IS JUSTICE SERVED?
Review by Ray Schillaci
If you were one of the die-hard fans of Batman v. Superman and put up with the lackluster Suicide Squad, then your expectations will easily be met with the latest Warner Brothers/DC effort. But, if you were like the majority that was tired of incoherent storytelling and moody, brooding heroes that are far too serious for guys parading in leotards, you’re in for a pleasant surprise, Justice League is FUN! Far from perfect, nowhere near the quality of Wonder Woman, but very entertaining none the less. Sure, it has it’s clunky moments; far too much CGI, a choppy storyline, and chaotic action that borders on mundane at times. Justice League also sports a much needed good sense of humor and a welcome camaraderie amongst our super friends.
After a killer brilliant opening marred by a morose reminder of Superman’s death, immediately we feel shades of what we feared…another repeat of BvS. That thought is dashed with Batman perched on a roof like a vicious gargoyle waiting to trap a criminal…or is that his intention? No, this criminal is actually bait for a nasty insect-like being the Batman has been hunting. The scene is a little off-putting for those of us use to Batman going against more human criminals.
At this point, you either go with the storyline or refute it – the quick introduction of evil incarnate, Steppenwolf, and his minions, the parademons. If you wanted to find one major kink in this new set of DC armor it would be its villain and his motivation. It’s just so simple, and yet what he needs to accomplish his task is so convoluted. Now, perhaps that’s not entirely true for those who are DC comic book fans. But for the rest of us, it’s hard to process or care about, and it doesn’t seem to really matter as long as we get the “team” together.
The vignettes of each hero before the team is formed are spotty, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman being the most intriguing, while Batman takes over as the brooding hero, replacing Superman’s job from BvS. We only hope he gets this team going so he lightens up. The Flash ends up being the biggest surprise. Although saddled with a terribly designed outfit, actor Ezra Miller is funny as hell and always a pleasure whenever on screen, while the character of Cyborg appears to be misplaced as if out of a bad TV show. So, we take the good with the bad, and mix it well with supporting players that get so little screen time, you wonder why bother.
Arguably the biggest spoiler is not really a spoiler at all since Henry Cavill (Superman) is listed second in the opening credits. Yup, the Man of Steel comes back. How it happens, I’ll not spoil that, but his resurrection has also given him some new abilities – lightness and humor. This is the Superman we’ve all yearned for. He’s been freed of Zack Snyder’s weight of religious connotations. He’s back to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And he’s all out of bubblegum.
END OF SPOILER
As the team unites to battle Steppenwolf, we get some great action, especially below Gotham Harbor. And, every time there is a break from the action we can always depend on Aquaman for a sly quip about Batman and the Flash, hilariously uncomfortable in his new position as a superhero. This is not to say that Wonder Woman doesn’t hold her own. She continues to be an imposing Amazon – graceful, fierce, and with her own brand of humor.
There is just too much good about Justice League to let the bad leave an aftertaste. DC has an audience pleaser on its hands. Now, if they can get a tad more cohesion to their storylines, and a proper, well-rounded villain with some dire purpose, then perhaps DC could give Marvel a run for its money. But for now, Justice League demonstrates hope and justifies reason to continue strongly with its staple of characters, and the ones we can look forward to. Anybody for a good reboot of Green Lantern?
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Run Time: 120 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers