After reading the leaked script to Justice League: Mortal, I had a few thoughts that needed to be expressed. Unfortunately, all y'all are going to have to be victims to it. I've never really done a thorough movie review before (especially one about a movie that was never made) so you all will have to bare with me, here! I promise, I'll try not to make it too lacklustre.
WARNING! There WILL be spoilers to the script! If you haven't read it and plan to, stop right here!
The plot of movie was actually what I would expect for a first Justice League movie! Like a previous article on moviepilot stated, the movie was based off stories such as "JLA: Tower of Babel" (otherwise known as "Justice League Doom", for those who've seen the DC animated movie), "Superman: Sacrifice" and "Crisis on Infinite Earths #8."
The movie starts with a narrative done by our Themysciran Princess. The audience gets a foreshadow of the future. The members of the Justice League (Minus Batman) at a funeral, as one of their mightiest friends has fallen.
"...Where peace can be found. Where justice is. We know, because he taught us... It is in the human heart."
- Wonder Woman, giving a eulogy.
The story, then, takes us back two days.
Barry Allen, the Flash, and his wife, Iris are enjoying a nice lunch at Barry's FAVORITE restaurant called "Planet Krypton," a superhero-themed restaurant. In the restaurant, Iris tells Barry her nephew, Wally is coming to town soon and is excited to work with Barry in the lab. Barry, not paying attention and stuffing his face, is watching the TV in the bar, gazing at Wonder Woman addressing the United Nations. You can guess Iris reaction to this...
Back on Earth, Bruce Wayne, Batman, is in the Bat Cave on his computer. On his screen, infra-red pictures of Barry and Iris. And to the side, a complete info list on Barry. Quirks, strengths and weaknesses. It appears this satellite is courtesy of Wayne, himself. After Brother Eye confirms activity on Flash, it begins to sweep around the world, keeping tabs on other heroes, namely Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern.
After a while, Bruce makes his way back upstairs to his mansion, what for? Why, it's none other than his birthday party!
At the party is a special guest. A well-dressed, handsome man known by many as Maxwell Lord. He and Bruce discuss the "Ri¢hie Ri¢h" life. Maxwell tells Bruce he helped cater the party from one of his restaurants, Planet Krypton. He offers one of his restaurant's burgers to Bruce, to which Bruce nonchalantly declines. Also at the party is the sexy, Talia al Ghul, who shows up a little later. Bruce is immediately smitten, for he, as Bruce and as Batman, has history with the lovely daughter of Ra's al Ghul.
Meanwhile, Brother Eye activates itself and resumes its super-hero scan. It comes across J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, known to the public as Detective John Jones. While on patrol, he comes across a railroad fueling station and stumbles upon a jar of a peculiar looking substance. He inadvertently gets some of it on his hands... which then begin to smoke. Heat begins to rise. And well, it's a no wonder what happens next...
Back with Barry, he sees on the news that a huge fire breaks out in Denver, Colorado. The fire being caused by none other than everyone's favorite Martian. Barry begins to set out, while Iris tries to stop him. Can they not have one uninterrupted meal together? She tells Barry that he can't save the world alone. Barry retorts:
"Not the whole world, just the little part with you in it."
Flash appears at the scene to help with the fire. While viewing Flash blowing out the fires with his speed, a fireman gets swept up by the Flash's tornado. Luckily, Wonder Woman arrives to save the man.
After a little gawking on Flash's part, the two of them catch glimpse of something on fire. As they try to take care of it, they notice the fiery figure is actually Martian Manhunter. They manage to get him to Wonder Woman's residence, where they submerge him in a pool to keep him from bursting into flames.
Superman arrives. He, along with Flash, Wonder Woman and J'onn deduce that someone exploited J'onn's weakness to fire. J'onn explains a sea-like creature was in the strange jar he was investigating when he burst into flames. Of course, this leads them to believe Aquaman is involved.
Barry meanwhile returns home, apologizing to Iris. He then sees that Wally has arrived. After a little catching up, Barry asks Wally to do some research for him about nano-technology. Explaining to him, it's their little secret.
Superman arrives to Atlantis to ask for Aquaman's help with J'onn. The King of Atlantis declines at first, but agrees on the count that he does it for the Amazon powerhouse herself.
