Although Justice League Dark releases on February 7th, I got to see a copy ahead of time. I went into this movie fairly blind; I had [rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2017%2F01%2F30%2F636214002804415783-588477347_images%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcTw_gWBCE2J0xef8EhN5820yl2fFr7QmCdNzKoo46wPrN0LWQZAOg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=794&h=a9548026a5045964a8f57043bcbcdd37b4a8e64233965ef99d39c10dc2e8ebfa&size=980x&c=3506131245 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2017%252F01%252F30%252F636214002804415783-588477347_images%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcTw_gWBCE2J0xef8EhN5820yl2fFr7QmCdNzKoo46wPrN0LWQZAOg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D794%26h%3Da9548026a5045964a8f57043bcbcdd37b4a8e64233965ef99d39c10dc2e8ebfa%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3506131245%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]seen the Keanu Reeves movie of “Constantine”, and had fought as Zatana in Injustice, but that was pretty much the extent of my exposure to this facet of the Justice League. I was excited to watch it though, as I have always enjoyed the DC Animated movies and Batman is my homie. So was my enthusiasm rewarded? Let’s break down the film and find out.
The Cast: Pretty good cast, but some felt a little wasted. Rosario Dawson plays Wonder Woman, for under 5 lines. Alfred Molina is the villain Destiny, but again, is in MAYBE 10 minutes of the movie. The cast we do spend the most time with (Jason O’Mara as Batman, Matt Ryan as Constantine, Camilla Luddington as Zatana, and Nicholas Turturro as Boston Brand) are fine, but nothing to write home about. Matt Ryan played Constantine in the recent (but cancelled) Constantine NBC show as well, so that was a neat connection. Jason O’Mara definitely has the most experience with his character and it’s on clear display. All in all?
7.5/10. But hey, C’s get degrees.
The Look: This movie looks excellent. The magic is vibrant, the characters are represented well, and the animation is fluid. Not a ton to say in the category.
9/10. Is it the best cartoon I’ve ever seen? No, but it’s definitely a looker.
The Plot: Here’s where this movie loses some points. There is so much going on, and not enough movie to contain it. At only 75 minutes of run time, it easily could have been extended to 105-ish and would have benefited greatly. There is not really a lot of character introduction; this movie seems to assume you’re already familiar with the characters. But since it’s some of the more B-list characters, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if most people didn’t know them.
In addition to not enough introductions, you’re jumping all over the place and the pacing is a little muddy. One minute you’re in the city, the next you’re watching them fight someone mentioned one time in his house and you’re not sure how they even got there. From what I was able to follow, this movie had a fine plot, but it was just too cramped.
5/10. This movie is begging for some room to breathe.
Some other notes:
This movie earns it R-rating much more than the Killing Joke. It is definitely dark, and was pretty tough to watch in parts even though it’s a cartoon.
How strong is Zatana? She stops Superman at full speed at one point… how is she not more well known if she can do that? I get that one of Superman’s weaknesses is magic, but still. Seemed a little out of left field.
Boy, I really want that Guillermo Del Toro Justice League Dark movie that we were promised now.
Boy, that Keanu Reeves Constantine movie was underrated.
Swamp-Thing is in this movie, but he’s not reaaaaaally in this movie. Booo, Warner Brothers. Put Swamp-Thing in more-things!
There’s a poop monster in this. Remember Dogma? That’s a really good movie.
Final Score: 7/10. A step back in the right direction after Killing Joke, but still not reaching the bar set by DC’s usual animated fare. It did leave me wanting more, but not necessarily a sequel… just more in this movie.