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Review – Justice League: War

This week, the latest DC Entertainment animated film Justice League: War premiered at the New York Paley Center for Media. Read on for our review!

While many of DC’s animated films have been stand-alone stories, this is the first of a new ongoing universe and continuity. Based on the New 52 story Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, the movie is directed by Jay Oliva (Justice League: Flashpoint) and scripted by Heath Corson (Aim High). It stars Alan Tudyk as Superman, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman, Justin Kirk as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Christopher Gorham as Flash, Sean Astin as Shazam, and Steven Blum as Darkseid.

First of all, a mostly non-spoilery review.

Justice League: War is another enjoyable film from DC, taking place in a world that has only recently become familiar with the existence of aliens and people who have super-powers. Alien soldiers, known as parademons, begin preparations for an invasion of Earth, drawing the attention of the planet’s new superheroes. Despite their clashing personalities, the heroes join forces to stop Darkseid and wind up a team.

There is only one thing that seriously bothered me in this movie as a missed opportunity. It’s slightly spoilery, so I’ll save it to the end. On the whole, I enjoyed Justice League: War and think it’s superior to the original comic in some ways. There’s more humor in the story and a stronger sense of camaraderie developing between the Leaguers. Flash and Shazam have fanboy moments when meeting the others, and Batman makes a point to tell one hero how much he respects their work. The obligatory “heroes must fight before teaming up” scene doesn’t feel drawn out, lasting only slightly over 3.5 minutes. While there were times in the comic I thought a few heroes were included for the sake of inclusion, this movie makes it clear that each character, and their teamwork, is necessary for victory.

Although the movie echoes the New 52, it and the films to follow will not be beholden to that version of continuity according to executive producer James Tucker and character designer Phil Bourassa, who spoke at the screening. That already shows. Shazam replaces Aquaman’s role in the original comic, and he makes for a fun addition, not quite as snide or antagonistic as the New 52 version. Wonder Woman is clearly a warrior who craves battle, but it’s not a lust for violence. Rather, she seeks glory and honor in heroic quests. The cast gives an excellent performance and the direction is good. Hiring Kirk (one of my favorite actors) to play Hal Jordan turned out to be inspired. O’Mara did an excellent job as Batman and I look forward to his upcoming performance in Son of Batman. The Aquaman fan in me is also pleased that he’ll be introduced to the mythos soon.

If you have young kids and are concerned about violence and language, be aware there are a few curse words, someone gets called a whore, there’s lots of alien/monster dismemberment with green blood, there are a couple of scenes where a character screams in pain, and one scene has a character’s neck snapped just out of sight (The film is rated PG-13.). If you’re new to the DC Universe, this movie isn’t quite as good an intro to the Leaguers and their world as the comic it’s based on. There’s no explanation given for what Paradise Island is, how long the different heroes have been around, what Green Lantern is talking about when he mentions the Guardians and that he protects a “sector,” who Darkseid is and what his ultimate goals are, or why Wonder Woman, Flash and Shazam have powers. With recent live-action movies, GL, Superman and Batman may not need explanations, but the origins of the others aren’t as well known outside of comics.

It’s not just to do with their origins but also the context of this world. Gotham City Police are against Batman and the Air Force doesn’t like Green Lantern, yet Flash is trusted by the staff of S.T.A.R. Labs. What’s he done that has earned him acceptance? And if Batman is wanted by the police, why does Flash, a CSI, trust and admire him? Lois Lane is seen but has no dialogue in the film. I think you easily could’ve added some context by putting her in one of the first scenes, remarking on how Superman has been around for just about a year and these new heroes are starting to crop up. Interviews with the creative team behind the scenes revealed that Batman is supposed to be about 22-years-old in Justice League: War, but I had no idea from what was shown onscreen.

None of this ruins the movie. I just personally would’ve liked a minute less of action in exchange for a few extra lines giving out some info and context, especially since this film launches a new animated universe. During his constant banter, Hal could’ve quickly added, “Look, there’s a whole Green Lantern Corps protecting the universe and I’m the local one.”

Ok, that’s the main review. Now let’s get into some spoilery details.

I warned you about the spoilers, right? You can’t complain later that you kept reading and saw spoilers. I mean, you can, but that would be lame. Ok, spoilers. First off, if you’re not a fan of Superman and Wonder Woman dating in the comics, be warned their budding attraction is almost a sub-plot. You see it sparking in three scenes with prolonged, shared looks between them. So that’s definitely going to be explored in the movies that follow Justice League: War in this new animated universe.

Now finally, what bothered me as a missed opportunity? When Wonder Woman confronts a man protesting her visit to the White House, he angrily says her violent actions scare “normal people” and she dresses “like a whore.” She then lassoes him and demands to know the real reason for his hatred and fear. In a meek voice, the man says, “I cross-dress in a Wonder Woman outfit. It makes me feel powerful.” Amused, Wonder Woman chuckles and says, “Embrace your truth, my friend. My outfit makes me feel powerful too.”

This was a quick scene played for a laugh and it certainly got the laugh in the audience. But Diana’s reaction bothers me. Since her creation, Wonder Woman has been someone who reaches out to others, hoping to help them gain balance and better understanding. Wonder Woman’s line rings true, but the delivery doesn’t. If she had smiled to the man and offered her hand to him instead of chuckling, if she’d shown real empathy for how his fear of himself was projecting towards others, it would’ve made for a very sweet moment in the film that also spoke of her character. To have her dismiss him with a chuckle instead is, to me, a serious miss in an otherwise fun film.

Justice League: War will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on February 4, 2014.

Alan Sizzler Kistler (@SizzlerKistler) is an actor/writer who identifies as a feminist and time traveler-in-training. He is the author of Doctor Who: A History.

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  • Anonymous

    Cyborg being allowed to say “shit” was something I was not expecting. But then I realized PG-13 movies in theaters have been getting more lax with what they allow language-wise (I was also not expecting Wolverine to drop an F-bomb in the last solo film) so I guess that translates to animated fare as well.

  • Thomas Hayes

    I have to offer a differing opinion. This was by some way the worst DC Animated film for me out of the ones I’ve seen. The film is mostly unrelenting action scenes, most of which are decently animated but some are very much below par for Warner Brothers animation. Whenever the action does stop, the character scenes are almost cringeworthy. The dialogue is so forced and the characters so one-note and idiotic that I could hardly believe I wasn’t watching bad fanfic. GL was irritating from the moment he opened his mouth, Superman’s a total ass, Wonder Woman is a caricature and Darkseid barely counts as a character at all. They got Steve Blum to voice Darkseid but not only do they give him hardly anything to say, they drown his voice in modulation! There’s not much in the way of character devleopment or story arcs in this film – a bit is given to Cyborg, but it’s not much. There’s not a lot to latch onto unless you really dig superhero vs superhero and later superhero vs parademon brawls. And explosions, I really hope you like explosions.

    I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, but the DC movies have led me to anticipate at least a decent B-movie level of quality even when they’re flawed. This film wasn’t offensive or awful or anything like that, it was just… nothing. I won’t be revisiting this one any time soon.

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect to Alan….this film is loaded with problematic and troubling characterization most notably for…surprise, surprise….Wonder Woman and Superman. Both of them come out of the film looking like fairly terrible people.
    First things first: I don’t know who this character is wearing Superman’s clothing in this movie but it’s a new character that DC has created and put in the Superman suit. It’s not Clark Kent. The character seen in this film bares little resemblance to the Clark Kent that we know and love. He’s arrogant. Overly violent. Cocky. He’s a bully. This goes far beyond the young arrogance that we saw in Grant Morrison’s early days on Action. This character is, quite frankly, just not a nice person. I can’t concieve of any way in which this figure could be the hope for the world. It was already shocking to see this kind of poor characterization from Geoff Johns at the start of the new 52 given Geoff’s positive history with Superman. Unfortunately, the behavior is even worse in this film.

    The depiction of Wonder Woman is equally problematic in a number of ways. Alan has touched briefly on the problematic scene in which she is made to humiliate a cross dresser. It’s extremely uncomfortable to know that the people who put this movie together thought they were making something funny there. The film attempts to have Diana defend her costume and take pride in her body which could have been positive but not only does it come in the form of clothed misogyny but it’s in the context of a film in which male Justice League members are leering at her and calling “dibs” on her. Therefore, any power that Wonder Woman gains is automatically lost. She’s also frankly way too sword happy and violent but that’s, unfortunately, become the short handed way of presenting “power” these days for women.

