Power failure: Justice League is more spills than thrills, says Rashid Irani
The race between comic book conglomerates Marvel and DC has intensified in the wake of the blockbuster success of this year’s Wonder Woman.
Unfortunately, Justice League — the long-anticipated mash-up of meta-humans from the DC Comics universe — throws the ball back in Marvel’s court. It feels just like a slapdash remake of The Avengers (2012).
A large part of the blame for this lies with director Zack Snyder, whose career has been in freefall since Watchmen (2009).
Following the sudden demise of Superman at the end of the much-maligned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the caped crusader (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of new allies to protect the planet from a deadly cosmic threat.
Dubbed the Justice League, the quintet includes Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the warrior princess, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).
The disparate team of do-gooders faces off against an intergalactic villain (Ciaran Hinds) and his horde of parademons.
The action sequences stumble under the weight of middling CGI and Snyder’s superfluous use of slow-motion. The director no longer seems capable of fashioning a coherent narrative or relatable three-dimensional characters.
Incidentally, Snyder took a leave of absence following a death in the family, leaving Joss Whedon (who also co-wrote the screenplay) to tweak the film in post-production. Clearly, it was a case of too little, too late.
With the exception of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa, who provide occasional comic relief, the rest of the ensemble is underutilised. The viewer is kept on tenterhooks throughout regarding the possible reappearance of a slain teammate.
Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait for Wonder Woman’s second outing (due in two years) for Gal Gadot to revive the flagging fortunes of DC’s comic-verse again. Keep those fingers crossed.