Friday, February 5, 2010

Movie Review: Smallville-Absolute Justice

So how was it? In a few words...

As the show-movie opens, Chloe (Alison Mack) has been contacted by a man, Sylvester Pembleton, with possible information. But before he can tell her anything she gets thrown in a dumpster while a fight between Pembleton and an unseen assaliant ends with Pembleton dead and covered in ice. This brings in Clark (Tom Welling) and Oliver Queen aka The Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) into the mystery, especially when a second man is found murdered in similiar fashion. Eventually it leads to the discovery of a former group of masked vigilantes known as the Justice Society of America, their rather bitter leader Carter Hall (Michael Shanks), the mysteriosu Dr. Fate and the young Stargirl who are also trying to prevent anymore deaths of their former teammates. But what does a mysterious agent (Pam Grier) have to do with the proceedings? And can the killer be stopped?

Okay I'll admit up front-I haven't watched Smallville recently so I spent much of the time playing catch up. Once I got past that though the show did work as a good stand alone story-at least up to a point. My major disappointment was the lack of other JSA members. No Flash, Green Lantern or Dr. Mid-Nite. The plot-a killer knocking off former superheroes-also made me think of Watchmen and ultimately ran out of steam. And since this was setup as two standard episodes originally it closes with an unresolved cliffhanger to bring back the viewer for next week.

What did work though was the actors and the little homages to the classic heroes. I always liked Alison Mack's Chloe and she still has charm and humor with her part. Welling also has grown into the mature Clark pretty good and his scenes with Erica Durance's Lois had more chemistry than some of the later episodes with Lana Lang. A scene where Clark explores Carter Hall's museum was the high point as was Dr. Fate predicting Clark and Lois' eventual future. I also liked Fate's costume better than Hawkman's (many had complained it looked silly. It did.).

In the end it was an okay attempt to bring in the classic heroes and give some of them their moment. Still would have loved to see more of them though. My rating: (adjusted for TV) *** out of 4.

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