WPR Reviews – Justice League: WAR
Brian West’s Epic Opinion of Awesomeness
Spoilers Ahead……You’ve Been Warned…
Last year, DC took the first steps towards aligning its animated universe with its new 52 comics when they released the fantastic Flashpoint Paradox, now DC has completed that shift with its first new animated feature set completely in the new 52 world, Justice League: War. JL: War is a direct follow up to Flashpoint and tells the story first told in the pages of Justice League 1-6(new 52 of course), of how the Justice League was created with the arrival of Darkseid, and their first epic battle with the self proclaimed God. Sound awesome, that’s because it was, or at least the action was. This might be the most action driven superhero movie DC has ever done, unfortunately it might also be the worst written one too.
As much as I love DC animation, I found this one lacking compared to most of what has been done in the past. Part of what has always made these movies appealing to me was the excellent combination of action and story, Justice League: War is so focused on action that is really forgets to tell any kind of real story. Here is the movie in a nut shell, Darkseid invades earth, now Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Flash, and Shazam(who strangely replaces Aquaman from the comic version) must stop him by repeatably punching him in the face. Thats pretty much it, that is really thin, even for a comic book cartoon. Now there are some decent getting to know our heroes moments in the beginning, but it’s not nearly enough to raise the movie to the high standard that we have come to expect for a DC animated feature.
The other big issues I had with the film was its bad dialog, and the way many of the characters just came off as Green Lateran himself says, like a douche. Yup, he really says douche in the movie, and sadly its an actuate description. Most of the heroes are too busy fighting with each other or hitting on Wonder Woman to actually earn the title as heroes. And don’t get me started on Wonder Woman. She’s great in the movie, but its like fresh meat was thrown into a tank of sharks when she joins the team. You get the feeling like they’re all gonna be looking through the keyhole when she showers at the Justice League Base. Wonder Woman has always been hot, but at least in the past she’s been shown a little respect. Honestly, only Batman really ever acted like you expected him to(I guess Flash was alright too, he just wasn’t really featured enough to make a huge impression). OK, enough of my ranting, so like I was saying, there are some truly terrible lines said in this movie. A lot of them are taken right from the comic, but clearly they work better in printed form than in a movie. They just make our heroes sound either stupid, or like jerks most the time in the movie. The sad part is that there are also some great one liners in here, its just that they kind’ve get lost in all the bad ones.
Now if there was one thing that really saved this movie for me it was the unbelievable action sequences. This has the best action of any DC movie by a long shot, and that’s saying something. The sheer destruction in this movie is on the Man Of Steel level, and it’s just as much fun to watch. Justice League: War was a lot like watching Dragonball Z, but with the Justice League, and that’s a good thing. The animation was also top notch. It looked great, and did a excellent job capturing the look of Jim Lee’s original artwork from the comic. Visually, this is one of the best looking animated movies DC has done, it definitely raises the bar for the future DC installments.
Even with all it’s problems, I really liked this movie. The action and animation bail out the lack of story and bad dialog, and honestly, even flawed DC animation is still better than just about anything else out there. Ultimately It’s fun to watch from the beginning to the end, and at least Batman is still Batman, which is always worth the price of admission. Justice League: War is a must add to any superhero collection.
Ryan Thomason’s Thoughtfulness Corner of Thoughts
Justice League: War is a beautiful movie to watch. Though I had to opt for the DVD version since my BluRay player is rather…not in existence. DC Animation does superhero movies so damn well, I honestly wish they would push for theatrical releases. The fight scenes are top notch, everything is just so engrossing you can’t help but be sucked in from start to finish. Wonder Woman leading the charge and just wiping the floor with bad guys was a sight to see. Visual and Audio were all up to my expectations. Being someone who had Moderate to Severe hearing loss and wears hearing aids, the Closed Captions didn’t take anything away from what was happening on screen. I was grateful that the lettering was easy to pick up what everyone was saying yet didn’t diminish my viewing experience of missing the action while I was reading the dialog.
Which brings me to my only slightly negative aspects of watching the movie, Dialog. I had a great time watching Justice League: War. Even though I’m only familiar with most of the characters beyond DC Animated movies and well the basics of everyone’s story. I’ll be honest that I’m not too knowledgeable about Wonder Woman and Shazam. So let me address my first issues with the movie’s dialog that was hit or miss at times. There where some very memorable banter and moments, between Green Lantern being a smart ass, Shazam’s World of Warcraft/Darkseid reference, Wonder Woman discovering Ice Cream, the scene where Batman calls out Superman for being Clark in the middle of a fight to ease tension, then Superman’s eye’s glowing while using his X-Ray vision on Batman with a slight smirk as he says “Hello Bruce Wayne.” There was some excellent lines within the movie. I think what it lacked was some of the lines you’d quote to your friends afterwards, like Flashpoint Paradox carried. “…..Friend?” “……Hero?” for instance.
Aside from the few great pieces of dialog, the majority of the movie felt lacking somewhat conversationally. I tried to take into account that this was a action heavy movie. We are witnessing the formation of the Justice League. Though they were all reluctantly brought together, they figured out how to work together and take down Darkseid. The action and combat drove Justice League: War, not the dialog. Wonder Woman stabbing Darkseid in the eye was one of my “Oh snap, that’s gotta hurt.” moments. Justice League: War is largely driven by the battle scenes, I’m fine with that. They did that beyond what my expectations would have been. It seems they wanted to form the Justice League through an intense moment of need and combat. Which is the opposite of what you’d see from the long drawn out putting the chess pieces together like Marvel’s Avengers. The Justice League wasn’t put together by diplomacy or someone forcing everyone into the same room. They came through because the world started falling apart, and while they didn’t know who was good or bad, they made quick concessions to work together and take out the target. I like the Justice League formation better than the Avengers. Aside from everyone hitting on Wonder Woman at first, obviously.
Justice League: War is another shining example of why DC Animation knows how to deliver a visually and all around movie that advances the DC Characters and makes you want more. I can’t wait to see what happens from the credits teaser. Also, Son of Batman is going to be awesome.
You can always buy a copy on Amazon: