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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 1, 2017

Justice League Movie Review: Entertaining Show Of Force Of DC Comics Heroes Capped By The Resurrection Of Superman

THERE seems to be a tendency to lambast “Justice League” because of all the production troubles it went through while it’s being shot. Even the suicide of the 20-year old daughter of its director Zack Snyder is being dragged into the picture, after he was replaced by Josh Whedon of “The Avengers (2012)”.

But honestly, we enjoyed the movie. To begin with, it’s not like those other superhero flicks that is so padded that the running time gets unnecessarily long. This one is less than two hours, avoids the moping and brooding of its heroes and the mini-origin stories of three new ones are quickly told without much fuss on screen.

The narrative itself is also quite coherent, straightforward and unpretentious. It gets the right balance on the screen exposure of its various heroes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the resurrected Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg.

The villain this time is Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds), who has a scary battallion of insect-looking winged henchmen. He wants to retrieve three magic boxes that, when merged into one, will give him the ultimate power of all powers which we’ve seen in other fantasy movies, yadda-yadda-yadda!
It’s not as successful in its attempt at comedy like “The Avengers” or the more recent “Thor Ragnarok”, since Snyder is known for his serious superhero flicks like “Man of Steel”, “Batman V. Superman” and even the sword and sandal epic, “300”. But as an ensemble adventure, it does have its hilarious moments, often provided by the bumbling, crowd-pleasing The Flash (Ezra Miller is engaging, but we definitely prefer Grant Gustin of the TV version), just like “Spiderman” in “Civil War”. When he asks Bruce what his super power is, the answer he gets is: “I’m rich.”

Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Diane Lane as Martha provide some touching moments in their reunion with Clark Kent who they thought they’ve lost for good. These reunion moments are brief but quite sensitively handled.

Also touching is the new found sensitivity of Bruce Wayne who seems to have been seriously affected by the death of Superman. The anti-social Batman recruits the other superheroes and is now is more open about having his own circle of friends. Ben Affleck as the greying Bruce is quite poignant in admitting that he’s not the Batman he used to be.

The movie makes it appear that when Superman dies in “Dawn of Justice”, the world is plunged into dark despair and crime, with evil elements encouraged to do their worst acts, equating the rise of Steppenwolf into Satan overcoming the world. But although it’s Superman who delivers the final punch to Steppenwolf, it’s actually Wonder Woman who stands out for us in the movie, with Gal Gadot being in full command of her role. Her moral certitude is not put on. She really stands for goodness and compassion, and Gadot plays her with gravitas that she emerges as the most perfectly cast member in this league that demonstrates the truth in the adage that in unity, there’s strength.