    Which brings us to the continued problematic themeatic elements of the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship. Unfortunately, this film does nothing but reinforce them even further. You know, how they like each other because they are both strong…or something.

    It shouldn’t need to be explained to people why it’s insulting and problematic to have SUPERMAN leering at Wonder Woman and theoretically asserting himself as the alpha male in front of her. Nor should it have to be explained why it’s problematic as crap to have Wonder Woman—given what she stands for—to be in awe of Superman’s alpha male strength. This film essentially just taught a group of young people that physical strength and beauty are the most important things about another person. It would be shallow with any characters but with these characters…it’s essentially character assasination. Very poor message. Also, a terrible insulting use of Steve Trevor who deserves better at this stage in the game. Unfortunately, that Diana reacts to this shallow display doesn’t make her look that great.

    (P.S.—the scene where Superman lifts Air Force One with Diana inside. Yet Another scene stolen from Lois Lane. Smallville Finale. )

    While I can understand wanting to focus on the enjoyable aspects of the film, it doesn’t negate that the problematic themes that resonate within the new 52 are alive and well in this movie. I guess it depends on whether you can overlook those elements and enjoy the rest of it. For me, personally, the destruction of Superman’s character is a dealbreaker.

  • Anonymous

    It’s probably the worst depiction of Superman I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something bc I’ve seen and read some bad depictions of Superman.

  • Alan Kistler

    The ratings have always played with language in scale and relation to each other. PG-13 films are usually allowed to say F once and once only, but then that usually means the other curse words aren’t worse than Hell or Damn. It’s a weird system.

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  • frictionandbone

    I guess I interpreted the WW moment differently; I didn’t see it as dismissive, but the chuckle was at the irony at the fact that the man hanging her effigy, secretly wants to be like her. And as for the line delivery, I thought she was accepting. She accepted it as normal, as it should be.

    Watching the movie, the characters came across as rough but overall I liked it.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    Personally, I see this as a popcorn movie. The animation is good, and yes, the fight scenes are overly long, but imho enyojable, especially the parts where Wonder Woman utterly dominates them.

    Unfortuantely that’s pretty much all I liked about the movie. Okay, I also liked Cyborg and found his drama quite gripping. But the other characters did absolutely nothing for me. Superman was, as others have mentioned, only Superman in name, I have never liked Hal Jordan in any of his incarnations, with Flash and Shazam I didn’t have any issues, but they also didn’t do anythign to make me actually like them.
    Then there’s Batman. His overrepresentation in DC movies aside, I was extremely bothered by how often he did “awesome” things seemingly for the sole purpose of proving how he as a “normal” human coudl totally stand next to demigods.
    Actually, I honestly think the movie was at its best when Superman and Batman were away doing their own thing on Apocolypse, with the rest of the league taking on Darkside on theri own. That was actually fun and awesome. But everytime Superman and Batman were involved… With Superman, tension drops automatically, but it’s still bearable. But Batman… for me, his inclusion really ruins the movie, because in every fight scene he’s in, I am constantly distracted by my confusion about why he isn’t dead yet. I know, the “Because he’s Batman” excuse, but I’m sorry, when a guy fights alongside people who could literally break him with their pinkie, and said guy takes hits just like they do, I honestly can not take any perceived threat seriously.

    Now that I think about it, maybe THAT’S the reason why Superman VS Batman was pushed back by a year. Because the screenwriters can’t possibly think of any way that would make a fight between Superman and Batman that doesn’t end with Batman dead in two seconds appear in any way credible in a life-action movie. Batman’s popularity is really shooting DC in the knee here.

    Then of course there is Wonder Woman. I do love how many awesome action scenes she has, but yeah, aside from her main motivation’s being “put sword in things”, she also acts insultingly immature for a suposedly thousand year old warrior princess. And spoiled on top of it.
    And the less I say about why I hate the Superman/Wonder Woman pairing, the better.

    So Yeah, Justice League: War is certainly nice to look at, but that’s where most of its merit ends. At least WW wasn’t a Straw Feminist this time…

  • Bean

    With all due respect, I couldn’t disagree more strongly with your assessment of Batman’s role in this film, and the related comments about the upcoming movie. Further, I’d like to state that opinions like these are exactly what is wrong with fandom in general.

    Leaving aside all the meme-tastic ‘Because I’m Batman’ arguments, the inclusion of Batman to stand alongside these people is essential-Because Batman is an amazing role model. Yes, I said it. Leaving aside the psychological issues, and the backstory, Batman embodies a concept essential in these types of stories, namely “With enough motivation and determination, there are no limits to HUMAN accomplishment.” Without him, The story becomes disconnected from the audience, as the moral becomes “You can only do amazing things through accidents of birth, or circumstance, so don’t bother trying really hard, it won’t matter.”

    This kind of fanboyish “Superman could crush Batman with his pinky” argument diminishes Superman as well. It pushes him outside the realm of relatability as an inhuman plot device-and he’s clearly not. His canon characterization is an admittedly very corny, but very HUMAN person with all the strengths and WEAKNESSES that implies.

    As for Wonder Woman, I didn’t have a huge problem with her characterization. It was off-putting, but viewed through the lens of an outsider to our culture, and given that she may not have even spoken english before she came to the US, most of the disconcerting or frustrating moments are more than understandable.

    I really am disappointed in some of these responses to the movie. The characterizations aren’t great, I will concede, but it seems most people are viewing it through the lens of their own biases and preconceptions about the characters than judging them on their own merits. The confusingly conflicting “This isn’t canon WW/Batman/Superman/etc” which is almost immediately followed by “Canon WW/Batman/Superman are dull” is starting to depress me. I can’t Imagine DC has any hope of unseating marvel in any arena until the fans learn to manage their expectations a little better.

    I apologize for the rant in reply to you, I’d only meant to address my disagreement with your Batman comments but it devolved into a sort of generalized fuming. Most of it isn’t aimed at you at all.

  • Ghidoran

    “As for Wonder Woman, I didn’t have a huge problem with her characterization. It was off-putting, but viewed through the lens of an outsider to our culture, and given that she may not have even spoken english before she came to the US, most of the disconcerting or frustrating moments are more than understandable.”

    Except…it’s not understandable. The character in the film is nothing like Wonder Woman. She’s an idiotic, shallow, overviolent caricature of what people think a ‘powerful woman’ is supposed. It doesn’t matter if she’s an outsider, there was nothing likeable about her character at all, a trait that was all too common in the film.

    If you want a good interpretation of Wonder Woman read the New 52 run by Azzarello. She’s intelligent, compassionate, inspiring and doesn’t start a conversation by shoving a sword in someone’ face. After reading that, read Geoff John’s Justice League, the series this film’s based off of, and you’ll see the difference.

  • Ghidoran

    FYI, Wonder Woman is only 23 years old in this film and in the current continuity, not a thousand years old.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    Hey, no hard feelings, I’ve made rant’s that needed to be let out too, and you actually helped me see holes in my own arguments, like the complaining about deviations from canon, so thanks for that ;)

    Back on the Batman issue, I don’t have a problem with Batman himself, on his own he’s a good character who makes for good stories. However, I do prefer him to “stay in Gotham”. Him being a Symbol for what humans can accomplish is great, but I dislike it when the other end of the fandom pushes it too far. Like, in real life, a person can train as hard and as long to become the strongest s/he can possibly be, but in the end, when hit by a car, steel still beats flesh. Or, godlike creature of evil still beats mortal, yet Batman still survives a punch from Darkside with no side effect, and that armour of his only goes so far. I just think, if Batman has to be on a team, it should be on a team where the other guys are similar to his own power level. I agree, it does feel great to see the “mere mortal” (though personally, I think due to billionaire status, not all that relatable) guy standing side by side with demigods, but that good feeling (imho) then often comes at the expense of the other team members when handled incorrectly. I’m not saying that it can’t work, but I’ve just seen it way to often that stories made every other member of the league look stupid and weaker than they actually are, just so that Batman can be the great hero to humble them all.

    Also, saying that Superman could kill Batman easily
    is not me fanboying, I am actually pretty indifferent about Superman. But apparently many people WANT to see them fight, even though there really is no reason for it, which is why the next movie is (apparently) a VS title. So yes, the very idea of the two fighting is stupid in the first place, but saying that if they would, Superman would win is not me playing favourites, it’s what seems logical.

