Justice League of America

Synopsis: An evil Weather Man intent on destroying New Metro City with a series of malevolent meteorological mishaps? Can the super-powered (and semi-employed) Justice League of America save the day? Or will New Metro be drowned in a humongous tidal wave?

Green Lantern, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Fire and Ice band together as the JLA to defeat the dastardly Weather Man’s plot to — what else? — take over the world! Watch as the adventure of DC Comics comes to life in the live action JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.
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eyelights: Miguel Ferrer.
eyesores: Miguel Ferrer’s weak performance. the cast. the cast’s abysmal performances. its cheesy, stupid script. its grossly unfunny humour. its clichéd dialogues. its selection of supercharacters. the crap superhero costumes. the awful visual and special effects. its runtime.
“Sorry, metabolism’s on the fritz again.”

The Justice League of America: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Martian Manhunter – DC Comic’s best and most powerful superheroes together as one crime-fighting unit!

The Justice League of America: The Atom, Fire, Ice, Green Lantern, The Flash and Martian Manhunter. DC Comic’s most underwhelming group of so-called superheroes arguing and fighting the odds together!

In 1997, CBS produced a pilot for what was to be a full-length series starring the Justice League.

Only it wasn’t the Justice League as we imagine it: due to rights concerns (no doubt the rights to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were expensive!), CBS chose some of the cheapest heroes they could get.

And made a sitcom out of it.

Seriously.

Its origin is a bit muddy (whoever thought that this would be a good idea, one wonders…?) but, in the end, ‘Justice League of America’ was only ever broadcast abroad; it was never shown in North America.

And it was obviously never picked up.

It’s not hard to see why: though pilots are frequently unfinished products, blueprints of what shows might look like once properly produced, ‘The JLA’ is beyond sketchy; it looks cobbled together by amateurs.

Its plot? Carbon copied from any other superhero story.

Its dialogues? Likely lifted from a big book of clichés.

Its humour? So unfunny that even a simpleton would frown.

Its cast? No-name dropouts from a high school drama class.

Its heroes? Leftovers from the DC arsenal of superheroes.

Their costumes? Rubber and nylon nightmares of ineptitude.

Their heroics? Mundanity that challenges superlatives.

The special effects? Rudimentary even for ’70s television.

The musical score? Dorky and heavy-handed in its delivery.

No joke, this is one spectacularly incompetent show!

Plus which it’s filled with unlikable characters:

  • Ray Palmer (a.k.a. The Atom) is a schleppy science class teacher. Schleppy. And beyond.
  • B.B. DaCosta (a.k.a. Fire) is an aspiring actress who can’t even get a gig as a banana.
  • Tori Olafsdotter (a.k.a. Ice) is a neurotic (and seemingly clueless!) meteorologist.
  • Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) is a chowderhead who can’t seem to get or keep a job.
  • Guy Gardner (a.k.a. Green Lantern) is an insensitive womanizer who just lost his gf.
  • J’onn J’onzz (a.k.a. Martian Manhunter) is a big rubber paunch passing for an alien.

Throw most of them together in a simple apartment, and you’ve got the Justice League of America, a gaggle of twenty-somethings struggling to get by, hanging around between gigs, both everyday and superheroic.

  • Watch The Flash clean his buddies’ apartment and make dinner in exchange for a couch to sleep on!
  • Watch Green Lantern try to get his girlfriend back and failing miserably at every turn!
  • Watch Fire get stalked by a dorky fan and then humouring him for no apparent reason!
  • Watch The Atom and Ice flirt lamely – even though schleppy Ray would have no chance in the real world with a girl like Tori!
  • Watch the group take Ice to the Justice League base – right in the open, in broad daylight!
  • Watch Martian Manhunter standing there!

Yep. Good times.

Even the villain is utterly ridiculous, being a dude hidden behind sunglasses, a scarf and a bandana who controls the weather and makes life miserable for the citizens of New Metro for unspecified reasons.

He just is. (…annoying, I mean.)

This 80-minute mess not only didn’t have the courtesy of being 40+ minutes, like most pilots of its ilk, but it also inserted small interview bits with the characters as they talk about themselves and each other.

You know, à la ‘When Harry Met Sally‘.

But without any of its flair.

Admittedly, it breaks up to monotony of the piece, but only by changing the context; it’s still utterly dreary. Plus which we’re forced to watch the actors stink up the screen without any other distractions.

Yeah, ‘Justice League of America’ is a piece of crap, one of the worst things I’ve seen in years. It’s not even the funny kind of bad: it merely hurts. it’s like papercutting yourself under your fingernails.

And then dipping your hands in vinegar.

Don’t do it.

Date of viewing: May 11, 2017

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