Action Movie Fanatix Review: Justice League: Doom

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The End Of Justice.

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, Nathan Fillion, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, Olivia D’Abo

Director: Lauren Montgomery

2012  |  76 Minutes  |  PG-13

“I’m never far from anything.” – The Flash

I am continuing to review DC’s animated movies even though I am not a huge DC fan (save for Batman).  I just keep hearing great things about all their animated efforts and I find the animated movies to be a great way for me to better familiarize myself with their stories without having to spend oodles on monthly comic books.  Justice League: Doom is one movie that seems to be toward the top of many people’s lists so it will be the next on my docket.

Batman’s files on his fellow superheroes have fallen into the clutches of Vandal Savage, who plans to exploit the Justice League’s every weakness.

The first thing I noticed was that the animation is a little lower quality than I have seen in other DC animated releases.  There are times where the characters’ faces look downright horrible and Superman looks like a child.  It’s definitely disappointing since DC has consistently had some of the best animated movies around.

It would be easy for a Justice League movie to resort to giant alien invasions because that would seemingly be the only way to take on the DCU’s greatest heroes.  Instead Justice League: Doom opts for a slightly smarter, less obvious approach.  As a long time super hero fan I found the story to be unique and engaging.  The idea that Batman is almost made into a traitor for simply keeping tabs on his allies weaknesses really worked for me.

I can’t say I really learned anything revolutionary about any of these characters.  I would say I know Batman pretty darn well and Superman never ceases to underwhelm me.  The only one that surprised me a little was Wonder Woman.  I have read a few comics a while back and watched a few episodes of the Lynda Carter series but the more I see and think about Wonder Woman the more I could actually see myself enjoying a Wonder Woman movie.  Unlike many other DC heroes her story could be pretty well grounded.  Sure there are some mythic elements but Thor pulled it off and Wonder Woman wouldn’t even have to be all that mythical.  She could very easily be shown leaving Themyscira and then fighting in the “real” world the rest of the time.

I was disappointed to find out that the story wasn’t followed as faithfully as many other DC animated features.  For example Plastic Man and Aquaman were completely left out of the movie while Cyborg was added in.  I am far from a Plastic Man or Aquaman fanatic but the purpose of me watching these movies is to be able to get into more DC characters and removing them wholesale from the movie does not help this.

Vandal Savage’s bad guy team seems pretty random but I am not a huge DC guy so maybe they all make perfect sense.  It just kind of seems like whatever villain would pose a threat to each hero at that moment in the story was included rather than being a fully fleshed out team that made sense.

There is a nice opening battle with The Royal Flush Gang.  I never understand why more superhero movies don’t use this tactic.  It would be such a great way to work in another brief battle and an appearance from a lesser villain that might not otherwise have made the cut.

The fights were all really exciting and felt hard hitting.  I call that an accomplishment because it is rare that I can get into an animated fight.

Justice League: Doom is one of the best DC stories I have seen thus far.  It does a really great job balancing between being large in scale (as is necessary when dealing with seven of the DC world’s mightiest heroes) without being so “out there” to be too weird to non-sci-fi fans.  I would have to believe that DC fans and non-DC fans alike will enjoy Justice League: Doom.

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