FIST OF FIORE WINNER
Film Review by FIORE
For the uninitiated, or those needing a refresher course, I award THE FIST OF FIORE to movies that exemplify excellence in film entertainment. These are movies worth the price of admission. They are films you will readily add to your home video collection, and they are films that merit repeat viewings.
In times past, I usually had little difficulty tagging ten films with this honor. Recently, however, the number has dropped to five, or less. I’m happy to report JUSTICE LEAGUE earns the honor for 2017. I enjoyed this film immensely, and I think you will, too.
JUSTICE LEAGUE begins shortly after the events in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN. The world is under siege from an alien warlord, and only the combined efforts of Earth’s known superheroes can stop the invasion.
Returning are Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ezra Miller as Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Gal Godot as Wonder Woman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, J.K. Simons as Commissioner Jim Gordon, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Dianne Lane as Martha Clark, and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Affleck and Cavill are great, especially Affleck’s portrayal of an older, middle-aged crime fighter. Miller’s Flash is given a bit of a nerd twist, making him the plucky comic relief and aligning him more with Tom Holland’s interpretation of Spider-Man over in the Marvel Universe.
Momoa’s Aquaman is fun. He is portrayed as a hard-fighting, hard-drinking rowdy rogue, pattered a bit after his character on FRONTIERE. And, Ray Fisher is impressive as Cyborg. This is a character I was unfamiliar with, as I stopped reading Justice League stories decades ago; but his character is presented in grand fashion and he fits seamlessly into the superhero storyline. Finally, Ciaran Hinds plays Steppenwolf, the film’s heavy and agent of Darkside. He is unrecognizable in villain’s make-up, but is certainly more menacing than David Thewlis as an antagonist.
Technical credit must go to Editor Richard Pearson, who also cut KONG: SKULL ISLAND for the Monsterverse series. He paces JUSTICE LEAGUE at break-neck speed and never allows the audience to snooze. Director of Photography Fabian Wagner is best known for his work on GAME OF THRONES. He has a few scenes where the matting is obvious, but these are coupled with slow or stop motion, making them more palatable. Finally, Patrick Tatopoulos, who is still trying to slip from under the shadow of Mathew Broderick’s GODZILLA, paints a grim Gotham, meticulous Metropolis and rustic Russia. Danny Elfman scores JUSTICE LEAGUE and incorporates his original Batman theme from 1989.
While there are plenty of Easter eggs for fanboys, JUSTICE LEAGUE holds well for those not versed in comic book geekdom. The characters are all solid and the action constant. This is why you go to the movies; to be thoroughly entertained, and JUSTICE LEAGUE does it in marvelous fashion.