Justi-zzzzzeeeee League?

Fuelled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy.

Okay, it wasn’t THAT bad. BUT . . . it wasn’t that great either. A watchable mess. My most coined phrase of 2018 and I’ve barely written this year!

Sweet Jesus! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s . . . Who is it?

As soon as the film opened with this shot, I feared the worst. I mean, really? Technology that can bring Paul Walker and Peter Cushing back to the silver screen and we get this? Even worse when the scene was completely unnecessary!

The world is mourning Superman and all hell has broken loose (Apparently). The situation perfectly captured in a brilliant sequence as some brutish thugs kick some fruit stalls over. Pfft. I’ve seen worse at the pub down the road.

Thankfully, once Gal Gadot (The saving grace of DC) made her introduction; things got a tad better. The action sequences were entertaining enough and the pace didn’t mess about.

No, seriously! Where I berated Batman Vs Superman for a torturous pace; this chaotic action fest felt a little rushed. I actually wanted more time and depth spent on the new additions!

I was impressed with the cast selection. The surprise turn for me was Ray Fisher as Cyborg. I expected him to be the weakest asset BUT he played the tormented droid well. I know we had a marginally brief origin set up for the guy BUT I would have been happy for a full feature. I loved the father/son dynamic with Silas (A wasted Joe Morton).

Jason Momoa nailed it as Aquaman. Not enough of the big man. Humour isn’t always the answer. But come on, the dude is an underwater god that gets drunk on whiskey?! Lapping up the ridiculousness of it all (Which helped a lot as the film drew to its clumsy conclusion).

Ezra Miller was great as the neurotic Barry Allen. A completely different (and fresh) take to the CW TV series. Bringing some much needed comic relief.

I actually rated Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman in BvS (What?). He nailed the Bruce Wayne persona in JL with aplomb. Even if he had issues deciding on what tone (A bit like the film really) to use as the billionaire.

BUT his performance as the Dark Knight left me wallowing into the abyss. His lines were bad enough without those puppy dog eyes when Superman returned *Shudders*.

However, I did enjoy the chemistry brewing between Prince and Wayne as they worked together to make sure Superman’s sacrifice wasn’t all in vain.

“Moustache Gate” aside; Henry Cavill’s return to the mix gave the missing depth and tension to the piece that I was praying for. Shame, it was all thrown out of the window for a quick smash ’em grab ’em finale.

Ciaran Hinds delivered enough creepy vocal gravitas to the villain Steppenwolf (Every time I type that, I just want to sing ‘Born to Be Wild’). BUT despite the iconic name, he just wasn’t that memorable. I know Jesse Eisenberg’s Luthor was memorable for the wrong reasons BUT at least he stood out!

Amy Adams was (AGAIN!) tragically left on the sidelines. A shadow of her own character waiting for Superman. Yikes. Equally as disappointing was J.K. Simmon’s Commissioner Gordon. A passing encounter? Is that all the Whiplash actor deserves?

BUT once that Danny Elfman composed theme rippled through the speakers and the team united, I was still caught up in it. The dynamic worked. Even if the hokum plot and CGI left me wanting.

I just wish the producers would stop meddling and rushing these projects out. Marvel have perfected a winning formula and are reaching their Endgame (See what I did there). Use their success as a foundation. DON’T grab the same writer and try and do the same thing.

I loved how broodingly intense and dark BvS was. JL tried to be a much lighter and more comical (Laughable for the right reasons?) affair. Too many ideas and too many cooks spoiled the broth by the end.

Great cast, great characters. All we need is a better story, better villain and better effects and we’re pretty much there. Not too much to ask *GULP*

Not the worst DC entry. A watchable, if terribly flawed, mess that killed the time if nothing else.



Jurassic World: Fallen Franchise, more like.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Okay, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jurassic World BUT at least that was enjoyable.

Any entry after Jurassic Park was always going to suffer that inevitable scrutiny and comparison from yours truly BUT Trevorrow and co really have run out of steam.

Fallen Kingdom almost felt like a direct retread of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Throw in a fiery volcano, a dozen more unmemorable stocky characters and we’re pretty much there.

The frantic, action packed and (I’ll admit) exhilarating first half felt more like the ending of a film than the beginning of one. For a moment, I thought I had walked in halfway through!

The special effects were (of course) impressive to boot and the volcano stampede sequence was relentless. BUT at times, it was too chaotic with the CGI meshing into one blurry palette. And in one instance, comical. Don’t even get me started on Owen’s inebriated lava escape.

Run, Forrest, Run!

The environmental commentary was perfectly executed in an unexpected and touching scene; that broke up the calamitous mayhem as the crew watched helplessly as a brontosaurus was engulfed in a pool of lava. 

The main issue for me with FK (along with the incredibly wafer thin plot line) was the characters.

Dallas Howard infuriated. Justice Smith’s shrieking tech nerd annoyed the hell out of me. Daniella Pineda’s dino-vet was laughable. Dispensing sarcasm at the medical treatment of the dinosaurs, despite never actually working on one.

Too picky? Maybe. If the film had more about it, I wouldn’t have had time to pick at the little things. I mean, it is a blockbuster sequel about dinosaurs, what should I have expected? Apparently too much.

Despite Rafe Spall and Toby Jones’ best efforts, they were nothing more than generic corporate types with the same old dull, predictable and underwhelming profit-making schemes; oh look! Another mutant hybrid dinosaur. Ah, cloning again. Greaattttt.

Thankfully, the main redeeming feature of the JW entries was Owen and Blu’s relationship.

The saving grace?

That dynamic still delivered with some genuinely moving moments as the handler did everything to save his friend (Yes, I know she’s a CGI’d raptor!). The glue that loosely kept this messy offering together. 

I just wish more time was spent on that dynamic than Maisie Lockwood’s (frankly unnecessary) subplot.

For all my griping, it still killed the time, the effects and creatures were superb BUT it stumbled every time their Neanderthal counterparts got involved. I really feel that this franchise is very much on the way to extinction. 

The park is gone. And so is my interest.