Justice League: War
Justice League: War 2014
Taking a quick break from the non-superhero comic book adaptations I watched a couple brand new DC Animation releases: Justice League: War and JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. My review of Trapped in Time will be up in a couple days, but first I’m going to talk a bit about Justice League: War which is the first Animated offering from DC’s New 52 timeline offering up yet another Justice League origin story, though I haven’t read any of the New 52. Fortunately, even though a lot of it is the same thing we’ve seen more than a couple times, it’s still a fun ride. After the very dark turn in DC Animation with Dark Knight Returns and The Flashpoint Paradox, War lightens things up quite a bit while not going all the way around to being too shallow. There’s still plenty of action to be had here and they sneak in a single swear word, but the blood is kept to a minimum. It was also a nice change of pace to add Shazam into the mix, as he’s not usually one of the regulars in these movies.
As I mentioned, this is another Justice League origin story, set up during a time where most superheroes aren’t exactly among the honored or trusted. People are protesting Wonder Woman and they’re scared of Batman. But darker things are afoot as minions of Darkseid begin popping up all over the world causing trouble before things break out into an all out invasion. Most of the heroes are already out doing their thing: Green Lantern’s got his ring, Wonder Woman’s hanging out with Steve Trevor at the White House, the Flash is working with Star Labs. But Cyborg gets the full-fledged origin treatment as a young football star whose scientist father doesn’t care about sports when the world is full of meta-humans who make football seem worthless. When his son gets blown up and attacked by an alien semi-organic parasite, his father uses his science to save him, turning him into a mix of human, robot, and alien organic technology. I actually quite like this version of Cyborg as it makes him a bit more interesting, and allows him some level of shapeshifting due to the alien tech. It’s also worth mentioning that besides one moment at the end, the operation scene is about as gory as this movie gets, with his body half charred and infested with strands of blue alien organism.
Every hero in this movie does get a fair amount of screentime, though Green Lantern and Batman probably have the largest roles, coming into the movie first and they spend most of the movie together, with their begrudging and constantly bantering parternship. Hal Jordan as GL is typically cocky and the source of much of the humor, though Wonder Woman does get her fair share of humorous moments stemming from her naivety about the modern world, such as a fun moment with a little girl and an ice cream vendor. Shazam also has some fun moments, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the character as it might be a bit of a surprise when the little kid that’s been running around suddenly turns into red, electric, Superman. He is also a welcome edition to the team because he both supplies another layer of humor alongside Green Lantern and Flash, and he’s one character that hasn’t been in a ton of these Justice League movies. In fact, he’s only been in Public Enemies and his own short fighting Black Adam, while the others are in almost every incarnation of the Justice League.
The animation as always is excellent, during the short run time, it’s near constant fighting and it’s broken up with enough story and comic relief that it doesn’t get tiring. There’s also plenty of variety to the fights, considering that there are several different heroes all with their own unique fighting styles. I quite liked the wide variety of Green Lantern’s constructs. There were very few repetitions and they all made sense within the context of the scene. The voice acting was also quite good, all the characters were just different enough that they didn’t make me miss Kevin Conroy, Nathan Fillion, or Tim Daly. And Michelle Monaghan was great in her role as Wonder Woman, she really pulled off both the fish out of water during the more comedic scenes, as well as the strong warrior during the battle scenes. In the end, I thought it was a fun introduction to the New 52, but while I liked it, I also didn’t really think that it did enough different to really warrant itself as yet another Justice League origin story, or should I say “Super Seven”? Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.