Oh, sorry--wrong Steppenwolf. This one a minion of Darkseid, a guy just as pleasant as you'd imagine, who rules over Apokolips, a planet just as fun as the name suggests. Steppenwolf has only to join together three Mother Boxes, which were left on Earth thousands of years ago when he first tried to take over the planet, in order to make Earth just like his own home ... in other words, pretty awful.
You'd be forgiven, even if you're a comic book reader, for not knowing this background stuff. The characters were part of the New Gods saga, which initially was barely connected to the rest of the DC universe. It involved a civil war between a race that was split between good and evil planets by the impact of Ragnorok. No, not that Ragnorok--the DC one.
Luckily all you need to know is in an early flashback: Steppenwolf tried this before and was stopped by an army of various old races that will tie-in with some modern characters (also, look for a Green Lantern cameo). Now, with Superman dead, Steppenwolf is back and aching for vengeance.
This is a job for ... oh, wait, Superman's dead.
Instead Batman assembles a team ... a league, say, of super powered beings who all do a credible job of being credible. They have their work cut out for them, as Steppenwolf has brought an army of flying zombie types. Worst of all, Superman's dead, for good. Honest.
Justice League still has a sense of being rushed, as DC tries to catch up with Marvel's movie success, but overall it's a pretty good flick and well worth watching. As might be expected, Gal Gadot steals the show as Wonder Woman, because--Gal Gadot. Ben Affleck does hold things together as Batman, with Jeremy Irons as his right hand man, the ... butler? ... Alfred. (Watch "Gotham" for an idea of how Alfred became such a bad ass.) And ... who's that guy behind Commissioner Gordon's giant mustache? Looks a lot like J. Jonah Jameson.
The movie's full of great parts, but I especially liked Jason Momoa's unexptected take on Aquaman, and Ezra Miller, channeling "The Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon Cooper as a Flash who has trouble dealing with everyone else's slow minds. Flash gets some of the best lines, and I suspect Joss Whedon had something to do with that.
Justice League is overall a fun flick with a more sensible plot outline and character development than we saw in Dawn of Justice, and the battle scenes don't seem quiet as too-long as so many other movies these days. I do wish the individual characters had their own introductions, though--especially Ray Fisher's Cyborg.
|"Wait ... are we seriously arguing over who has the best costume? Duh, utility belt."|
Entertainment value: 3 1/2 M&M's out of 4. Watch for mid and post credit scenes, both of which will be especially appreciated by comic book fans.
Oscar Potential: 1 out of 4 M&M's. Let's face it, it's a superhero movie. The Academy is offended when two many of us unwashed masses types enjoy a movie.