With New-To-Film Superheroes Exchanging Hilarious Punchlines To Archetypals Showcasing Some Serious Action Only To Defeat A Not So Dreadful Super Villain, Justice League Movie Barely Meets Far Reaching Expectations Out Of A Multi-Superhero Movie.
If you are a superhero flick fanatic you’d undeniably agree that there exist innumerable aspects to it that send chills down your spine, each time a superhero from DC and Marvel’s universe takes to a film.
The most typical of all is the very idea of your favorite superhero single-handedly strategizing and exterminating his demonic, even powerful archenemy and its squad.
Given this, what would you seek out of a multi-superhero movie, that runs for a good part to unite six all-powerful legends from DC’s world to save planet Earth from the perils of one of the New Gods from Apokolips?
Obviously! A ruthless, perilous and unbeatable super-villain who can only be destroyed if the superheroes put in humungous effort, strategize and use their magical powers in unison.
Although the very urge of Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) to unite Barry Allen (The Flash), Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Victor Stone (Cyborg) and Clark Kent (Superman) to form Justice League somewhat explains the might of supervillain Steppenwolf.
But, unfortunately, the ease with which these six superheroes destroy him and his army of parademons towards the end makes you wonder “What was so overwhelming about Steppenwolf that made Zack Snyder, the director, to expend more than half of the movie in putting together Justice League to fight out Steppenwolf?”
Also, knowing that Steppenwolf is in search of the three mother boxes which he got to earth many years ago and which the Amazons, Atlanteans and the mankind have been keeping safe all this while, how could Justice League make one of the mother boxes vulnerable to seizure by parademons while bringing the dead Superman back to life?
In the previous coming of Steppenwolf to planet Earth, thousands of years ago, he got along three mother boxes which he combined to form Unity and conquer Earth, but was defeated by the three groups on Earth – Amazonians, Atlanteans and the mankind.
In the end, Darkseid was compelled to leave planet Earth without these mother boxes and the Earth’s three groups decided to shield these mother boxes.
As a result, one of the Mother Boxes went to Amazons who kept it safe on Themyscira, the place of origin for Wonder Woman, another went to Atlantean, who kept it safe under the sea and the third one went to the mankind, who buried the same in a hole.
Mother boxes are storehouses of power that were created on planet Apokolips. These, if fused together, exude extreme power that can create havoc on Earth and make it susceptible to be conquered by the ruler of Apokolips and DC universe’s biggest bad, Darkseid, who happens to be Steppenwolf’s nephew.
The spoiler with respect to Mother Boxes in the movie is the fuzzy logic behind triggering of these Mother Boxes.
What prompts these Mother Boxes, after thousands of years, to abruptly bring back Steppenwolf on Earth?
Is it the death of Superman that makes Mother Boxes call Steppenwolf for they think that Earth is chaotic again and susceptible to be conquered? But if that was true, why didn’t the Mother Boxes call Steppenwolf all those years when Superman didn’t even exist?
The Justice League Movie begins with Batman fighting a wasp like Parademon who has invaded Earth with its army of extraterrestrials from the planet Apokolips ruled by Darkseid. These insect like creatures have huge wings just like a dragon fly and thrive on humans who undergo fear. Having realized the catastrophic aftermath that planet Earth might have to undergo, Bruce Wayne (Batman) is set out on a journey to build a team of meta-humans who have unique unnatural powers and can fight against those Parademons.
With the help of the data drive containing the encrypted data about the metahumans that Batman had retrieved from Lex Corp’s mainframe in Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, both Bruce and his loyal butler and legal guardian, Alfred Pennyworth, searched through Lex’s files to learn about the Metahuman Thesis that Lex Luthor had been compiling. Lex Luthor is the CEO of LexCorp Industries and the primary antagonist of Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Meanwhile, the wonder woman (Diana Prince) is spotted preventing the civilians from the attack of terrorists, who have took noncombatants as hostages and are attempting to explode three blocks of the city with explosives. On the contrary, the Screenplay reveals that Superman is dead and the world is again under the weight of violence and terrorism.
