Main cast: Alan Tudyk (Clark Kent/Superman), Jason O’Mara (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Michelle Monaghan (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Justin Kirk (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern), Christopher Gorham (Barry Allen/The Flash), Shemar Moore (Victor Stone/Cyborg), Rocky Carroll (Silas Stone), Zach Callison (Billy Batson), Sean Astin (Shazam), Ioan Gruffudd (Thomas Morrow), George Newbern (Steve Trevor), Bruce Thomas (DeSaad), and Steve Blum (Darkseid)
Director: Jay Oliva
Justice League: War is basically an origin story of how the core members of the Justice League come together, and since this is a direct-to-video affair, let’s not expect anything more than TV-series level of animation.
And my goodness, the heroes are so stupid, it’s actually pretty shocking how they manage to even keep themselves together for a day without accidentally wiping out a continent.
Okay, let me explain. Darkseid is sending his Parademons to kidnap people and plant devices called Mother Boxes as a means to allow his army to invade Earth and terraform the planet into something more to his liking. These Parademons have bat silhouette, so poor Batman is implicated in these murders. Green Lantern is here to look into the matter as Earth falls under his territory, and he is so cocksure and confident while getting his rear ends kicked that he comes off like Spider-Man’s incompetent sibling. He meets Batman while duking out a Parademon, and the two of them decide to seek out someone called Superman since the Mother Box is alien in origin and Superman is the only alien they know.
Sigh, how did these two even manage to take three steps without tripping over?
Of course, they fight Superman first and destroy a nice part of Metropolis before Batman decides to talk to him.
Oh poor Zack Snyder – to think some people (ahem) gave him a hard time for portraying Superman as a one-man wrecking ball of recklessness.
At the other side of things, Flash locates another Magic Box and passes it to Silas Stone, a researcher whose son Victor is all blue because his father is too busy to attend his football games. The box goes off while Victor is holding it, and ta-da, Cyborg is born. Also in the mix is Billy Batson who of course turns into Shazam when the world needs another bumbling superhero. Oh, and Wonder Woman is here, she’s on talking terms with the President and wonders why the world thinks that superheroes are dangerous. Gee, I wonder why.
Buildings and other properties are unnecessarily demolished, and who knows how many people die as collateral damage as these morons bungle their way up into Darkseid’s rear end. Hey, it’s okay, they claim that they personally don’t kill people – oops, Superman chokes someone to death here, but that’s okay, that one is a bad guy and Superman isn’t himself when that fatality takes place – so I guess they are the… good guys?
This one doesn’t have “It’s for kids!” as an excuse for its stupidity, because its one-liners and the use of words like “whore” can cause this one veer into, at the very least, for-teenagers territory.
There are quite a number of action scenes here, and plenty of quips being thrown around, so the whole thing is like a throwback to the Sunday morning cartoon hours of the 1980s. Like the cartoons of that era, though, watching this one now makes me feel like my brain has melted by the time the credits roll. My nostalgia goggles are completely shattered: holy crap, these superheroes are really stupid indeed, and that’s more terrifying that all of Darkseid’s armies combined.