Ever since I was a kid I have dreamed of seeing a live-action big screen version of the Justice League. After countless animated adventures, Superman and his buddies are finally on the big screen in the new superhero film “Justice League”, a follow up to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and needless to say I was thrilled.
The JL first appeared as a team in comic books back in 1960, and they haven’t looked back since. The new film picks up with the aftermath of the death of Superman and follows Bruce Wayne’s/Batman’s (Ben Affleck) attempts to form a team to fight off a pending invasion from another world. Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) reveals the attack on Earth is led by Steppenwolf, a conqueror of worlds who thousands of years before attempted, along with his Parademons, to bring the Earth under his control. The initial attack failed due to all the forces of Earth teaming up to send Steppenwolf back to his home world, which is ruled by Darkseid.
Steppenwolf vowed he would come back when Earth was prime for attack, and due the death of Superman, he feels the time is right to attack. However, Steppenwolf must gather Mother Boxes, which when combined, provide the ultimate in power to make the Earth hellish. Batman, with the help of Wonder Woman, is able to recruit three other heroes to fight against Steppenwolf. They are as follows: Barry Allen/Flash (Ezra Miller); Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa); and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher). The fight with Steppenwolf begins in earnest after he attacks the Amazons on Diana’s former home Paradise Island, in an effort to get one of the Mother Boxes. The battle with the villain culminates in a showdown in a Russian village near a closed nuclear reactor.
The battle is highlighted by the return of…*spoiler alert*… Superman, who is brought back to life at the insistence of Batman via the watery substance on board the Kryptonian spacecraft Lex Luthor used to create Doomsday in the “Batman v Superman” film. While the newly formed Justice League has attempted to hold Steppenwolf back, they really need Superman to finish the job. You know, as in “this is a job for Superman”. The final battle is thrilling and gives plenty of opportunity for each hero to shine. Speaking of each hero, they all have moments in the film which provide them ample opportunity to display their talents. The special effects of Flash speeding around are amazing, and the underwater sequences with Aquaman are thrilling. Wonder Woman’s moments in the film are legendary, fitting the character perfectly. Batman also has many direct from a comic book style moments, and the sight of seeing Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg gathered on a rooftop around the Bat Signal was awesome.
Superman’s return is definitely spectacular, and there is a scene with Flash right after his return that made me gasp. All the actors are perfectly cast in their roles, and even if you are a fan of television’s Flash (Grant Gustin), like yours truly, the cinematic Flash, as portrayed by Miller is more than Grant’s equal. Miller’s Flash provides quite a bit of levity in the film, and his lack of experience works perfect against the veteran Batman. Gadot IS Wonder Woman, and Cavill’s Superman finally matures to the Superman we all know best. Afflleck. once again, is Batman at his Dark Knight best, but even has several opportunities to smile! Affleck even has several new and very cool Batman vehicles to enjoy. Momoa’s take-no-prisoners Aquaman, left me pumped for his solo film in 2018. Cyborg, as portrayed by Fisher, is perhaps the most tragic of all the characters, and Fisher brings out all the heartache and heroism of the character masterfully. “Justice League” is a true comic book film that can be enjoyed by all with action and thrills from start to finish. The film is also historic with all these iconic characters appearing onscreen together for the first time in a live action film. Be sure to stay all the way to the end of the credits for two closing scenes not to be missed. Bonus: two Justice League animated films I highly recommend: “Justice League: The New Frontier” and “Justice League: Doom”, both are rated PG-13.
(Rated PG-13) 4 Batmobiles (out of 4)