    So I guess we can agree to disagree, or that we simply are searching for different things in this media. I personally have problems liking something that seems too illogical for me (yes, superheroes itself are illogical, but at least follow the rules of their own world most of the time), which admittedly I a somewhat annoying trait that makes it hard to enjoy certain forms of media. What Batman represents is fine for me, I just dislike the way HOW it is presented (and I hate him always hogging the spotlight, but that’s hardly his fault, and more DC not daring to venture out of the shadow of his popularity).

    Lastly on Wonder Woman, yeah, it’s open to interpretation, and once again comes down to her being the only main female character in the film that can impossibly please everyone. Though I do think the character placement on the cover art is rather telling…

  • Bean

    You make a lot of fair points, and I agree with some of them-while I think Batman should be there, you’re right, taking hits from Darkseid is a little unrealistic….but on the other hand, Flash took a few hits as well, and as far as I know, aside from extra protection from friction, he’s not any greater than a human in the toughness ratings.

    As for Superman and Batman fighting-well, It’s fair to say that odds favor Superman heavily, but a blanket ‘he would win’ I think is unfair.

    It’s more or less, IMO, like pitting a human against a Bear, or a Lion. It doesn’t look good for the human, but it’s by no means a foregone conclusion.

    This is just my feelings on the matter, though. I’m by no means an expert. I just like it when stories surprise me. And “Superman Wins” isn’t a surprise, so Naturally, I’m looking harder for ways for Batman to pull off an upset.

  • Bean

    I understand what you mean, but I disagree. (About the film. You’re right in saying WW’s own title handles her better. But that’s to be expected) If you took Wonder Woman out of this film, and relaced her with a Male counterpart from a warrior culture, say, Conan the Barbarian, for example-would you have found anything wrong with it?

    I tried that, and I can’t see any issues. (Except the Cross-dressing lines.) There’s room for play in interpreting her character, isn’t there?

  • Ghidoran

    “If you took Wonder Woman out of this film, and relaced her with a Male counterpart from a warrior culture, say, Conan the Barbarian, for example-would you have found anything wrong with it?”

    I get what you’re saying here, but that’s exactly my problem with her characterization. She’s not supposed to be a bloodthirsty warrior, she’s supposed to be a paragon of peace. Yes, you can have different interpretations, but there’s a limit. You can’t write Superman as a dominating warlord who abuses his power to control the world, or a Batman who kills every criminals in Gotham, even lowly street thugs. Both of those are reserved for Elseworlds stories.

    As for Conan…I don’t find him a likeable character (maybe he’s not supposed to be), and that’s the main problem people have with Johns’ Wonder Woman: her character is dull and unimaginative, and not very inspiring at all.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Reading this, I find it interesting how people seem to be split on opposing sides regarding the necessity of origin stories. Either insisting that they are vital to building up the world and characters, or abhor them as utterly unnecessary and as a needless means of dragging things out.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    For the most part I found it disappointing. NONE of the voice actors really clicked. Shemar Moore, sexy as he is, is too old to be a college jock. Once again a new Batman crumbles under the weight of Conroy’s legacy. And why have George Newburn even IN the movie if he’s not voicing Superman? Plus the plot was a disjointed mess, and, potential spoiler, the way they defeated Darkseid? Yeah that’ll give ME nightmares, let alone young kids. The only thing I liked was Diana as “Boisterous foreign ambassador from a warrior culture clueless about ours but still enjoying herself”.

  • Doug

    Chris Farley, is that you?

  • James Wiske

    This was a pretty bad offering from DC. Honestly, Wonder Woman was about the most annoying character in it as she seemed like a community theater reject finally getting to overact to her heart’s content by joining the local Renaissance Faire. All that was missing was her yelling, “Huzzah!” a few times. Superman was just an invulnerable, strong bully with nothing else memorable about him, and Green Lantern needed to make sure everyone knew who had the biggest green d*** on the team. Batman was his normal patronizing, know-it-all self, but that’s normally pretty entertaining, and Flash was okay as well. Shazam (I guess that’s what they’re calling Captain Marvel now) got his “gritty” reboot by making Billy Batson a snot-nosed punk. Victor at least was interesting, and the take on how he became Cyborg was pretty interesting.

  • Derrick

    “Justice League – War” was absolutely horrible. The script was an abomination. The writer must think that dialogue that contains the word “douchebag” and PG-rated profanity makes it a mature script. Instead, it’s like watching a JLA story written by a 12-year old. One by one each of these classic characters come off like charactures of themselves. The worst is the dialogue between Victor Stone/Cyborg and his father – it’s painful to listen to. And Cyborg’s origin is ridiculous. Green Lantern come off more like Guy Gardner than Hal Jordan (he’s actually very unlikable, as is Billy Batson is plain annoying). And seeing Batman flip and flop around evading and destroying dozens of huge, fire-breathing aliens is just plain silly. At the moment DC/Warner should be building a solid foundation for the JLA, they put out this garbage. This was just awful. Shame on DC.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    Unprovoked unimaginative fat jokes for no apparent reason other than your own bored stupidity. Gee aren’t you a charmer?

  • Sophie

    I had the same issue of constant confusion over Batman’s ongoing ability to survive absolutely everything.
    Disclaimer: Batman’s my favourite character (perhaps bar Wonder Woman), and I realise he’s overused and I’m one of those annoying fans who completely revels in his overuse even though it’s often a detriment to the storylines. With that said I think putting him alongside the others as a fighter spoils one of the more interesting aspects of his role in the Justice League. Because Batman’s position as the physically weakest member of the team means that he’s usually forced to handle problems with something other than brute force. This film was so lazily written, because it takes a group of characters with very varied powers and abilities and has them solve the problem essentially by punching it in seven different ways. I don’t want heroes who solve all their problems through violence. What does that say about the nature of heroism? Or about how we should handle conflict in the real world? I’m not saying I expect my comic book movies to be entirely without violence, but they do nothing else. They don’t even stop to think about civilian casualties.

  • HarryWilkes

    “this film is loaded with problematic and troubling characterization”

    This is a cartoon film not Proust,I think it’s important to keep these things in perspective, it’s aimed at kids.

  • Bean

    Actually, I’m right with you on this one. I kept waiting for the scene from the comic where Aquaman rips through the parademons with his ocean friends and goes “Who’s in Charge? I nominate me.” And I was immensely disappointed when it didn’t happen.

  • Bean

    I…don’t think that’s an excuse. No one’s looking for Proust, but DC is clearly capable of much better than this (See: New Frontier)

  • Sophie

    Agreed. And there’s barely a plot. The entire film is just one long fight sequence against the same villain. I’ve recently come to the realisation that I find endless fight scenes incredibly dull. It’s unfortunately a problem I have with a lot of recent movies.

  • Ray Singletary

    I partially agree with you. but isn’t she an amazon new to the modern world. Is it wrong for an amazon to swing a sword, love battles. And when is she shallow or idiotic? Yeah she’s a caricature and yes she was at sometimes unrealistically barbaric i.e ice cream scene. But is she shallow for having the hots for the ONLY male shes seen that could beat here in a fight. Besides punching captain marvel in the face for acting like a child when the world is at stake al her violence is directed towards the antagonists. A movie with seven protagonists will never have as much detail as a comic series with one main antagonists.

  • Ray Singletary

    Agreed. But when the sky is filled with alien creatures essentially abducting earths population the fights may last a while. I feel like there only a few situations where a lot fighting is needed and is logical. Superman vs Zod? NO Justice League vs inmeasurable amount of aliens? YES. The lack of Darkseids entourage however made the fight scenes redundant. I don’t thing anyone would complain about the fighting if they did more to make it interesting like RESPONSIBLY put in a furry like Big Barta have her fight WW. The plot of darkseid invading earth is sufficient enough. Its the development of said plot that’s the flaw.

  • Ray Singletary

    Seriously though its to harsh to judge a voice actor to Kevin “the guy who NATURALLY has in most people’s opinion the perfect batman voice” Conroy. Conroy was talented before he got the role, already had the voice, and had years to perfect it. This guy had like 5 mins of speaking to work with at best. Be a little reasonable. Its like watching a rookie tennis player and saying “He’s no Roger Federer”.

