“I’m putting together a team of people with special abilities. You see, I believe enemies are coming.” says Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). “Stop right there! I’m in,” replies Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), interrupting Wayne’s speech. “You are? Just like that?” asks Bruce. “Yeah…I need friends,” answers Barry in Warner Bros Pictures’ much anticipated superhero movie, Justice League.
Still feeling guilty over the death of Superman (Henry Cavill) but believing that a terrible and powerful enemy is on its way to Earth, Bruce sets out to create a team of superheroes to be the main line of defense for the planet. His first attempt to recruit Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa) doesn’t go particularly well, with Aquaman leaving Bruce on the shore as he heads out to sea. Aquaman doesn’t mince words and tells Bruce he has no intention of teaming up with a guy who dresses up like a bat to fight criminals. (Ouch!)
Bruce’s attempt to recruit the fastest man alive, Barry Allen aka The Flash, goes much better than expected when Bruce reveals to the young man that he’s the Batman. It also doesn’t hurt that Barry is looking to make friends since he’s a brainy loner.
Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) willing reunites with Bruce because she knows the identity of the enemy they’re going up against, Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds), and is fully aware he’s a powerful being. Steppenwolf, armed with his electro-ax, leads an army of human-size flying bugs who obey his commands. He did battle ages ago against Diana’s people and was barely defeated, but now he’s back and is after three all-powerful cubes to use to turn the Earth into his own fiery world.
Now a member of Batman’s team, Diana is tasked with seeking another possible ally, a scientist-turned-cyborg. Victor Stone (Ray Fisher) was transformed as the result of an experiment gone wrong, and he’s initially reluctant but eventually decides to join the team to help in a battle to save Earth.
Steppenwolf attacks Aquaman’s underwater home and steals one of the three cubes. That prompts the man from Atlantis to join the team to try to stop the mighty being since now he understands what they’re up against.
After the Justice League’s first fight against Steppenwolf leaves the team wounded and results in the loss of the second cube, Bruce believes the only chance they have of stopping Steppenwolf and saving the planet is to resurrect the Man of Steel.
Action-packed with some very funny dialogue and a strong ensemble cast, Justice League is a big improvement over its Batman predecessor, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a worthy addition to the DC film franchise. The ensemble cast has terrific chemistry and their scenes crackle with energy on screen.
Ben Affleck once again does a solid job of portraying the older Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman who’s the original founder of the Justice League and is looking for someone to pick up the mantle as leader of the group. Affleck has great chemistry with everyone in the film, but especially with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Ezra Miller as The Flash. In fact, in a few scenes Batman becomes a mentor and tutor to the young, inexperienced speedster.
Gal Gadot is simply perfect as the Amazon warrior princess who wants to protect the people of Earth and not put anyone in danger unnecessarily. Gadot and Affleck play off each other wonderfully.
Ezra Miller steals every scene he’s in as Barry Allen aka The Flash and is the comic relief in the film. He has hands-down the best lines, including a scene where the team is talking about bringing Superman back from the dead. Aquaman is concerned he may not come back right in the head and Miller as Allen asks, “Oh, like Pet Cemetery?” It’s moments and lines like that that lighten the mood of what could be a very dark and heavy-handed movie.
Another extra bonus and nice touch is the soundtrack composed by Danny Elfman (Batman 1989). It occasionally slips in the original Batman theme from the 1989 film and, at one point, the original Superman movie theme composed by John Williams is used effectively.
The action and battle scenes are exciting but at times too chaotic. One of the best action scenes is early in the film when Wonder Woman goes up against a small group of terrorists intent on causing death and destruction. She’s fierce and the stunt sequence is incredible.
With a commanding ensemble cast, some effective humor, and plenty of action, Justice League is a fun and enjoyable superhero film.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Directed By: Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon
Running Time: 120 minutes
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