Now, in his attempt to bring together metahumans in order to fight against the Parademons, Bruce heads north in search of Arthur Curry (Aquaman), the telepathic ruler of Atlantis who thrives underwater and has incredible speed and strength. Even after a detailed narrative on how the Atlanteans can be sabotaged by the army of those Parademons, Arthur is not convinced to join the squad and instead proclaims to single handedly deal with the advance forces.
While at the S.T.A.R. Labs, Victor Stone’s (The Cyborg) father Silas Stone is sighted as leaving the lab for home early and is encountered by one of the lab’s employees who greets Silas and mourns over Victor’s death in an accident at the lab. Victor visited his parents who were at work at the S.T.A.R. Labs and as a result of the experiment going wrong, Victor’s mother lost her life and Victor himself was badly injured.
Since Victor’s body was badly mutilated, the very accident prompted Silas to gird Victor’s body with metallic implants and limbs with the help of the Mother Box. Victor was alive, but now as half human and half machine. However, each one at S.T.A.R Labs considered Victor dead.
In the course of Bruce convincing Arthur Curry, the Mother Box of the Amazons placed deep within a Themysciran tower begins to glow from the cracks through its surface. As communicated by Diana Prince to Bruce, who happens to join Bruce Wayne in the later part of the screenplay, these Mother Boxes are portable supercomputers that possess wondrous powers and abilities that are beyond the understanding of their users.
Thousands of years ago, Steppenwolf – one of the evil New Gods of Apokolips and the uncle of their ruler Darkseid – and his advance forces endeavored to conquer planet Earth and reshape the world through the combined energies of the three Mother Boxes. The Olympian Gods, Amazons, Atlanteans, humans and the Green Lanterns together fought against Steppenwolf to prevent these Mother Boxes from going into the hands of the evil New God and thus leading to a catastrophic assault on planet Earth. When the concerted effort of the Gods, meta-humans and the humans turned them victorious and eventually lead to teleportation of Steppenwolf, they separated the Mother Boxes and shielded each one in different locations to prevent the delinquent use of the boxes by any of the forces.
One of the Mother Boxes was guarded by the Amazons, the second by the Atlanteans and the third box was buried under the earth by the humans in a remote location so that even if the first two boxes were somehow seized, it was impossible to find the third box and proceed with their unity. Currently, the Mother Box with humans has been fused onto Cyborg by his father while conducting an experiment in the S.T.A.R Labs thus giving him a robotic body and powers.
Now, in the present, the very death of Superman has triggered the boxes to activate and as a result made Steppenwolf return to planet Earth. The one placed deep within a tower in Themyscira by the Amazons and Queen Hippolyta is the first one to crack and thereby opens a travel portal or a tunnel, named boom tube, which allows Steppenwolf to travel across space time in an instant and invade planet Earth.
Steppenwolf succeeds in retrieving the mother box that the Amazons have been shielding from over thousands of years. This makes Queen Hippolyta send a fire burning arrow transcending all the way to the city of Paris and setting on fire a palace thus warning her daughter, Diana Prince, about the invasion.
Meantime, Bruce Wayne meets Barry Allen (The Flash) after becoming apprised of his super speed powers and his dedicated sense of heroism as he was the protector of Central City and Keystone City where he used to fight against the evil using his super-speed powers. Once Bruce enlightened Allen about the invasion and the cataclysm it would lead to on planet Earth, Barry agrees to join the force and is quite enthusiastic about the mission.
On the other hand, the very warning by Queen Hippolyta instigates Diana Prince to join Bruce Wayne in building a squad to fight Steppenwolf and his advance force of Parademons. Diana explains the entire narrative about Steppenwolf’s invasion and the power of Mother Boxes to Bruce. Concurrently, Cyborg discovers Bruce and Diana conversing with each other through his cybernetic abilities and secretly overhears their conversation hiding behind the tree. Diana is given the task of convincing Cyborg to join the squad while Bruce agrees to bring Barry Allen (The Flash) and Arthur Curry (The Aquaman) on board.