  • Ray Singletary

    People need to be realistic. Your crazy if you think that a 90 min movie will meet your expectations of characters that took YEARS of watching movies, comics, shows, cartoons, books etc. to develop. We tell writers ” take all of these years of character development and creation and jam in to a movie…. oh yeah you have to do that wit 6 other protagonists too… and develop the interactions the 7 have with one another. At the same, a sufficient amount of development is possible and was missed in the movie. Just not to the extent some people demand.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but I disagree immensely with this review…I have not been this offended since MAN OF STEEL. This was a sad, self conscious, attempt by DC to do the Justice League the same way the perceive that Marvel approached the Avengers, and the end result was that they turned their heroes into arrogant, spiteful, jerks and bullies. ALL OF THEM.

    Spoilers will follow…please stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled, but know that I greatly disliked this movie on every level, as it typifies DC’s new, hyper aggressive, approach to their heroes, which I personally find abhorrent. If you want to see a much better animated effort and are in the USA, go get the TARGET exclusive JLA ADVENTURES: TRAPPED N TIME, which is just DELIGHTFUL! I wish that TARGET Canada would get it.

    Superman as portrayed here is arrogant. When confronted by Green Lantern and Batman he playfully bullies them in a macho demonstration of strength, and LAUGHS at Batman’s efforts to defend himself against his superior strength. Later on, when Green Lantern and Shazam both attempt to hit on Wonder Woman, Superman makes sure to glower at them and puff up his chest, like some jealous douche-bro.

    No one comes off as good in this movie. While it’s perfectly acceptable to portray Green Lantern Hal Jordan as an arrogant hothead, that characterization only works if he’s the ONLY ONE. Billy Batson’s Shazam is equally as arrogant and hotheaded, but he’s also a petty criminal…we’re not given any reason as to why he decides to protect people…he just seems to be violent and wants to demonstrate his strength by gleefully killing monsters that USED TO BE HUMAN (more on this later). Flash is flippant in the face of Silas and Victor Stone’s personal tragedy. Cyborg himself comes off a little better than the rest in the movie, but his arc is weak as he meekly accepts the bone thrown to him by his negligent father at the end of the movie…a father that neglected his son on the premise that excelling at sports in a world of superheroes is apparently pointless…which is a stupid philosophy and in no way justifies his neglect because 1) Superman doesn’t PLAY football…so how does his existence invalidate anyone else accomplishments? and 2) extrapolating on that philosophy, wouldn’t it be pointless to do ANYTHING if there was someone that could do it better than you? As for Batman…did he have aspergers syndrome? Is there a more socially awkward Batman than this one?

    But NONE of them came off worse than Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman who, when accused of abusing her powers and scaring normal people, abuses her powers to FORCIBLY OUT A GUY, and then LAUGHS AT HIM, as if that invalidates his argument rather than enforcing it. Wonder Woman, who is shown as being ignorant, childish, and VIOLENT. Wonder Woman, who sees her mission as an envoy of peace as the thing that stands between her and her desire to do wreckless battle. Wonder Woman, who falls in love with Superman at first sight when he fixes a problem that SHE CREATES thanks to her wreckless battle lust.

    I don’t know what’s up with DC lately, but why are they trying to sell us on the idea of heroes that don’t actually save people and gleefully murder people? The Parademon’s are not monsters….they’re VICTIMS. We are clearly shown this in Cyborg’s digital interrogation of the Mother Box; every single Para-Demon is a re-purposed victim. No attempt is made to save them, no one mourns them…they just gleefully swat them like bugs. And, of course, it just wouldn’t be a modern Superman if he didn’t MURDER someone. I don’t understand why DC keeps pushing Murder-Superman…like the more people he kills the more ok people will be with it? I don’t care if it was Desaad…Superman murders him and feels no regret, no pathos, NOTHING about it. Even the final scene where they return all of the victims Darksied had spirited away was shown as being an afterthought…the main thrust of the story was not the attempt to save people from a horrible fate, but to fight and maim a guy. The story is over when they execute their big hero plan to STAB A GUY IN THE EYES, not when they save innocents from danger. They don’t frame the Justice League as heroes….they frame them as violent bullies in an overly long fight with little characterization or plot.

    As for the assertion that they end up a team at the end, you’re wrong…they ALL state that they are not a team, and that they don’t even like each other…in DIALOGUE, and that’s the first thing the move got right…they aren’t a team, and they don’t like each other. They only stay together out of practical necessity to make their lives easier because the public perception of them is as the team that saved them, not as the violence crazed individuals that bully and scare them daily. It was a PR move suggested by Batman, not a coming together moment.

    JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR actually made me hate my heroes…so unless that was Warner Bros intent, this film was a gross failure on every level. If that was their intent…then they succeeded; I now hate the Justice League as the irredeemable, arrogant, bullies that they are shown to be here.

  • Anonymous

    He was an arrogant, macho, bully who kills a guy and doesn’t even give it a second thought. They need to stop pushing Murder-Superman, because I refuse to believe in Murder-Superman as any sort of Superman that I, or anyone else, would want. JUSTICE LEAGUE WAR Superman is gross.

  • Anonymous

    I actually found Shemar Moore’s voice performance to be the best in the movie. Jason O’Mara’s Batman was stilted and awkward…lifeless. Sean Astin did a good job with Shazam, but I hated his characterization as an unrepentant criminal and con artist who characterizes his foster siblings as “Not a real family” and mocks their concern for him. The rest were not very memorable, but inoffensive.

    I also have a problem with their big hero plan…which did not involve saving anyone, just maiming a guy.

  • Anonymous

    It’s…not though. It’s overly violent and Cyborg actually says “Shit.” It’s aimed at adults, but it is aggressively juvenile.

    Also, your argument would suggest that you cannot do anything meaningful in the medium of animation, and I could name literally hundreds of things with depth and emotion that were animated. THE IRON GIANT for example, or every work of director Satoshi Kon (TOKYO GODFATHERS, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS, PERFECT BLUE, PARANOIA AGENT, and PAPRIKA), or even previous DCAU offerings, such as NEW FRONTIER which Bean mentioned, or JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS which is my favorite DCAU Justice League offering.

    Just because it is escapist fantasy or an animated medium does not mean that the bar for measuring quality is lowered.

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t agree more. He’s no Last Son of Mine.

    And this had to have been the WORST Wonder Woman DC has presented to date…and that’s saying something given how bad Wonder Woman has been of late. Shirking her duties as a peace envoy to forcibly out a guy, laugh at him, and then satisfy her battle lust. She’s also shown as being ignorant, childish, and making man hungry googly eyes at Superman when he fixes a problem her reckless battle lust creates. And then Superman goes on to act as the jealous alpha male, getting between Green Lantern and Shazam (a 13 year old boy!) and puffing out his chest to indicate that he’s already claimed her in some unspoken male rite.

    The Steve Trevor thing was framed as the typical 80′s trope of the hot girl rejecting the good guy nerd for the douche-bro jock…it was there to frame her as the bad guy in this threesome…which isn’t really a strong argument for the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship, because we have no sympathy for either of them because their relationship is framed as breaking an innocent guys heart because he’s not as manly as Superman, making them both look like jerks, and it takes away any agency that Wonder Woman has because she’s in a narrative that’s split between two men.

    It was…gross. The movie was gross.

  • Jaime A. Garcia

    Wait, Batman is supposed to be 22? Bruce Wayne didn’t become Batman until he was at least 28, didn’t he? I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable with a Batman that’s barely out of his teens. At least his age is only given in interviews and not in the film. Still looking forward to it. Although, I wish they had continued the continuity in Superman/Batman.

  • HarryWilkes

    Sorry, I should have clarified, I wasn’t suggesting that you can’t make a cartoon film good, or even excellent, I thought “Persepolis” and “The Triplets of Belleville” were brilliant.I just mean that people shouldn’t be getting into disagreements over readings of its portrayal of women, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Why? They are entirely justified. People have a right to express an opinion, positive or negative, regardless of how low DC has decided to set the hurdle with this outing. This week they released the Target exclusive JLA ADVENTURES: TRAPPED IN TIME and it was a much better movie, even with it’s slight flaws, and offered a better entertainment experience all around, despite being ostensibly a children’s movie.

    Neither the medium nor the audience they’re shooting for excuse them from having to create a product that appeals to their audience…it’s not the consumers job to lower their standards, it’s their job to rise to the consumers.

