Justice League: War, starring the voice talents of Sean Astin, Michelle Monaghan, Shemar Moore, Jason O’Mara, Alan Tudyk, Steve Blum, among others
I recently reviewed Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was the artwork and the voice acting excellent, the writing and characterizations were spot on. I cannot say that for Justice League: War. And it made all of the difference in the worst way.
The main problems, as I see them, are:
- There was language that I wouldn’t let my children listen to — the “heroes” referring to each other as douche bags, needless cursing, etc. Check out the quotes below for examples
- Virtually all of the “heroes” are simply unlikable. For instance, young Billy Batson is rude, obnoxious, and a thief. This is the person that the wizard Shazam chose to protect the world?
- Characterizations are wrong. For example, Superman makes no effort to protect innocent bystanders.
- The violence is inappropriate. For example, to prevent the villain Darkseid from using his eye blasts (Omega beams), the “heroes” literally gouge his eyes out.
Having said that, the voice work is good, the artwork is fine, and the movie goes at a good clip. But it’s a lot of fighting, with very little characterization. One exception is where Batman temporarily sets his costume aside to be captured as a “normal” person and infiltrate the villain’s base, as the villain is kidnapping people. And transforming them into his minions.
Something that genuinely disappointed me, perhaps more than all of the other things — was that Hal Jordon/Green Lantern was a focal point in this story of the formation of the Justice League. And he comes across as a total jerk, which was a pity, as he’s long been a favorite character.
Green Lantern: As I was saying, Green Lantern can do anything.
Batman: Except shut up, apparently.
Green Lantern: Wow, someone forgot to take their True Blood tonight.
Batman: I’m not a vampire.
Green Lantern: Seriously? I thought it was the darkness and the vanishing, and the, what, super strength?
Green Lantern: Can you fly?
Batman: In a plane.
Green Lantern: Wait, you’re not just some guy in a bat costume, are you? Are you freaking kidding me? What, nobody asked you to prom so you now dress as a bat and prowl around your parents’ basement?
[Batman removes the ring from Green Lantern, he changes back to Hal]
Batman: What’s this do?
Green Lantern: Huh?
Batman: No buttons. I assume it works off concentration.
Hal Jordan: How did you do that?
Batman: You weren’t concentrating.
Green Lantern: [puts ring back on and changes back] You won’t do that again.
Batman: Unless I want to.
Green Lantern: I’m Green Lantern, dammit!
Wokeness on parade
Wonder Woman: You’ve gathered to protest me? You, what is your problem with me?
Pinstriped Loudmouth: You want the truth? You swing that sword with a smile and you scare normal people. And you dress like a whore.
Wonder Woman: This is not your truth. The Lasso compels you. Now tell us your truth.
Pinstriped Loudmouth: I cross-dress in a Wonder Woman costume outfit. It makes me feel powerful.
Wonder Woman: Embrace your truth, my friend. My outfit makes me feel powerful too.
Green Lantern: Flash, my boy. Great to see you. Oh, yeah, and that’s Batman.
The Flash: Batman’s real?
Green Lantern: Yeah, he’s over there.
The Flash: Wait, what? It is a real honor to meet you, sir, Batman. Sir, Batman, sir. Ahem.
Green Lantern: Don’t bother. That guy’s a total tool.
Batman: I followed your efforts in Central City, Flash. You do tight, efficient work.
Green Lantern: Hey, Barry, you, uh, got a little something on your nose.
Darkseid: Kryptonian, you are coming with me.
Superman: Like hell I am.
Green Lantern: Here’s the plan. Green Lantern kicks Superman’s ass. TMZ’s got the video.
My name is Bruce Wayne
Green Lantern: Out of my way, Batman.
Batman: Your arm is broken, you idiot.
Green Lantern: I can handle this. Get out of my way.
Batman: You’re gonna die.
Green Lantern: Then I die.
Batman: What are you trying to prove?
