I was always a DC kid growing up, Batman was my real gateway into the world of comics. Through all the years of bad and worse DC adaptations, I have gritted my teeth. Nothing has reduced my teeth to a calcium laden dust like this here Justice League abortion. I’m being melodramatic for effect, it’s actually not that bad…
I have to give you fair warning, this review will probably swing into spoiler territory, but the movie is so damn predictable that it really doesn’t matter. I give you my word as a Spaniard.
The story follows a bunch of schlubby superheroes as they try to maintain a balance between living in Metro City and fighting crime. Well, I think they fight crime, at one point John Kassir’s The Atom rescues a cat from under a porch.
So, it’s crap. But you knew it would be. A lab assistant accidentally pours some water onto a weather manipulating machine, which obviously gives her ice powers. Why wouldn’t it? I was hoping she would turn into the Red Tornado, but pretty blonde ladies don’t do that in 1997. This guy who calls himself The Weather Man is threatening Metro City with his weather machine thing and only the Justice League can stop him. Or maybe someone else, I don’t know.
Although it is nice they avoided the marquee characters, the ones they did use are shadows of their papery counterparts, with your basic amalgamations of various incarnations of the heroes twisted and turned into almost unrecognisable caricatures. I’ve never been too clued on Fire or The Atom, but I know my Green Lantern, and that is most certainly not the Green Lantern. Guy Gardner is my least favourite Lantern ever anyway, but when you shade him with Hal Jordan looks and a Kyle Rayner suit, you are leaning into territory where I might be able to bypass the annoyance of going for my least favourite, but then you go and spoil it all by doing something stupid like making him a vapid serial monogamist. Really? Although he is dating the redhead from the Clueless series, which is totally allowed, in my book!
Ok, so how about The Flash? Getting some third rate De Niro impersonator to play Barry Allen is ridiculous. The Flash was handled far better in the earlier series (in which he was played by Dawson’s Dad). The character they were going for with this Barry Allen would have been far more suited to Wally West, if they had chucked a few more one liners in.
Any other characters to bitch about? You betcha! I was never really a fan of the Martian Manhunter. His character always rivalled the Son of Krypton himself in terms of cop out characters, but what I do know is that he shouldn’t look like a brussel sprout. Also, if you are going to paint his head green, try and get his neck too, yeah? David Ogden Stiers was terrible as the alien.
There are a few well put together scenes, but the whole thing screams of amateur hour. I was happy to see Miguel Ferrer reprise every single one of his 90s villains (my favourite of which is in Project: ALF), rarely has an actor I enjoy so much been so one note (I say rarely, but I’m looking at my collection of Pauly Shore films). That’s a spoiler, by the way. It’s a big secret that Ferrer’s Dr. Eno is the bad guy. That is, unless you have ever seen a movie with Ferrer in. But anyway, there is a fairly standard romance between one of the JLA and this ice girl. Ice is having trouble harnessing her power, but can you guess what happens when a huge tidal wave is threatening the city? I bet you can!
Here in lies my biggest issue with Justice League Of America, all that ice is going to melt and I fail to see how it wouldn’t just melt onto the city. Stupid.
Also, although I wish with all my heart that it were really possible (I love to live in hope) the Michelle Hurd/David Krumholtz romance was just completely unbelievable.
Although paced reasonably and only just over 80 minutes, this movie is a turd. An enjoyable turd. Fans of the source stay well away.