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Justice League: Doom

Animated Film directed by Lauren Montgomery

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Action-Packed....But Just a Routine Justice League Vs. Legion of Doom Brawl!

  • Feb 29, 2012
DC Animated Universe’s many adaptations of different comic book storylines have resulted with both good and disappointing results. I wasn’t that excited upon hearing about this creation and yet, I was optimistic to see one of my favorite storylines come into animated form. Director Lauren Montgomery and writer Dwayne McDuffie (who passed on in 2011) is a movie that takes some of the basic elements from Mark Waid’s JLA story arc “Tower of Babel” and re-interprets it to fit general audiences.

After a skirmish with the Royal Flush gang, the Justice League made up of Superman (Tim Daly), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), Batman (Kevin Conroy), Flash, Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion), Martian Manhunter (Karl Lumbly) and the Cyborg (Bumper Robinson) go back to their separate lives. Soon after, the JLA is falling one by one, entrapped by plans meant to kill each one of them. The traps have been laid by Vandal Savage (Phil Morris) and his new Legion of Doom…but the traps have been devised by one of the league’s own…Batman. Can the JLA once again trust the Dark Knight and stop Savage’s evil plans to commit genocide?

If you think that you would see a dramatic, clever, and engaging adaptation of Waid’s “Tower of Babel” then you may be very disappointed. Instead of Ras Al Ghul and Talia, the folks who stole Batman’s plans is Vandal Savage and his new Legion of Doom. The story deviates from the original source material and loses a lot of its intricacies. Instead, “Doom” takes some devices and elements to make the movie appear similar, and yet more of a tale that can fit the Justice League vs. the Legion. It opts to sidestep the crisis of conscience, questions of trust and the drama of betrayal that made “Tower of Babel” enthralling and one of my favorite JLA sagas ever.

I suppose to promote DC’s mediocre “New 52” line, the film takes Cyborg in as a trainee and leaves the team with no Aquaman (this was a bad move since Aquaman's part was essential). This was also done with Hal Jordan as Green Lantern instead of Kyle Rayner, and instead of Talia and Ras being the main antagonists, it uses familiar faces and classic villains such as Star Sapphire, Bane, Metallo, Ma’alefa’ak, Cheetah, Mirror Master and Vandal Savage. Carol Ferris (Olivia D’abo) is also portrayed as the love sick Star Sapphire and Carlos Alazraqui is cast as Bane to promote the upcoming film “The Dark Knight Rises”. I know, the film’s intentions were to attract more fans and make the story more accessible, but in deviating from the source material, the film becomes something that we’ve all seen before and certainly unoriginal. The traps or as one may call “contingency plans” are all routine; though they have been inspired by Waid’s storyline, they are really nothing special; save for the traps laid on Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter, all of them appeared rather uninspired. Just how many times have we seen a Kryptonite bullet or a bomb attached to the Flash? The ingenuity of the traps in the source material have been dumbed down to something that many can call ‘fan service’.

Instead of intricacies in plotting, Montgomery and McDuffie focuses on the action sequences. Ok, there is a lot of action to be had with “Justice League Doom” and they do provide a lot of entertainment. The film is kept tight and quick, Montgomery maneuvers the scenes to keep the League very busy and I have to admit, there is a sense of urgency in the scenes as soon as the last Justice Leaguer had been ensnared. The fight scenes are good, not great; you see the League go up against their individual foes one on one instead of teamwork, it was more of a grudge match. The motivations behind such a plot all revolves around Savage; I am uncertain really how I felt about it. However, the film was successful in doing what it needed to do, if one is looking for a JLA vs. Legion brawl, then the set ups were very credible.

I have issues with the character designs as they seemed to have been influenced by the animation work in “Crisis on Two Earths” and “New Frontier”. There were mild issues with the movements but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the fights. The voice acting were very effective and Conroy as Batman once again was refreshing. The villains were as bad as can be, if rather a little uneven in tone. The soundtrack was solid and was able to express the emotion in the struggles. Backgrounds had some touches of CGI, and they were very ‘clean’. I really liked the effects that came with the ring-slinging, but I was stunned how the figures were a little out of balance in regards to human anatomy.