Now, Diana locates Victor and urges him to join the squad. Victor, who is undergoing trauma and resentment with regards to his present form after the accident, refuses Diana to join the force. On reaching back home, Victor finds his home into a mish mash and discovers his father’s disappearance. He understands that Steppenwolf must have kidnapped his father and other S.T.A.R. employees as he came in search of the Mother Box that was with humanity.
Meanwhile, the parademons have attacked the Atlanteans to retrieve the second Mother Box. Arthur Curry fights the parademons but turns out unsuccessful in his endeavor. The Parademons take away the Mother Box and it is then that Arthur decides to take action against the advance force.
Furthermore, when Diana and Bruce fail to bring Arthur and Victor on board, the two along with Barry Allen decide to fight the advance force and Steppenwolf in order to stop them from proceeding with the unity of the Mother Boxes. As the three get ready to advance for the mission, they are joined by Cyborg who wants to rescue his father from Steppenwolf’s arrest.
Commissioner James Gordon, who is a close ally of Batman, informs the team that the Parademons are traveling underground and are based in an abandoned facility near S.T.A.R. Labs where they have kept Silas and other S.T.A.R employees as hostages.
Although Gordon is unable to find a pattern between the potential places where the lab employees are have been kept as hostages, Batman and Cyborg are quick to determine that all of this leads to a single abandoned project near the S.T.A.R Labs, that is the tunnels under the Gotham Harbor.
There, Steppenwolf is sighted interrogating each employee one after the other asking them about the whereabouts of the Mother Box with humanity. He is found threatening them that they will fall prey to the hungry Parademons – who thrive on fear – in case they do not divulge the very location of the Mother Box.
Meanwhile, all the four superheroes – Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Cyborg – reach the facility in a four legged bat machine called Nightcrawler to save the kidnapped employees. The squad fights the Parademons and Steppenwolf fiercely and is able to save all the kidnapped employees including Silas.
After being rescued by his son, Silas explains Victor about the relevance of the Mother Box and asks him to retrieve the Mother Box that Dr. Silas Stone had stowed at home. It’s believed that this was one of the three Mother Boxes that was entrusted to humans and was recovered by Dr. Silas and S.T.A.R Labs somewhere along the line.
Amidst all of this, the underground facility starts flooding and all the superheroes turn to the Nightcrawler in order to escape the flood. It is then that Arthur Curry, who in the course of searching Steppenwolf through his telepathic powers, joins the squad to battle against the evil New God and the parademons.
As a result of the Parademons attacking the nightcrawler, the bat machine runs out of order. Hence to make it work, Cyborg takes charge of it and through his cybernetic powers, is successful to make the nightcrawler work. The other super heroes clinging to the nightcrawler’s body frame are able to evade from the tunnel.
After rescuing the S.T.A.R. employees, all the super heroes head towards the Batjet Hangar where all the squad members team-up to plan the final battle against Steppenwolf and Parademons. Victor Stone retrieves the Mother Box that he had hidden so that all the squad members could analyse it. Having an understanding of the immense power that Steppenwolf wields, Bruce notifies to all the team members that none of them was powerful enough to face an evil power like Steppenwolf.
Hence, Bruce theorizes that since now the team is in possession of the Mother Box of humanity – an energy source that none of them had ever seen before – they could use this energy source to resurrect Superman as the world and the team needed Superman who was their biggest powerhouse. Bruce believed that in the Genesis chamber of the Krytonian Ship located in Metropolis, the Mother Box could be used to reactivate Clark Kent’s body and hence bring Superman to life.
Both Diana and Arthur immediately protest such a proposition, where Diana believes that they are not sure whether such a scheme would bring Superman back to life with the same frame of mind. He might return as an arch-enemy considering what happened during dawn of justice and warns Bruce that such a plan might create another Doomsday situation.
While Barry on the other hand makes a mention of a horror novel ‘Pet Sematary’ penned by Stephen King, citing that how things can go awry in case wrong schemes are put into effect. But Cyborg, who understands the Mother Boxes better than anyone else, supports Bruce and notifies that the plan could work and bring Superman back to life. Although, Bruce Wayne had a contingency plan of bringing Lois Lane – an award winning reporter and Superman’s primary love interest – and making her meet Superman in case he returned as an enemy.
