Why It’s Okay to Love ‘Justice League’, Even if It’s a Bad Movie

Matthew Loffhagen
Warner Bros
(Photo: Warner Bros)

Justice League is finally here. After years and years and years of waiting, one of the most highly anticipated movies of all time has arrived in theaters – and it’s not that great.

It’s not terrible, by all accounts; certainly it’s not Batman v Superman awful; but that doesn’t mean that it’s getting a free pass from critics and fans alike. By this point, we’re all pretty tired of generic superhero movies as a whole, and an inherently flawed film isn’t going to get a free pass from the nerd community as a whole.

Complaints leveraged against Justice League at this point include what you’d expect – the movie is bloated, not all performances are fantastic, the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, and all the reshoots have left things feeling very tonally imbalanced.

Justice League is, according to most sources, not a good movie.

That said, who cares?

Justice League Flash
Source: Warner Bros

If you’re a die-hard DC comics fan, if you defend Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and if you’re just looking forward to seeing the Justice League all appear together on the big screen, it really doesn’t matter whether the movie is widely considered good or bad.

Some things are a matter of taste. Nobody would consider a McDonald’s cheeseburger to be a well-crafted piece of art, but it’s still enjoyable to eat if you’re a fan of fast food. The same is true of entertainment media.

We’ve all got one “guilty pleasure” movie that we enjoy even though it’s pretty terrible. The Star Wars prequels have been enjoying something of a popular renaissance recently, not because they’re good films, but because people are having fun making memes and jokes that poke fun at the movies’ flaws.

Source: Lucasfilm

There’s fun to be had, even with a bad movie. Nobody should be made to feel foolish or silly for liking something unpopular.

That said, this cuts both ways. Just as DC comics fans are completely within their right to enjoy Justice League even while the rest of the world tells them that it’s terrible, these same fans are not in a position to get mad when someone else doesn’t share their love of a film.

It’s all too easy for us to start attacking people who have different opinions to us, in a desperate bid to prove that we’re right and that others are wrong.

This is a waste of time – not everyone is ever going to see eye-to-eye. Even terms like “good” and “bad” when relating to cultural touchstones are a poor fit, because there’s no solid, quantifiable level of quality within a movie.

Heck, despite being widely reviled, Batman v Superman is at least a film that’s kept people talking for a year and a half after its release. The movie may not be particularly well-loved, but it’s still important, because it’s made an impact over the cultural landscape as a whole.

Besides, there’s a lot fun to be gained from pointing out everything wrong with a flawed movie; otherwise CinemaSins would never have become as popular as it is.

Justice League Wonder Woman Batman and Flash
Source: Warner Bros

Instead of arguing over our opinions of Justice League, we’re better off looking at the movie from a personal standpoint, analyzing its relative quality, but ultimately allowing for people to like or dislike it based on their own preferences.

That way, we can all gain enjoyment from this movie in whatever way best suits us, either by wholeheartedly buying into its narrative, or by gleefully criticizing its flaws.

There’s no right way to enjoy Justice League, and no matter what your friends may say, you’re entitled to love or hate it on your own terms, without being forced to agree with anyone else’s opinions.