Justice League is surprisingly enjoyable, even though it’s a goddamn mess story-wise. But the best part of the film is the men that they’ve gathered around Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. She once again proves a skilled warrior—and the Amazons also show up to do their fighting thing—but the men in this movie are pretty much just there to look attractive. If that’s all you need to convince you to see Justice League, then by all means, run to the nearest theater.
First, there’s Henry Cavill. Cavill has always looked like a snack (a smorgasbord even) in these films, but it’s even more gratuitous in this film. When Superman is brought back from the dead—which duh, Cavill has been on the film’s entire press tour so killing him off in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was the dumbest idea Zack Snyder has cooked up—it’s like a gift from the gods. There’s been talk of Cavill’s mustache being removed with CGI, but his chest hair is there in its full glory as Superman returns from the dead shirtless—for no other reason than to entertain the audience, who are probably wondering how the hell Superman came back to life in the first place.
I can’t fully explain it but that’s not even important when you think about how Cavill traipses around for, like, 20 minutes not wearing a shirt. He even has a fight with Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, and Cyborg and doesn’t find time to put on a shirt. Amy Adams’ Lois Lane shows up to jog his memory, he flies her back to the farm, and they still hang around in the cornfields without finding Cavill a shirt.
Director Taika Waititi mentioned that he inserted a gratuitous shirtless scene of Chris Hemsworth into the latest Thor film, but that fleeting moment has nothing on Cavill walking around half-naked for two entire scenes. Cavill looks perfect baring his chest hair and he looks perfect in a finely-tailored suit. If that’s not the man you want leading a group of superheroes who save the world from time to time, then I’m sorry for you.
Though to be fair, Superman is not the leader of the Justice League. Batman is for some reason—he’s not even the leader in the original Justice League comics, which I’m not sure Snyder has ever read—so we have plenty of Ben Affleck to put up with. But shocker: Affleck looks really good in this movie? Even Gadot gives him a once-over while tending to his bruises. It almost made me embrace the rumors that this film was going to tease a Wonder Woman-Batman romance. Affleck looks good, his suits look good, and somehow he completely disappears into the role. For two hours I almost forgot that the real-life Affleck has yet to address his brother’s sexual harassment allegations, groped a young woman on TRL, and still hangs out with Matt Damon. What I’m saying is Justice League manages to make Affleck attractive, which is something even Jennifer Lopez couldn’t believably convey in Gigli or their paparazzi photos.
Jason Momoa is obviously in the hall of fame when it comes to attractive men, and spends even more time shirtless in Justice League than Cavill. He is, after all, Aquaman, and who can swim with a shirt on? Apparently you can swim with black skinny jeans, but a shirt is a step too far. At any rate, it’s been forever since Momoa graced us with his fine physique on Game of Thrones so it’s nice to have a place in 2017 where we can drink it in. He and Cavill being shirtless so often makes up for the fact that Ray Fisher, who is also very attractive, plays a fucking robot in the movie, so we’re not gonna see any skin there!
Which leaves us with Ezra Miller. The beautifully queer Miller, who somehow manages to be a better Flash than Grant Gustin on that CW show, infuses the superhero with his offbeat sense of humor, adorable sense of wonder, and even gives off some his own real-life queer vibes, making Flash more akin to Wonder Woman than the other performatively masculine bros of his superhero squad. Wonder Woman is obviously one of the best parts of the film, despite her theme music only showing up once (and rudely remixed by Danny Elfman), but Miller might actually be the MVP of Justice League. I wasn’t sure we needed another Flash since the television one works just fine, but after Miller’s potent turn I’m eagerly anticipating his own film and fleshed-out backstory.
Justice League is still pretty much a mess, yes. It’s certainly no Wonder Woman. But it’s really, really pleasing to look at.