Thursday, May 14, 2020

Review: "Justice League Dark: Apokolips War" is the animated DC answer to Infinity War

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Review
As I have said countless times at this point, The DC animated movies are my go-to when I really want to watch a great DC superhero movie. They have been showing their live-action counterpart how its done, and they've been relishing in the glory ever since. They make movies that are part of a cohesive universe, connected to one another and some that aren't. But no matter what, they are entertaining to no end. Yes, it is benefiting to have knowledge of these characters first hand, but they make them easy enough to follow.

Now after fifteen movies set in the DC Animated Movie Universe (yes, its literally called the DCAMU) its time for DC to unleash their "Infinity War" level event. They've done it, and its been a wild ride I enjoyed quite a bit, and the studio has released their best animated movie. "Justice League Dark: Apokolips War" is a movie that drops everything at the feet of the heroes. It's a movie that's also jam-packed with the brand's memorable characters in a movie full of twists, turns, ups, downs and plenty of excitement. 

Darkseid is pretty much the DC equivalent to Thanos. They are similar in many ways, but also not entirely the same character. He resides on a planet called Apokolips (yes, spelled exactly like that) and he's planning to invade Earth at the beginning of this movie. He's been running around to other planets and conquering them, adding to his extending empire. Superman calls the Justice League, The Teen Titans and Justice League Dark (a group of superheroes that specialize in the supernatural) to take the fight to Darkseid, no chances taken to get him to get to Earth. Pretty early though, we see that may not have been a great idea. After a crazy introduction, we see that all the heroes have pretty much been decimated, and Earth is in ruins.

Superman has been weakened by Darkseid, Batman and Wonder Woman are brainwashed. Most other heroes are dead. The movie focuses on John Constantine, and how Superman plans to use him for help. Superman wants Constantine to locate Damian Wayne in an effort to decode the brainwashing done on Batman and the other heroes. Superman and Constantine slowly begin to rebuild a team to go against Darkseid again. But Superman doesn't have the morale he once did and they are very short-handed.

This movie is brutal in its action. Characters die, and not just random redshirts nobody cares about. Characters you didn't think would die absolutely die. There's appearances by the teams I mentioned above, but also The Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing, Batgirl, Batwoman and I think Batwing. This is a series that definitely isn't copying off the Marvel formula, and unlike its live action counterpart, still packs the movie with enough emotion and entertainment to keep the audience happy.

Matt Ryan who has been playing John Constantine on the CW DC superhero shows voices the character here, and I always love it when actors get attached to these characters. The other actors providing voice work include Jerry O'Connell, Taissa Farmiga, Jason O'mara, Rainn Wilson, Rebecca Romjin, Rosario Dawson, Sean Astin, Tony Todd, Liam McIntyre (making him the THIRD "Spartacus" alum to play Captain Boomerang in some capacity.), all of whom do solid work in the roles.

This is R-rated, there are some bloody parts, but the movie still packs the fun of a superhero movie and the development of a drama. This is definitely the best they've done yet.

FINAL GRADE: A

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