Curtains Up on Justice League

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Really surprising.

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Oh my God, I’m actually recommending the new DC comics film, Justice League. After watching expensive garbage like Suicide Squad and living through a year of tepid Batman VS Superman jokes, I finally get, after Wonder Woman, a good DC superhero film. These characters are established so there is none of the origin story baggage that comes part and parcel with the genre.

Superman is dead. The world is falling into chaos with the arrival of a new villain named, wait for it, Steppenwolf. His motive is simple. Destroy humanity and rule earth. Who must stop him? The Justice League. Well, until they sort through their differences and face their inner demons, then they are just Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.  Not the Justice League just yet.

Right off the bat, the villain is weak. More than weak, he just plain sucks. Using a combination of bad CGI and bland voice over work (sad, because Ciaran Hinds voices him),  Steppenwolf is a failure who is neither menacing or effective.  Also, it is known that Warner Brother studios, desperate to make this a mass appealing kind of flick, cut the running time to under two hours fearing the bloat of BVS a year ago. Big mistake. Certain scenes seem choppy and rushed, with plot points and characters popping in and out of the narrative.

But, happily, my pros outweigh the cons. The core group of actors, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Mamoa and Ray Fisher are wonderful. Their banter is playful, their comedy has perfect timing and they are all naturally charismatic. The action sequences, with The Flash especially, are well crafted and thrilling. Say what you will about director Zach Snyder, he’s a pure visual wizard.  Now many know that certain scenes were taken over by director Joss Whedon after a tragedy in Synder’s family. Whatever he did, his style blends in seamlessly with Snyder’s.

Tech credits (bad CGI aside) are through the roof. Composer Danny Elfman dusts off some of his familiar super hero themes from the past to create a rousing score. The filmmakers have toned down the darkness of their last few films and made a colourful and fun film that comic book fans will love. And for the non fans, it may surprise them.

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