Green Lantern: I’m not trying to prove anything, you phenomenal douche bag. Don’t act like you know me. You don’t.
Batman: We’re just somewhat alike.
Green Lantern: We are nothing alike.
Batman: We’re fighting alongside an alien, an Amazon, a human lightning bolt, a cyborg and a speedster. As far as I can tell, Hal, you and I are the only normal people here.
Green Lantern: I never told you my name.
Batman: Saw it on your flight suit.
Green Lantern: You’re pretty south of normal, spooky. You know that, right?
Bruce Wayne: [removes his cowl and cape] My name is Bruce Wayne. When I was 10, my parents were murdered in front of my eyes. I’ve spent my life training to fight the same sort of criminals that took them from me. But this, this is different. This isn’t about me.
Green Lantern: Uh, you’re telling me this why?
Bruce Wayne: This is bigger than I am and it’s bigger than you are. Get out of your own way. Focus on what’s important here. Everyone else. Regroup with the others.
Green Lantern: And do what exactly?
Bruce Wayne: You’re loud. They’ll listen to you if you got something to say. Try to at least sound smart.
Cyborg: I think what Lantern is saying is that it’s time for some teamwork. So let’s pull it together.
Shazam: Yeah, baby, clap it up.
The Flash: What’s the plan, then?
Green Lantern: Well, he blasts those beams out of his eyes, right?
Wonder Woman: It’s settled, then. We blind him.
Green Lantern: That’s as good as a plan as any. Yeah, we follow and we stay out of sight. I’ll turn on the fireworks to get his attention. Princess, you in striking distance and stab that son of a bitch in the eyes.
Wonder Woman: Like poor damned Oedipus.
Shazam: Yeah, what the hot Greek chick said.
The Flash: And the invasion of monsters raining from the sky, what about them?
Cyborg: I might be able to send them back where they came from.
Green Lantern: Good enough for me. Here we go, team. We got this.
Darkseid: [to Shazam] I’ll crush you like a gnat.
Cyborg: The computer is not responding. Come on, you stupid machine, work.
Computer Voice: Network connect.
Computer Voice: Insufficient energy.
Cyborg: Shit. It’s programmed, but I don’t have the juice to push it. I need a huge blast of power.
Shazam: Shouldn’t be a problem. Shazam!
[charges the Mother Box with a lightning bolt]
Green Lantern: [to Wonder Woman] Get him out of there. His showboating is gonna ruin the entire plan. Oh, great, now I’m Batman.
Green Lantern: Costume? This is my uniform.
Green Lantern: Oh, you wanna bark orders, after I did the heavy lifting and pulled everyone together?
Batman: You’re referring to when you botched simple directives and Wonder Woman led the charge?
Green Lantern: Cyborg showed you a video?
Batman: He e-mailed it to me.
Green Lantern: I really hate you, Bats.
Wonder Woman: I can’t believe people are no longer afraid of us.
Superman: Or that they think we’re a team. We’re not a team. But I am pleased to meet some folks who get me.
Wonder Woman: Yes, it was good to talk among a pantheon again.
Superman: How do you mean?
Wonder Woman: Hades, Apollo, Hermes, Zeus … each a god in their right.
Superman: And me?
Wonder Woman: I have never met anyone like you, Superman. God or mortal.
President: These super-friends use their super-powers to protect us.
Green Lantern: And we’re not friends either.
Batman: We let them think we’re both.
Green Lantern: Why?
Batman: It’ll keep Gotham P.D. off my back, the Air Force off yours.
Green Lantern: They don’t like us much.
Batman: The world’s afraid of us.
Green Lantern: You say that like it’s good thing.
Batman: It’s necessary.
President: That said, I am very pleased to introduce you … Gee, I didn’t even ask. Do you guys have a name?
Shazam: Yes, we do.
Cyborg: We do?
Shazam: That’s right. You can call us the Super Seven.
Superman: Please don’t call us that.
Superman: The Super Seven?
Shazam: What, you don’t like it?