Based on Geoff Johns and Jim Lee and DC Comic’s New-52 flagship launch Justice League Vol. 1: Origin, Justice League: War goes back to a time when super heroes were new to our world. We learn how the Justice League came together during an alien attack of Earth.
When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes — misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities — discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet.
Being based off of the first story arc of the comic series, the movie suffers much of the same issues as the comic. The dialogue at times is stilted and at times laughable and the character development is fairly non-existent. Those are issues with the source material that carried over. But, the comic was written with a movie feel to it all, and that cinematic vision translates well to an animated movie. That vision is a lot of fights. The story is very action filled, with not a whole lot else. Quieter scenes break up the action, but the movie is lots of punching, lots of explosions, lots of excess destruction.
The animation itself is pretty good. There’s some use of computer graphics for background images that’s a bit jarring and it’s clear there’s different ways things were put together. This is mostly in the beginning. With me not being an expert, I can’t exactly pinpoint what the difference is, but I think it was a mixing of hand drawn and computer animated elements. The rendering of the characters is pretty good as well. The one exception is Superman who at times has a rather thick neck. That might seem weird, but he’s a bit off compared to all of the other renderings.
The voice acting is the other component. I’m not beholden to a single voice, so none of the casting to me was bad. Wonder Woman’s voice seems a bit young, but considering she’s early in her career, it fits pretty well. I mentioned the dialogue being a bit off, and the actors do what they can with it. Highlights are Flash, Green Lantern and Batman who have the best interactions out of everyone, especially Flash and Green Lantern.
Stick around for the credits, you’ll find out what next obstacle these heroes face next. It’s clear that much like the DC New 52, this is the beginning of something new, a cartoon movie universe instead of numerous one-shot films. That makes me forgive some scenes and interactions I might have otherwise cut from the film.
The DVD/Blu Ray is filled with extras. I especially enjoyed a mini-documentary about artist Jim Lee. There’s a lot I learned about him from that. The extras enhance the release.
Much like the first arc of the Justice League comic it’s based on, the movie is a solid start, not perfect, but definitely entertaining.
Direction: 7.5 Acting: 7.5 Plot: 7.5 Overall: 7.5