Justice League finds Gotham still in mourning from… (and I hope you’ve seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice before reading this!) the death of Superman, and there’s a brief bit of mobile phone footage from February 12th 2015, when he’s asked a number of questions by a member of the public including, “What’s the best thing about planet Earth?”
Well, if this was Buzzfeed, it would be tagged with the headline: “What he says next will shock and surprise you!”
The brief bit of plot is that there’s a trio of ‘Hellraiser‘* boxes (*okay, it’s nothing to do with Hellraiser, but when they look like those shapes from Clive Barker’s creation, that’s my only point of reference), and when they all come together it’s ‘Power hour!’, they then summon Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and bring about the end of all worlds.
So, to stop bad stuff from happening, they’re sent away to the four… no, three corners of the Earth… kinda. So, that’s a spot on Wonder Woman world, another place that’s underwater in Atlantis, and the third on a ‘lost land’ where it can never be found… but, of course, the baddie will find all three and bring them together, otherwise we’d have no film, yeah?
It’s two hours of crash/bash/smash which I didn’t fully understand, but there’s a great deal of humour in this, and that’s what’s been missing from so many superhero films over the years.
There is also a moment where lightning must strike ta the right place at the right time, with 1.21 Jigawatts of power… (that last bit – nah, not really)
As I stated earlier, there’s a lot of humour, often with sarcastic responses, the type of which I was half-expecting to come through, and I was glad when they did, such as:
- Wonder Woman: “We’re asking people we don’t know to risk their lives.”
Batman: “I Know. That’s how this works(!)”
Also add in, a Blues Brothers ‘getting the band back together’ reference, plus when Batman’s trying to understand Aquaman’s powers, he quizzically asks, “…Do you talk to fish?”, understandably illiciting a bit of a strange look from the receipient.
I’d also add that since Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) is the name of the baddie, they did miss a trick by not featuring the band’s classic tune, Born To Be Wild.
Now, all the critics are hating this, and I don’t know why. I found Wonder Woman went on way too long, and Marvel’s Spider-Man Homecoming was overlong and dull, but compared to most superhero movies, Justice League is shorter, funnier and better. The ensemble ideas tend to work best, as per the 2012 Avengers movie, but sadly, we have to sit through a lot of individual ones, too.
We don’t NEED overlong origin movies. This is the first time we’ve seen Aquaman, The Flash and Victor Stone come to the fore and they’re each introduced in segments which each take a few minutes, and then they just get on with it! Similarly, before then, we get a brief scene apiece with Batman and Wonder Woman, the latter with her lasso of truth paying dividends.
Despite the change of director, as Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) who stepped down from the project following the tragedy of his daughter’s suicide. Joss Whedon (Cabin In The Woods, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) took over and 15-20% of the film went through reshoots.
Back to the press and I question when they gush aplenty over other movies like Paddington 2, Spider-Man Homecoming (which I called ‘Spider-shabby’), Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk, the latter of which was very good – and I gave it 8.5/10, but it was nowhere near a TEN. I’ve said for a while how they clearly do this JUST to get their publication names on the poster.
(Note: I haven’t seen the new movie featuring the bear from darkest Peru, and I will do, but nothing about it says ‘must-see at the cinema’ – the first one was good, but sequels rarely improve on an original)
Yes, there’s a lot of characters in Justice League, but they ALL make their mark, even Jeremy Irons‘ brief appearances as Alfred, such as when he comments that in earlier times, everything was easier, as “all you had to worry about were wind-up penguins(!)”
Boyish Barry Allen’s (Ezra Miller) a bit infantile at times, but in a way that works in his favour, leading to a flim which has the playfullness of Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, and I feel the humour worked because despite all the fanciful stuff, all the comedy was rooted in real-world situations. In fact, as I really enjoyed Suicide Squad, this again clocked all the right funny bones, as well as also clocking in at around the two-hour mark, with this being a mere two minutes shorter than SS’ theatrical version.
Throw in Terminator 2‘s Joe Morton as Silas Stone, father of Victor, plus nods to the late David Bowie and Prince, which raised a smile – although I would also have liked a mention for George Michael.
Plus, in the post-credits sequence, Fred Trueman returns after exactly 40 years off our screens with a new set of bar-based games in Justice Indoor League, and says, “Ah’ll see thee”. This is followed by a second scene where footage is shown from the next movie, “Batman v Superman: Shove Ha’penny Trials!”
But I jest….
Just before I get to the REAL credits scenes… (hidden behind spoilers, of course), there’s been news that Ben Affleck won’t be reprising his role when they eventually make The Batman, and regardless of exactly how the further DC movies pan out, the man in the frame for the bat role is currently Jake Gyllenhaal.
Oh, and for those who followed my previous ‘end credits adventures’ at Vue Cinemas, their Head Office have said regularly how blinding us with bright light during the end credits and ruining the atmosphere for everyone (with the lights on 50% of their brightness and the screen text being obliterated) is entirely essential on the grounds of health and safety as per the council’s rules… even though the nearby Odeon Trafford Centre doesn’t do this, and keeps the lights much lower. So, this time? They were surprisingly at only 30% during the credits, so around the same as during the pre-film trailers and adverts, so the screen stays problem-free and the lights are not intrusive. Have they changed their minds for the better? Well, they’ve done the same as today before, and still gone back to the old 50% way, so they’re not out of the woods yet…
Ok, now the credits scenes…
In addition, click on the poster for the full-size version, and you can also buy Spider-Man Homecoming – The Art of the Movie in Hardback.
Running time: 121 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros
Cinema: Vue, Lowry, Salford Quays
Format: 1.85:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K), Dolby Vision, Super 35)
Released: November 17th 2017
Directors: Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon (uncredited)
Producers: Jon Berg, Geoff Johns, Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder
Screenplay: Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (based on a story by Chris Terrio and Zack Snyder)
Music: Danny Elfman
Batman / Bruce Wayne: Ben Affleck
Superman / Clark Kent: Henry Cavill
Lois Lane: Amy Adams
Wonder Woman / Diana Prince: Gal Gadot
The Flash / Barry Allen: Ezra Miller
Aquaman / Arthur Curry: Jason Momoa
Cyborg / Victor Stone: Ray Fisher
Alfred: Jeremy Irons
Martha Kent: Diane Lane
Queen Hippolyta: Connie Nielsen
Commissioner Gordon: JK Simmons
Steppenwolf: Ciarán Hinds (voice)
Mera: Amber Heard
Silas Stone: Joe Morton
Menalippe: Lisa Loven Kongsli
Mayor: Ingvar Sigurdsson
Zeus: Sergi Constance
Ancient Atlantean Kig: Julian Lewis Jones
Henry Allen: Billy Crudup (uncredited)
And two cast members which I would consider a spoiler to reveal in advance:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.