- Directed by Matt Peters
- October 19, 2021
- Superman-Justin Hartley
- Batman-Anson Mount
- Lois Lane, Rama Kushna-Laura Bailey
- Damian Wayne, Jimmy Olsen-Zach Callison
- Green Lantern-Brian T. Delaney
- Cyborg-Brandon Micheal Hall
- Mister Terrific, Killer Croc-Edwin Hodge
- Plastic Man-Oliver Hudson
- Harley Quinn-Gillian Jacobs
- Mirror Master, The Flash, Shazam-Yuri Lowenthal
- Nightwing / Deadwing, Aquaman-Derek Phillips
- The Joker, The President, Jonathan Kent-Kevin Pollak
- Catwoman-Anika Noni Rose
- Green Arrow, Victor Zsasz-Reid Scott
- Ra’s al Ghul-Faran Tahir
- Captain Atom-Fred Tatasciore
- Wonder Woman-Janet Varney
What happens when Superman’s world is shattered? What happens when everything he loves and cherishes is taken away from him as part of an obscene joke?
There are plenty of alternate world DC animated features. I’m just fine with that. This type of concept allows the creative minds behind the DCAU to do whatever they may want with a particular group of characters without being too concerned when it comes to fan response to the consequences.
Injustice is based off of a video game as well as a prequel comic book series inspired by it though it is my understanding it deviates from both. The problems start because the Joker wants to play the ultimate practical joke but why pick on Superman? Batman has usually been his focus. There is an explanation in the film but honestly it doesn’t in my opinion jive with the whole dynamic between Joker and Batman. There must be other villains directly connected to Superman that could have done the job.
I will call this movie okay. It’s not great but it’s not terrible either. Its major flaw is that it crams a lot into a short run time with little context or explanation. Some movies can do that but the way they are written, all that stuff that is easily understood and not just tossed at you. The writer here Ernie Altbacker takes a figurative shovel and flings element after element at you.
Plot development after plot development is just like dumped in your lap and then they move on. And it does feel as if portions of the original story were removed in order to accommodate the limited runtime. DCAU movies tend to run under 90 minutes and part of me thinks some executive came along and took out pages. That’s what we have here with Injustice. It feels as if the narrative was shortened in order to accommodate the run time with action being the focus rather than story.
And this movie, despite its dark context, has humorous moments that really stick out in comparison to previous DCAU entries. I’m not saying it’s a laugh riot, but it feels closer to a live action Marvel film then it does a DCAU movie. The tone is less adult than other films from that group.
It’s my understanding-right or wrong-Harley Quinn plays a decent part in the comic book as well as the game and maybe that’s why she was included in the narrative after the Joker was killed but truthfully she serves no story purpose. She’s there to say random things and act weird but she does nothing to advance the story along. The story mostly comes to a stop when she is on.
Injustice is less of a Justice League movie and more of a Batman movie with Batman fighting an evil Superman. And once again Batman is the smartest man in the room but he’s not so smart as to stay one step ahead of events. Batman has a solution to every problem, but he doesn’t anticipate the problems.
Another complaint about the film is the animation style. It does some thick line stuff that I guess is meant to look a little like retro comic book art. What works on the funny pages doesn’t necessarily work as an animated style. I’ve seen a few examples where it does but how it was employed in those instances seems to be the major factor in whether or not it comes off well. Here it looks cheap.
We do get a nice showcasing of some DC characters that don’t necessarily get the spotlight very often. Green Arrow gets a good chunk of screen time as does Mister Terrific. And then there is my personal favorite Plastic Man. I know nothing about his run in the comics, but I loved the animated series The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show as a kid. It was nice to see him up on the screen. And if this portrayal of him is comics accurate than the animated series was probably quite close as well if my childhood memories serve me correctly. Giggity!
The voice acting is once again pretty solid. DC usually gets that right. I think Catwoman: Hunted was probably the biggest failure in that department. That was not up to snuff but this is not a review of that movie.
I think what could have fix this film is just to have made it longer. It’s 76 minutes which to tell the story they wanted to tell with the number of characters they had and the number of events involved was a little too short. It needed maybe another 20 or 30 minutes worth of runtime. There was just no time to breathe and take things in and develop.
Injustice is not a bad film but it’s not the strongest DC entry. You won’t love it but you will not be impressed by it either.