Saturday, March 31, 2012

Justice League: Doom

Movie Review                                                                                                             31/3/12

JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM
2012

Starring the voices of: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg
Directed by: Lauren Montgomery

Based on the “Tower of Babel” storyline from the JLA comics, the latest in DC’s line of animated films, Justice League: Doom tells the story of how Batman’s healthy paranoia and hyper-preparedness get turned against him. Batman’s fiendishly clever contingency plans to immobilize the Justice League in case they go rogue get stolen and used without his consent. The perpetrator is the immortal warlord Vandal Savage, who has assembled the Legion of Doom, comprised of supervillains who each hold a vendetta against a member of the Justice League.

Justice League Doom has a great voice cast, mostly comprising players from the original Justice League animated series. You’ve got Kevin Conroy as Batman, Tim Daly as Superman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Michael Rosenbaum as Flash and Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter. New to the crew is Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, the role many argue he should have had in the live-action movie. There’s a synergy that only comes from a cast having worked together for a while, and benefits the film greatly.

There’s a good deal of action and the movie is pretty well-paced. It opens with a bank heist by the Royal Flush Gang, and then segues into a frenetic sequence of the individual members of the League being put through their paces. Each bit is inventive and suspenseful – however, it can be hard keeping track of five or six scenes intercut simultaneously. There’s also a bit of a problem when it comes to the villains – the Legion of Doom are mostly comprised of such second-stringers as Mirror Master, Star Sapphire and Bane. Speaking of Bane, his costume in this one looks terrible. It’s a good thing then that the League themselves and, primarily, Batman, are the main focus

The animation looks good, the style is nothing too edgy or inaccessible, but is stylish thanks in part to the anime influence. The action sequences are sufficiently eye-popping and visually exciting. Justice League Doom is also a good way to remember the late screenwriter Dwayne MacDuffie by, and is a decent movie in its own right.

EXTRAS:

There’s a wonderful and emotional tribute to Dwayne McDuffie, consisting of interviews with former colleagues and loved ones, telling the story of the trail-blazing whiz-kid who revolutionised animation and comic books with such titles as Static Shock, Justice League and Ben 10.

There are featurettes about Batman’s relationship with the League and about Cyborg, who was not in the original Tower of Babel story. Rounding out the features are a commentary, a digital comic book of the Tower of Babel story, two episodes from the Justice League series and a peek at the upcoming Superman vs The Elite.

RATING:  MOVIE: 3.5/5 STARS  
                 EXTRAS: 4/5 STARS

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