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REVIEW: Justice League: War

Written by Scott Meridew

So, I was going about my daily ritual of drinking the blood of my enemies, plotting to smuggle a nuke into Disneyland and making sweet love to my DVD of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, when I noticed that it’s been a while since I reviewed a movie on this site. I think the last proper film review I did was Supergirl. *Shudder*. Therefore, it’s about time I return to my roots and rip the ever-loving crap out of an awful movie. And, seeing as how the first film review I did on this site was a Justice League movie (Not to mention the fact that I loathe DC with a burning passion that cannot be quenched), it makes sense that I review another one. Which one though? Let’s do this the scientific way… Eenie meenie macaraca, rare raa dominaca, knickerbocka lollypoppa, om pom push! Let’s see, what have we got? Aha! Justice League: War. LET THE VERBAL ABUSE COMMENCE!

We begin with possibly the LAZIEST opening credits ever made in the history of lazy opening credits. It’s just a bland series of colourless drawings of the main characters, ripped right off the comics. If this is the film’s best foot forward then I don’t wanna know where the other steps will take us!

In Gotham City, people are being abducted off the streets by a mysterious cloaked figure. As a woman is grabbed by the dark monstrosity, Gotham’s fearless protector shows up to help her. The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World’s Greatest Detective… Green Lantern. Wait, what? What in the name of Ryan Reynold‘s presumably fired agent is Green Lantern doing in Gotham? I thought he lived in Coast City or space or something? Anyway, he saves the woman but is attacked by the cloaked figure (side point, they both crash into a giant, neon sign advertising “Food”. Because, y’know, who hasn’t heard of the infamous “Food” franchise?), who is revealed to be a big monster/robot thingy. Batman shows up and demands the monster tell him what it was doing at the docks. Ummm, Batman? It’s a snarling monster that breathes fire. I’m not sure it’s going to feel inclined to answer your questions.

You might have noticed that I’m nitpicking quite a bit. That’s because this film is jam packed full of nits that are just begging to be picked. Every other scene there’s a little inconsistency, a stupid line or something spectacularly silly going on in the background. It’s really distracting! Anyway, Bats and GL fight the robot monster for a little while until it escapes to the sewer. They find it attaching a strange device onto a wall before it self-destructs.

Meanwhile, at S.T.A.R. Labs in Metropolis, a bunch of scientists are examining a similar device, brought to them by the Flash. While this is happening, Billy Batson sneaks into a football game (That’s AMERICAN football. The one where they carry the ball in their hands), where Victor Stone, the son of one of the scientists, is playing. Victor’s sad because his dad missed the game. Aw. And while THAT’S happening, people are protesting outside of the White House. What are they protesting? Wonder Woman. Why? I don’t care. They give reasons but they’re so stupid I just can’t be bothered.

Batman and Green Lantern go to Metropolis to fight Superman. What’s that? You want to know why they’d fight Superman? Get this, they think the strange device the monster had is alien and they know Superman is an alien… you see where I’m going with this? It soon becomes pretty obvious that Supes is not in any way responsible. But Batman, rather than talking with him, keeps on fighting. For no reason. In fact, there are a lot of fights between characters in this movie. And they bicker a lot. And joke a lot. And later on they face an alien army from another dimension. OH MY GOD!  THEY RIPPED OFF AVENGERS! Yet somehow it’s phoned in and unenjoyable! I thought I’d have to wait until the live action Justice League movie to see DC pathetically try and fail to catch up to Marvel. But it seems Christmas has come early!

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The robot monsters are apparently the minions of Darkseid, who orders the invasion of Earth. Victor arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs, angry at his Dad for missing his game. His Dad does the natural thing and says that his son is obsolete and he will never attend one of his games. Father of the Year, everybody! At that exact moment though, the device they are studying, along with the one Bats, Supes and GL have, explode. This somehow creates portals that the robot/monster thingies (Do they even have a real name? “Parademon”? *Shrugs* Good enough) come through, capturing the scientists as they go. The explosion also mortally wounds Victor, much to the horror of his father. Oh, NOW he cares!

In order to save Victor’s life, his father puts him in a machine that grafts cybernetic components onto him, fusing with the Apokoliptian materials already on him due to the explosion, turning him into Cyborg. But no time for that! We have to see Wonder Woman eating ice cream with a little girl! I’m not joking. They cut away from the traumatic, painful experience that Victor is going through to a twee little scene with Wonder Woman bonding with some random kid. No reason. We cut back to Victor afterwards but then we go right back to Washington DC where Parademons appear. Which begs the question, why didn’t they just show Wonder Woman fighting them rather than… ice cream?

So Flash turns up at S.T.A.R. Labs, and he and Cyborg take the Parademons to school, Billy Batson transforms into Shazam, and Wonder Woman saves the President. Okay, all the players are on the board. Time to bring them together. All the heroes converge in Metropolis… at the exact same street… for some reason… when Darkseid himself decides to show up. It’s at this point that he pretty much beats the crap out of them because, y’know, he’s Darkseid and that’s what he does. Superman is captured and it seems like all hope is lost. But Batman decides to let himself be captured as well in the hope of rescuing Superman, before telling Green Lantern to lead the rest of them in defeating Darkseid.

He rescues Supes just before he’s turned into a Parademon and they return to the fight. Cyborg manages to send the Parademons back through their portals and Darkseid is forced back to from whence he came. *Unenthusiastically* Yay. The gang are hailed as heroes, Supes and Wonder Woman flirt right in front of Lois Lane and Steve Trevor, and Shazam makes a bad joke. Roll credits. Thank Odin, it’s over!

This film sucks. Let’s talk about the characters for a mo’. Superman is arrogant and unlikeable. Green Lantern is cocky and unlikable Wonder Woman is impetuous and unlikable Shazam is immature and unlikable. You seeing a pattern here? The only characters that are half decent are Flash, who’s good-natured and modest, Cyborg, who’s an understandably tragic figure, and Batman. Yeah, believe it or not, I actually like Batman in this film. He’s serious and dark, but isn’t a jerk and is willing to make personal connections with people. He’s not all “I am the night” anymore, which I really like.

The action is great, I guess that’s something. But there isn’t enough time set aside for the characters to get to know each other and develop. I suppose Green Lantern develops a bit, having to work with others for a change, but it’s a case of too little, too late. The voice acting’s okay. Nothing to really complain about. But the most annoying thing about the whole thing is that you can tell that they are trying to be like the Avengers so much. It’s actually kind of pathetic. The humour, the bickering between characters, the premise, it all feels like the DC overlords pointed at the Avengers and told the writers: “See this! Make it like this!”. And yet they STILL got it wrong. It’s amazing!

So would I recommend this movie? No. I’d recommend Avengers. And the truth is, I’ll never recommend anything DC related as long as they’re playing catch up with Marvel. You know that since Guardians of the Galaxy was a success, DC are thinking of doing a Legion of Superheroes movie? Oh yes, because Matter Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy are SUCH good characters, they deserve a big screen break! Do something different, DC! GAH!

 

But what do YOU think of Justice League: War? Was it an action packed thrill ride or should Joss Whedon sue? Let us know in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter! In the meantime, I’m going to go back to my daily rituals. *Sips a glass of blood*. Mmmm. Nice O positive. Thanks for the donation, David S. Goyer!

About the author

Scott Meridew