February 20, 2018  (Web Review)

Justice League

Warner, 120 min., PG-13, DVD: $28.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $35.99, Mar. 13

Reviewer rating: 2.0/4

Shakespeare’s famous observation on life—”It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”—essentially sums up Justice League. Picking up where Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice concluded, everyone is morose following the death of Superman (Henry Cavill), including Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), a bereft Lois Lane (Amy Adams), and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), who is facing foreclosure on the family house and farm. So it’s the perfect time for a villainous alien to reappear: Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds)—wielding a bodacious battle-axe—who is searching for three Mother Boxes that, when united, will decimate Earth. Years ago, a union of Amazons, Atlanteans, Greek gods, etc., forced Steppenwolf into retreat, but now he’s back, along with his satanic demons (creepy winged thingies) that feed on fear. Reluctantly led by Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), the DC Comic Universe converges to fight the menace, including tattooed malcontent Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), nerdy and nervous Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher), a half-man/half-machine hybrid whose powers are just emerging. Without explanation, Superman suddenly comes back to life, although he momentarily does not realize who he is. But he’s quickly brought up-to-speed, and declares, “I’m back now, and I’m gonna make things right.” Directed by Zack Snyder, this latest franchise entry is totally lacking in both humor and fun, unless you’re amused by a repetitive Pet Sematary joke. Optional. [Note: DVD/Blu-ray extras include “Scene Studies” behind-the-scenes featurettes (15 min.), and production segments on “Road to Justice” (14 min.), “Heart of Justice” (12 min.), “The New Heroes” (12 min.), “Suit Up: The Look of the League” (11 min.), “Technology of the Justice League” (8 min.), “Steppenwolf the Conqueror” (3 min.), and “The Return of Superman” (2 min.). Exclusive to the Blu-ray release are bonus DVD and digital copies of the film. Bottom line: a solid extras package for a disappointing superhero film.] (S. Granger)