  • Anonymous

    They played Wonder Woman as the typical Hollywood ignorant foreigner for laughs…she’s basically Borat in this portrayal, willfully ignorant of the world around her, despite how obviously afraid and threatened those she encounters are. The most insulting thing was the idea that her ignorant bullying of the ice cream guy was supposed to be both empowering and inspiring to the little girl that witnessed it. That is not the Wonder Woman she should be looking up too.

  • Mehmed Celebi

    Have to disagree with you on the not Logical part. I don’t expect everything to make sense. Suspension of disbelief Plays a huge part in most works of fiction. However, most of the better works of fiction, while being based on things that make Little sense in real life Standards, still have their own internal rules. Harry Potter for example. How can a witch transform into a cat and still think normally, even though her brain has greatly decreased in size? In fact, where did all her mass go? How exactly does Magic work? Does it affect the rules of reality?
    Don’t know. No one knows, probably not even the author, it’s Magic. HOWEVER, the world of Harry Potter still has rules, limitations and Guidelines for its Magic, like, Needs wands, can’t ressurect the dead, torture spells are based on emotions, etc. There are restraints that stop the inhabitants of the world from just, I don’t know, wish all Problems away.
    Now, DC Comics. Great potential, great characters, great stories. Because even though most elements don’t work with real life Standards, they also have rules and limitations. GL ring. Only works with willpower, usually only makes constructs. Superman. Basically impossible for him to look just like a human, but at least even his powers have Limits and in recent years, work together with the laws of physics, like, he has to use his super brain to figure out at which angle, at which Speed he has to catch a falling plane without destroying it. Wonder Woman. Made from clay is also a strange origin Story, but she is stil subjected to something as universal as not being able to breathe underwater.
    So my Point is, I acknowledge and embrace that many aspects of superhero Comics make no sense, because These aspects allow for great Scenes and stories. BUT, there still is a certain logic the the whole universe. And among them, normal humans are still not as sturdy as steel, at least not without specific Magic, ki, or Technology. Then there are superpowered being who can break steel. So logically, they are also able to break People.
    And then there is Batman. And seriously, I have no Problem with him AS LONG AS HE DOES HIS OWN THING ON HIS OWN LEVEL. And have him take down People who could kill him with one Punch, no Problem, as Long as he does it in a smart way that doesn’t include him being punched by said being that can break steel, meanign his Body as well. And no Problem, let him be in the Justice league, as Long as he restrict himself to strategy and coordination when they go up agaisnt People who could easily break him.
    So to clarify, let Batman be awesome where he can be awesome without “proving” how much more awesome than anyone else he is. Otherwise, we get stupidity like the recent DC vs He-Man series. Justice League is attacked by Skeletor, with a spell that can brainwash. Only one to escape? Not, as one might reasonably expect, the fastest man alive, aka Flash, but Batman, because who cares about such things as superspeed when you have “human Determination”. Later, the obligatory good guy on good guy fight has happened, and the only one of the league to realise someone is manipulating them is Batman, because apparently, one Needs this “human Determination” to think clearly, and Superpowers apparently make you dumb.
    But hey, that’s just my opinion. I just dislike Batman outside of Gotham where he usually Ends up making everyone around him look incompetent just to please his fans. Or how that also applies to his Rouge Gallery (Seriously, why is EVERYONE afraid of the Joker? Being crazy does not make you bullet/lighting/fire/whatever proof. Or currently in forever evil, where apparently the enemies of Batman can take on half of the villains of other heroes who are much more powerful than Batman).
    If you like your Batman stories where the same rules everyone else is bound to don’t apply to him, more power to you, you certainly get more stories that you can enjoy than me. I am not judging you, sorry if my tone is harsh, just tired, perhaps my Standards really are too high, but in the end, I just don’t like Batman fans writing stories about many heroes including Batman. So lets just enjoy what we enjoy.

  • Xomyx

    She’s supposed to be an ambassador for the Amazons, who are utopic and technologically advanced. Someone recently just decided they should be murdering barbarians for the lolz or to make them straw feminists. Remember, these are the ladies who built the invisible jet.

  • ShadowDivz

    I just saw the movie and I freakin’ loved it.
    Granted, I didn’t read the comics, so I don’t know how “it should be”.
    I loved seeing Superman as a violent bully. I know, he’s suppose to be a goody-two-shoes but frankly, I loved the changed. My first reaction was “Whaaat? Super man being so violent and arrogant?!………Im enjoying this more than I should”.
    Wonder Woman, was more…. “innocent” than I usually see her. I didn’t hate this change, but I was expecting her to be more “mature”(not the exact word I’m thinking but close enough). Like I said, I was just surprised I didn’t hate it.
    Oh well, you can’t please everyone(especially not hardcore fans of the comics). I loved the movie and I look forward to the sequel.

  • Xomyx

    Changing the continuity so the Amazons are barbaric is killing me, and its sad that that’s how the Amazons are going to be remembered from now on. I swear to you guys who are new to this, the Amazons are supposed to be super smart and utopic. Fighting is supposed to be their last resort.

    My poor, poor Amazons…

  • Lia Hansen

    I really liked this! I didn’t expect such a negative reaction from other fans. I think they really did the “gritty Superman” thing right for a change (although they may have gone a tad overboard on the collateral damage). The Cyborg origin story felt a little rushed, but definitely better than in the comic, and the addition of Captain Marvel was much nicer than that of Aquaman. You’re right about the missed opportunity, although I’m actually glad the man’s admission wasn’t just met with mocking. Overall, the biggest problem I had with the movie was WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON WITH DARKSEID’S GENERAL’S MOUTH?! Remember that? How did that piece of skin grow like that?? And did it just stretch out whenever he talked? Gross.

  • Doug

    I’m not really concerned about being a charmer with you. Now, if I were a cheeseburger, then I’d be worried.

  • Gary Keyes

    Hated the entire concept of the New 52. it’s a bad idea that’s going to bite DC in the someday. I did enjoy the Flash Point animated film (I haven’t read the books yet). i was hoping this film would’ve turned out the same. I’ll still check it out.

  • Gary Keyes

    The way you guys describe the film the New 52 in this film seem more like the Seven from The Boys series. DC is destroying my childhood!

  • Gary Keyes

    DC/Warners Animation has turn Superman into The Homelander! Dynamite Comics should feel proud!

  • Gary Keyes

    That’s who these films are for–12 year old boys. There is no thought in dialog–just the idea to “keep their eyes glued to the screen” no matter what. They’re gonna try for nudity and sexual situations–just to keep us watching. But no true depth to character or situation–just explosions, fights, explosions, fight–cursing, fight, sex scene, fight and explosion.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    All you’re doing is proving what a sad little idiot you are. No one but other idiots think your old tired jokes are funny. You’re boring and unimaginative. And your assumptions show your ignorance. If you were a cheeseburger I’d give you to my brother, since I’m a vegetarian. I’m not fat because of overeating. I barely eat at all. I’m fat because of health ailments that make just walking the 7 feet to my bathroom an exersize in excruciating pain. I get prescribed morphine for my pain and I never bother taking it because it doesn’t work. My wife has to MAKE me eat because I have no appetite. I’m slowly dying and you expect me to cry in my cheerios and be hurt because some sad pathetic loser on the internet with nothing better to do cracks a few fat jokes that were old and tired when my grandmother was a child? Dude, you’re as deluded as you are pathetic. I’m sure you think you’re such a vicious clever troll with your oh so scathing “LOL UR FAT” level of wit, but if 4/chan gave troll licenses they’d revoke yours for epic fail.

    Please spare yourself further embarrassment and quit while you’re behind. No one is amused or impressed by a sad virgin trying to look cool by attacking a stranger unprovoked, especially when his game is so mindbogglingly weak.

    Seriously, I’m a fat dying mouthy lesbian on the internet kid. I’ve been getting trolled since before your mother forgot to swallow. There is literally NO fat joke I haven’t already gotten so many times they have no effect. Trying to troll me with fat jokes is like bring a Q-Tip to a tank battle. Although in the Q-Tip’s defense at least IT can stay firm.

    So go ahead kid, make your sad tired fat jokes. Call me a cow if it deludes you into thinking your life means anything to anyone. I’ll just say Moo Motherfucker, smile, and go fuck my wife and girlfriends, while you try to explain to your mother why you got Cheeto dust on the keyboard again.


  • Ray Singletary

    True True

  • Brett W

    You must love Geoff Johns then. He loves to write stories about how much Batman sucks compared to super-powered heroes at every opportunity.

