n superhero movies, sheer lively deliver-the-goods competence can be a quality you’re grateful for — or one that seems awesomely innocuous. In “Justice League,” it’s a little of both. The film is the definition of an adequate high-spirited studio lark: no more, no less. If fans get excited about it, that may mostly be because they’re excited about getting excited. Yet the movie is no cheat. It’s a tasty franchise delivery system that kicks a certain series back into gear.
A year and a half ago, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” wasn’t just a disappointing superhero movie. It became a meme, the new symbol of everything that could go wrong in a Hollywood comic-book spectacle. It was ponderous and inflated, its logic didn’t parse, it had a Batman whose husky glower made him seem a stand-in for other (better) Batmans, it had a villain who was a jittery basket-case cliché — and more than that, it oozed the kind of solemnly overripe “darkness” that was meant to signify integrity but was, in fact, laid on with a corporate trowel. Kiss of death: The movie underperformed at the box office.
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