Title: Justice League
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Director: Zack Snyder
Screenwriters: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon
Music: Danny Elfman
Cinematography: Fabian Wagner
Lisa Loven Kongsli
Riding on the coattail of WONDER WOMAN’s stirring triumph, Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE is emulating DC’s THE AVENGERS (2012), only 5-year has become such an oceanic gap in our time of superhero surpluses, which means financial turnover would be a letdown in spite of its immense appeal.
The elephant-in-the-room and main selling point is the resurrection of Superman (Cavill), an open secret the film intractably refuses to divulge in its numerous trailers and posters, which comes about in the mid-point and temporarily instigates a mini-internecine scuffle, just to show who is the boss, before getting lovey-dovey and melancholic with Lois Lane (Adams), who is too poised to give away even a smidgen of incredulity (which says a lot about the comic book culture itself).
As the inauguratory piece, JUSTICE LEAGUE’s chief task is to assemble the cohort, thus the premise is set up by the resurgence of Steppenwolf (CGI-generated and voiced by Hinds), to reign the universe in darkness, the film’s strongest visual input is surprisingly in the the first half, when Steppenwolf tentatively assaults the empyrean Themyscira (Amazons’ homeland) and underwater Atlantis to snatch the almighty “mother boxes”, and the fleeting flashback of how Steppenwolf is subdued for the first time, it has an epic whiff of panache and otherness, which diminishes when the war relocates on human’s turf (a remote Russian village is circumspectly chosen for the climax after learning the lesson from the aftermath of laying waste to a highly-populated metropolis), with a bathetic revelation that perhaps, Steppenwolf’s power is vastly overestimated, because he is categorically no rival of Superman, the quintet might just as well finish him off sans the film’s obvious deus ex-machina. It is expected to pull punches in the league’s first official sortie, but by enervating the villain who is introduced as an omnipotent monster in the beginning is a lame move (THOR: RAGNAROK on the contrary, fabricates a more plausible finale).
For all the quibbles, there are several plus points too, firstly, it is a sage move to accentuate Batman’s mortality, which begins to tell when fighting side by side with those superpower endowed, and he is considerably relegated to combat with the minions called Parademons in the showdown, a cross to bear for a mortal, and let’s hope Bruce Wayne will take the hint and step down from the frontline in the next chapter, not because an elderly Alfred (Irons) does need a replacement to stay in front of all the consoles and screens, but also due to the fact that Diane Prince (Gadot) is ready to take the rein as a true leader for all mankind, it is time, right? Secondly, in a less solemn note, Ezra Miller’s Flash jovially assumes the role as the comic purveyor because humor is what is wanting in DC’s previous critically-panned tentpoles, because the delicate balance between levity and gravity is always the sticking point which does make a difference in audience’s reception and the film’s own worth.
All in all, JUSTICE LEAGUE is not an enterprising innovator but a formulaic stepping stone to tantalize us that the next offering will be more toothsome, more grand and more arousing, but patience is dangerously wearing thin and interest will dry out someday, speaking for the reviewer himself, that day is beckoning.