  • Brett W

    I think everyone here is being a little unfair. Batman never punched any of the parademons. He used high explosives. And no, that’s not cheating, it’s totally within his available repertoire. But on a more serious note, the amazing-ness Batman has in this movie actually has little to do with fighting. Like when he deduces the aliens’ invasion plan instantly, knows Superman’s name and calls him out with it, swipes Hal Jordan’s ring and figures out his identity, infiltrates Apokalips and deduces the location of a single button on an alien control panel based on the handed-ness of its user, his acrobatics skills and reflexes. Compared to the others, Batman actually does very little fighting in this film.

  • Sophie

    I thought he was involved in the fighting quite a lot, and there’s a bunch of times he falls or gets smacked against walls ect ect in ways that should kill or seriously injure him. It makes sense that he’s uses explosives to fight them, but the point is his ability to survive stretched far beyond my suspension of disbelief. Deducing the Alien invasion plan instantly is lazy writing. Having him know Superman’s identity without any explanation as to why is lazy writing. These sort of revelations ought to feel like they’re eared otherwise they’re not enjoyable to watch. Parts of this film which should have been plot were glossed over so that the characters could spend more time punching things.. When characters are able to solve problems without really having to work at them it makes their victories vastly less enjoyable, and it takes away any feeling of suspense created by the possibility of their failure. My enjoyment with watching a badass normal type character is not seeing them magically be able to do everything, it’s seeing them struggle against the odds.

  • Gregory McIntyre

    I’m really bothered by how wonder woman just waves her sword around like she honestly doesn’t care if she hurts someone, this is not a trained amazon. Further the confession scene is a missed opportunity but it would have been even better if the confession had been: “I hate women and you being a strong woman scares me.” To show how hollow a lot of things like this are.

  • J Ritchey

    The ice cream scene was outrageously irresponsible and idiotic. The first thing you learn when you pick up any weapon is to be aware of where it’s pointed at all times and not to point it at anyone or thing without reason and intent. Her utter disregard in that scene would never have been tolerated by a warrior society; she’d have any semblance of that sort of behavior drilled out of her at a very young age.

  • Todd Carney

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that disagreements over readings of any cartoon’s portrayal of women is exactly what we should be doing.

  • JZSquared

    This wasn’t one of the finest animated DC films to date. I found it kind of lackluster. And to be completely honest, I felt that it was written by a twelve year old. I understand they want to reach out to a younger audience, but with the cursing and such, it felt as if they missed their mark.

    Cyborg is quite possibly the best character in this film. He’s smart, compassionate and shows strong leadership qualities. I thought that the personalities of Lantern and Flash should have been switched. But that’s probably because I’m used to the way they depicted the characters in previous animated mediums.

    Most of the characters come off as immature and childish. As if they were just starting their own superhero careers. Even Batman says at one point, “I don’t know” which seems especially out of character for him. And as for Darkseid, he seemed very robotic. Almost as if he had switched personalities, and possibly even motives, with Brainiac.

    Overall I would say that this series is off to a rocky start. Here’s hoping that the writing improves, dramatically. The art style, animation and character designs are all very well done in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Flashpoint is an Age of Apocalypse ripoff, except the offscreen reason for the timeline’s divergene makes even less sense & the Flash didn’t set reality back to the way it was. It’s enjoyable if you can accept that they’re alternate versions of beloved characters graphically murdering each other not the real deals. My biggest quibble is that in the comics it was a lame way to halfassedly rejigger DC’s continuity again for the New 52. Except they have even less of a need for that with the DTVs because most of them are standalone. They aren’t even in continuity with the DCAU. So there’s zero need to reboot anything to get new audiences. Making a New 52 origin movie for Justice League is terrible & pointless instead of focusing on telling worthwhile stories with updated costumes for synergy.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know what you guys are complaining about, watched this with my wife and we loved it. Superman’s character was quite shocking, but if this is the new direction DC’s going in, I’ll give them a couple of movies to develop it.

  • Steven Middleton

    I could go into great length as to why I think this film isn’t that great but I won’t. My main grievances are:
    *Hal Jordan (GL) is depicted as a straight up douche in this film with every line of dialog coming across as asinine and annoying as possible. Seriously, 8 minutes into the film and I couldn’t STAND GL and pined for the earlier depictions of the character which seemed more intelligent, mature and competent. This was by far, the WORST character in the entire film.
    *Wonder Woman in this film is nothing more than a war craving, over the top, and quite honestly 1 dimensional character. Yes, I know she loves to fight and thrives on the battlefield but compared to the WW of say, the JL show in the earlier DCAU who was tough, but understanding along with being almost motherly in her approach to the other members. Here, she’s severely lacking any personality beyond, “I LIVE FOR BATTLE! RAARRGH” it’s sad. Her costume also seems to have a knack for receding more and more as incarnations go by which I suppose is “fan service” but really, when you’re staring at her ass more than listening to her dialog you’ve SERIOUSLY messed up in the costume design department.
    *Superman also doesn’t have a very likable personality. I know team up movies think all the teammates must fight before they team up but I felt the fight scene with him, GL and Batman was almost spontaneous. There was no context beyond Superman being suspicious of GL and Batman. Again, compared to EARLIER incarnations Superman was more patient and willing to talk to the other members to get to know them and understand them first. He at least ATTEMPTS to try and see where the others are coming from and what they are bringing to the table. In War, he just assumes they are trouble and without even attempting to talk both he and GL just fly off the handle and beat the crap out of each other FOR NO REASON. Seriously, this film has some great fight scenes but a fight scene is pointless if there’s no context as to why their fighting. You can’t tell me their fighting just because their hot headed, that’s not good enough. That’s not what Hal Jordan and Clark Kent would do nor their alter egos.
    *Finally, their team up just felt rushed with Cyborg and Capt. Marvel just appearing alongside the others and just assuming everyone is accepting (after the GL and Superman fight I was surprised they were so accepting) and instantly start working together. Cyborg doesn’t even give them a name when he first shows up with Capt. Marvel being the only one who gets one and that’s only because Capt. Marvel pushed him about it. Really, if you’re going to have this film be the origin of the new iteration of the JL then you GOTTA give them more time to develop and know each other at least a few extra minutes. Those fight scenes are always going to draw people, but fans deserve more than just a rushed second act to get the group together in order to carry out the climax.

    Overall, the film’s story and writing just felt weak while the animation and voice acting was pretty good. The fight scenes were shot well and I appreciate DC’s mature tone of the characters and the world around them. But, if this is the best the New 52 continuity can offer then my reservations about it are well justified. I hope to see better.

  • Steven Middleton

    I felt Flashpoint was made more for shock value than anything else. It was a really sad experience seeing them portrayed like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good devolution story and deconstruction of characters as much as the next fan, but there’s a point where it’s in context and justified…. and there’s the point where it’s just there to garner shock and awe which doesn’t always make a story dark or dramatic. It made Flashpoint seem over the top and needlessly violent.

  • Steven Middleton

    I couldn’t help but feel the opposite in the “Worst Character” category. I felt Hal Jordan was just awful. 8 minutes in and I almost stopped watching just because of him.

  • Steven Middleton

    You are absolutely right.

  • Ben English

    Wait, what? Superman did WHAT?!

  • Steven Middleton

    No one was impressed. You’re not alone.

  • Brett W

    But Batman isn’t “normal”. He’s a genius. The world’s greatest detective, among other things. Having him quickly deduce the alien invasion plan is no less lazy writing than having Sherlock do so. (Someone else who solves figures out lots of things instantly, and yet the character is beloved.) Someone like that only struggles if the problem at hand is really, really complicated, and in this case it really wasn’t. Seeing Batman “struggle” to put two and two together and figure out that an invasion is coming or who Superman is wouldn’t be thrilling drama- it would just make Batman look like an idiot.

    The moments that you point out as straining your disbelief were moments I received as nuggets of distilled awesomeness. Because at the core of his character, Batman is awesome. If he wasn’t what would be the point of having him on the Justice League anyway? Making Batman anything other than super-competent takes something away from the character. It’s like taking away Superman’s ability to fly and hit things. It’s what the character is designed to be.

    And the thing with Superman’s name was foreshadowed. Batman said earlier that he “researched” him.

  • Steven Middleton

    You literally pointed all of the problems I and everyone else have had with this film regarding these specific characters. Couldn’t agree with you more and it saddens me to agree because it implies that we know these characters better than the creators who are PAID to write and produce this shit.

