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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Justice League: Doom -- Review

Well, if you listen to my podcast, then you know that I've spend the past few weeks pacing nervously waiting by the mailbox.  I bought the Criterion edition of Godzilla online out of the States because it was cheaper, and then I figured I'd buy something else to get the free shipping.  I decided to get the latest DC Comics direct-to-DVD movie, because I knew I'd be getting it anyway.  Even though it wasn't the first time I'd bought something from the States, this one seemed to take forever to get here.  But it finally arrived in the mail the other day!  Hooray!  So let's fire up this bad boy and finally take a look at...

Justice League:  Doom

Directed by Lauren Montgomery

Starring the voices of Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, Nathan Fillion, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, Bumper Robinson, Carlos Alazraqui, Claudia Black, Paul Blackthorne, Olivia d'Abo, Alexis Denisof, and Phil Morris

Backstory:  The opening to these reviews are starting to get repetitive.  I like this series, but I am starting to get rather bored with them.  Where's the rest of the DC Universe?  They've fallen into a pattern:  Justice League, Superman, Batman, Justice League, Green Lantern (cuz we're trying to build a film franchise around him), Batman.  Well, we've come up to Justice League in the cycle.  This next one is based on the beloved storyline Tower of Babel, and although I hadn't read the storyline, what I'd about the storyline sounded very intriguing.  So, as always, I went into it cautiously optimistic.

Plot:  Batman, in his classic, "prepare the worst/hope for the best/trust no one" way, has gone behind the Justice League's back, and created contingency plans to temporarily disable the members of the League should they ever go rogue.  Perpetual Justice League villain Vandal Savage conducts a daring raid on the Batcave to get his hands on these plans.  Now, with these plans, Vandal Savage recruits the world's greatest villains to take down the Justice League once and for all.  With the League out of the way, Vandal Savage can now move on to his true plan.  What is Vandal Savage's true plan?  Can Batman save the League from himself?  Will the League ever trust Batman again?

What I Liked:  This cartoon has great heaping gobs of fanservice for fans of the Justice League cartoon.  Pretty much the entire voice cast is back, with a few exceptions.  (Superman's original voice, Tim Daly, is back, and fan favourite Green Lantern actor Nathan Fillion takes on GL...in fact, in his handful of lines, Fillion proves why he's the true fan favourite GL over Ryan Reynolds.)  I love the banter they're starting to give the heroes in these films.  The superhero battles are good stuff.  Cyborg has a prominent role in the film, and it's nice to see him getting a greater role in the DC Universe.

What I Didn't Like:  Well...the fanservice kind of does it a disrespect.  Despite as awesome as it is, it really starts to feel like just a good episode of Justice League after a while.  It doesn't really elevate itself to feature film status.

Final Verdict:  It's a lot of fun, it's very satisfying, but I really wish they'd leave the safety of Superman, Batman, and JLA and really start focusing on more of DC's other prominent characters.

3 Nibs

Bonus Features:  Not a bad selection of bonus features on this one.  I haven't finished going through them all yet.  We get:
  • A featurette on Batman and his relationship with the Justice League
  • A featurette on Cyborg, who not only has a prominent role in this, but has been given a prominent role in the DCU in their "New 52" reboot
  • A tribute to the esteemed comic book and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie.  McDuffie passed away about a year ago...this is officially the last thing he worked on.
  • The digital comic version of Tower of Babel, the comic book story that inspired this film
  • 2 bonus episode of Justice League
  • A preview of the next film, Superman vs. the Elite, coming out this summer, based on the Superman story What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?  

1 comment:

Grundy said...

I thought Cyborg felt out of place...along with all the other elements they brought in outside the source material, Tower of Babel.