Justice League, with Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane. Directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon. 4/5
PROBABLY the biggest movie event that fans of DC Comics have been waiting for, Justice League is a superhero spectacle that mostly delivers.
It is the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) long-awaited answer to the Marvel Universe’s Avengers, and there are bound to be comparisons.
For the unfamiliar, DC is home to the original superheroes who first appeared in paper and ink in the 1940s, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Justice League finally brings together the team from the comics, to face a foe that requires their combined might
DC has been around a lot longer, but it has been slower on the uptake than Marvel, now owned by Disney, which has produced an immensely successful cinematic universe, tying together the solo adventures of its various heroes into a tight continuity.
After Batman v Superman established a similar continuity in the DCEU, Justice League finally brings together the team from the comics, to face a foe that requires their combined might.
The only problem is, Superman (Henry Cavill) is dead – killed by the Doomsday monster in Batman v Superman. An icon of selfless heroism, the effect of his death has been felt around the world. Not only that, his absence appears to have galvanised an invasion of otherworldly beings who start popping up in various places.
Together with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman (Ben Affleck) starts working to put together a team of heroes to face the threat. It’s not an easy task, as his first contact, Arthur Curry aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is a loner who’s just not interested.
He has better luck with Barry Allen aka The Flash (Ezra Miller), a youngster able to run and react at lightning fast speeds.
Woman Woman’s first encounter with Victor Stone aka Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is not promising. The victim of a terrible accident, Stone has become integrated with alien technology that gives him the ability to communicate with electrical devices.
Meanwhile their powerful foe, Steppenwolf, reveals himself on Wonder Woman’s home of Paradise Island, teleporting into a chamber where they guard a dangerous ancient artefact called a Mother Box. Though valiantly battling to keep the box out of Steppenwolf’s grasp, they fail.
It turns out that there are three such boxes, and if Steppenwolf brings them together he will be able to terraform the entire world. Although incredibly powerful in his own right, Steppenwolf serves a master called Darkseid who is only referenced in this movie and probably going to be kept in store for a Justice League sequel.
The team of five heroes eventually assembled, they reluctantly go along with Batman’s plan to resurrect Superman using Kryptonian technology together with the Mother Box in Stone’s possession. The risk is that the Superman they bring back might not be the same man who died.
The movie is a fest of action, and mostly true to the characterisation seen in the comics, although there may be one or two quibbles, particularly about The Flash and Cyborg.