Justice League – movie review

by Russell Baillie / 08 December, 2017

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

RelatedArticlesModule - Justice League movie

Despite some humour, this superhero bash isn’t memorable.

Say this for the underwhelming Justice League, it gets a lot done in a short time. It’s 120 or so minutes long, a blessed relief after last year’s deathless, dreary Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

That took 30 minutes longer. Then again, that one needed the extra time to work up to its major revelation – its caped combatants finally realised they shouldn’t be fighting each other because, hey, their mums had the same first name. Then Superman died. Aww.

Justice League, though, isn’t mucking around. It’s got new super-characters to introduce (Aquaman, Flash, Cyborg), it’s got a Superman to mourn and it’s got a super-villain called Steppenwolf to computer-generate while he roars around collecting the magic boxes with which he will rule the world.

So, the squad must save the world from Steppenwolf and his magic-box collection. Talk about a rush. Talk about epic. Well, you might talk about it. If only you could remember it afterwards.

What does leave an impression is Justice League’s odd lumpiness and lacklustre, digital work. That includes Steppenwolf, who may be a giant horn-helmeted battleaxe-wielding interplanetary god of evil, but his screen presence doesn’t live up to his job description.

Still, Justice League is more enjoyable than BvS:DoJ, which, no, isn’t saying much. If there is less of director Zack Snyder’s heavy-metal, scorched-earth style in evidence than last time, that may be due to Snyder leaving the film after a family tragedy and Joss Whedon – a writer-director with a career of sparky ensembles, including superhero team The Avengers – coming in for extensive reshoots.

So, it’s amusing around the edges, especially with the comedy offered by Ezra Miller as hyperactive nerd the Flash and Jason Momoa as swarthy submariner Aquaman.

Even glum Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) gets a quip or two. And Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) just kind of lights up every scene she’s in, punchline or no.

But this isn’t a patch on her exuberant earnest solo movie from earlier in the year.

She’ll survive slumming it with the blokes, but the rest of this DC Comics big-screen super-team is off to a very rocky start.

IN CINEMAS NOW

★★1/2

This article was first published in the December 2, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

Lauren Southern, Israel Folau and the problem with criticising religion
93915 2018-07-23 07:12:26Z Social issues

Lauren Southern, Israel Folau and the problem with…

by Graham Adams

Is there one rule for criticising Christianity and another for Islam?

Read more
Where should we draw the line between free speech and hate speech?
93928 2018-07-23 00:00:00Z Social issues

Where should we draw the line between free speech …

by Karl du Fresne

A ban on two Canadian far-right activists speaking at Auckland Council venues has ignited the debate over hate speech and freedom of expression.

Read more
Is New Zealand a tolerant society?
93954 2018-07-23 00:00:00Z Social issues

Is New Zealand a tolerant society?

by Karl du Fresne

Offences against religious minorities suggest an undercurrent of prejudice exists in the country.

Read more
Theresa May gets Trumped in London
93853 2018-07-23 00:00:00Z World

Theresa May gets Trumped in London

by Andrew Anthony

Notwithstanding the blimp, the presidential visit proved a deflating experience in the home of football.

Read more
Win a copy of The House of Islam by Ed Husain
93910 2018-07-23 00:00:00Z Win

Win a copy of The House of Islam by Ed Husain

by The Listener

The House of Islam tells the story of the Prophet, the origins of the Quran, the Sunni-Shia schism and sharia.

Read more
A NZ director goes inside the mind of groundbreaking Chinese designer Guo Pei
93826 2018-07-22 00:00:00Z Movies

A NZ director goes inside the mind of groundbreaki…

by David Larsen

NZ director Pietra Brettkelly goes into the opulent world of Chinese designer Guo Pei in the beautifully shot documentary, Yellow is Forbidden.

Read more
Is fake meat really a threat to New Zealand's economy?
93623 2018-07-22 00:00:00Z Economy

Is fake meat really a threat to New Zealand's econ…

by Rosie Bosworth

Rosie Bosworth looks at the risk to New Zealand's economy in a post-animal world of plant-based meat and dairy products.

Read more
What is fake meat made out of?
93642 2018-07-22 00:00:00Z Nutrition

What is fake meat made out of?

by The Listener

Meatless meat is yet to get a clean bill of health. This is what Joanna Blythman found when she studied the ingredients of an Impossible Burger patty.

Read more