Justice League – movie review

by Russell Baillie / 08 December, 2017
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.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The Man Who Invented Christmas – movie review
85037 2017-12-14 00:00:00Z Movies

The Man Who Invented Christmas – movie review

by James Robins

A charming drama captures Dickens as he creates his Yuletide classic.

Read more
Electronic music duo Sachi on how they create their beat
84710 2017-12-14 00:00:00Z Music

Electronic music duo Sachi on how they create thei…

by India Hendrikse

Electronic duo Sachi, aka Nick Chrisp and Will Thomas, were plugged by Diplo back in 2015. Now, the 19 year olds are poised to be the next big thing.

Read more
Christmas dinner: Everything you need for a three-course festive feast
85039 2017-12-14 00:00:00Z Food

Christmas dinner: Everything you need for a three-…

by Lauraine Jacobs

There’s something for everyone in the family this Christmas dinner.

Read more
The unsung heroes of Auckland's restaurant kitchens
84948 2017-12-14 00:00:00Z Dining

The unsung heroes of Auckland's restaurant kitchen…

by Kate Richards

Nothing happens if the dishes don’t get done.

Read more
Where to see Christmas lights in Auckland, plus more festive activities
85033 2017-12-13 15:52:06Z What's on

Where to see Christmas lights in Auckland, plus mo…

by India Hendrikse

The Paperboy agenda. Your guide to what's on now and later in Auckland!

Read more
They're only 19 but electro-pop Auckland duo Sachi is aiming for the top
85016 2017-12-13 15:21:46Z Music

They're only 19 but electro-pop Auckland duo Sachi…

by India Hendrikse

They've been plugged by mega-producer Diplo, and now Auckland duo Sachi is gearing up for the next level.

Read more
How music is therapy for neo-soul singer Bailey Wiley
85010 2017-12-13 14:37:24Z Dining

How music is therapy for neo-soul singer Bailey Wi…

by India Hendrikse

After performing with Syd Tha Kyd in the US, Bailey Wiley is back recording her upcoming new album.

Read more
Four summer festivals in Auckland you won't want to miss
84999 2017-12-13 14:02:06Z What's on

Four summer festivals in Auckland you won't want t…

by India Hendrikse

Start booking your tickets: These summer festivals will be full of sunshine, good beats and good people.

Read more