When they arrive, Aquaman attempts to shed some light on J'onn situation. However, he too, is attacked. He, then, begins to grow a fear of water... oh, how that'll spell bad news for the sea-dweller.
Time to speed it up a bit here with the plot...
After a while, the other superheroes begin to be targeted. Green Lantern loses his sight. The Flash is injected with something that causes him to vibrate uncontrollably.
Batman tries to stop the attacks, however, Brother Eye is no longer in his control.
It turns out Maxwell, with help from Talia, is behind the attacks. He stole the information from Batman and had overridden Brother Eye.
Eventually, by helping each other, the justice league is able to overcome the attacks and regenerate. However, when they find out Batman was behind it all, they were just a tad bit angry...
The two duke it out for a little while... it's out of this world! (Literally, read the script.) Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Wonder Woman is no match for Superman, nor are any of the other heroes. Batman then realizes he must do what must be done to stop this...
But it ain't done yet. Maxwell still lives within the Brother Eye computer and begins to transform Talia. Though, his love for her still exists, Batman is faced to make yet, another dire decision...
However, it is proven futile. As Maxwell has already begun creating OMACs worldwide. Infecting people, forcing them to transform, but how...?
That's right. Planet Krypton... Maxwell's restaurants. The OMAC transformation virus was in the food. Remember, folks...
The Justice League must then stand together and await the worldwide OMAC invasion. With only the 6 of them, minus Batman, they wonder if they can prevail. In a twist, Wally appears at the scene in his own flash costume, ready to help his Uncle and the rest of League in their fight against the world. Though conflicted by his nephew risking his life as well as the impending doom about to arise, Barry begins to confess that he's secretly wished for this to happen... all the heroes standing together, united to save the world. Everyone else agrees with Barry.
Suddenly, Barry begins to transform... was he too injected with the OMAC virus? How did it...? When did it...? Wait... what did Barry have for lunch today...?
You guessed it.
Barry is then transformed into OMAC Ultra, the one that controls them all. While the league tries to stop OMAC Ultra, they must remember that Barry is still alive inside it... its only then, through the help of J'onn's telepathy, that Wally is able to get through to Barry and get him to fight OMAC's pull on him.
Barry starts to break free and by vibrating, he enters the speed force, where the world seemingly stops. Barry roams through the speed force and makes his way back to Iris, who's watching the events from home on the tv. Barry touches her frozen cheek and tells her he loves her. A tear begins to run down his cheek, as he confesses:
"...Turns out I can save the world. I can. And that's what I'm gonna do... because you're in it."
Time starts back up again, as Barry returns back from the speed force, still embedded inside OMAC Ultra. Barry begins to fight the transformation the only way he knows how... through speed. Barry begins to run faster and faster to rip away the armor embedding him to OMAC... and faster... and FASTER... AND FASTER....
With OMAC still attached, Barry prepares to make the ultimate stride... to break through the speed barrier and save the world. It is then, he makes that sacrifice and breaks through, creating an explosion of light. And it is then... that Barry is no more.
With the world now saved, the heroes can only bask in the glory for so much, as it came at a costly price... the loss of a caring Uncle, husband, hero... and mortal.
We are then taken back to the foreshadow at the beginning of the film. The funeral... of Barry Allen.
Batman, feeling responsible for his death, does not attend the funeral, instead attending Barry's grave at night, giving him one final sign-off:
"Godspeed, Flash... Barry Allen... Godspeed."
Time passes... and the Justice League finally decides they are better as a team, along with the team's new Flash, Wally West. While voting on the fate of their team, an alert goes off. Starro is heading for earth... and the Justice League is formed.
Wow. Well, at first, I felt the script was written in a fanfiction sort-of style. The main problem I had was the feeling I got when it started. The audience is thrown into the movie with all these superheroes with already established backgrounds and encounters. This took me aside on account that had this movie been made, many viewers might feel they've missed out on something from other DC movies.
How do Superman and Batman already know each other? When did Wonder Woman arrive here from Themyscira?
Seeing as none of the previous movies ever shared a same universe, this movie could be a bit of a mind f*** to say the least, in the beginning.
HOWEVER, the story is very solid. It draws source material from very strong, key stories of the DC Universe and molded it into one. You get funny character interaction, awesome action sequences, between enemies and friends, and the ultimate sacrifice that pulls your heart into the movie. George Miller really did have something going here. I'm glad they kept the "Mortal" theme to it. Having the main antagonist being a relatively regular human being. Great choice for a first JL movie. That way you can save the supernatural villains and storylines for later.
