Home Film & TV Review: Justice League: War (2014)

Review: Justice League: War (2014)

by Andrew Nguyen

What happens when Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and DC animations have a baby? Justice League: War.

From the studios that brought us wonderful creations such as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013), this latest movie is an adaptation of Johns’ Justice League: Origin (The New 52).

If you couldn’t have guessed from the source material, Justice League: War revolves around the origins of the Justice League after the ramifications of the Flashpoint Paradox. Alongside the typical well-known members: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash, the film introduces 2 new stars: Cyborg and Shazam. In the movie, the heroes must unite to save the world from a full scale invasion by none other than Darkseid.

Luckily for me, I was able to view the full movie earlier than it’s intended release date and overall, the movie gets a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Like every DC animated film that has ever been released, it features a cast of talented voice actors and a story line that follows the comic book religiously. Next, the animation of the film is amazing (as expected of DC animations). In fact, it’s probably my favorite animated work coming out of DC Entertainment since the Young Justice TV series.

The voice acting was also superb and left me with no complaints.  I’ve always loved Alan Tudyk‘s personification of  DC characters(Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in Injustice & Barry Allen/The Flash in Batman: The Brave and The Bold). And although Kevin Conroy will always be my favorite voice actor to portray the Caped Crusader, Jason O’Mara is definitely a close second. His performance was gritty and empathetic which I believe makes the perfect Batman.


Now here comes the bad news. I’m a huge fan of Shazam and, let me say this with a heavy heart,  this is probably the worst portrayal of Shazam I’ve even seen in the animated universe. I know with the New 52 Launch, Billy Batson’s personality is supposed to be mimicking the personality of present day pre-teens today(immature, cocky, and rude) but in the movie, there was little to no reason on why the boy would be chosen to wield the power of the Wizard Shazam.

Another thing that really bothered me was the unnecessary and cringe worthy tension between Superman and Wonder Woman. Compared to previous variations, Superman is extremely full of himself in this movie and doesn’t express any of the leadership qualities that I know and love. This Superman is pretty much what the male-version of Wonder Woman would look like on the big screens and, in the end,  the chemistry just wasn’t working for me. Unlike his relationship with Lois Lane which brought a human side to the character, this version of Superman is 100 % alien with zero compassion towards anything or anyone.

Lastly, perhaps my biggest pet peeve with the story was the interaction between the Last Son of Krypton and Darkseid. I understand this is a Justice League movie and not a Superman movie but COME ON! Darkseid is Superman’s villain and they barely have any interaction. Which brings me to another point, Darkseid  was utterly a one dimensional character. He might as well have been just another goon in this movie and Desaad should have been the mastermind of the whole operation.


All in all, the movie was very entertaining to watch and I know this is a relaunch for the New 52 but the movie misses some key concepts that made the original comics great. It’s a Justice League movie but I felt Superman was given too much of the spotlight. I definitely prefer the first episode of the Justice League animated series rather than how this Justice League was made.

Most importantly, please stay after the credits! You don’t want to miss the surprise that DC has in store for viewers.

Justice League: War is currently available digitally in the iTunes store for $19.99 and will debut on DVD and Blu-ray on February 4th, 2014.

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