Justice League USA 2017 – 121min.
An apocalyptic force threatens humanity. The bad guy is Steppenwolf who, supported by his army of Parademons, tries to reunite the Mother Box and bring on chaos. A Dantesque program, but in the wake of Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne has miraculously found faith in his superhero mission. So to save the world and honor the promise made in 2016, Batman and Wonder Woman are busy recruiting a league of meta-humans. Enhanced by Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman, the band all-risk superheroes are soon back at work.
For the umpteenth adaptation of a DC Comic, the Justice League vs. the demonic Steppenwolf is astonishingly lazy. In dilettante style, DC brings on yet another reflection on the place of humans and the necessity of a savior. Also: industrial capitalism, the megacity and technological pessimism. These issues were avant-garde when they were first raised in the mid-20th century, but in 2017 they aren’t enough for an original movie. Especially since it’s all a pretense for entertainment.
Special effects on steroids, overrated acting and a string of quips makes the result almost funny – but it’s too awkward to be intentional. Still, Justice League is a direct descendent of the previous episode. The movie benefits from an entertaining gallery of characters: the Flash and Aquaman make an honorable entry into the franchise and will undoubtedly find favor with a young audience; but Batman and Superman are increasingly losing their credibility with each episode. Finally, there are some interesting views of Gotham. While too dull to satisfy those who love the melancholy of Frank Miller, they will nevertheless satisfy old memories.
After the critical failure of Batman v Superman, the Justice League is not enough to restore the Zack Snyder brand. As is often the case, the movie suffers from wanting to please too much. Trying to target both hardcore fans and newcomers is a nice try, but it would have taken more ambition, and better direction and writing. The result is the product of an industry that aims exclusively at blockbusters, only good enough for a rating of 3/5.