DC Universe Animated Original Movie:
The latest DCU Animated Original movie has entered DC’s NEW 52 Universe! Justice League War is the first adaptation fron The New 52 Continuity. It has seven heroes joining forces reluctantly to stop the invading Darkseid from Apokolips. This will be somewhat of a SPOILER FREE Review.
So with this being the FIRST film in adapting NEW 52 stories, we have the SUPAH Friends reluctantly uniting to save the world. OK I exaggerate, but you get the idea. The plot is well carried out, and it felt like I’d seen this all before. Not in the sense that it was a repeat, but as I was watching the film, it felt like I was watching a roided up version of the Justice League Season 1 three parter premiere Secret Origins. NOW I will say this I went into watching this film with no idea what to expect. I knew MOST of the classic DC Animated Universe voices wouldn’t be there, and that’s fine. However it was nice hearing George Newbern, who voiced Supes in JL-JLU as Steve Trevor. I’m not reading the JL in the New 52 I went into this very fresh. I did enjoy the story. It was interesting how the plot twists turned out. I just can’t help but feel as if I’d seen this all before.
The voice casting isn’t what I expected, and as the film progressed I don’t think that another cast could have done it better. YES you read that right, now let us move on shall we..? The cast consists of the following actors and actresses:
- Sean Astin as Shazam
- Zach Callison as Billy Batson
- Christopher Gorham as Flash / Barry Allen
- Justin Kirk as Green Lantern / Hal Jordan
- Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman
- Shemar Moore as Cyborg / Victor Stone
- Jason O’Mara as Batman
- Alan Tudyk as Superman
- Steven Blum as Darkseid / Cyborg’s Armor (uncredited)
- Dee Bradley Baker as Parademons / Secret Service Guard (uncredited)
- Melique Berger as Sarah Charles
- Kimberly Brooks as Darla
- Rocky Carroll as Silas Stone
- Ioan Gruffudd as Thomas Morrow
- Georgie Kidder as Freddy Freeman
- John Mariano as Ice Cream Vendor
- Richard McGonagle as President of the United States
- Matthew Mercer as Guard
- George Newbern as Steve Trevor
- Andrea Romano as Green Lantern’s Ring
- Roger Rose as Pinstriped Loudmouth
- Gary Sturgis as Teammate #2
- Bruce Thomas as Desaad
- Hynden Walch as Hannah Grace
Very interesting cast, and they all did a great job. Jason O’Mara as Batman was good. The only other time I’d ever seeen him was in One For The Money as Joe Morelli. Because this is the NEW 52 storyline, I kinda like that they went with voices that we might not know. SURE the inner DCAU fanboy is screaming for Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and the like…. but with them not being here it doesn’t make me have a negative opinion on the film.
The animation is top notch, and the designs are very interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Darkseid look this way, and I kinda like it. That guy looks like the true evil incarnate that he is. I love the new 52 Jim Lee Batman design, for a few moments I thought that the Bat symbol was gonna jump off his chest and attack someone. Superman’s design is well, yet another Superman design. There’s not much that can be done with the classic red, blue, and yellow. I mean serioously unless you are gonna make him have a black and silver costume, Superman is and always will be the same costume design, with slight variations. Wonder Woman’s costume for me was completely different, than what I had seen before. GL, The Flash, and Shazam aka Captain Marvel, all seem the same to me, as previous designs look. Really love the effects, the high action, and the low moments in the film. Explosions looked great, GL’s ring constructs were awesome, Superman’s x-ray vision was a little weird, but overall great visual effects.
This film explores how the team unites, and with seven members of the League being on screen, the story time is divided quite well. I do like how Victor’s dad knows The Flash, I think that is most interesting. I also enjoyewd how the Billy Batson character came into play, both as the kid, and as Shazam! I would say that this film focuses on three of the JL members more than the others, and those are Hal, Billy, and Victor. Their storylines seem to be ever present throughout the film. Superman seems to be the last line of defense. Batman as he should sticks to the shadows, and is the behind the scenes kinda guy. I really like how Hal and Barry have a friendship here. Diana as in most of the JL Origin stories I’ve seen seems very out of place. however she did have her moments, like with the ice cream.
While I was watching the film, I sadly barely noticed the film score. That might be a shock to some of you reasding this, as most of my friends know I latch onto film scores fairly fast. The music when I did hear it, I thought it was great. However with all the effects and talking, it was kinda easy to forget about the score. I will say that I did like the fact that the team HAS to UNITE in order to defeat Darkseid, but this film pretty much makes Darkseid a rogue for everyone not just Superman. I’ll say that what I didn’t like about the film is moreso my own reaction to it, than anything to do with the film. It felt as I stated before that I had seen all of this before. The one part that was new to me was the origin of Cyborg, that was the part I enjoyed the most from the film.
For Final Thoughts, JL: War is a good film, it brings in the NEW 52 continuity, and NEW voices for the characters. Which I like. As stated previously when I went to watch this, I went in fresh with no pre conceived notions. I came out of it liking it, but my brain wasn’t exploding with joy after watching it. I’m interested to see where they go from here in adapting new 52 stories. I’m gonna give this a three and a half outta five stars, which is I Liked It. I only give it that rating because of my intense deja vu I keep having.