Sometimes, less is more.
It seems that many of the solo-project DC Comics heroes are better off on their own than on a team.
“Justice League” isn’t a major disappointment – even though it doesn’t hold up to the likes of a certain god of thunder on a neighboring screen in a different universe. But it doesn’t hold up to the quality of the Dark Knight movies or the outstanding “Wonder Woman” movie from earlier this year.
The movie begins with the world mourning the death of Superman. This isn’t a spoiler, because his demise was an integral part of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Batman (Ben Affleck) remains inspired by the late Superman. He first teams up with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), and then fetches Aquaman (Jason Momoa, television’s “Game of Thrones”), Cyborg (a returning Ray Fisher, from “Batman v Superman”) and The Flash (Ezra Miller, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) to team up against Steppenwolf, a powerful threat who is collecting devices that will increase his powers.
The most enjoyable superhero is the young, wise-cracking Flash. His wit is as quick as his physical abilities. And it’s fun to watch him move so fast the other characters seem suspended in time.
Cyborg is an interesting, conflicted character. We will learn more about him in upcoming sequels – according to www.imdb.com, he soon will have his own movie.
Zack Snyder, who helmed “Batman v Superman,” left the production because of a death in his family. That left Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”) to complete the film.
Once in a while, with some clever timing and smart dialogue, this does indeed feel Whedonesque, especially with The Flash’s banter. And there are times when the more grim lines are compelling, too, such as an exchange between Alfred (Jeremy Irons) and Bruce Wayne/Batman.
There isn’t much time for character development. It’s impossible not to compare the goings-on here to the much more entertaining, clever Thor showpiece that manages to develop characters so effortlessly with minimal but sharply written lines.
Still, there are some good scenes, especially when the superheroes interact with each other more as people than as crime fighters. To tell you more about some of these scenes would be to create a spoiler.
There are two stingers, or extra scenes, and the coolest one comes at the end of the credits – indeed, it may be the most meaningful of the entire movie. It wouldn’t be sporting to tell you more than this: The world of DC is expanding … and in a good bad way.