Superman (voice of Alan Tudyk), Wonder Woman (voice of Michelle Monaghan), Batman (voice of Jason O’Mara) and other superheroes join forces to save Earth from Darkseid (voice of Steve Blum).
This week I am going to be watching a few movies in the DC Animated Movie Universe. Recently, I watched the 2017 animated feature Justice League Dark, but I figured it would be a good idea to go back to the very first movie in the series, Justice League: War. Since I found Dark to be simply okay, I wasn’t all that excited to check out what War had to offer, since it is directed by the same person, Jay Oliva.
That being said though, at my core, I am a big DC Comics fan. I love superheroes in general, and so I was really hoping that I would find some enjoyment with this movie, and now that I have watched it, I can gleefully report that I had a total blast with Justice League: War. If I am going to be one hundred percent completely honest with you, I actually enjoyed this more than the live-action 2017 Justice League film.
Why exactly? It’s simple. The story is so much more investing because it is a story about our heroes coming together, and we actually get to learn a lot about them and who they are outside of their superhero costumes. We get plenty of character development for each and every one of our main protagonists, and certain things in the beginning of the movie come into play during the third act, which was a delight to see.
The 2017 Justice League movie, while still extremely fun, was just so messy. Not only that, but every time I rewatch that movie, it doesn’t leave me feeling anything. It just feels like a disposable watch which is such a shame. With War, after watching it, I actually had a gigantic smile appear on my face and some part of me even wanted to watch it again instantaneously.
That’s not to say that this film is not without its flaws, because it has some problems. The story is not invigorating by any means necessary. It plays out like a traditional superhero story. A big scary villain wants to destroy the world, so a team of superheroes team up to stop the villain’s evil schemes. You can probably guess exactly what is going to happen. But really, this film at its core feels like a Saturday morning cartoon. It feels like something you would watch when you were growing up and absolutely adore. It reminded me of the excellent Batman: The Animated Series a lot.
Also, the animation here is fine. It is not anything groundbreaking by any means, but it is not bad either. It is decent looking, although there are definitely shots in which certain environments and character models look extremely strange and unpolished.
But as a whole, this is an immensely fun and exciting movie. All of the action sequences here are handled incredibly well and there was never really a dull moment to be found. It does not feel as grand as it could have, probably because of its short seventy nine minute running time, but still, this was a massively fun watch.
Justice League: War is an incredibly fun and fast-paced superhero animation with terrific action and excellent character development.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some language
Directed by: Jay Oliva
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: January 21, 2014 (digital), February 4, 2014 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Running Time: 79 minutes