The latest DC Comics super hero movie JUSTICE LEAGUE was 50% good and 50% trash. Every time the villain and/or his henchman would show up, sloppy, obnoxious CGI cacophony filled the screen. But, the super heroes themselves, except for Ben Affleck as a tired, puffy-faced Bruce Wayne/Batman (miscasting for that role big-time, sadly), were well-portrayed. Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman was studly in a rugged way, holding the role of lone wolf and doubter. Personally, though, I found it hard to emotionally connect with him. His back-story felt particularly too brief. Also, the CGI for his home world of Atlantis was, well, also sloppy. This made it hard for me to take Aquaman or Atlantis very seriously. Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman thrilled me every time she appeared on-screen. Her strength, deepening confidence as a leader, and ongoing hope for humanity were impressive– not to mention her Amazonian beauty. Ezra Miller as a young, cute, awe-struck, anxious Flash deeply endeared me to him. Cyborg did not intrigue me at all initially, but I soon saw how he was the invaluable tech. wizard and interface with the worldwide web and power grid for the whole team. He also is the least developed character with ever-growing Kryptonian-based powers. More potential lies ahead there. The overall chemistry, including tensions, within the ensemble of protagonists felt compelling and often amusing.
Jeremy Irons reprising his role of Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s/Batman’s dedicated right-hand man, was pleasant to watch and listen to, his deep, smoky voice and British accent adding a bit more texture and nuance to the overall tone of the movie’s dialogue. I would have enjoyed more screen time and focus on Irons’ Alfred, including closeups of his richly lined, expressive face. Perhaps he would have stole the show if this had occurred– though not completely, as Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill, himself a Brit, would still have held there own. It is interesting to note here that the three strongest actors in the film are not American, Gadot being Israeli.
There were a few romantic, heart-opening scenes that effectively drew me in and moved me briefly to tears, thanks to the luscious and dreamy Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman. He returns from the dead in an appropriately dramatic, flashy way. I enjoyed how the emotionally sensitive characters of Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Clark’s mother Martha Kent (Diane Lane) were effectively used to ground him in loving humanity and more intimately connect us the audience to him.
It was like watching two movies back and forth, one about getting to know the super heroes and witnessing their displays of power, and another about nasty humanoid bugs dressed in bad Halloween costumes while swarming about in a sloppy mess. Their overdone-by-CGI leader Steppenwolf was the center of them all, more mess. Steppenwolf kept referring to “Mother,” which built me up to meet her. But, we never meet this female being, which felt like a let-down. I suppose she was a more abstract concept/force of a mother, the essential evil energy within the joining of three mysterious cubes of power that Steppenwolf stole from various ancient hide-outs around the globe. All this done to consolidate his power and have earth taken over by his alien peoples, or some such unoriginal drivel. This main premise was half-baked and forgettable. However, what ultimately really mattered was the coming together of the Justice League. I would have been fine if they all met up for a lighter reason, such as a day of beach volleyball because all other humans are too weak to play with them.
Such are the thoughts from this old-time comic book super hero fan. Overall, I was effectively entertained in between bouts of annoyance at all the CGI chop suey and an often dumbly-written script.