Out of its ‘League’

Out of its ‘League’
Out of its ‘League’
Out of its ‘League’

Thoughtless ‘Justice League’ drags superhero film franchise down to ‘Transformers’ level
Dann Gire

This must go down as the single stupidest, big-budget superhero motion picture ever unleashed upon an unsuspecting public by a major Hollywood studio.

Thoughtlessly constructed, emotionally malnourished and arrogantly dismissive of audience intelligence, Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” turns the struggling DC Comics movie franchise into a shrill “Transformers”-grade experience pumped full of noise and spectacularly empty visual effects.

In Snyder’s dire and dour “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the Man of Steel (emotionally opaque British actor Henry Cavill) sacrifices his life to save the world by being exposed to kryptonite.

In “Justice League,” super co-heroes Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Batman (Ben Affleck) plus the whole planet mourn his death.

A somber Batman — aka billionaire Bruce Wayne — feels particularly guilty over Superman’s demise. Wonder Woman doesn’t feel so guilty, even though she, not being vulnerable to kryptonite, was perfectly capable of stopping the villainous Doomsday in “Batman v Superman,” therefore making the Man of Steel’s sacrifice unnecessary.

But I digress.

“There’s an attack coming!” Batman clairvoyantly announces.

“Not coming, Bruce,” says Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, “It’s already here!”

A generically evil and disappointingly un-scary New God supervillain named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciarán Hinds, based on a DC Comics character introduced in 1972) arrives on Earth, accompanied by a bevy of buglike cyborg versions of the Wicked Witch of the West’s flying monkey brigade.

Steppenwolf, from the nightmare world Apokolips (not the inspiration for the Chicago theater founded by John Malkovich and Gary Sinise), needs to find and unite three ancient, supernatural boxes to achieve a form of Armageddon called the Unity.

One box rests on Wonder Woman’s Amazonian island guarded by scantily clad warriors armed with bows and arrows.

The second box dwells in the sea, guarded by amphibious peers of Arthur Curry — aka Aquaman (Jason Momoa) — muscular offspring of a human dad and a royal mom from underwater Atlantis.

The last box, the Box of Man, has been hidden in a third location. Batman realizes that no superhero, especially one with no actual super powers beyond being wealthy, can save the world alone.

He sets out to select an elite team of meta-humans to fight Steppenwolf: a Justice League.

Wonder Woman is on board. Aquaman requires some serious persuasion.

So does Cyborg — aka Vic Stone (Ray Fisher) — struggling to maintain his humanity despite having his corporeal assets replaced by mechanical parts and optics.

Finally, Ezra Miller’s sweet and super-nerdy Barry Allen, aka the Flash, almost saves “Justice League” from Snyder’s kryptonite direction.

Miller, an incredibly gifted actor whose soulless mass-murdering teenager in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” disturbed me for days, exudes whimsically humorous “wowie-gee” naiveté as Barry, a kid who can’t believe he’s hanging out with Batman.

Yet, Barry’s finessed flashes of fun fail to float the faltering flaws in this bashing, crashing, slashing, mashing, trashing waste of talent and pixels, climaxed by a true contender for the dumbest ending in movie history.