Though it had flaws which kept it from being DC’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers, the super hero team-up movie Justice League did end up being a halfway decent superhero action flick. Not surprisingly, the home version — which is available as a Blu-ray, DVD, digital combo pack; a 3D Blu-ray, DVD, digital combo pack; a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, digital combo pack; and on DVD — also ends up being fun but flawed. Or maybe that should be flawed but fun.
For those who didn’t see it in theaters, Justice League picks up a few months after the events of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, with Superman dead, Batman worried something bad is coming, and Wonder Woman helping Batman to assemble a team. When Batsy’s fears are realized, it’s up to the Super Friends to, well, save the day.
Like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Justice League is a bit of a misfire, one that has some exciting action scenes and fun character bits, but is ultimately undermined by cheesy editing, unconvincing special effects, bad slo-mo — which, annoyingly, undercuts the good slo-mo where The Flash is concerned — poor use of music, and an often clunky script that has as many obvious jokes as it does funny ones.
The only difference being that Justice League has even more cool characters…and, sadly, more dull ones. While Gal Gadot is still the highlight as Wonder Woman, and Ben Affleck is again solid as Batman, they’re joined by an entertaining Jason Momoa as Aquaman, while Ezra Miller brings some much-needed comic relief as The Flash. Conversely, while Henry Cavill is just okay as Superman, this adds Cyborg, who’s as uninteresting here as he is in the comics, while cheesy CGI makes the bad guy, Steppenwolf, into something more silly than sinister.
That said, if Justice League was your favorite superhero movie of 2017, you’ll find that it’s just as good — or uneven, as the case may be — on Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD.
First up, the home versions of Justice League do a good job of presenting the movie with solid picture and sound, though, obviously, more so on Blu-ray and 4K than DVD. It also manages to avoid a common problem with movies on home video by having its sound mix reconfigured for home use. Which is why the loud parts aren’t too loud, the soft parts aren’t too soft, and your thumbs are sore from having to constantly adjust the volume.
As for the extras, the most interesting ones, though they don’t last long, are the two Superman-centric deleted scenes that are presented as “The Return Of Superman.” Granted, they don’t add anything to the film, but they’re still cool to see. Especially since one of them featured prominently in the trailer, but with a bit of a green glow that had me wondering if it was actually Green Lantern who Alfred was addressing.
Next, the Justice League Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD have four featurettes on the characters and their movie depictions: “Road To Justice,” “Heart Of Justice,” “Justice League: The New Heroes,” and “Steppenwolf The Conqueror.” All of which not only feature interviews with the movie’s cast and crew, but also with such comic book writers and artists as Marv Wolfman, Jim Lee, and Grant Morrison, as well as the producer of the Justice League cartoon, Bruce Timm. And while there’s nothing here that hardcore comic book readers won’t already know, they’re still informative. Plus, it’s also nice for a superhero movie’s home edition to give more than a cursory nod to its comic book origins.
Next, the Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD versions of Justice League presents some making-of featurettes, starting with “Technology Of The Justice League,” which shows how they built such props as The Flash’s suit and Cyborg’s cybernetics. Then, in “Suit Up: The Look At The League,” the movie’s costume designer discusses what went into the character’s outfits. Both of which are enlightening, though the voice over narrator in the former oddly makes it sound like an infomercial.
The Justice League Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD also have some deep dives on some of the movie’s bigger action scenes. “Scene Studies: Revisiting The Amazons” talks about the parts in Wonder Woman’s homeland; “Scene Studies: Wonder Woman’s Rescue” goes into when she takes out some terrorists; while “Scene Studies: Heroes Park” explores the scene when Superman makes his comeback.
It is here that the the Blu-ray and 4K versions of Justice League depart from the DVD edition by including a fourth “Scene Studies” featurette, “The Tunnel Battle,” which shows how the fight with Steppenwolf in the subway was filmed. But then, all four are pretty typical for making-of featurettes, no there’s probably nothing here you haven’t seen elsewhere.
Unfortunately, the absence of “Scene Studies: The Tunnel Battle” from the DVD isn’t the only problem with the home version of Justice League. For starters, it doesn’t have a commentary track, especially one that pairs director Zack Snyder with members of the cast and Joss Whedon, who came in towards the end to finish the film after Snyder left for personal reason. It also doesn’t have anything about why Snyder left, what Whedon did to the movie, or the whole kerfuffle about Henry Cavill’s mustache, though none of this is surprising.
What’s also not surprising, though it is a bit annoying, is that the Justice League Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD don’t have any of the movie’s trailers, nor anything explaining why the aforementioned deleted scenes were cut from the movie.
In the end, Justice League is not the Avengers-esque movie that fans of Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the gang were hoping for, but it does have some fun action and a couple funny moments. That the Blu-ray, 4K, and DVD editions are also imperfect is not surprising, but it’s still too bad.