Justice League Parent Guide
Despite some sexist choices in the costuming of female characters, this superhero tale offers positive views on the importance of hope and taking responsibility.
Parent Movie Review
“Superman is Dead”. So read the headlines of newspapers seen lying about a city that isn’t looking very well after weathering a battle between the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) and an alien invader from his home planet. Making matters worse, Batman (Ben Affleck), representing the desires of the citizens of Gotham and Metropolis, fell into the mindset that the world would be better off without the help of Kryptonians. In the end, the Dark Knight got his wish while witnessing Superman’s ultimate sacrifice to save the planet.
Since the credits rolled on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Caped Crusader has softened, even if he still isn’t sure of his deceased colleague’s motives. However, the time for mourning quickly concludes when yet another antagonist shows up on the blue planet.
Following the comic genre template, an extended backstory sequence explains Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). He is this episode’s villain, and one who initiated a huge battle on Earth many years ago. Fortunately he was sent packing, but neglected to take his baggage with him: three glowing “Mother Boxes” that, if placed together, will destroy the world… maybe even the universe. With Superman gone, Steppenwolf sees a perfect opportunity to return and get the matched set of objects that look more like a heater we Canadians might use to keep our office warm in winter rather than something we should hazmat suit up for.
Steppenwolf (sorry to single out Canadians again… but is anyone else humming Born to Be Wild?) opens a temporary office in an abandoned Russian nuclear power plant that has all the makings of Chernobyl. From there he discovers one of the boxes is stashed on the island of Themyscira, also the home of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). His violent visit, joined by a swarm of CGI flying somethings, motivates WW aka Diana Prince to team up with Batman to send the prehistoric predator on his way once more.
The pair also recruit to their cause Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller). Yet, even with all this might, they seem to be coming up a little short of “super” heroes. Ahem… no spoilers here.
Teen audiences wanting to see these DC Comic conquerors duke it out will possibly enjoy the many battle sequences of these titans squashing, stabbing and blasting Steppenwolf’s hive of man-sized bugs. Other than a character getting covered in green slime, presumably the fluid of life within the CGI insects, there is little other blood or gore. Profanities are limited, but do include a scene featuring a string of strong, partially bleeped, expletives.
Perhaps the most disappointing issue with this film is a subtle decision in the wardrobe department. Wonder Woman is already the singular member of the Justice League troop to be stuck going to work in awkward swimwear, yet someone determined that she and all other “Amazon Women” needed to show more skin than they did in the Wonder Woman movie from earlier this year.
To make the most of the costume modifications, we see repeated shots of her backside that show more skin than necessary. It’s a creative choice that contrasts against the otherwise positive role model she represents. One can’t help but assume the first movie’s female director may have had better ambitions for the character than this title’s pair of male helmsmen. (I should note that this film’s original director, Zack Snyder, had a tragic family emergency, causing him to hand off his project to Joss Whedon. While others recognize the change in wardrobe, there is no indication as to who made the decision.)
As frustrating as these sexist choices are, Justice League does offer commendable views on the importance of hope and recognizing we are all responsible for creating better outcomes in our world. It’s a little less drab and dark than its preceding story too—particularly with the inclusion of The Flash, who provides welcome comedic quips. Overall, it’s a reasonably good choice for teens who haven’t already burned out on the reams of similar movies seen over the past few years. However, parents may want to take this opportunity to illustrate the entrainment industry’s incessant need to continually define women as “eye candy”.Directed by Zack Snyder. Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa. Running time: 121 minutes. Theatrical release November 17, 2017. Updated November 21, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Justice League rated PG-13? Justice League is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of sci-fi violence and action.Violence:
Scenes of conflict between superhero humans and fantastical (and often computer generated) characters occur throughout this movie. After crushing some insect like creatures, a character is covered in green, slimy body fluids. Other characters are beaten, stabbed, shot, bombed and subjected to other violent methods, however little blood or gore is depicted. A couple of "jump scenes" may frighten children. Characters dig up a corpse and attempt to revive it. A man kicks and destroys a sidewalk fruit stand belonging to a Muslim shopkeeper. A man holds multiple people hostage at gunpoint and begins firing on them: a superhero character intervenes to protect them from the bullets. An attempted bombing of a building is thwarted by a superhero.
Female warriors are seen clothed in revealing "battle attire", some baring midriffs and others showing cleavage. A woman’s costume briefly reveals her buttock.
Infrequent profanity includes a single scatological term, some mild profanities and a term of Christian deity. Also, a person who is angry uses a tirade of profanities that are bleeped, however you can identify some of the words being used.
Alcohol and Drug Use"
A hero character drinks a large bottle of hard alcohol without consequence. Other characters share social drinks.
Page last updated November 21, 2017
More parents' guide for Justice League after the break...
Justice League Parents' Guide
This movie frequently discusses “hope”. What does “hope” mean to you? Is it essential to our existence and ability to progress? What elements in the real world try to extinguish our hope? What effect do selfishness and narcissism have on the concept of hope? In what ways can we provide hope to others?
A character reflecting on global problems says, “I don’t recognize this world”. What do you think this person is speaking about? If you were to arrive on Earth after being away for 50 or 100 years, what changes would you find most shocking? What issues might still be the same?
“We act like the doomsday clock has a snooze button,” remarks one character. How are we hitting the snooze button? What comparisons can you see in this analogy that identify choices we are making in the world today? Can a snooze button stop time? How does it fool us into thinking we have more time?
News About "Justice League"
Batman is portrayed here by Ben Affleck Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. See Christian Bale in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises. Val Kilmer in Batman Forever. George Clooney in Batman & Robin. And hear Will Arnett’s voice in The LEGO Batman Movie.
Wonder Woman, The Flash and Cyborg all appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, played byGal Gadot, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher.