MANILA, Philippines — It doesn’t have anything to do with lawyers like me nor justices of the court like former ‘70s singer Justice Esperanza Fabon-Victorino (Espie Fabon) of the Court of Tax Appeals. But you probably already knew it if you are reading this article.
The movie is all about Batman and Wonder Woman creating a team of superheroes to fight a very bad character, the evil Steppenwolf, who is out to destroy the world. Aside from the two, added to the Justice League are The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. At the later part of the movie, another superhero joins them (literally from the dead), and together, they finally have a chance to beat the enemy. It has a simple, predictable, formulaic plot but the excitement and thrill one gets from the time the first recruitment is made all the way to the climactic battle is what gives the movie its true entertainment value.
Did I enjoy this particular motion picture? I most certainly did. I found it to be highly entertaining and I strongly recommend parents and kids or young barkadas to watch it together. (I went to the premiere showing sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Manila East with my husband and 22-year-old daughter who brought along her three Miriam grade school bestfriends. Everybody gave the movie a thumbs-up.) It is a must-see-movie that admittedly has some forgivable minor flaws.
Let me discuss the positive aspects of the film, which, in fairness to its creators, far outweigh its shortcomings. First, the actors were all very good and had great chemistry with one another. The Flash (Ezra Miller of The Perks of Being a Wallflower) was a scene stealer, with his funny one-liners and natural acting abilities. Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), the rebel, always captured my attention particularly because he did not care nor aimed to please. Cyborg (Ray Fisher who played Muhammad Ali in Fetch Clay, Make Man), would delight any techie person with his hacking superpowers. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), on the other hand, the only female in the squad, gave the huge dark screen the beautiful accent that it needed. Whenever she was part of the scene, my eyes would just follow her wherever she went. I like that she was portrayed as a leader with a mind of her own. I was also very pleased that she would almost always be the first in the team to confront the super-villain on a head-on collision. The bit where the (women) Amazons tried to stop the evil Steppenwolf from getting his hands on a precious box was nothing less than spectacular. (Hooray to all the fearless women in the physical and comic book world!)
Aside from the fabulous actors, the well-directed action scenes were exciting enough to keep us on the edge of our seats — at least, for most parts of the film. Adding unexpected whiffs of humor to a usually serious kind of action film made watching it even more enjoyable. It feels wonderful to hear people in the audience laughing with you at the most unexpected moments.
Going now to the inadequacies, many of us at the premiere showing found the movie too short for a comic-based action genre. An additional 15 to 30 minutes would have been just the right length. If it were not for the two delightful after-credit scenes, I would have left the movie-house feeling less satisfied. I also felt that the new characters were not introduced properly and that the early part was rushed. Ben Affleck as Batman, though still a very good actor, seemed tired.