The Characters. While some of the interactions between them were good, the dialogue did seem tad hammy, especially when it came to Aquaman... Ugh. However, you can't help but love Flash's character here. He's written to be the lovable, life-flowing, optimistic, innocent soul we all know as the flash. Wonder Woman's line:
"...Where peace can be found. Where justice is. We know, because he taught us... It is in the human heart."
This line hit me when I read the end. It reminded me how Flash has been, at many times, called the "heart" of the League. And this script sure does portray that.
While reading the script, I had to picture the confirmed cast in the roles.
Unfortunately, the only ones I could really picture were Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and Adam Brody as Flash. Adam Brody especially. He has that kind of presence in his acting that make you think of the Flash's character. He comes off as the Flash easily for me. Although, even though Wally was a separate character, I couldn't help but view Brody more as the Wally West character more than Barry, though I do like the relationship between Barry and Wally in the script. Really well done.
Megan Gale is a beautiful woman! Tall, slender, yet fit and gorgeous azure eyes! Definitely a solid choice for Wonder Woman... based on appearance anyway. I have no seen much of her acting, so that might have hindered her performance. And as she is Australian, I was concerned about her accent slipping through the role too. I'm not sure if she can do an American accent. While she has stated that WB probably won't call her to reprise the role for the next JL movie, due to her age now... Hell, I'm still ok with that. 40 year old Princess Diana. If she looks good, acts good and can keep in shape, PRAISE HERA! I'm cool. (I'm still aiming for Adrianne Palicki though too for the role. Check out my other article on why!)
DJ Cotrona. Honestly, he struck me more as the Batman type. Other than that, when I researched him I found that he was only 5'7." I began to think... how was George Miller going to portray 5'7" DJ Cotrona opposite of Hammer and Gale, who are 6'5" and 5'11," respectively?
Armie Hammer, while a fine actor, has too much of a pretty boy, baby-face for our Dark Knight. While I'm sure he would've done fine, I just couldn't imagine it very easily as I read Batman's lines.
I'm GLAD they used the John Stewart Green Lantern for this film. And I hope they do the same for the next Justice League film to come in the next couple years! However, Common would not be my first choice. I have a feeling he could've done the role decently, not award-winning, but satisfactory. But picturing him in a GL suit... I couldn't do it for some reason. I don't know why.
I don't know much about Hugh Keays-Byrne. But in the pictures I saw of him, Hugh's body stature concerned me... I was afraid we would be seeing Martian Manhunter as an over-weight martian, just like the David Ogden Stiers incident with that horrible Justice League TV series pilot movie back in the 90's. (If you want to know what I mean, take a peak at the movie. Don't take this as a recommendation though.)
Santiago Cabrera, a Chilean actor born in Venezuela, as Aquaman. Well, I don't know much about his acting ability, but based on his pictures, I assume he was chosen partly because of his good-looks and wavy hair. Pretty sure he would've been the sex appeal for the women viewers. (Either him or DJ Cotrona) Especially during the scenes where Aquaman is wet...
Jay Baruchel and Teresa Palmer as Maxwell Lord and Talia al Ghul. Very odd choices to me. Jay is a tad too thin and not very intimidating when comes to main antagonist roles. Maxwell was described as a handsome, powerful figure in the script... doesn't really scream Baruchel to me. Teresa, I'm sure would've done fine as Talia, and I would like to have seen her as a brunette, but I couldn't help but feel there were many other actresses who would've been a much better choice. Plus, I think Teresa would do better as a separate DC Universe character... (Check out my other articles to find out who!)
Rumors have it that Anton Yelchin and Zoe Kazan were to play Wally West and Iris West. I don't know a lot about their acting abilities, but Kazan looked a tad too young for the young... Wally's actor looked the same age, if not older than her. And he was to play her nephew!
Maybe not the best cast for a Justice League movie, but hey, it could've been worse. Though they pushed it with Jay Baruchel...
Overall, I give the movie, based on the script a....
Had the effects, costumes and acting been well done, that score could move up to a 7 or 8. Maybe that's generous, maybe not. I guess we'll never know now though.
Tell me what you guys think; if you read the script or not!