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'Justice League: War' (2014)


Going into this viewing with absolutely zero expectations turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Considering the live-action origin story for the JL was almost a complete letdown, this animation version was simply outstanding.

Given the fact that none of the JL members know each other, it was quite entertaining to watch all of the initial interactions between all of the members. Green Lantern meets Batman, they both meet Superman, Cyborg is 'created,' and Wonder Woman gets called a bimbo; there were so many events that truly gave you the feeling of watching a comic book come to life. One of the more memorable scenes involves Diana (Wonder Woman) meeting a young girl outside of the White House while attending a conference with the US President. She was intrigued that this little girl was not afraid of her and also what she was munching on. The little girl was enjoying some ice cream, and as Diana was entranced by the pink blob on a cone, it tumbled to the ground. Diana was so moved by the sadness of the girl, she drew her sword and demanded two more from the nearby vendor. There was also plenty of banter between the Green Lantern and Batman with most of it being cleverly written.

The reason for the birth of the JL was in response to a global invasion attempt by Darkseid (who some consider to be the DC equivalent to Thanos), a being of seemingly limitless power. He initially sends his flying monsters to plant 'mother boxes' in discreet locations in order to capitalize on the element of surprise. Unfortunately for him, these monsters forgot to brush up on their stealth skills and were discovered by each of the cities' prime protectors. When the plot is unraveling is when you find all of the heroes crossing paths. Even though the JL discovered the monsters early on, they are unable to stop Darkseid from arriving on Earth. Upon entering our realm he is greeted by the ensemble cast of heroes including: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern, and Shazam. The first encounter does not go well at all for the JL and they are absolutely dismantled. Superman is apprehended and taken back to Apokolips, Darkseid's home world, for 'assimilation' into his army. Batman then places himself in ultimate personal danger by attempting a solo rescue mission. Upon his success, the two heroes return to the fight that has been ongoing the entire length of their absence. The battle is lengthy and at a few moments, you find yourself actually losing faith that they will emerge victorious. The JL eventually resorts to literally blinding the colossal tyrant, and through some high-frequency abuse of their diverse abilities, they finally send the evil conqueror packing.

Sadly, there were some low points in this film. Though the massive battle was inspiring at moments, it was a bit too lengthy at times. It felt like there were too many stories being told at the same time, and those were being told too quickly. You did full well understand what was presented, but there were many developmental holes that were left to the imagination. Why was the Green Lantern even there in the first place, and how had he no idea that Batman even existed? Why were the citizens so upset with the heroes? Other than destruction, why would Darkseid choose to invade the way he did? Why was Silas Stone so distant and absent from the relationship with his son? There are some more questions that need to be answered, but I think these are plenty enough.

Aside from the obvious plot holes, the movie was a pleasure to watch, and you will find yourself with no shortage of action, humor, and edge of your seat content. A worthwhile addition to anyone's watch history, and almost certainly better than anything live-action being produced today.

Michael Grube
Michael Grube

I am 32 years old, an Army veteran, and soon to be divorced. I have been writing since i was young and have always been told that I have a knack for it. I've tried my hand at a few novel attempts; my heart lies within poetry and journalism.

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