on January 23, 2014
I'm truly having a hard time with this movie and characterizing my feelings toward it. On the one hand it's a Justice League movie and as you can tell by the username, I'm a fan; however, I'm just not as sold on it as I'd like to be.
I love the comic series and am pretty happy with the direction the New 52 has taken and even though this movie is based on the initial story-arc, I just can't bring myself to love it.
Perhaps a big part of it is the voice actors in this movie, as maybe I'm just too attached to the old cast! Let's face it, it's hard replacing the likes of Tim Daly / George Newbern (take your pick) as Superman, Michael Rosenbaum as Flash, Nathan Fillion as GL, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, and there's simply no replacing Kevin Conroy as Batman IMHO. The new cast is merely okay and I'm particularly not fond of Jason O'Mara's voice filling the role of Batman. His voice just doesn't fit Batman for me, nor does it seem like it would help to strike fear in Batman's enemies in the same manner as Conroy's.
Speaking of voice acting, I'm not sure if it is the voice of (Justin Kirk) the new GL, but I feel as if Green Lantern and Flash are having an identity crisis (no pun intended). GL seems as if he has completely taken on Flash's persona and vice versa. GL comes off a little too cocky and a bit too much of a smart guy (but replace guy with three other letters). Don't get me wrong, I expect GL to have some swagger as he did in the JL comic story arc, but in JL: War it seems to go a bit overboard for me. In the movie, GL comes off as far more obnoxious than confident and I have trouble believing it is simply the writing and not the voice actor. I can't remember feeling the same way about the story in the comic which was very similar if not identical, so I'm not entirely sure. Who knows, it could be the slightest tweak here and there to the movie script versus the comic story-arc. What I do know without a doubt is that I feel Nathan Fillion was a perfect choice for GL so any other actor, for me, is a step down! Sorry, Justin Kirk.
As for the story in JL: War, I just feel it is a tad bit weak and although it was based on the comic book series, it just doesn't seem to translate as well as I had hoped it would. There was far too little substance and for some reason, it didn't come off as well as Geoff Johns's telling of it in the New 52 Justice League series. The heroes seem a bit more unlikeable in the movie than in the comic book series, particularly Wonder Woman, who comes off in the movie as a bumbling idiot. Once again, I don't recall her being written that poorly in the comic story-arc, but I may have to go back and reread it.
In addition, another thing that I noticed about the movie that didn't seem to hit me as hard while reading this story-arc in the comic series, is the heroes lack of concern in regards to destruction and their complete disregard for public safety. They destroy parts of Metropolis without giving it a second thought, which just doesn't seem like the heroes I've grown to know and love, particularly Superman!
In regards to the animation, it was done well enough, but I'm still not one hundred percent sold on the art-style which is a little too anime for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, I love me some anime, just not in my JL movies thank you very much. That's not a deal-breaker though as both Flashpoint Paradox and Doom had a similar, if not identical style.
Furthermore, what is up with Superman in this movie? He just looks weird to me in some parts of the film. He's either drawn way too muscular or his head is too big...And his "S" appears to be drawn too small! He just looks odd to me at times throughout the film unlike how he's drawn in the New 52 JL series! This is certainly not Jim Lee's Superman, which I absolutely love!
Some of you may feel I'm nitpicking here, but Superman is perhaps my favorite of the group, so I'm probably slightly more critical of how he's done as opposed to the other JL members.
In summary I feel that JL: War is on the cusp of being great and with a few tweaks here and there very well might have been. Your mileage may vary, but as it stands for me, while it is good and worth owning, it just isn't on the same level with Flashpoint Paradox or Doom, in this fan's humble opinion!