  • Anonymous

    It was the worst thing they’ve done to Wonder Woman yet. I literally shouted at my screen in disgust. Wonder Woman can’t win an argument, so she forcibly outs a guy and then LAUGHS at him. I cannot think of anythng LESS Wonder Woman than that.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I agree, as far as the portrayal of Superman goes. He’s a jerk. I read the first three issues of JL and that was enough for me. I’ll read it again when the New 52 is disposed of. And kudos, @DTHalliday:disqus you’re absolutely right with your ignorant foreigner comparison. That’s what they did. Goddamit.

  • Brian

    Alan Tudyk as Superman? So he was Green Arrow on Young Justice, Martian Manhunter in Injustice, and Flash on The Brave and the Bold… Can we be approaching an all-Tudyk Justice League?

  • Marc Phen

    What I think people are forgetting when criticizing the characterizations and interactions between the members of the Justice League is the context. There is a good explanation for why the characters are all arrogant or naive: it’s because they are ALL just starting out in their careers. This is the incarnation of the Justice League where the leaguers are all fairly new to crime fighting and meeting each other for the first time. This is evident because the movie is set during the time when super powered beings are just now starting to appear in the world. So of course Superman and Lantern are cocky and arrogant. Of course Wonder Woman has no idea how to behave in our society. The whole point of the new 52 is that everything has been rebooted. It’s impossible for these characters to all grow and develop significantly over the course of… one night? What I’m expecting is for the characters to develop as each new film comes out, like with am episodic TV series but instead of episodes there is a planned series of films. In this context I’m quite excited to see what comes next.

  • Doug

    Wow…you’re easy to provoke. By all means, keep going.

  • Doug

    And you want to know something funny? My comment above got deleted…I don’t even remember what it was. Apparently it was enough to prompt a novelette from you. Yay me.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    If by “Provoke” you mean “Wiping the floor with your sad loser troll ass” then yes, it’s VERY easy. You’re not even the barest HINT of a challenge kid. Why to try to save face and act like you’re winning when you were never even in the game though.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    Novellette? No sweetie, that was me completely dissecting you like a little dead frog and owning you like stock options. Yay you indeed. But you keep believing you’re in control here, it only makes how pathetic you are THAT much funnier to everyone else watching me destroy you kid.

  • Foxman

    I have really only one thing to say about Superman and that’s just that he seems like he enjoys being Superman. He seems a lot more realistic and I think it would be more interesting, for me at least, to go from a cocky but good hearted guy with impossible strength and become the beacon of hope we all know. I mean he only killed that one guy because he was essentially possessed.

  • Anonymous

    You’re free to read that scene any way you want, but you cannot dictate how I interpret it. Also, I don’t know what “slapping my heavy bias” on that scene means…of course I’m going to have a bias…it’s my opinion. That’s the only way I can interpret it is though the lens of my personal experience, just as you are looking at it through yours. Feel free to disagree, as you obviously do, but I cannot ascribe to your interpretation, as that is now what I see at all.

    When posed with the argument that the recent appearance of meta-humans has cost regular people in property damage and peace of mind, and expressing that people are scared, which, obviously, everyone in the crowd agrees with or else they wouldn’t be there, Wonder Woman, rather than presenting any sort of argument or reassurance, instead abuses her literally God-given power to FORCE her detractor to tell the truth, violate his privacy, and expose him as being somewhere on the queer spectrum (at least a cross dresser, at most a closeted homosexual), chuckle at him for his struggle to accept his queerness, and then leave as if exposing him as queer somehow invalidates his argument, his private life exposed to the hundreds of people in attendance that witnessed this violation, and stand there slack jawed. How does that relieve any tension? Wonder Woman basically threatened to violate the privacy and expose the secrets of anyone that questions her violent, destructive, actions.

    I cannot interpret that as either empowering or heroic. It’s insensitive bullying. Also, given that Wonder Woman is established as ignorant of our society, to the point were she doesn’t know how commerce works or what ice cream is, does she even realize the affect she’s had on this man’s life? Did he look relieved to you? Did he thank Wonder Woman for helping him to realize something about himself? Perhaps there was a reason he was closeted, if he was in fact gay…there was no thought given to the far reaching consequences of publicly exposing this mans innermost secrets to a crowd of random bystanders, and possibly the nation. I believe that there were, in fact, cameras present.

    Your view is that this was just a joke…and you’re right, it was. A cruel, spiteful, borderline transphobic joke, that had very little thought put into it by the writers or the director.

    Have a nice day.

  • Anonymous

    I actually liked Man of Steel and I think it’s been unjustly maligned. That being said I couldn’t agree with you more with regards to Diana’s portrayal in Justice League War it just felt off even by the New 52 version of her.

    Also JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time was a much better movie that does a good job of incorporating both pre-52 and New 52 version of the JLA.

  • Anonymous

    He’s a talented voice actor, and he’s got a good voice for Superman.

  • rahul varma

    That was clearly not out of anger. He was under influence.

  • Ian Tepoot

    The Sherlock comparison actually supports Sophie’s point that having Batman deduce things without writing any basis or explanation of how is lazy. In Sherlock stories, there’s always that moment where he says a variation of “It’s Elementary My Dear Watson…” and goes on to lay-out the dizzying, intricate clockwork of his deductions. In fact, its basically the highlight of the story and the big “thrill moment”. Thus, it would be possible to give Batman a cool moment like this among a group of super-beings and show why he’s basically de-facto strategist/quasi-leader despite being not the physically strongest.

    In the Sherlock show by the BBC, they go through great efforts to show us Sherlock’s process. Everything from the more traditional “It’s Elementary” explanations to graphic overlays on the screen showing us what Sherlock is observing, letting us try to puzzle it with him.

    Come to think of it — deep voice, radiates intelligence, a little bit sinister… if Benedict Cumberbatch could do an American accent he’d actually be the most credible Conroy-sub. Actually, given his demonstrated ability to bulk up for Star Trek, he might’ve actually been the better choice for live action Batman to replace Bale, too.

  • Bean

    Thanks very much. :) Honestly, while I -am- holding back a little, the apologies are mostly the Canadian in me.

    You’re spot on about Darkseid, but I don’t think it has the same cause as the superheroes. From my point of view, the flat characterization of Darkseid in the movie (which is shared by the comic, but not as much) is that the writers were trying to re-frame him as a Galactus-style planet consumer.

  • Kryptoknight

    So I’ve finally had a chance to watch this movie. All I can say is this, “Ugh.” It was freaking painful to watch and I nearly gave up several times. I stuck it out in hopes it would improve, though sadly this never happened. This movie failed in so many ways and in my opinion is one of DC’s weakest animated endeavors yet.

    The script suffers greatly from a weak and disjointed plot that is nothing more than a series of loosely connected action scenes. There were explosions galore and beings being slaughtered in droves, it was like a Michael Bay wet dream. The dialogue almost all around felt awkward and stilted. Then there’s the characterization. Oh dear god what have they done to my favorite heroes?

    For some reason they felt the need to turn Green Lantern into a joke. This isn’t simply a hotheaded cocky Hal Jordan. This is a guy who acts like a moron over and over while constantly talking about how powerful and important he is. It was like watching a poorly written Guy Gardner, not Hal Jordan. As a big GL fan this portrayal just hurt.

    Batman comes across as the most wooden man on the planet and nearly useless aside from trying to wrangle the rest of the “team” into some kind of order. Only to then leave it in the hands of Green Lantern… Despite their little “moment” (Which made no sense to me and felt completely unnecessary. I could understand that little chat if Green Arrow had been inserted into GL’s spot, but as it is… Bleh.) I didn’t feel like that choice made any sense. Based on GL’s behavior at that point I wouldn’t have trusted him to walk my dog, much less lead a group of immensely powerful headstrong people into battle.

    Superman… Just… No. So much wrong. Everything, in fact. This isn’t even superman, this is Super-Dick. He who has the assholery of a thousand cocky douche-bros.

    Flash, I think, came across as the character with the least flaws in the film. I didn’t cringe when he opened his mouth. He wasn’t eager to punch everyone the second he saw them. He actually used his brain and seemed more human than anyone else in the group. The only problem I had was with the awkward way he just took off in the middle of the argument between Vic and his dad. This action might be understandable if he didn’t know the people involved (If I walked in on a conversation like that between people I didn’t know, I’d feel awkward and book it too.) but since he does know Vic’s dad (He even seems pretty friendly with him) it felt wrong. Flash should have called out Vic’s father on what an ass he was being and encouraged him to try and be a bit more accepting of his son.

