The latest exhibit in the ongoing attempts of Warner Brothers to launch DC Comics as a serious contender to the cinematic throne of competitor Marvel Comics, Justice League, is a tough cookie to assess. Being that it’s neither as embarrassingly bad as previous entries (I’m looking at you, Man of Steel and Suicide Squad) nor as moderately entertaining as last summer’s serviceable entry Wonder Woman, it’s a bit difficult to come up with a review that’s likely to grab the reader. I’ll preface this one by apologizing in advance for the mediocre take on the film that’s a direct reflection of the mediocre nature of the project itself.
You would think that a film featuring a super hero dream team consisting of established DC Comics’ vets Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Batman (Ben Affleck), paired with the likes of big screen newcomers, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) would be a slam dunk. If that’s your thought process then it’s highly advised that you think again. The most amazing thing that Justice League accomplishes is taking this incredible on screen pairing and turning it into a snoozefest. That’s something I never expected when this project was announced. Then again, considering that the director is—once again—Zack Snyder (a repeat offender in his previously misguided DC Comics adaptations) it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Let’s just say that if you can say with a straight face that you thought the 2013 film Man of Steel is a great piece of pop art then this is the film for which you’ve been salivating.
The film picks up after the events of the equally dull Batman V. Superman (also directed by Snyder) where things left off with the death of Superman, who had sacrificed himself for the greater good of mankind. There’s a new threat this time, an ancient god going by the moniker of Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) who has no connection whatsoever to the late 60s rock band of the same name although that might have made things more palatable. Steppenwolf is in possession of a cube type device that, when put together with similar cubes, can destroy the world in which we live. Batman/Bruce Wayne quickly makes a plan to assemble the team of superheroes to do battle with this ancient god although there’s really no doubt as to the outcome.
Thankfully there is a bit more humor to spare in this effort, due to the last minute input of former Avengers director Joss Whedon, but it never feels organic and totally out of synch with the dark nature of the rest of the film. Add to that a villain that’s just plain dull and you the have the perfect ingredients for a slog through mediocrity. Justice League is just that.
Ezra Miller as The Flash in Justice League
Justice League is playing in Hickory and all around the area.
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