So both Barry and Victor dig up Superman’s grave and all the super heroes enter the Kryptonian ship in Metropolis along with the Mother Box and Clark Kent’s body. With just a hope that the very scheme might resurrect Superman; Aquaman lays Clark’s body into the Kryptonian waters of the ship. Amidst all of this, Cyborg intimates the team that the ship’s power is too low and hence it would be impossible to carry out the process by just using the ship’s power.
Bruce is quick enough to affirm that since The Flash is powered by lightning, the electrical discharge from his powers can be used to activate the Mother Box. And to make that happen, Flash just needs to cover enough distance to cross the entire length of the Kryptonian ship and pass the electrical charge when the Mother Box touches water.
Flash is able to carry out the mission given his ability of perfect timing thereby animating the chamber with energy that erupts through the spaceship. Clark Kent’s body is resurrected but his mind is not fully revived which makes him attack all the league members. Since none of the league members is strong enough to fight Superman, Batman administers his contingency plan: Lois Lane. Alfred brings Lois just in time and her presence calms the enraged Kryptonian.
Amidst all this, Steppenwolf retrieves the unguarded Mother Box of humanity with quite an ease and is now in possession of all the three Mother Boxes.
Both Lois and Superman head towards the Smallville farm where the Kryptonian gets a chance to reconnect with Lois and his mother. The very realization that he had been bestowed a second life makes him all the more hopeful and hence Superman returns all the more powerful this time.
In the course of all of this, the Parademons invaded an abandoned nuclear reactor in a Russian town where Steppenwolf would attempt the unity of the Mother Boxes and hence would carry out his operations. In the entire screenplay, a Russian family is showcased hiding in their home and keeping an eye on the activity of parademons through a window.
All the five super heroes – Batman, Wonderwoman, The Flash, Cyborg and The Acquaman – leave for the Russian village without Superman in Batman’s transport shuttle, the ‘Flying Fox’, to fight the final battle against Steppenwolf and the Parademons. The team fights a fierce and a harsh battle with the Parademons in order to reach Steppenwolf who is undertaking the unity of the Mother Boxes to reshape the world.
The team however is unsuccessful in distracting Steppenwolf enough for Cyborg to separate the Mother Boxes. In the midst of the battle, Superman arrives and first helps The Flash in evacuating the town. Then, he heads towards the Mother Boxes and helps Cyborg in separating the three supercomputers.
Steppenwolf, while fighting with the super heroes, enters into the Apokolipian mothership and encounters Superman who fights the evil New God. During this intense fight, Superman uses his freezing breath to freeze Steppenwolf thus allowing Wonder Woman to break his Electo-Axe.
Thus, the league of Superheroes manages to defeat Steppenwolf. Since the Electro-Axe breaks, which is the ultimate source of power for Steppenwolf, fear overpowers Steppenwolf and he is attacked by his own Parademons who thrive on fear. At last, the Parademons and Steppenwolf are taken away to the Apokolips by the Boom Tube.
Well, the unconvincing jiffs in the plot beautifully render you with some moments that in the end either challenge the very essence of a character or situation, which Zack Snyder has been wanting you to confide in throughout the Justice League movie, or leave you questioning them as an outcome of flimsy logic.
Be it an underwhelming, laborious, CGI done super-villain Steppenwolf or the unfounded triggering of the Mother Boxes.
However, the real sense of camaraderie among the classical and new to film superheroes, their playful banter, with Gal Gadot leading it all with her witty one-liners and sexualized appearance (or shall we say over-sexualized, for the extra focus on butt jiggles and boob shots) gets you those fun moments. Needless to say, there’s something for everyone.
All in all, even with its share of imperfections, Justice League turned out to be a good entertainer. As for the die-hard DC fans, they’ll anyways be watching it, be there sound or unsound logic, pun or no pun.