I suppose while I was not impressed with “Doom”, I did not really dislike it either. It was alright and was a good animated movie that proved entertaining as a whole. Sure, some may see that it entertained for the usual reasons, but it was fun nonetheless. It was just disappointing how they could adapt some parts of “Babel” and inject fan service in place of intricacy (they need to make these movies longer and the script more ambitious). As with most animated films by DCU, it caters to all viewers to make it more accessible…at least to the filmmaker’s viewpoint, not in mine.

Recommended Timidly, Rental is more advisable. [3 Out of 5 Stars]


Action-Packed....But Just a Routine Justice League Vs. Legion of Doom Brawl!

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January 16, 2013
"...a movie that takes some of the basic elements from Mark Waid's JLA story arc "Tower of Babel" and re-interprets it to fit general audiences."

Ah! Once again, they were taking pieces from a long story and forcing it into a 2 hour film. Like I said in my quick tip, I am no expert in the comic book university and am probably not suitable for evaluating these adaptations (so please take my opinion with a huge grain of salt).  Still it did provide some entertainment though and indeed the voicework was also good.
January 17, 2013
In the original source material, Ras Al Ghul had plans of his own but his primary aim was to discredit Batman in the eyes of the League. I mean, making secret plans against your teammates is a just a break in trust. Tower of Babel was one of my favorite story arcs in the pages of JLA.
May 22, 2012

I just recently saw this film last night and I have to say that I agree with you on this one. While it was slick, fast paced and ever so entertaining, it lacked two fundamental basics that are required to make a story. Namely plot and character development and although, I do not have your knowledge on the original source material, from an outsiders opinion this film left me wanting so much more.   

February 29, 2012
Just about to watch this, great review man.
February 29, 2012
Hope you review here in our community. Let me know what you think. I loved TOWER OF BABEL so I hope you understand why I was disappointed that they used certain core elements and didn't expand on them to develop this film's story. Too bad.
March 02, 2012
Oh, another thing, I have a great HDTV, and the bluray image wasn't that impressive. The dvd was a little lower in quality, but the animation/image on the bluray could've just as easily been dvd. But I got the combo pack...so you might want to save the extra $$ and just get the dvd.
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Quick Tip by . January 16, 2013
I don't want my opinion to have too much weight on this matter as I'm no expert on these action-packed direct to DVD animated films. During the Christmas season, me and my folks were exposed to a bunch of them courtesy of Netflix and, for the most part, they have all been incredibly entertaining with some compelling stories. BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD: Wonderfully twisted story, beautiful (low budget) animation. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN: Brilliant animation, good story. SUPERMAN/BATMAN PUBLIC ENEMIES: …
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About this movie


Justice League: Doom is the third animated film in the Justice League film series. It is based loosely on Tower of Babel storyline.

Justice League: Doom is an animated superhero film loosely based on Mark Waid's JLA story arc, "JLA: Tower of Babel". The movie was adapted and written by Dwayne McDuffie right before his death in February 2011, and is directed by Lauren Montgomery. While not a direct sequel to Crisis on Two Earths, the film uses the same character designs by the Lead Character Designer, Phil Bourassa. It will be released on February 28, 2012.[1] The film also features various actors reprising their roles from Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights respectively.[2][3] It is the 13th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

The Blu-Ray combo pack includes Featurettes only for Blu-Ray called “Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA”, a mini-Featurette called “Their Time Has Come: Cyborg and the DC Universe’s New Diversity”, while both Blu-Ray the 2-Disc DVD edition has "A Legion of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story", a Sneak Peak at Superman vs. The Elite, and two bonus episodes of Justice League.

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Director: Lauren Montgomery
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: Feb. 28, 2012
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
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