A Justice League origin movie done right.
Justice League: War is the follow up to last year’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. The movie opens up the DC Animated Universe to the world of New 52, and an attempt to serve a continuity between future movies. The result is a fun, action-packed movie that gives people hope of any future live action Justice League projects.
The movie is simple: Darkseid and his Parademons are invading Earth, so the heroes must unite for the very first time to fight the enemies. The story is based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League: Origin comic, and it’s pretty loyal to it other than replacing Aquaman with Shazam. It’s kind of shame without Aquaman, but the replacement does give us some great moments between Cyborg and Shazam. Besides, now we get a great little post-credit teaser about future Aquaman appearance anyway.
It’s an obvious choice to have Batman as the main focus of the movie, but it’s Green Lantern that steals the spotlight. He is a fun, egoistic character that works great with all the other Justice League members. From his interaction with Batman ( “Wait, you’re not just some guy in a bat costume, are you?“) to him being best friend with Flash, he is easily the energy of the team, and the best on-screen version of Green Lantern ever. Even if you’re not a fan of Green Lantern at first, you will become one after this.
While it’s already great to have Cyborg’s origin as the center of the story in the comic series, it’s even better watching it animated. Cyborg’s origin is the least familiar one in the group, and it also serves as the voice of the viewers. The regular people who just became a superhero and has to deal with it. However, his story is fully completed with the addition of Shazam. At first I was not very happy with Shazam replacing Aquaman, even though I’m a big Shazam fan, but the replacement makes sense. Both Shazam and Cyborg are kids, and Shazam being a more experienced kid superhero can properly guide Cyborg into the life of a superhero. Plus, the bonding story between Cyborg and Shazam is really good, something you don’t want to miss.
The visual is great with this movie, and there are some great scenes as well. I really like it when Flash and Superman are running from Darkseid’s Omega Beams, and it answers once and for all that Flash is faster than Superman. However, there are some really bloody moments in the movie, especially when Darkseid’s eyes are stabbed out. It’s not as violent as last year’s Flashpoint Paradox, but it can still make you wonder just what happened to animated movies these days.
This movie gives us hope with the possible live action Justice League movie we’re getting soon. It teaches us that the “superhero gather together” movie doesn’t necessary need to go through individual movies like the Avengers does. Those movies are great because it gives us an idea who those characters are, and where they’re from. However, with great writings, we can easily figure these questions out just by watching the movie. That’s exactly what Justice League: War does. It allows us to enjoy the movie based on our own knowledge of the characters, plus some small expositions during the movie. And characters people are not so familiar with, such as Cyborg, get an full introduction in the movie. There are many characters in the movie that don’t get enough attention such as Superman, Flash or Wonder Woman, but those can be taken care of in future individual movies. So what I’m trying to say here is that, the live action Justice League movie should just go ahead and happen already, and they can deal with character developments in future individual movies. The opposite of what Avengers does.
Overall, Justice League: War is a wonderful movie that opens up many possibilities for both future DC animated, and live action movies. The story is great, and character chemistry are there. It’s a movie all DC fans should try, and finally gives the New 52 the respect it deserved.