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Review: Justice League Crisis on Two Earths

My thoughts on DC's latest animated feature which you can read WITH or WITHOUT Spoilers!

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
is a direct to video animated feature film from DC Entertainment. The overall story is original, but it borrows aspects of 1964's Justice League of America #29-30 as well as Grant Morrison's Justice League America: Earth 2 graphic novel. The film follows a heroic version of Lex Luthor from an alternate universe who appears to recruit the Justice League (made up of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Martian Manhunter) to help save his Earth from the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the League (Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Captain Super, Johnny Quick and the Martian plus all of their bizarro henchmen). What ensues is a battle of good versus evil in a war that ultimately threatens both planets and could unhinge the balance of all existence.

The film is entertaining. I've enjoyed watching it twice already and I wouldn't mind seeing it again (unlike Green Lantern: First Flight). The film follows the age old 'good vs evil' struggle, but the story is rich and complex.
Overall I think it was a good flick. Better than Superman Batman: Public Enemies but not good as Wonder Woman.

Let's take a look at the good points first. . .

- The fight scenes are as close to perfect we've seen in an animated film. Each character showcases their fighting style from the comics; Wonder Woman's agility, Martian Manhunter's phasing and transformations, etc. High, high marks to them for this aspect.

- Wally West/Flash cracking jokes. This is the first time we've seen Flash in an animated film, and I'm glad they didn't forget to include his humorous personality.

- The animation is as great as we expect from DC. The characters are still a bit too angular for my liking, but that's easy to overlook a few minutes into it.

- Vanessa Marshall and Chris Noth did a great job lending their respective voices to Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor.

- The story plays out well. The length of the film compliments all of the subplots without feeling rushed.

- The language is pretty good, they don't hold back on the 'craps' and 'dammits' which I always hate being substituted.

Now the bad. . .

- I think they missed their mark yet again with Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. New Frontier was a great depiction of the character but this and First Flight keep mixing him up with a regular beat cop. I thought the protector of an entire space sector had a bit more power and fighting skills than what they keep showing.

- The voice acting for the main characters is bad. Bad enough that it takes me out of the film every time Superman, Batman or Owlman speak. Mark Harmon (Superman) and William Baldwin (Batman) were just horrible. James Woods (Owlman) has one of those voices that cannot be associated with anyone but him (i.e. Christopher Walken, Dennis Haysbert) and it ruined the character for me. Since the dialogue is most important in these films, it brought the overall film down a few marks in quality.

- I feel the ending of the final battle scene was poorly done. Actually, pretty lazy writing.

Alright, if you want to read the spoiler part of my review (including a special screencap) just highlight the text between the lines:

- Cameos, Cameos and more Cameos! Good guys like Red Tornado, Aquaman, Black Canary, Firestorm, Black Lightning, etc. Plus, all the alternate Earth evil-counterparts including Lobo, Green Arrow, Jimmy Olson, Cheetah and more.

- Batman gets his ass kicked every 10 minutes. Seriously, he does. Almost everyone takes their turn throwing him around and breaking his bones. Add that to Willaim Baldwin's shitty voice and the character was total crap.

- People die, which is needed for the story. But Batman is the only good guy that kills. Even though Superman keeps reiterating throughout the film that the League doesn't kill, Batman does it. . . twice.

Click here to see a spoiler screencap!

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