I was finally able to watch the recent Justice League movie.
Based on a reviews online, the film was disappointing. After watching the film, while I agreed the film wasn't great, it wasn't horrible. I was trying to pinpoint exactly why it didn't live up to expectations, and I've come up with my thoughts below. I'm not going to nit-pick on issues such as Superman's mustache.
Needless to say:
1) Poor introduction of too many characters too late
So when you compare to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you immediately think, "I don't know these characters", so it has a disadvantage compared to the first Avengers film.
However, how is quick introduction of characters that different than the first Guardians of the Galaxy film? In that film, the story collects five relatively unknown characters. In Justice League, at least Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have been introduced in earlier movies. Characters like the Flash have had their own TV series and should be familiar to viewers.
In my opinion, the problem is that the team had very little time to bond.
In the Guardians of the Galaxy, the team came together somewhat quickly, although in a somewhat comedy of errors. They immediately interact and get to know each other in prison, escape prison, go meet the Collector, etc. etc.
In Justice League, that doesn't happen. A fair amount of the time is Batman trying to put the team together. Aquaman doesn't bother showing up until the end of the first battle. Superman only shows up at the very end. It just never felt like a team.
2) None of the heroes are known in the world
Exacerbating point #1 above is the fact that the heroes aren't "known" / "public" to the world as a whole and also aren't known to each other, with just a few exceptions. So now time is wasted having the characters find each other instead of them just knowing each other.
As a counter example, lets take the forming of the Justice League in the DC Animated Universe and the direct to video movie Justice League: War. In both of those animated tales, the heroes are relatively known to the world (with a few exceptions). An alien invasion requires all the super heroes to come together for a greater purpose. Generally speaking, they all know each other or know of each other (with a few exceptions), and so that immediately leads to the group working together.
(An aside, it's not entirely clear to me how Wonder Woman
went from being in the shadows at the end of the Wonder Woman movie, but
suddenly running around trying to fight terrorists in Justice League.)
3) Superman being brought back to life
Also compounding #1 and #2 above is the fact the team has to waste time bringing Superman back to life. As the one "known" or "public" superhero in this DC movie universe, it would have made far more sense for him to be involved in forming the team.
4) The danger never seemed real.
Lets compare to the Justice League forming in the DC Animated Universe and the direct to video Justice League: War. In those animated tales, the aliens have come to Earth and are wrecking havoc everywhere around the world. So all the heroes come out to defeat the bad guys.
In Justice League, the battle is largely in the middle of no where. The overall danger just doesn't seem as exciting.
On top of all that, Superman comes in the end to save the day. No real climactic danger. So forming the Justice League wasn't all that necessary, Superman could have handled it from the start if he were alive.
5) Steppenwolf sucked
My assumption is the movie studio is saving Darkseid for another day. As such, they sent one of Darkseid's cronies instead.
The story in Justice League could have been much better served with a different random alien invasion. Say ... Martians.