    Wonder Woman… This is one of the worst portrayals I’ve seen of Wonder Woman. She is so clueless about modern society that it enters the realm of the ridiculous. She claims over and over that she is a warrior first (Even going so far as to dismiss her true role, that of a diplomatic envoy of peace, as a distraction.) yet she is far more reckless and careless than any soldier or warrior I can imagine. Hell she’s swinging her sword around in casual conversation! She doesn’t respect the danger the weapon represents, nor the damage she could cause with it. Her scene with the protesters made me incredibly uncomfortable. Rather than try to counter any of their legitimate concerns (Such as property damage incurred or the violent example she sets for others.) she instead ropes the guy with her lasso and forces an uncomfortable personal truth from him. Then instead of a sincere little moment about self acceptance we get a scene where WW laughs and comes across as mocking the man. True he’s revealed as a bit of a hypocrit who vents his own insecurities at her, but she just comes across as a bully. Also, to be honest, kind of an idiot.

    I don’t have any strong feelings on Cyborg one way or the other for the most part, other than to think his current look is a bit overly bulky and complicated. I prefer a smoother sleeker look for him. I did take issue with the bit at the end where seemingly all is good now because his dismissive, neglectful dad shows up to the ceremony. I don’t see how it offers any sort of resolution, or even progress, to their story. In fact all it does is seem to reinforce the father’s earlier stance. He didn’t care about his son’s accomplishments before but now that he’s a superhero (One who is made up of all the tech his father’s ever worked on, the things that took priority over Vic in the past.) suddenly his father is interested.

    Warning, I’m about to get a bit ranty because now we come to one of my favorite characters.

    Lastly we have Captain Marvel, oh wait, I mean Shazam. Because now it would be too confusing to call the comic Shazam when the character himself has a different name. Also, I’ve not read the new 52 Shazam because it looked terrible, but does anyone know how the hell he managed to introduce himself like that without reverting back to Billy? I don’t. Billy came across ok to me, until they revealed that he has a foster home with a family who apparently cares about him. This is not the homeless Billy that lives on the street, or in an apartment he got by transforming and donning a suit. He’s not out on his own, so what is the excuse for him being a little con artist and thief? Nothing they show of Billy makes me understand why this kid would want to act like a hero, rather than abuse the power he’s been given instead. As Shazam, I still hate the hooded cape look they’ve given him and I found the constant aura of lightning annoying and distracting. Plus, I guess they decided he should be able to toss lightning around so they could distinguish him more from Superman but it felt so off for me because it’s not something I’ve ever seen the character do before. Sure, he’s grappled people and called down the lightning on them before, but he’s never tossed it around like this before. Also his attitude as Shazam is cocky, headstrong, and brash. He seems to lack the innocence that made him interesting to me and now instead is just a twelve year old boy in the body of a super powered man who is desperately trying to impress WW while drooling over her. (Not that he was alone in this, dear god did all the leaguers need to get googly eyed over her?)

    All in all in the end this movie was incredibly disappointing and it embraced all of the worst changes made by the New 52. When I was done I found myself wishing I could get the time back.

  • Anonymous

    One of the worst DC animated films out there. So cheesy and campy. It was like watching Power Rangers. The part where Batman reveals his identity to Green Lantern and goes on that “rousing” speech made me cringe. Why they had Batman reveal his identity like that boggles the mind.

  • Steven Middleton

    Uh no, Justice League: New Frontier, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, and pretty much every iteration of the character in the previous DCAU was level headed, mature, caring, understanding and respectable. Because of these traits, he is ENJOYABLE in all of those films. I really admire seeing him being the Yin to Batman’s Yang of solemn, quiet and stoic. Watch Public Enemies if you want (in my opinion) a solid and enjoyable representation of the character and a genuinely sincere relationship with the Dark Knight himself. These examples are all of the previous iterations of the character that people LOVE and would rather see than this cocky, full of himself asshole who comes across as abrasive and too mean spirited.

  • FNGLHR .

    Maybe, but South Park isn’t for children. These movies are about DC’s characters, which are mainly marketed and looked up to by children. I feel like they just added it in to make themselves sound more mature and edgy when all it did was highlight how childish this movie was.

  • FNGLHR .

    I don’t think Conan would deliberately swing his sword in someone’s face like it was a harmless toy while he has a conversation with them. There’s a difference between fish out of water and brain numbingly retarded foreigner.

  • FNGLHR .

    Hey, that’s not fair… Power Rangers is actually entertaining in its campiness.
    Also, that’s another thing that bothered me. How did Hal Jordan not know who Bruce Wayne was? Does he live under a rock?

  • FNGLHR .

    Aimed at Kids? The film with gallons of blood, swearing and generally poor lessons was aimed at kids?

  • FNGLHR .

    I can’t believe how much I ended up enjoying that film over this one. It was insane. A stupid Target exclusive direct to dvd movie was superior than the big budget fully supported release. It’s like I’m in another dimension or Trapped in Time somehow came from that was swallowed up in Anti-Matter just after it fell through a rip in space time.

  • Anonymous

    It’s just been one movie. I think the general public will like it. I’m just appreciative that they still make these, Marvel seems to have given up on their animated cinematic universe

  • Foxman

    Superman is a fictional character dude calm down. Also there is enough messiah Superman out there and his character is stale. Doing something new with the character is way more interesting than. Superman fights bad guy > wins > moral > yay america. I think there is more than enough of that.

  • Foxman

    I am not an idiot but you certainly are a sensitive dude so I’ll leave with this. It’s a story and I think it’s an interesting take on Superman with the potential for him to grow and change which in my opinion would be an interesting story and make him more relatable. Also the film points out pretty clearly he bruises but never kills. So he is cocky a bit but with a really solid moral foundation and I have to say if I had powers I’d like to think I’d be the same. Also dude just because this exists doesn’t diminish or undo the classic Superman concept. Try to be a little more open. :)

  • King The-Lonely Ruler

    I’m late to the party at this point, but it needs to be said. Has ANYONE who has slammed Billy/Shazam actually read Nu-52 Shazam? He like most other characters has been revamped. He’s a little punk and a petty thief and an asshole yes. But why?

    Because like the original Billy Batson, he was orphaned at a very young age. He doesn’t even have his sister Mary or his best friend Freddy in this version(they’re foster siblings now). But ever since he was orphaned, he’s been bounced from foster home to foster home to adopted family to adopted family and they ALL treat him like shit.

    He gets treated so badly that it became a habit to run away and take his chances rather than stay and take the punishment of living with people who didn’t want him. By the time he got to the family he’s with now(The Vasquez family; full of adopted kids like him) he’s built up a defense mechanism to protect himself from being hurt and abused again.

    And at first them actually caring about him is a foreign concept that he can’t quite wrap his head around. So he stayed acting like a little jerk. Then he finds Shazam who looks into his heart/soul and judged him. But he said he wasn’t pure good. To which Billy replied that in this day and age,

    “Pure Good” wasn’t really attainable, especially for someone like him. I mean, look at Superman. He was one of the purest good guys around, but in Nu-52 he’s the biggest asshole ever.

    But after Shazam realizes Billy is right, he gives him his powers because he can see the true Billy beneath all the layers of bullshit and the bravado he puts up. He actually tried to help people and was a nice kid under everything.

    And the moment he gets his powers, what does he do? He goes out and starts helping people. He does a few selfish and childish(he is a child) things like trying to get beer with his new adult body.

    But what kid wouldn’t go a bit crazy if they were in his shoes? Even when Black Adam shows up, he goes out of his way to keep innocent bystanders out of the way and sacrifices his own power and safety to amp his foster siblings so Adam can’t hold them hostage and use them as bargaining chips against Shazam.

    So yeah, Billy’s a bit of an asshole. But most anybody would be given the shit conditions he had to deal with coming up. So the point I’m making is that while yes, he’s not the same bright eyed youngster who could do no wrong as Pre-Flashpoint. He’s got his reasons and is still a good guy who doesn’t deserve the bashing he gets. Especially since he’s still only like 13.

    Also, as for why he doesn’t transform whenever he says his name, he has to have the intent to transform and summon the lightning when he says it. If you pay attention, he shouts as loud as he can whenever he wants to change. Because he’s putting his all into it. Otherwise he’s just saying his name.