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When word broke that Joss Whedon was stepping in to take the reigns of Justice League after director Zack Snyder departed, there were some who hoped the injection of Whedon’s trademark snarky dialogue and narrative clarity would swoop in to save what is, at best, a troubled superhero franchise. That didn’t happen.

The first roundup of DC Universe heroes is also the first amount of substantial screen time for Ezra Miller’s Flash, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, and Jason Momoa’s long-awaited Aquaman. The addition of new talent proved a mixed blessing for the film. The new additions to the cast are undeniably charismatic, but even their raw talent can’t overcome the film’s ham-fisted dialogue and ultra-thin characters.

Heading into Justice League’s opening night, reviews for the film haven’t been kind:

The New York Post wrote that not even Joss Whedon’s improved dialogue could save what becomes, “a joyless march to the credits.”

NPR explained that the film was an exercise in “thudding mediocrity.”

The Washington Post summed up their scathing review by saying that everyone involved with and viewing the film “deserved something better than this.”

There’s little doubt that Justice League will dominate the coming weekend. Gal Gadot’s involvement alone should secure a number one spot at the box office. How well the film does after that is anyone’s guess, though it wouldn’t surprise if the movie didn’t have legs much past opening weekend.

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