A’ight. I watched Daredevil fight Punisher last month. I watched Batman and Superman try to kill each other a couple weeks ago. I’m gonna watch Captain America and Iron Man go to war next month. And then there’s this–Justice League vs. Teen Titans. Are we done now? Is that it? Is everyone cool with each other? We done with heroes fighting heroes this year? Are we good?
Sorry, got a bit sidetracked there. The hero versus hero bit is a time-honored tradition, but getting so much of it in a little span is a smidgen much. Okay, let’s talk about the movie.
Since I’m actually going to try and review this, I’m gonna split this up into sections. The Bad, The Good, and The Sawce Sayeth. Maybe. I dunno if I’m gonna keep this format for future reviews, but let’s give it a shot.
Yeah, I still hate Superman and Wonder Woman being together. It’s not so much that I ship them with other people, but there’s just no reason for them to be together in this universe. “I’m strong, and I want someone to hug who is also strong.” “I’m strong.” “Let us hug strongly together.” That’s it. I guess I should’ve written reviews for the other movies and addressed this, but here it is!
The art style has mostly grown on me for the New 52 movies, but some characters still look odd in it. Superman looks weird at moments, Batman looks off, Flash is eh, etc. Also, I want to know who gave Starfire those awful bangs. I’m not opposed to bangs, but I’m opposed to weirdly drawn lumps on a character’s head that’re supposed to be bangs. The rest of her design is fine, but that hairdo is a hairdon’t (I’ve always wanted to say that!).
I still don’t care for a lot of the voices either. None of them sound like they’ll be the defining voices for their characters. Maybe I feel this way because I grew up with the DCAU, but a lot of these voices are just there. And, once again, I still think Jason O’Mara is the worst person to voice Batman. I’ve heard the rest, so it’s not like I’m just comparing him to the great Kevin Conroy. O’Mara just isn’t a good Batman. There’s no command in the voice. There’s no experience to it. He’s just another guy.
My main complaint, though, is that the Legion of Doom is the opening act. Like…what? You couldn’t have used the Brotherhood of Evil or another villain group? You had to job out Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, and Lex Luthor? Okay, it’s not a stellar lineup, and I do like that the Legion of Doom is actually in the New 52 movies, but come on! They’re main eventers, not openers.
But, that’s it for my complaints. Yeah, it surprises me too.
I’ll mirror my points from the previous section. The creators decided to plant the seeds for a possible relationship between Robin and Raven (I think he’s 13 or so in these movies, right?). And it was great. Nothing’s being rushed here. At one point, Damian is pretty badly hurt in a fight with Blue Beetle, but Raven heals him. This means the two wind up being in each others’ heads for a moment, so they get a better grasp of who the other is. They realize they’re both inheritors of demonic legacies. Damian was raised to be the successor to the Demon’s Head, and Raven is the daughter of an actual devil. They’re both doing what they can to do good in the world and escape the holds of their respective lineages. Even if this doesn’t lead to something romantic, I think the writers have stumbled across a great friendship here.
The Titans mostly look good in this style. I still think Damian has a big head (literally, not figuratively…although that, too), but the rest look pretty good. The style really meshes with Raven, Beast Boy, and Blue Beetle. As I stated earlier, I like most of Starfire’s design, but those bangs are ugh. I also love how Trigon looks in this movie. He looks every bit as Satanic as he should. Great job.
Stuart Allan has grown on me as the voice of Damian. He’s still not the one I hear when I read comics, but he might be someday. The rest of the Titans have been well-casted, too. Of course, they won’t replace the cast of the show for me, but they voice these characters pretty well. Jake T. Austin as Blue Beetle might’ve been the weakest to me, but he wasn’t bad. Taissa Farmiga as Raven was probably the best of the bunch. Also, once agian, Trigon. Jon Bernthal was awesome as Trigon. That man has swiftly become one of my favorite actors.
And now, to contrast the opening bout with the main event–Trigon. He doesn’t just look or sound evil as hell (pun intended), but he is also extremely powerful, too. When he escapes, the Titans go to his dimension to find the crystal Raven originally used to seal him to do so again. So, the team of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash stay behind to fight Trigon. How do they fare? They pushed him back a step before he continued walking again. That’s it. I’m so glad he didn’t struggle against the might of Roman Rei–Superman. He is evil incarnate, and you can’t just punch that.
I’m not done with the good, though! I wanna mention a few standout moments from the characters. When the demons start possessing members of the League, Batman injects himself with nerve toxin that he keeps to use on Bane so that he can’t be forced to help Trigon. That was one of the Batman-est moments ever. And then there’s Cyborg’s great line when Trigon walks the Earth: “Titans need my help. I’m going to Hell.” Also, mahou shoujo Starfire. Awesome.
The Sawce Sayeth
Does the good outweigh the bad? Good lord, yes. I love this movie. DC finally seems to be on the upswing with their New 52 films. This is, by far and away, the best Justice League movie they’ve done in this universe. It might even be better than Batman: Bad Blood, and I thoroughly enjoyed that movie. The voice casting has gotten better, the art style is adapting characters better, they’re being written better. It just seems like DC has realized they rule animation, and they ought to keep it that way. So yeah, if you like DC, the Teen Titans, or superheroes, then give it a watch.