Friday, November 17, 2017

Justice League [2017]

MPAA (PG-13) CNS/USCCB (A-III) (3 Stars)  AVClub (C-)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (K. Turan) review (M. Zoller Seitz) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review

Justice League [2017] (directed by Zach Snyder, screenplay by Chris Terrio and Jack Whedon, story by Chris Terrio and Zach Snyder, based on the characters of DC Comics [DC] [wikip]) unites various superheroes of the DC Comic Universe [wikip] -- including Batman [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played in this series by Ben Affleck), Superman [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played in this series by Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played in the series by Gal Gadot), The Flash [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played here by Ezra Miller), Cyborg [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played here by Ray Fisher) and Aquaman [DC] [wikip] [IMDb] (played here by Jason Momoa) -- to fight the emerging threat of an ancient supervillainous deity named Steppenwolf [wikip] [IMDb] (voiced in the film by Ciarán Hinds).

It is noteworthy here that most of humanity (including the fully human / more contemporary superheroes in the story) was/were totally oblivious of even the existence of this re-emerging supervillain threat.  Only Wonder Woman and Aquaman (whose origin stories link them to the GrecoRoman mythological Amazons [wikip] and Atlantians [wikip] respectively) understand who Steppenwolf was, what he was up to, and what kind of an Apocalyptic / "world destroying" threat he was.   This is a characteristic of DC Comics, whose supervillains tend to be either extraterrestrial or otherwise generally hidden "under the muck" of this world until they quite suddenly appear in order to threaten humanity's very existence.

Much of course ensues as Wonder Woman and Batman assemble the superheroes to fight this emerging threat -- Steppenwolf being German for "wolf of the steppes" or cayote -- who was making his lair somewhere in subterranean central Russia (!).  Among that which ensues is that the two realize that they're going to have to find a way to _resurrect_ Superman (killed in the previous installment Batman vs Superman: The Dawn of Justice [2016]).  Minor spoiler alert: they succeed.  How?  I'm not going to tell you ;-).

All in all, the story plays out as a typical superhero movie with much action, much "glass breaking" level of mass destruction.  Then characteristic of the DC Comics universe the story is generally darker / more "hard-boiled" than the stories that play-out in the Marvel Comics universe and there are fairly easily identifiable if still low-level motiffs previously associated with 1920s-era (pre-Hitler's definitive rise) German Fascism.  (I'll leave it to Readers here to reflect on my charge here and identify the more obvious examples -- I make mention of several in the immediate paragraph above).

As such, while not a bad superhero movie, I am "wary" and I much prefer the Marvel Comics stories.

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