19. Justice League of America

Director: Felix Enriquez Alcala (1997)
Starring: Matthew Settle, Kimberly Oja, David Ogden Stiers
Find it: IMDB

A superhero movie that even my fourteen-year-old self thought was shit. Well done Batman & Robin, yours is not entirely the worst superhero film of 1997. I mean, it probably still is, but The Justice League Of America is solid competition.

This is a Justice League without Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman. Its most recogniseable heavy hitters are Green Lantern, Flash, Atom and Martian Manhunter. Which, to be fair, isn't all that bad as far as line-ups go. Of course, every team needs a few to make up the numbers (hello Hawkeye and Black Widow) so the big guys are joined by Fire and Ice. They must have run out of DC heroes for their Justice League and had to make up a couple of their own. The League joins forces to defeat a mad scientist who has himself a weather manipulation machine which he's using to hold the world to ransom. Or something. All I know is that dipshit calling himself Green Lantern is not Guy Gardner. The Green Lantern of Justice League has Guy Gardner's name and costume but Hal Jordan's personality. Which is to say that he's perfectly bland, like everyone else in Justice League.

The Manhunter, meanwhile, appears in only a few shadow-bound scenes and then disappears. At least he's green, which is more than we can say for Green Lantern's costume. It's like an episode of Smallville, down to the cheap rubber costumes. Forget Batman and Superman, this is an iteration of the Justice League which even Aquaman wouldn't join. Little wonder Manhunter didn't want to stick around. Any superhero movie which has a supervillain whose grand plot is to control the weather, as a rule of thumb, is not a good one. Even Bond villains are ashamed to go there.

To expect too much from Justice League is perhaps a little unfair - it's not actually a real movie, rather a TV pilot for a series that didn't happen. Going on this, that's probably a good thing.

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