Sunday 13 May 2018

Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)

Justice League

Since DC have tried to create a movie universe to compete with the phenomenally successful Marvel one, they've had disappointment after disappointment. Since the painfully boring Man of Steel, I think the only movie they have made which I've really enjoyed was Wonder Woman. 2016's Batman v Superman should have been a monstrous triumph, with DC's two biggest characters in a film together for the first time, but it sucked harder than one of Harvey Weinstein's house guests. Speaking of which, Ben Affleck's association with that grubby cretin has seen his popularity plummet, and this has no doubt put his future as Batman into question. It arguably had an impact on this movie when it hit cinemas late last year too.

Aside from the beacon of hope that is Wonder Woman, I'm sure the big bosses at DC were in panic mode when putting this movie together. I can imagine them discussing how to make a character as lame as Aquaman, with his bleach blonde hair and skin-tight green leggings, appeal to the general public. I bet one of them said "Fuck it. Let's just make him Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones! Everyone loves Khal Drogo. We'll even keep the tattoos!"

Ironically, the DC TV series have been really good. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl etc have all been very enjoyable, and far superior to the movies. For this reason, I'm glad they didn't copy Marvel and try to merge the universes, and I was OK with them re-casting The Flash. As long as they leave the TV show the fuck alone, I'm good.

All of the above, along with stories of large re-shoots, all contributed to me giving Justice League a miss when it came out at the cinema. Now it's out on Blu-Ray, I thought it was time to take the plunge and give it a chance.

(Spoilers ahead)

I'll cut to the chase. I actually quite enjoyed Justice League. It's more light-hearted in tone than the previous DC Universe movies and there's plenty of humour mixed in with the over the top action. The powers that be clearly learnt from The Avengers movies and adapted accordingly. Maybe a little too much! The story involves a heavily CGI'd bad-guy called Steppenwolf, who is an almost unstoppable conqueror, being released from something or other and is now going to bring about the end of days. No, it's not the storyline of Thor: Ragnarok. It's completely different. Honest! Before he can annihilate mankind, he has to find the three 'Mother Boxes' which are super-powerful cubes and are nothing like the Tesseract in the Marvel movies! Anyway, Batman puts a team together to fight Steppenwolf and his crew, and he also uses the power of one of these boxes to bring Superman back to life. This in itself should be a major spoiler. However, the geniuses at Warner put Superman on most of the DVD/Blu-Ray covers and posters so it wasn't exactly a surprise.

Justice League was good fun and certainly a step in the right direction for DC, but I felt that I'd already seen it before. There are so many better story avenues they could have gone down, instead of the one they chose, that I felt a little short-changed. The actors all did the characters 'justice', and the special effects were excellent. They could have done with a more charismatic and interesting villain though.

I believe that Justice League performed well enough at the box office, so I'm sure a sequel and more related movies will see the light of day over the next few years. It'll certainly be interesting to see where they go next.


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