By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer
Justice League: War explores the origins of DC’s super team with stylish action and humorous dialogue, as the villainous Darkseid and his horde of Parademons invade Earth. Even if the whole “superheroes vs. aliens” storyline isn’t exactly a fresh concept, JLW’s Saturday morning cartoon vibe makes for a satisfying 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Most of the characters are fleshed out well with entertaining and unique personalities, but Wonder Woman and Superman basically behave like cocky super jocks. Rather than showing the kind-hearted Clark Kent behind Superman’s godlike power, or the wise Diana Prince behind Wonder Woman’s whip and sword, DC makes them into sledgehammers that just rush into battle. This is unfortunate, since these two characters are usually much more likeable in other DC animated series and comics.
Fortunately, there’s plenty to like in the snappy back-and-forth between Batman, Gotham City’s crime-fighting detective, and Green Lantern, an intergalactic policeman. Right off the bat (no pun intended), the self-controlled seriousness of Bruce Wayne clashes with Hal Jordan’s cocky risk-taking, but eventually Green Lantern learns to respect Batman’s strategic thinking and self-control. Once the fun-loving and wise-cracking Flash comes into the picture, Green Lantern finds a kindred spirit.
Probably the most well-developed friendship is the one that forms between football player Victor Stone and fan boy Billy Batson (who can turn into the magic-wielding Shazam whenever he yells out “Shazam!”). After a scientific accident turns Victor into the half-machine and half-man being called Cyborg, it’s up to Shazam to remind his favorite quarterback that life’s going to be okay.
The visuals are top-notch, relying more on classic animation than computer-generated graphics, and the sound effects pack a punch. However, you won’t be whistling any epic tunes after the credits roll, since the music is instantly forgettable. The voice acting is solid, even if Batman’s voice isn’t quite as deep as we’re used to and Wonder Woman is a bit too girlish.
Although this isn’t one of DC’s best animated movies, you should definitely give it a chance, if only for the action and the comedy. The final verdict? B+.
Images courtesy of DC Comics.