Before Justice League, the audience only got to connect with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. That leaves out three crucial characters on the team. Certain steps had to be executed in Justice League to introduce The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. However, the runtime is too short to flesh out each of these new characters. Sure we have comic books that we can read, but this universe hardly even relates to the comic books because of the liberties that the filmmakers have taken.
Another problem with the new film and its characters is that the only good DC film to be released for this universe was Wonder Woman. Man of Steel showed us the potential that Superman has in the franchise, but the character was bogged down with a poor storyline. I still believe that Henry Cavill (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and Ben Affleck (Argo, Good Will Hunting, Gone Girl, The Town) have potential in their superhero roles, but viewers have not been given a good movie to display their potential yet. We can only hope that the franchise can pull itself together from here.
One of the standout newcomers has to be Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Yet, it still feels as though Marvel beat DC to this character. Miller's portrayal of The Flash is reminiscent to Tom Holland's Spider-Man. He is goofy and brings light to the dark situations that Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) has dragged the heroes into. Ray Fisher (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) is also an interesting addition as Cyborg. Personally, I do not know much about Cyborg (aside from my experience with Teen Titans), but I am intrigued to learn more about the character's origins and background.
As a standalone film, Justice League is what I expected it to be after seeing the trailers and filmmakers involved. It is slightly better that Batman v. Superman, a lot better than Suicide Squad, and a whole lot worse than Wonder Woman. The storyline is dull, formulaic, and bogged down with CGI effects. Anyone who has seen a recent DC film knows what to expect from the franchise at this point. The heroes are interesting, but never fully explored. One of my biggest problems with this film was the bad guy. Steppenwolf was a pretty lame character to choose for the first real team-up film. Hopefully the next DC team-up will give us something that makes the franchise worth it.
The Bottom Line: Marvel still holds the upper-hand in the current superhero cinematic landscape, and Justice League shows us all of the reasons why.