Justice League is DC Comics version of Marvel’s The Avengers and it presents our planet experiencing some super grief. To make matters worse, an intergalactic baddie arrives to unleash ultimate power. To our rescue are some well-known superheroes – Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) – and a bunch of others you might not have heard of, such as Cyborg and Aquaman. This self-proclaimed Justice League does the usual stuff of working through issues about joining a team, and then trying to be one – to save us all.
RATED: Justice League is rated M for action violence
AUDIENCE: Justice League would appeal to those who enjoy superhero films
WHAT’S GOOD: Justice League follows in the successful wake of Wonder Woman, the best movie yet about a DC Comics character. Justice League doesn’t contain the same freshness or personality as Wonder Woman, but it tries hard to muster the banter, big action and rapport expected of such an ensemble superhero adventure. Along the way, it manages enough humour and appeal to register as the diluted Avengers rival you were expecting.
WHAT’S NOT: There’s a crucial lack of chemistry and coherence to this introduction to the Justice League gang. The plot and characters struggle to overcome the overwhelming sense of there not being much for them to do, say or invest in. As these superheroes fight a computer-generated villain, their drawn-out battle with him resembles an average video game that goes on without anyone in the world seeming to be in danger. The absence of danger and threat causes Justice League to be a lot of colour, noise and empty spectacle.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Justice League is a poor cousin to The Avengers but it reminds viewers that any hope for survival of our species depends upon someone – or someones – showing up as our saviour. Justice League is like all superhero stories; they’re built on a shared belief that people cannot save themselves. When Batman is told in Justice League that the world has changed in many terrible ways, he replies: “I don’t have to recognise it. I just have to save it.” Why? Why does he, or any of his Justice Leaguers, HAVE to do that? While it’s nice Batman and other gifted individuals in costumes want to save the day, Justice League offers no clear or compelling motivation. They just do what they do – because hope and salvation are treated as unquestioned parts of life. As if no one could imagine our existence without those things. According to Justice League, heroes remind us that hope is real. If that’s true, does that mean we REALLY need a saviour, too?
RELEASE DATE: Justice League is now showing in cineamas