo the faults of the franchise, but it doesn’t quite know where next to go. The characters lack any of the chemistry that we enjoy in the Avengers, and get along surprisingly well very quickly. There isn’t conflict - nor real camaraderie. We also get no sense that they live lives outside of the duties of a superhero. These characters don’t live and breathe. The tone of the DCEU may have shifted, but it lacks depth to ground it in any meaning.
Steppenwolf is the worst villain since Dr Doom
We'd hoped that Steppenwolf (and his army of Parademons, ancient beings who have come to take over the world) would be a villain worthy of DC's comic-book collection. But sadly, he's the most boring supervillain since Viktor von Doom in Fantastic Four (2015).
Unbearable action set pieces
In our earlier story, we lamented how unwatchable the DCEU’s action set pieces have been so far. They unfailingly result in repetitive explosions and buildings being shattered to bits, action set pieces that directors feel obligated to churn out for movies of this genre. But while such scenes are something fans expect, these fights can mean something greater.
The final showdown here feels insignificant and almost routine, lacking any sense of threat. It doesn't help that the battle is yet another DC CGI bonanza, with parademons flying in all directions, things exploding and the sky turning a strange orange. Visually, it’s headache-inducing and uninteresting. Thematically, it’s empty and meaningless.
A lost cause?
Is it just that the DCEU are late to the fading party? No, even if Justice League had won the race for the first superhero team-up movie, this is a poor film that's incoherent and hardly engaging. The glamour of our favourite DC heroes coming together for the first time quickly wears off to reveal a lack of ideas and enthuasiasm. Superheroes have never been more tedious to watch.
It's certainly not the end of the DCEU, for better or worse. As the geeks will know, if all else fails, we can always depend on Flashpoint for an X-Men: Days of Future Past bail out... and have this start all over again.