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Review: Justice League

Garey Mendez, Staff Writer

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For some reason, there always seems to be a surplus of powerful ancient devices in superhero movies. In “Justice League,” these devices take the form of Mother Boxes, and there are three of them: one hidden in the deepest depths of the sea; one under heavy guard on Themyscira aka the home of the Amazons, and one buried by man. However, the man did the worst job of hiding a Mother Box, because apparently a couple of old-timey Viking types apparently dug a six-foot hole and covered the Box with dirt.

We need a reason for Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) to recruit a new team of warriors, and the reason is a large antagonist creature named Steppenwolf (a somewhat forgettable CGI villain) who has come to Earth to retrieve the Mother Boxes and impress his “mother”. Oh, and to destroy all worlds as we know them.

It doesn’t take much imagination to know what will happen in the end — but the fun in “Justice League” is in seeing Batman and Wonder Woman teaming up with the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to form a ragtag team of heroes with the task of saving the world. It’s a tale executed with great fun and energy. The actors and actresses who portray the members of the league are a superb group of performers, and they play well together. Thanks to a slick screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon, plus the right amount of seriousness and humor from director Zack Snyder, “Justice League” is a pretty solid step forward for the DC Comics Extended Universe.

The movie opens immediately after the death of Superman. Early on, we can already see fear and violence and insecurity on the streets of Gotham and Metropolis. At times it’s a bit confusing as to which city we’re visiting, however. Metropolis looks a lot like Chicago with a bit of CGI skyline, and Gotham City is just across the bay. With the help of his loyal butler Alfred, Bruce Wayne recognizes a pattern of destruction at various points on Earth (mostly due to creepy robotic flying insect creatures), leading him to realize the planet will soon be attacked. By the time he makes contact with Diana Prince, she says the attack isn’t coming — it’s already here. Steppenwolf has invaded Paradise Island and has stolen one of the Mother Boxes. Despite the idea that Aquaman is the worst superhero, in the movie a biker/rock star swagger has been given to Aquaman, who initially finds Bruce Wayne humorous for his bat “costume”. He’s hesitant to join the battle until his own underwater people are attacked. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, still learning by the minute about his powers, is another reluctant warrior who eventually joins the team.

I won’t go too deep into the movie to avoid spoilers, but the scoop is this: the movie isn’t good for it’s storyline. It’s good because it shows the development of a friendship between a diverse cast of characters and shows how the most distant kinds of people can come together and do something pretty cool.

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Review: Justice League