#tbt: The Crappy Justice League
of America Movie
In DC Comic’s continual quest to reap some of that sweet movie money, they’re moving forward on the Justice League movie. News started to leak on how it’s coming along, but it goes without saying that people will at least be interested whether they loved or despised Batman vs. Superman. I mean a movie with Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman? It’s the first team-up of this proportion for DC! Except a Justice League movie already happened years ago… And it was garbage.
Ok so the “movie” was actually a TV movie meant to serve as a pilot for a show, but it exists and it’s easy to see why it was never actually aired. Made in 1997, Justice League of America predated the big bang of superhero cinema. So instead of looking like a team-up of comics’ greatest heroes, it looks like budgeted cosplayers hanging out at the skate park.
So what exactly is the problem? First off, who do you think of when you hear “Justice League?” Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman, right? None of them are in the movie. They aren’t even mentioned. The Flash is in it, but he’s a bumbling idiot. Here’s he is, the fastest man alive, capable of running so fast he can break the time barrier, hiding behind a bush in a bright-as-hell, red, stretchy suit.
They also have the Green Lantern! Only it’s Guy Gardner, the third most well known one. And he doesn’t even act like Gardner. Also he isn’t wearing green…
The Atom, a solid B-list hero, Fire and Ice, two C-list heroines, make up the rest of the team. The Martian Manhunter is there, but he just sort of “leads” the team. And by lead I mean call himself “the leader of the Justice League” and proceed to do nothing.
Still, poor star power can be overcame by a great story and script! Unfortunately this movie has nothing good. The story revolves around them stopping… “THE WEATHERMAN,” who looks like a kid that wrapped their favorite blanket around his head and wore their parent’s sunglasses.
Anything else bad? GLAD YOU ASKED! The movie, for some reason, has sub-plots that would make a soap opera roll its eyes. The Flash, who is a forensic scientist in the comics, can’t find a job. He spends the whole movie trying out odd jobs because that darn Flash is just too wacky to hold a steady one. Both Fire and Green Lantern have relationship problems, but neither is remotely interesting. A creepy teenager is hitting on Fire and Green Lantern is fighting with his girlfriend all the time. Riveting stuff here, people.
Then, the movie thinks it was clever, which it’s definitely not, including segments where the heroes talk to the camera in a sort “confessional” style interview like one would see in a reality show. These might be good if any of them were necessary, funny or anything resembling logical. The problem is that the movie can’t decide if it’s a straight-up comedy or a new-age, action flick.
For what it’s worth, the special effects are alright for a TV movie made in the 90’s, but that’s basically reaching for a compliment about this malformed Justice League movie. Other than that… well, um… the guy who voiced the Crypt Keeper in Tales from the Crypt plays the Atom. So, I guess if you ever wondered what he looked like, here you go.
It’s astounding that something with so little knowledge of the comics can exist like this. DC clearly didn’t want any of their A-listers appearing in this (except Flash); they even included the lesser known Green Lantern, despite he still looks Hal Jordan. The villain is a version of the Weather Wizard, who if he faced the Justice League on his own, would get pounded into dust. It’s all very baffling, but the 90’s were a strange and foreign land to superhero fans, at least compared to nowadays.
So next time you think the new Justice League movie is moving in the wrong direction, go watch the Justice League of America movie and pray that things will never be this dumb again.