Justice League – movie reviewby Russell Baillie
Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read
Despite some humour, this superhero bash isn’t memorable.
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
This article was first published in the December 2, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.
Is there one rule for criticising Christianity and another for Islam?Read more
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
NZ director Pietra Brettkelly goes into the opulent world of Chinese designer Guo Pei in the beautifully shot documentary, Yellow is Forbidden.Read more
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